I'm a newfie...making my way to Malaysia!

Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
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33
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Trip End Jul 22, 2008


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another border crossing, another debacle?!? From Thai mainland to a Malaysian island ...i always have an anxious, uneasy feeling in my stomach with borders and always except some sort of debacle (from experience i suppose). And my feeling was right, it wasn't as straightforward as i had hoped and i seemed to have taken not the most logical route (again) by accident...by my own doing though. Are you ready...

I got a motorbike to the bus station in Trang, early, as i had 3 hr ride to the pier in Satun and didn't know what time the boat left. I get a swangtha from the bus to the pier...no problem. A tourist agency man approaches me right away and is ever so helpful..i have my guard up though cuz you never know if people are just plain being nice or are trying to get money from you. And when entering a new country..i always feel most vulnerable as you don't know anything really, the currency, the people, how things work. Anyways so the man was genuine and directed me to wait for a local longtail boat to Malay mainland rather than the 1:30pm big ferry (to a island that's not my destination) as it's much cheaper...needed 14 people though before it goes. So 1:30 is approaching and im still waiting so decide it's better to be moving and grab a ticket for the big ferry...no problem. 1 1/2 hr boat ride to Palau Langkawi, Malaysia..a very expensive, tourist island...not knowing if i'm gonna be able to get where i want to go. But I'm in Malaysia!

It's very western, developed and rich and bit a of culture shock in reverse but good. There's loads of different ferry companies, i figure out which one will take me to Penang, another island, my destination. It's at 5:15pm...just enough time to grab some must needed lunch in a restaurant...first time i had been in a proper inside restuarant with booths and windows and a/c (very American-like or canadian for that matter) in 5 months i think so it was strange but lovely. I headed to the ferry with half hour to spare...not!! i missed the boat by a half hour - time change!! GRRR... i was soooo angry with myself! It never occurred to me once that an 1 1/2 hr boat ride south would be in a different time zone...and i even noticed that the clock in the resturant was an hour fast...duh!! I have spent sooooo much time with myself and was soo angry with myself at that moment (as i had no one else to blame at all) that i just needed to take a timeout (like you do when you have an agrument with someone) from myself which is impossible...i felt almost sick of myself, my own company..it's a weird feeling and being exhausted didn't help. That was the last boat to Penang...

I got myself together (sort of) as i wanted to get there and not waste another day traveling. I figured out by asking many people that there was a 6:30pm boat to the mainland in a town that i don't even know the name of now and then i could get a bus to Penang. It's getting late though..but i buy the ticket. Im successful with this boat but not looking forward to finding the bus station in the dark once i get there and didn't know if there was even a bus (even tho i was told there was, doens't mean anything). Good fortuante came to me though as i ended up sitting next to the only other white person on the boat...started talking to him and he had arranged a taxi from the pier to the Penang. It's a 2 hr taxi ride, so very expensive and not within my range...i'm hoping he'll offer a ride..and he does. I offer to pay for some of it but he declinces which was ever so gracious of him. Phew...so made it to a hotel in Penang aboot 11pm night, 16 hrs after i left..via a motorbike, bus, swangtha, boat, boat, taxi.

Im was very happy at that point!! My frustration before was so high because from Railay, my paradise, i could have got a tourist ticket and made it from there to Penang in 6hrs via bus/boat...but i wanted to be away from the tourists (so again only myself to blame)! So i succeeded in one way but think i will stick to the more obvious routes for the time being...

Phew...that actually felt good...a little bit of venting....thank you! It doesn't seem as bad now that i wrote aboot it and that it's gone but at the time...i was hating it!
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