As usual we are leaving Bangkok early evening so have a whole day of wandering, killing time, until the overnight bus takes us to our Thai island paradise.
Rucksacks packed, amazingly there seems to be some space in it again…. damm….. I could have bought one more sarong or maybe some flip-flops, or just one more hair product from Boots…..😁
We find the curry rice stall we looked for yesterday. There are many curries on offer, we are a little flummoxed as to which to choose until a friendly Thai guy from Chang Rai explains the dishes to us and also confirms this is one of the best curry rice restaurants to eat in.
We order the sukothai noodles, green curry with rubbery fish balls and a mango and shredded pork salad. The sukothai noodles are really good, sweeter then we would usually go for, but great, but the pork and mango salad is ace, salty, chilli, and sour. Our Chang Rai friend explains he studied hotel management in Hastings 1969-1973, hence his excellent English.
We wander round the back streets, through a new backpacker area, full of street stalls, laundry shops, suit shops, hostels, and the usual backpacker support systems. It is less full on than our area, so has been ear marked for our next (!) visit.
More wanderings occur, and we find ourselves in a coffee and cake shop down Pra Athit road, how does this happen? I go overboard on chocolate ordering iced chocolate shake and triple chocolate mouse, Guy has cup of tea, and white chocolate cheesecake. It is sugar heaven…..really good…..we enjoy this luxury and the air con.
At 6pm we once again find ourselves in the Pied Piper routine, although the guides seem genuinely confused at our destination of Trang. Most people are off to Ko Samui or Krabi. Neither of which are near Trang, or actually near each other.
A reggae coloured bus pulls up, we all pile on, luggage is stored according to where you are going, seats on the bus are allocated the same way. The bus is old, tired, no air con, no comfy seats. We are getting too old for bus travel.
Guy looses a number of chess games against his phone. I drift in and out of uncomfortable sleep.
We arrive at Surat Thani at 6.30am. We now have to pay more to get a minivan to get to Trang in time for the 1.30 ferry. Other people have done a 4 hour dog leg of a journey to get to Rangong. Thailand used to be well organised in tourist travel, but now the numbers of tourists are so many and the destinations so varied that I feel it doesn’t work to do your trip via a travel agent on Khao San if it isn’t the normal routes, or sometimes even if it it!!
We get this minivan to the next minivan station which will take us to Trang. The lady driving is holding her second child herself, he fidgets and plays with the driving controls. I look away. She leaves us in charge of the kid, he cries, I have to be maternal……..I am not sure who looks most scared……
We get another mini van to the ferry port. It is showing a Hollywood Eric Banna film on catching the Taliban. We are over tired, especially me, and having that in your face at close quarters is quite disturbing. We miss the public ferry by 10mins. We pay 600 THB (£15) for a personal boat to Koh Mok, it actually isn’t completely overpriced, and we arrive about 5 mins after the public ferry. The scenery is stunning and we start to relax, it is 1.30, we have loads of time to look for accommodation.
Clambering onto the pier, we sweat our way down the long pier. I get a Sprite and wait for Guy as he goes to check out guesthouses for us. Sometimes feminism needs to be put to one side and I embrace the role of a kept woman.
Despite finding accommodation near the port we decide to go to the other side of the island. The port area has no real beach and what there is is covered in rubbish. It is not the paradise we were looking for.
We get a ‘taxi’ (motorbike with side cart) to the other side of the island to Had Farang (literally Foreigner Beach) where the big resort has beach bungalows for £40…. Luckily we find cheaper bungalows for £20, which considering their state is expensive, but it is the view we are paying for.
I have a Daniel Craig moment…….😂
Happy Holidays 😋