Our 15 day Thai VISAs expire today, so we’re getting out of the country.
After more than a week at the Banburee Resort on Koh Samui, the idea of travelling again was actually a little exciting, whilst the idea of dealing with the logistics again — trains, accomodation, border-crossings — was just plain depressing. We did a few searches on the web, but didn’t really figure out much; we knew we had to get off the island, step one, then find our way south, but that was it.
And so yesterday we had an early start (6:30am), checked out by 8 and “chartered a car” to take us to the ferry back to the mainland. We bought tickets at the docks, then settled into to reasonably comfortable seats for the two hour journey. It was a different boat — even a different dock — to the one we took to get here, and as we looked around we realised it was the way the locals travelled. No slouching, back-packing teenagers sun-bathing on the crowded deck!
Once on the mainland, we took a bus to Surat Thani, as it turned out our ferry tickets had already paid for that. We napped — it’s a long bus ride — but were eventually dropped in the middle of town somewhere. “Train station,” we asked the young bus attendant, and he pointed us happily towards a tuk-tuk driver. “300 baht,” he quoted, and we bristled (it shouldn’t be that much, surely!), then aquiesced (what else were we going to do?). Turns out it was still quite a way to the train station, so by the time we got there — over ill-paved roads, slick with rain and mud — we didn’t mind the price so much.
It was lunch time, so I bought us some dodgy instant hamburgers from a local market. The next train was 4:30pm, said the kind woman in the ticket office, but we could get a bus from just over there. Five hours (and a nap) later, we were here in Hat Yai!
We tuk-tuk’d to the train station and considered our options: a 2am sleeper tonight, or come back tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow it is. Let’s find the biggest hotel in town and splurge — look, there’s a Novotel sign. And so here we are, eating breakfast in the grand lobby and planning our next border run. Honestly, by this stage we both just want to get home and set up camp … who knew taking such a long holiday would be this hard? As Dee said on Monday, as the bugs and mozzies swarmed around us: “Bah! I hate paradise!”