A Travellerspoint blog

Chapter sixty nine - Somewhere between Koh Lanta and Bangers

Another bloody bus

overcast 24 °C

Day 252: Somewhere between Koh Lanta and Bangkok, Thailand 07/06/2012

Wake up to find the rain is just unrelenting. As well as coming through the ceiling, the water is finding its way through the wiring and out via the sockets and light switches. Time to leave we think and after breakfast I take a stroll to find out if we can change our bus tickets to leave today. Turns out we can so a couple of hours later we are waiting at the travel agent/internet café for the minibus to turn up. With the rain lashing down it arrives forty five minutes late and our luggage is wedged in amongst the other passengers whilst we get the relative comfort of the front seats.

We are dropped at the wrong place in Krabi but luckily a very helpful woman at the bus station (I know, a helpful person!) calls the bus company and we are transported to the correct destination. After a bite to eat we get on the bus to Bangkok, where we are by far the oldest people. The rest are all real Khao Saners aged 18-19. One very annoying Brummie girl needs to be gagged/killed/forcibly ejected from the moving vehicle (delete as applicable) but after she eventually shuts the f*ck up a decent night’s sleep follows.

Posted by tevs 09:04 Archived in Thailand Tagged travel bus thailand Comments (0)

Chapter sixty eight - Koh Lanta

Banter in Koh Lanta

storm 25 °C

Day 246: Koh Lanta, Thailand 01/06/2012

A breakfast in the room – cereal from the fake 7-eleven store next door – then picked up for the journey to Koh Lanta, a nearby island two hours away by minibus. Arrive in Koh Lanta after a nice, easy journey incorporating some great scenery and views and two ferry crossings. We get dropped off in the Klong Dao beach area, a complete ghost town. There seems to be NOBODY here due to it being low season and as a result we are able to get a real bargain of a room on the beach.

We take a walk on the beach after lunch and there is a restaurant affiliated to the local animal sanctuary that is always on the look out for volunteers to walk their dogs. We choose to take Sugar for a walk – we are told to walk her all the way to the end of the beach - and it soon becomes apparent that this is possibly the laziest dog in the world. Sugar simply does not want to go any further than about a hundred yards and simply sits and refuses to budge. Try to make her come with us but she somehow gets her head through the collar and I am forced to run after her as she gives it some serious legs down the beach the way we came. Eventually catch her. Try again. This process is then repeated. Weird bitch.

Lazy evening and a spot of dinner before a night in front of the telly.

Day 247: Koh Lanta, Thailand 02/06/2012

We are up reasonably early, look out at the sea to see a steely grey, raging pool of surf, much wilder than any other coastline we have seen in Thailand up to now. I go for a run along the beach, which is lovely in the mid-morning sun, before heading for the pool.

A grey, damp afternoon follows and we stroll down the road in search of lunch. In such a small, quiet and out of season town Gemma obviously runs into somebody she knows from home. Crazy! We have a quiet afternoon – a swim in the sea and the pool. A quiet evening in the room, nobody on skype (too busy enjoying the Bank Holiday no doubt), have a nice dinner and watch a bit of TV. Kevin and Perry Go Large. In Thai!

Day 248: Koh Lanta, Thailand 03/06/2012

After a swift breakfast in the room we hire a bike from the hotel. We go for a quick ride around the island, which is very small but very beautiful on such a bright, sunny day. We follow (we think) the road that parallels the west coast of the island and encounter some great scenery, before lunch overlooking the coast and the smaller islands that are just off the east of the island. Somehow ended up on the complete other side of the island. Oh well.

See a bit more of the island – see a snake, which makes my day – and we are on the way back round the top of the island when…we…run…out of petrol. Join a family on their front porch, who kindly help us out by sending their twelve year old son out on his bike to the local Esso for some gasolina.

Eventually get back to ours, have a bit of afternoon sun by the pool and then skype. Tea, bed.

Day 249: Koh Lanta, Thailand 04/06/2012

A very quiet and uneventful day. A spot of breakfast, a spot of sun by the pool, a spot on my head and a spot of lunch before the weather changes and the rain starts to come down sideways. Head to an internet café and there is a skype first when Gonny appears on the webcam! Tea then bed after a spot of television.

Day 250: Koh Lanta, Thailand 05/06/2012

Another quiet day at the ranch and as the sun is out we head poolside baby for some sunnage. However, after a good takeaway lunch the weather changes again, the wind gets up and there is some serious precipitation. No wonder this is the low season here…
Out for some more skype (poor Ben Cribbo terrorised once again by his father) and a very good dinner. Back to the room.

Day 251: Koh Lanta, Thailand 06/06/2012

Well, the rainy season is well and truly here and after a sunny start the wind whips the rain into a frenzy and the bus tickets out of here are booked for the 8th. A very wet afternoon is spent in the room watching Universal channel and amid games of cards and Uno the rain starts to seep through the ceiling of the room and onto the edge of the bed.

With relatively little to do a takeaway dinner and some more telly makes for a successful evening.

Posted by tevs 08:59 Archived in Thailand Tagged beaches thailand season rainy koh_lanta Comments (0)

Chapter sixty seven - Krabi

Let's give it another chance...

rain 27 °C

Day 244: Krabi Town, Thailand 30/05/2012

Arrive in Alor Setar at about seven in the morning, naturally stopping to write some postcards as you do after fifteen hours travelling. Following this we have a bit of trouble finding the best way to the border (this journey was not so well planned) and after getting a cab to the Malaysian side, we troop through no-man’s land with our stuff, get through Thai immigration and in keeping with the rest of the journey to this point, realise we have no idea where to go next. A quick (one hour) drink in McDonald’s and a consultation with the Lonely Planet enables us to decide to give Krabi another chance. We are soon on a very tightly packed minibus destined for Hat Yai.

Hat Yai proves to be remarkably like Kuantan in its worryingly high percentage of unhelpful people and we eventually get ourselves on a coach for Krabi. We take the opportunity to grab a bite to eat (Pad Thai always welcome) and are soon aboard our fourth vehicle of the day. Dropped in Krabi Town around sixish and the fifth vehicle of the day (pick up truck) drops us right in the centre. Hunt for a nice hotel (needs to be a good one after twenty six hours on the road). Caught in a huge thunderstorm so dive into a place for tea, fashion a rain cover for my bag using my fashionable rain jacket and eventually check into a very nice hotel room. A great documentary on Fox Movies – ‘Who Killed the Electric Car’. Yawn.

Day 245: Krabi Town, Thailand 31/05/2012

A very good night’s sleep before we get our stuff together and move into a another (cheaper) room around the corner. Take a quick walk around Krabi Town, which proves to be quite nice (definitely nicer than Ao Nang) with a lot of friendly locals and amazing chicken salads available roadside. Find ourselves watching some more breakdancing at the local shopping mall. Later in the day we meet a bald man with his head tattooed (ouch) and as the clouds gather another tropical storm is imminent. We head to the bar at our place, play a bit of pool and watch the rain bounce a full six inches back off the pavement from the relative safety of the pool table.
Brave the weather after a while and head to the nearby night market for some seriously good food, a bit of fruit and some delightful nice little cupcakes. Early night.

Posted by tevs 08:57 Archived in Thailand Tagged rain thailand krabi Comments (0)

Chapter sixty six - A bus somewhere

Another long journey...

overcast 25 °C

Day 243: Somewhere in Northern Malaysia, Malaysia 29/05/2012

Wake up late again and enjoy the benefits of our luxury room. A look out of the window reveals a grey, murky day with little potential for the beach, so over a spot of lunch we discuss what to do and where to go. Heading back for Thailand wins out in our debate and it is back to the room to pack our stuff and apply our newly purchased Tiger Balm to the multitude of horrendously big, itchy and irritating red bites literally all over our bodies. Not sure if they are due to bedbugs or mossies but literally devastating.
En route for the bus we spot a fairly big lizard scurrying about in the drainage channels, which we watch for a bit before we carry on up the road and spot a huge monitor lizard skulking around in a field. Scary. Realise the frogs in the room are a far better option than coming up against one of these…

The bus eventually arrives and we have a nice stable seat, which has partially penetrated the rusty floor. Back at the bus station in Kuantan we have a bit of difficulty establishing the best route to take back to Thailand, mainly due to the ridiculous proportion of extremely unhelpful people. Finally establish the best route and head to the nearby shopping mall to kill a bit of time ahead of our nine o’clock bus to Alor Setar. Nice comfy seats await on the bus and we manage to settle down nicely for the night.

Posted by tevs 08:54 Archived in Malaysia Tagged monitor_lizards travel bus malaysia Comments (0)

Chapter sixty five - Cherating

Frogs, bed bugs and monitor lizards

semi-overcast 28 °C

Day 241: Cherating, Malaysia 27/05/2012

We get up nice and early, have a nice breakfast with Bev and Mark and soon find ourselves at the bus station ready to move on once again. Board the bus for the East Coast (baby), have a little sleep and arrive earlier than expected in Kuantan, from where we catch the connecting local bus service to Cherating.

Arrive in this small, eerie little town around four in the afternoon and it becomes apparent that the majority of the accommodation is made up of wooden chalets modelled on B&Q’s excellent range of garden sheds (other DIY retailers are available). However, we find ourselves something a little cosier and are soon bunkered down in a breeze block shed at a meagre five quid a night. Truly a case of from the sublime to the ridiculous, having come from Mark and Bev’s lovely home this morning.

Head out for tea after chasing a couple of frogs out of the room (‘nature’ the owner helpfully says) and after a decent bit of food we head online to speak to people back home. After arriving back at our home for the night we are greeted by another of our amphibious friends. This time however, he proves to be a bit more athletic and difficult to eject than the dumpy, toady little things everywhere and moving like a ball of flubber, the route he takes before finally being captured goes a little something like this: my leg, the wall, across the room to the curtain, Gemma’s pillow, my backpack and back into the bathroom. I eventually manage to detain him by throwing a fluorescent yellow workman’s vest on him, which helpfully was hanging on the back of the door. Bed seems the order of the day after this drama.

Day 242: Cherating, Malaysia 28/05/2012

After being awoken very early by a monkey running loudly across our corrugated tin roof we have a bit of a lie in and head for a very cheap lunch up the road. Before leaving however, we usher another frog out from behind my backpack (how do they keep getting in?).

A sunny afternoon is spent on the beach, which due to the Malaysian school holidays, is pretty busy. I go for a quick run to the other end of the beach and reach the river estuary which seems to have escaped the attention of the numerous tourists playing at the other end.
A few games of Pictionary in the sand and a couple of hands of Uno later, we plan where we want to go next and the next stages of the trip. We adventurously head for tea at the same place as lunch and hit the hay (well a makeshift foam mattress) nice and early. Disappointingly, no frog activity to report this morning.

Posted by tevs 08:34 Archived in Malaysia Tagged beaches beach malaysia frogs cherating Comments (0)

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