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Monday, 18 February 2008

Krabi to Surat Thani. Thailand The Fabled Country

While we were at Phi Phi, we had planned to go to Surat Thani and from there take the boat to Ko Samui and stay there two days and then visit Ko Pha-Ngan. However, we heard the news on the radio that the islands had been hit by heavy torrential rains and more than 3000 tourists had to be evacuated. So we decided to go to Surat Thani any way and decide there our plan of action. The boat ride from Phi Phi to Krabi town went smoothly and at the ferry terminal we were told that there was heavy rain in Ko Samui.

My wife said that instead of visiting any more islands, hopping in and out of long tail boats ( which was taking a toll on our knees), we should head towards Hua Hin, Phetburi and end our journey at Ayuthaya and return to Bangkok and take the flight back to Germany. The islands seemed so crowded with tourists who were herded like cattle and did not seem to mind at all.

So from the ferry terminal we took a tuk-tuk to the bus station and found a bus ready for departure to Surat Thani. There was no time to think, we bought the tickets and sat down in the bus which started immediately. The bus journey to Surat Thani was comfortable, few tourists who seemed tired and were dozing. There were three young girls traveling together, two were Germans and the third was Israeli. All three were going to Bangkok by train from Surat Thani, which in their opinion, was comfortable and more secure. The two German girls were going back home and the Israeli girl was taking a flight from Bangkok to Delhi. She was going to stay some time there, visiting Puri and Varnasi and Dharamsala. She was looking forward to meditation in these places. We started talking about our trips and various places we had been to. The german girls had been to Phi Phi but the girl from Israel had gone to Ko Lanta. She found Phi Phi over crowded and expensive. This was true. But she was very lonely on Ko Lanta, she said.

The bus dropped us outside SuratThani town in front of a travel agent's office and told us that we could take a bus to Bangkok from there. But the girls wanted to go by train and we found out that train station was 25 kilometers from there and a tuk-tuk cost Bht.80 per passenger. This was really too much. The travel agent was urging us to go by bus and after some deliberation, we all decided to go by train. The tu-tuk driver was very friendly and told us that he would take us to the main bus station first (Bht.20 each) in case we decided to go by bus, otherwise he will take us to the train station. But since we decided to go by train, he took us there. There we found out that from the main bus station, where our bus from Krabi should have dropped us, there were frequent local buses to the train station and the fare was Bht.15. Also buses for Bangkok stopped at the train station. While you travel, you learn.

Now the bus fare from SuratThani to Hua Hin, which was our next destination, was Bht.550 per person and the train fare (sleeper) was Bht.600. There were only two tickets left for the train departing at 18.00hrs which we bought. The two german girls bought two last tickets left, for Bangkok which cost Bht.687 each. The Israeli girl already had a reservation. Their train left at 21.00hrs. So we said good bye and happy journey and boarded the train.
Posted by Island Hopper at 06:37

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