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Monday, 18 February 2008

Thailand The Fabled Country. Hat Yai to Krabi



Thailand The Fabled Country. HatYai to Krabi



So next morning, a sunny and bright day in Songkhla we went for breakfast in a posh hotel in front of the vegetable & fruit market and had chicken curry & rice,fish,fried noodles and fresh water melon and pineapple and wonderful coffee and then strolled down on the other side of the road to find out about the mini-bus service to Hat Yai. It seemed that buses left every 15 minutes, so went back to the hotel and brought our luggage and immediately started for Hat Yai.

We told the driver to please drop us at the bus station for Krabi, this nice guy dropped us in front of the office of a travel company. The agent came down the steps of his office and asked us as to where we were headed and in one minute made out a ticket for two costing Bht.680. So I gave him a Bht.1000 note as I had no smaller notes, he crossed the road and I saw many buses standing there on the other side of the road, which was the main bus station. What he did was, go to the booking office, buy two tickets for Bht210 each and pocket the difference. The Lonely Planet Guide warns us about these clever touts but saw the travel office with all the signboards and thought it was the bus company. The Lonely Planet Guide shows fare from Hat Yai to Krabi Bht.210 pp but we found that the guide edition was not the latest and prices of hotels, buses and trains had changed. So I thought the fare was correct.

The bus was comfortable but full, all local people, travelling to Trang, Krabi and Pukhet and places in between. The journey took six hours and we arrived in Krabi in late afternoon. On arrival we were surrounded by tourist operators and after looking at some accommodations, selected a hostel at Ao Nang beach, which, we were told, is the starting point for going to Phi Phi islands. On our return from Phi Phi we went to Krabi Town instead, which also is the start and finish point for boats. The double room (no air conditioning)cost Bht.800 with a shower sharing with another room. But it was clean and coffee was free. A very friendly receptionist with Rastafarian hair-locks. The hostel seemed popular with back-packers.

Krabi(Ao Nang)resembles TorreMollinos in Malaga(Spain), we were wondering if the place had not transplanted itself there. Tailoring shops, bars and restaurants, chemists and mobile phone shops, dirty and broken telephone booths, filthy promenade,pizza places and tourist & travel offices lined the pavement.

We went for a stroll but did not find it charming, after the long bus journey we were tired and after booking tickets for Phi Phi islands with the friendly Rastafarian, we went to bed.
Posted by Island Hopper at 06:34
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