Days ten and eleven in Thailand – 2015

Day ten – Sun – 14th June:

Woke up about once every hour while on the night train. Oh a few things I forgot to mention about the train in the last post; there is a full menu which you can order from and the food comes to your table hot and covered with cling film. All the beds are covered with a curtain and these are all numbered so the guard/bed making man will come round and wake you before your stop so you don’t miss it.

We arrived around 8am, I’m not sure of the exact time, it is highly unlikely that the train was on time anyway :p. It was strange being back in Bangkok after the North. As we approached our station we saw lots of shack homes through the window. They all had satellite dishes on the roofs, but probably no kitchens inside (I learnt this from another traveller, who said this is one of the reasons why there are stoves and fires in the street and street food for sale).

We had a prebooked taxi and they dropped us off a few doors from our hotel where we had breakfast, we also used the free WiFi and I did a survey for Geckos on James’s smartphone. Back at the Nouvo City Hotel where I stayed for the first three days in Bangkok we had two rooms for use until 12pm so we showered and changed.

I got a hostel room at a place called Jades House one minute from the Nouvo City Hotel for convenience so I could hang out with my group. At about 1.30pm I joined Emma, Katie and Patricia from our group by the Nouvo City Hotel pool on the roof and then after a swim had lunch in a cafe just next to the hotel (we couldn’t be bothered to go far).

In the evening we met at 7pm (after the group had the welcome meeting for the the rest of their trip, (they lost four people and gained eight so the group is now at 16). We ate dinner on Khao San Road at a totally different place to anywhere James has taken us so far, very touristy. I guess it’s partly because the next week of the trip is called something like ‘beaches and sandcastles’ and is more a party/relax trip. We decided not to go to the Sky Bar featured in the Hangover 2 movie (after a long discussion about prices), as they had to leave at 6am the next day (and it was half an hour each way) and it is 500+baht for a drink there plus an entry fee!

We went to a nice bar called the ‘Blues Bar’ and listened to live blues music, sitting right on top of the musicians.

Day eleven – Mon – 15th June:

My first day really on my own. I have been really lucky so far with the people I have met, both the Geckos group and Maren the German girl who I met at the airport. I am not sure where to go next, I was also not sure if there is really three months of stuff to do in Thailand, it is very touristy here now, even more so than just a couple of years ago and there is very little culture left to see, the traditional way of life has been lost in many places due to tourism. I am leaning towards also visiting the neighbouring Asian countries like Cambodia and Vietnam.

As to the reference of ‘The Land of Smiles’ that everyone says Thailand is, I think that is more like a subtle reference to the not showing emotion thing that is part of Thai culture. Here you should never show anger or frustration and I think that is where the phrase has come from? I’d say one in very 10 to 15 Thai people are really helpful, so no different to if you stopped a local in the street for directions in London and Europe.

I just googled this and apparently it is actually because Thailand has thirteen classifications for ‘types’ of smiles? Read this article if you are interested, I’m not sure how close to the truth this is?

So I did some washing and then got a tuk tuk to the Bangkok railway station where I bought my ticket for the sleeper train to Surat Thani. This is a city but also the name of the province and the place from which you then go on to Phuket or Ko Samui, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go yet.

I’m glad I came here with Maren when she booked her train a week ago so I knew the drill. I left my bag at left luggage for 50 baht and used an Internet cafe and then I wandered of to explore.

I got on a local bus and the lady asked me where I wanted to go and if was really hard to explain I just wanted to sit on there until I saw somewhere I wanted to get off. After about five minutes a Thai man came over to translate and in the end I payed 13 baht which is the price to the ‘end of the line’ on that bus. That is a crazy amount of money compared to the 100/200 baht we were paying to get around on a tuk tuk! 

I got off after a while and tried to ask at a 7-11 store where I would be able to find a bus timetable (I’m not sure there is such a thing here but hey). So in the end I stood by a bus stop and then a local asked me and I said to Khao San Road and they said buses 30, 32, 33, 64 or 65. So I got on bus 30 and said to Khao San road, and that cost me 5 baht! 

On Khao San Road I met Scott and Demi the Scottish couple from my tour! We had a chat and they told me about the Tiger Kingdom trip they did. They said the Tigers were not sedated at all. This was their last day and they were flying home tomorrow. Then I had another drink in a cafe just to use the Internet again :p.

Since it was so cheap I decided to try and get a bus back to the train station. I had another difficult time trying to get bus info out of the man in the official kiosk, he didn’t speak any English, and finally a local lady with near fluent English helped me. But she still didn’t know which bus went to the train station, she asked another lady and we decided that it was buses 35 or 47.

It was 7 baht to Hua Lamphong, the place where the train station is, no bus goes directly there which seemed a bit stupid to me? So I walked a few minutes and through an underpass to the station. In fact the station itself is unofficially known as ‘Hua Lamphong Station’.

Then I got on the night train at to Surat Thani. No pictures for these days really so here is a map of Thailand showing where I have been so far (x marks the spot). Surat Thani in the South is also marked so you can get an idea of where I’m going.  

Jeffrey’s travels in Thailand so far June 2015


 

Next up: days twelve and thirteen.

Previously: days eight and nine.

5 thoughts on “Days ten and eleven in Thailand – 2015

  1. Pingback: Days eight and nine in Thailand – 2015 | williamstoneupcycledgoods

  2. Looks like you’ve covered a lot of miles and experiences and good to use local transport after leaving the tour (sounds like you’ve lots of good stories!). If you decide to go to Cambodia and Vietnam I can see if I can get some tips for you from Alastair – he also preferred the less commercialised areas, though it seems the main historic things and cities there are very popular destinations.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Days twelve and thirteen in Thailand – 2015 | williamstoneupcycledgoods

  4. Pingback: Days thirty-four and thirty-five in Thailand – 2015 | williamstoneupcycledgoods

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