Heading to Bangkok

I woke up at 0630 this morning and (surprisingly) calmly pack my backpack. Maybe because I’m still sleepy. Had a dream about getting a new job and going places for the job. What a nice dream! Okay, back to stuff I have to pack.

In 30 minutes, I’m ready. No one is waking up yet, so I got my self a nice hot water shower and headed to have breakfast downstairs. Sadly, no one is awaken yet, including the staff. But I smelled something yummy and it’s from the little cafe on the left side of the inn, I had a Thai noodle soup with vegetables, and no pork (it usually comes with pork). I don’t bring my camera with me, but for the taste, and the look, it would be more or less, like this:

Except for the noodles, Laksa use dried vermicelli, I can say they both pretty much alike. I paid 50 baht for both food and a simple ice thai tea.

The Plan for getting to Bangkok

I was hoping I can fly to Bangkok and spend more time exploring Bangkok, hopefully visiting Chiang Mai for a day. But the price for flight ticket is rather ridiculous, because they’re in high season now, occuring to the Songkran New Years Festival. If I can get 2800 baht for a ticket, I will be lucky. Most of them, in a makes sense hours, are over 3000 baht, even the local ones.

So I asked around. A FB page for Thailand tourism (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wisata-Thailand/173695256061766) helped me to get to a link for any kind of railway needs for travelling. It’s http://www.seat61.com.

From the site, I got my self connected with http://www.thairailticket.com, and get my ticket online. It’s less than 1000 baht! Yeay! πŸ™‚

The train will depart from Trang, but I can get in from Surat Thani station, because Trang is hours away from Surat Thani.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the adventures, but I’ve been reading too many scam experiences, through travel agents, people in the area, for such things like train tickets, etc. Even those ones which offices are just next to our hostel. Please read one of the example experience here: http://www.wright2travel.com/another-side-of-thailand-phuket-to-bangkok/

People always mistakenly me as a Thai, and they kept speaking Thai to me. In this case, They don’t see me as a tourist and I reduce the risk of getting scammed πŸ™‚ – what a way to keep a positive thinking, ranty! –

Since there are no railway route from phuket directly to Bangkok, I have to get my self to the nearest railway station, which is Surat Thani.

Anyway, I got my bus ticket to Surat Thani for 195 baht. It will took 4,5 hours to get to Surat Thani and the woman selling the tickets in the booth said that I have to be at the terminal at least 10 minutes before 1000.

Makes sure you bought the ticket in one of the booths in Phuket Bus Terminal directly.

To Surat Thani Railway Station

0830, I decided to walk to the bus terminal. It’s been said that it’s 5 minutes walk from the inn, but I think I’m going to give my self sometime, maybe 15 minutes? And oh, rain, please get some rest. At least until I get to the bus πŸ™‚

I surely going to miss you a lot, old town πŸ™‚

I arrived at the bus terminal at 0845, hey, it’s 15 minutes walk! πŸ™‚

For such a terminal where hundreds of buses get in and out everyday, it’s not very bad. You won’t be able to accept fancy, off course ther’s only hard plastic chairs in the waiting area, and no matter how you put yourself to have some rest, you simply can’t. People screaming every once in a while, announcing the departing hours of buses. They have 2 (two) lines on both your left and right, where each 4 buses parked and wait for passengers to depart to places. They depart every 1 (one) hour, to more than 15 destinations, islands in and out of Phuket, and do your own math, I know there’s a lot of buses!

But you can find trash bin everywhere, little kiosks selling snacks and water in almost every corner, travel agents with many-many tempting travel packages to take on (and please, be careful to choose one for you), 7 eleven just 2 minutes walking from the terminal -sadly they don’t have places to sit like we can have in Jakarta-, and there’s local restaurant just on the side of the bus parking, you can have some noodles there and cold water, will be helpful in a very hot day πŸ˜‰

I don’t have the picture of the bus in my camera, but more or less, this is the kind of the bus I get my self on to Surat Thani.

Bus from Phuket to Surat Thani

After witnessing the 0900 bus leave for Surat Thani, I asked the bus driver if I can get my backpack in the bagagge, and he said, it’s for 1000. I told him, I know, but it will be very helpful foe me to get my backpack inside first. He answered with the same words, it’s for 1000, it’s 0900 now. Yeah, I know. Too many time anticipations, eh? πŸ˜›

So I’m back sitting on the waiting chair and there, reading Paulo Coelho’s Aleph.

Aleph by Paulo Coelho

I have the book in Jakarta, and been having it since always, but never really have the mood to finish reading it. I don’t know why. But last night I visited the bookstore, which is hundreds of years old, and get the rush to read it. So I bought it and still on my way to enjoy the journey Paulo took in the book.

10 minutes before leaving, I don’t see anybody get their stuff in the bus baggage, and the driver is nowhere to find. But just like what I did over and over again, I follow. So, when there was a young guy carrying big white styrofoam headint o the bus, I pay attention. And after he got help from a guy who assisted the driver, I came over him and ask him to do the same thing with my backpack. When he got it, he looked at me with a surprise look. Yeah, that’s my life you’re having in your hand. He he.

We left at 1000, sharp. I have my water and chocolate ready, in case I’m hungry in the next 4,5 hours.

Along the road to Surat Thani, I realized how fancy is the bus stops around here. I mean clean, trash can nearby, and no one puts any kind of graffities on it. It was a very nice ride, good driving, I slept for about 2 hours on the way. The bus has AC and I have to admit, it helped very much, because the weather is very hot that day.

In Surat Thani

We arrived at the last stop in Surat Thani, just in front of a travel agency, which I believe, selling tickets. They have a lot of beautiful woman standing outside the office to offer us tickets. I got my backpack with me and everyone asked for where I’m heading to. When I pointed my destination (Surat Thani Railway Station) -because no one understand what I said-, all of them talking in one time. And I asked, where is it? Which way? They pointed to many different ways.

So I walked, a little bit far from there. It’s 20 minutes walks with 22 kgs on my shoulder, under a not so nice sun. Consider this as for burning my calories, okay. Fine.

Then a tuk-tuk came over, asked where I was heading to. he asked for 200 baht, and we settled for 150 baht. And I have the tuk-tuk, all for me only πŸ˜€ He offered to sit on the front, but I refused nicely (that means refusing with a nice smile after sometimes under the sun-boy, was that hard) and happily got my self on the back seat.

It’s a half hour trip, and I’m happy. I stretched my legs and let the hot wind get to my face.

There it is, Surat Thani Railway Station

I got my self in, and Thank God, bless all the flowers in the world, there’s a left luggage service! I put my biggest smile and put my backpack with a nice operator inside. I asked a couple questions with him also, and he answered nicely and thorough. Lucky me πŸ™‚

30 baht for left luggage service

Ranty is happening: 6 hours in Surat Thani

I’m looking for a money changer, and right across the station, a bank with money changer booth. Cool.

My Indonesian Rupiah is not accepted here. This is the most silly thing I have to deal with until like, I don’t know when. Maybe in Malaysia I can make exchanges, I don’t know. But this has been bothering my mind sometimes. I wish Air Asia will have money exchange booth at their Indonesian airport 😦

Anyway, I exchanged my USD to Baht. I hope it will be enough until I get to Cambodia, and life for another week in Cambodia. Hopefully.

I looked at my watch and it’s 3 pm. Man, Ranty is happening! >.<

You see, my train will be departing on 2104, and I’m already here at 0300! What was I thinking? Why I managed to get here too fast? Like 6 hours away?

I may have wrong counting the bus trip hours, I definitely remember my train was on 2104, but I don’t know how I get my self a 1000 bus ticket to Surat Thani.

Ranty is happening.

Well, let’s get some coffee. That’s the least I can have.

I’ve read that Surat Thani is not a very nice station to wait for too long hours, but after a walk, I found this cafe just right down the street. I instantly order a meal.

A vegetarian fried rice and a Jasmine tea ^_^

Nothing really special about the friend rice, and it’s good. But the tea is very good πŸ™‚

A half hour later, I’m dead. I mean, I still have 5,5 hours before my train departing. I don’t want to open my laptop, because I think I can use these times to get relax. So, I order a Latte, get my Aleph and continue to join Paulo Coelho’s journey.

A woman came in and instantly busy with her food and book. We talked and later on I know that she’s from Holland, here on vacation, after quits her job and declare to no more boring routine. I’ll figure out what to do after this, when I’m back to Holland, she said. She told me that she interested with Acting, but she hasn’t accepted in a rather good actingΒ  school in Holland, simply because she is not that young anymore. I told her, it’s weird, because from my experiences, we never really need young actors most. But we agreed in according to form acting into one person, physically, meantally, psychologically, it’s better to start from a very young age.

We exchange contacts, and we hope we can meet again in Cambodia, the next place we both heading to.

There’s a hard rain on 1700 and nothing panicking me anymore. I’m going to go by train anyway. I mean, if I have to walk barefoot to the station, it’s okay too. I got my self out at 2000 and feeling better already. Rain is not that hard anymore, so I put on my jacket and walk in a very modest way, with street food fingers in my hands! ^_^

Thank you Q Coffee cafe, had a great time on your coach πŸ˜‰

The FB link for Q Coffee: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Q-coffee/360455600650539

On the way to Bangkok

What I read about the train station is not all true. for my standart, this one is a good station. They have clean toilets, a left luggage counter for an affordable price, little kiosks selling snacks and water, and that’s it. Well, no disneyland in whatsoever meaning, but it’s a proper railway station, I can say that.

A bridge in the station

Surat Thani Railway Station at night

^_^

Where is my train?...

Taery, a Surat Thani girl heading to bangkok to visit a family. Has made a promise to practice her english more. I do too, Taery! πŸ™‚

Train no. 84 is here, on 2145. I get my self on, and have a good night inside the train. It’s really hard taking pictures while the train is moving! But here’s some pictures:

The silent aisle, where everyone is asleep now.

My bed no. 8, lucky number πŸ™‚ There's a place to put your bag, but I put them all on my bed.

A man came over and told me that it’s best to keep my own safety first, according to my bags and everything. He pointed a way to bathroom, which is clean and clean, yes, I said clean twice πŸ˜‰ He informed me that in the morning he will pick up the bed and get it back to seats mode, that’s when I can tell him where my stop will be. In the meantime, he hoped I can get a good rest.

Thank you, Sir.

Good night, everyone! ^_^

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