From Island to Mainland

Trip Start Jan 29, 2003
Trip End Feb 01, 2004

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Friday, March 21, 2003

19th March 2003:
I got up quite early, not only with bed bug bites, but I somehow managed to acquire a spider bite inbetween my poor toes. I remember killing about 10 bed-bugs before I got to sleep the night before, but I couldn't remember seeing any spiders?
I arrived at Steves, after along walk, and use of the internet, about 12, to find them all asleep. Though I was hardly surprised. In fact I would have been more shocked if they had been up and about, the lazy gets! Once I had woken Steve, we went for brekky down at his bungalow's restaurant, which was a bargain at 99 Baht for 5 items. Or was it? We then hit the high street and inquired into travel agents of prices to both Bangkok, and Koh Phi-Phi. Koh Phi-Phi is apparently where 'The Beach' was filmed. I decided I would save a lot of money if I headed straight to Bangkok, and got some stuff done for a week like acquiring visas for Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, and other mundane stuff. I would have liked to go to Phi-Phi, but I just think that the other 7 of them are all on such different budgets, that it would be hard not to spend a lot of money! I am really enjoying my time with this lot, but if I think for the future, I will save money before my Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam trek, then do a bit more island hopping on my return to Thailand including a dive course, which I am looking forward to, even though I don't like fish!
So, I decided to book the VIP bus ticket, which included ferry crossings to Bangkok, for 400 Baht, about 6 quid, not bad, when you're travelling a third of the country, especially since it was an overnight bus saving 1 nights accommodation.
We visited a bowling alley in the middle of town, but were too tired to play so instead opted to just have a drink. After the drink, we carried on walking to Laurie and Liz's luxury Chawen Cobana villas, which were very nice, and we made use of their swimming pool. We chilled out here for a bit, swimming, talking, and playing pool, before we got a taxi back, then went our separate ways to get ready for the evening meal.
Got to Steves place about 7, and surpruse, surprise they weren't ready! After some motivation and serious ass-kicking, we were eventually on our way, and after stopping at what seemed like every other shop, we did manage to get to the Will Wait restaurant, and had a very nice meal with Steve, Leah, Laurie, Liz and Kelly. On the way back, we visited all the shops that we 'apparently' missed, according to the girls, though we did stop at a Haagen Dazs ice-cream shop, which was simply the dogs bollocks - great ice-cream at obscene prices!
Realising the night was young, we decided to visit a free transvestite cabaret show, which was actually really good, very 'Moulin Rouge', with extravagant costumes, and even more extravagant people. The show included a Thai Transvestite Tina Turner Tribute Trio, which was hilarious, but not as funny as Steve getting kissed on the lips by a fella, who also sat on his lap for most of the show, much to Steves disgust, but to mine and the girls amusement.
We finished off the night having a beer on the beach front, which was a nice end to the day. I will miss these guys again!

20th March 2003:
I got woke up by Steve at 7 this morning, returning my alarm clock. You may be surprised by Steves early rise, but the fact was they had to catch their bus at 7:30. I was hot, I dozed for the next couple of hours, uncomfortably warm, with sweat reeling from my head, and body. At 10 I forced myself up, with far less bed-bug attacks than the previous night, much to my delight. Though probably thanks to the mossy net I draped around myself as some kind of shield. I checked out at half 10, and realised I still had 3 1/2 hours to kill before it was time to get a taxi. I stopped off at a restaurant blaring out CNN. And here it was I learnt that the war had begun with the 40+ missiles being launched from the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. Apparently it was a vain attempt to kill Saadaam Hussein, though he managed a press conference only hours after the bombings.
I looked in every DVD shop hoping to find a copy of the 'Goonies' on DVD. Does anyone know if this was ever released? I also used the internet to confirm my suspicions that the copy Southampton kits for sale, are quite simply piss poor, I am hoping they will be better in Bangkok!
Got a shared taxi over to Na Thong at 2pm.
At 3pm, I went to Bamboo House, collected my tickets and boarded the bus which took us to the jetty. From here we got on the ferry over to the mainland, and then on another bus to Surat Thani.
We pulled up at Surat Thani with about an hour to spare, and so I ate some food, whilst talking to a Laos Lesbian with a lisp, who also has a friend in England called Steve. She did not recommend Pattaya unless you want to get a whore or get pissed, so I may leave that island alone!
We boarded our 'VIP' bus at quarter to 8, though I must say I did not feel very important. The bus was rammed, and although it was air-con, there was little leg-room, and what there was, the Germans in front of me arrogantly reclined their seats to cut off all possible circulation in the lower half of my body. I was bemused to see that I was the only person still awake with a light on at only quarter to 9.

21st March 2003:
At half past midnight, we pulled into a service station with accompanying restaurant in the middle of nowhere, with other tour buses. I watched as about a hundred zombies walked
around eating because they were told to. I stretched my legs, but coming across no Brits, I made no effort at conversation, after one Germans unmitigated attack on the 'British stupidity' left me with utter contempt for other Europeans, and refrained me from striking up conversation with any for the rest of the journey.
At 5am, we were in Bangkok. The first bus that arrived early, and the only one I wanted to be late. It was still dark, though I walked off and after being pointed in the direction of Khao San Road, I walked off on my own, past drunks, and homeless, quite excited, but also realising that I did not have a clue where I was going. When the streets seemingly got darker, and less shops were apparent, I gave up and hailed a tuk-tuk. He showed me a room, he knew which was too nice. It had air-con, and TV with remote control, though at 540 Baht, my head told me it was out of my budget, even though my body was begging me to take it. Sadly, I declined, then took the next place which 290/night, a little more than I wanted, but I couldn't face any more hotels at 5:30 am, and so crashed here. I needed some sleep! I still don't know where I am. After sleeping till 11, I ventured out, and found I was only a 5 minute walk from the infamous Khao San Road. I took a stroll down it and found it a lot smaller than I expected, though it was a hive of activity, with people trying to sell everything you can think of though the only thing that caught my eye was buses from here to Siem Reap in cambodia for only 100 Baht! Can that be right? The visas don't look too bad, and it will probably cost about 50 quid for all 3 countries. Watch this space!
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