Wednesday 15th November 2023 – Ao Nang
We woke up with very sore legs after our climb the previous day.
We used the scooter to visit a lake and few places out of town.
In the evening we rode to the main part of town, about a couple of miles from our hotel. This is a long strip along the sea front. It was completely overrun by tourists. The street was lined with shops selling the usual tourist tat, restaurants, travel agencies and everything geared for tourism. That came with the usual touts constantly trying to get our attention from shops, restaurants, drivers…
After a walk we went for dinner at a busy “Italian “ restaurant. We had the most bizarre pepperoni pizza ever, with unidentified thin strips of meat, peppers, corn etc… all really bizarre. We also waited almost an hour for it. A but disappointing but we wanted a change from the usual rice or noodles.
Thursday 16th November 2023 – Koh Lanta
It was time to move again after a week in Ao Nang. We went for an early breakfast of rice and omelette and then picked up our bags and waited on the street for one of the many “town buses”. These buses are merely an SUV of some type with the back converted into a roof and two long benches on each side, military style. There, they can cram as many passengers as possible.
The “bus” took us all around town for an hour before dropping us at the bus station. Once again, my stomach was in disarray dépiste taking some Imodium! Not great!
We then waited for our minibus. Koh Lanta is not very far but it took a good 3 hours. The van picked up, as usual, as many people as possible along the way, cramming rucksacks and luggage in any space possible!
Eventually by early afternoon we were dropped at our guesthouse.
The island is not as developed and touristic than other places. It has tourism but not too much so it feels like a place where local actually live. Not all is geared for tourism.
Our guesthouse was a short walk from the beach, across a rickety wooden bridge and a sandy path.
The place also had a swimming pool and most rooms where lined along the pool with a nice veranda with chairs and table to lounge. All very pleasant.
After settling in we walked to the beach and stumbled across a beach bar, just a wood shack serving happy hours cocktails and food, with comfortable seats facing the beach.
We ordered some and admired the sun setting over the sea.
Friday 17th to wednesday 22th November 2023 – Koh Lanta
We hired a scooter for few days to explore the island. We also decided to extend our stay for a full week.
We had a holiday: swimming, walking, exploring and having nice Thai meals in nice little places, enjoying the occasional cocktail in one of the beach bars.
We also did some planning for the journey ahead. Our next destination was Cambodia but going overland would take a bit of time. With several bookings done online we were finally ready to go.
Thursday 23rd November 2023 – Surat Thani
With trains booked well in advance we had no choice but bus our way back to Bangkok.
We left at 7am on a van, crammed, as usual, with as many , locals and luggage as physically possible and made our way back to Krabi bus station. Then we changed van and left for Surat Thani.
Along the way the van stopped everywhere, picking up random items, including a motorcycle engine, dropping parcels, saying hello to a mate etc…
We eventually got to Surat Thani early afternoon and walked to our hotel.
Surat Thani was its usual “scam ville” since last time we passed through, with constant touts vying for our attention (and dollars!).
Fairly tired we did not do much other than book a taxi for 6am the next day, with the App Grab, to take us to the long distance bus station out of town.
Friday 24th November 2023 – Bangkok
Our taxi was early so we rushed down and arrived very early to the bus station.
We had plenty of time to exchange our digital ticket for a paper one. Travelling by coaches we usually buy our tickets with 12GoAsia but we always have to check in at the station at least 30 minutes before departure and get a paper ticket. The ticket is used to get your included lunch or dinner at some random bus kitchen on the way.
The bus was due to leave at 7:30 but was delayed for some mysterious reason. To get to was almost 400 miles of “motorway”. We were due to arrive at 4:30pm. A long trip.
The bus, like the vans, stopped everywhere to load more people in random places, to get fuel etc…it was crawling on the motorway. As a result we arrived in Bangkok 2h 1/2 later than scheduled. At least the south bus station was less chaotic than the north one, modern, clean and not crumbling. It also had an organise taxi bay, and the taxi even used its metre!
We arrived at the hotel exhausted.
Thankfully, we had planned for that and booked the hotel for two nights, to give us a day to recover, before another marathon session on a bus, from Bangkok to Siem Reap in Cambodia!