Monday, 6 June 2016

Sawasdee-Ka! 48 hours of Travel.

Yes, hello from Thailand!

Setting off at 1pm, I got the train to Birmingham international and transferred free of charge to Birmingham airport. The trains run every 5 minutes till 11pm, where you have to get a bus instead. I met a few people boarding my flight who had also gotten cheap tickets with STA. One couple were using the flight as a week break in Bangkok as you would Barcelona for example.

On the plane I watched Eddie the Eagle and genuinely cried with happiness it was such a feel-good film, I'd highly recommend it! I also watched Point Break, which again, was great but the ending was a bit lame. Made me want to go on loads of wild adventures and base jump though, perfect for setting the adventure mood of Thailand.

I flew with Qatar airways for the first time, and honestly, the staff were a bit too moody for my liking! Hardly any smiles and if you asked for anything it seemed like a chore. The staff on my second flight were slightly nicer though, but I was asleep for 4 hours so maybe that's why! I do have to compliment the food though, usually I barf at airplane food, but this was actually bearable, maybe even nice if I can say that?!

They only left 45 minutes transfer time and so I had to leg it to the gate pronto, last thing I wanted was to hang around Doha airport (though it was beautiful). When I first got on there were so many empty seats, and the plane was due to leave. I rejoiced as I thought it would mean I could have the whole row to myself. However, an announcement was made that there would be a 20 minute delay as we were waiting for passengers from another flight. A man did end up coming onto my row, and I wanted to cry because he smelt so bad and I thought I'd have to deal with him the whole flight! However, thank the sweet sweet lord, his friend has a spare space next to him so he moved to the other side! So yup, my back-seat plane tip worked wonders yet again as I sprawled out the whole row.

I arrived in Bangkok around midday and immigration took about 40 minutes to pass through, such a long process. Be careful though, when you fill out the visa card, MAKE SURE you don't lose the other part as you need this for your return out of the country. When I finally made it through, I ventured to the Air Asia ticket desk (6th Floor) to see if I could get a cheap flight to Nepal. However, I had no such luck and so decided upon the Thai islands.

Getting the train to the center from the airport costs 45 baht, or you could get an uber (!?) for example for 300 baht, it's about an hours car journey depending on how mad the traffic is. There are cheaper taxis but just be careful, the taxis are notorious for ripping you off so make sure you demand to go by the meter.

It turns out the center wasn't quite where I wanted to be, and because of heavy traffic and the overwhelming humidity, I jumped onto a scooter taxi (yes, just men wearing a yellow vest offering lifts, they have taxi number though)! He was weaving through the tightest gaps ever and I was petrified of knocking somebodies car wing mirror off, or scraping my knee against a bus. Well, worst of all I fearing crashing into something as he didn't provide a helmet - Classic Thailand. I always forget the odd variety of smells that overwhelm your senses too when walking/ riding about.

I got dropped off near Khao San Road and bought a ticket to Koh Tao from Lomporyah Boat company for 1100 baht, you can buy it in advance online if you want for the same price, but I wasn't sure how I'd be feeling after my flights/ what day I'd want to make the journey. It's about the same price to fly provided you book it about 2 weeks in advance with AirAsia. It's also possible to get the train. I chose the bus because the train is a lot of hassle, and the flight didn't suit the times I needed as they stop quite early in the day as the ferry port closes (you can't fly direct to Koh Tao, you have to go nearby then get a ferry across).

I ended up in a bar on Khaosan Road and joined a group of 3 Brits for some drinking/ chatting, turned out they were on the same boat too so we all went for dinner - Just some street food, a Pad Thai for 50 baht. My first ever Pad Thai! I mean, I can't say I enjoyed it, but I didn't hate it either, so yano, I probably would have it again.

Anyway, the bus departed at 9pm and I was sat next to a lovely girl who works in TV, helping on the show 'Survivor', sounds like a great job just travelling the world filming - get me involved man. We chatted for ages and eventually, thank the heavens, she had some Valium that she gave me. I was so glad for that, there's no way I would have slept a wink otherwise, it was so uncomfortable and the cushion for my seat was literally slipping off the metal frame!

We stopped for a quick break to grab food/ drink around 4am, but I was too zoned out to get off. Finally we got to the ferry port at 5:30am and waited for a bit for the ferry to come. I made it to Koh Tao at 9:30am Saturday, ready to pass out and relax after what felt like a lifetime of travelling.

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