August 15th, 2006

Day 22: Koh Phangan to Bangkok by catamaran and double decker bus.

Today is another one of those long but necessary travel days. Thailand is a long country, so going from the southern islands to Bangkok in the middle is a full day’s journey. Fortunately for us, though, it wasn’t a bad or uncomfortable trip and we got out of it no worst for the wear.

It was raining most of the day today and the seas were the roughest I had seen them in Thailand. Although the water was not nearly as rough as it was on the stormy day we choose to depart on the four-hour boat ride from Sihanoukville in Cambodia. It was a good thing, then that we decided to buy tickets on the catamaran at twice the price of the regular boat (still cheaper than it cost us to get to Koh Phangan). The main reason we chose the more expensive route was so that we didn’t have to take an overnight bus to Bangkok. Mateo particularly does not like overnight transportation.

I really like catamarans now. We sat in the front of the catamaran in nice cushy seats watching movies for the three hour trip to the mainland, stopping twice to pick up and drop off people on other islands. The seas were pretty rough and barf bags were handed out, but miraculously I did not need to use mine. Having a movie to stare at most of the time was most likely the thing that saved me. If I were watching the seas going back and forth it would have been game over time.

We got off the catamaran at about noon and waited around for about an hour for a double-decker bus to pick us up. There were about three busloads of people and we got nice seats on the second bus. It was about 455 kilometers to Bangkok and we spent most of the time watching movies. I think we got through three movies and three episodes of Sex in the City before we arrived, with a short break for dinner at six p.m.

We were dropped off at an area of Bangkok called Khon San Road. It was made famous from the book and movie “The Beach.” I have never seen said movie, but Mateo tells me that Khao San Road is represented as a run-down tourist hell-hole. It is extraordinary how accurate that description is. There was a lot of neon and glitz and people trying to sell trinkets and services to the mass of tourists there. We took our photo of the day there with me walking away from the camera into the crowd. There were a lot of other people taking the pictures, but they were all posing and looking straight at the camera. It looked a bit sad, but I mean, hey. We are tourists, too, you know. :P

We caught a Tuk Tuk to the closest BTS train station and took the BTS down to our old guesthouse, Soi 1, and crashed for the night. It was a pretty average day, but good nonetheless.

...Until next time, take care.
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