We had to drop off the car in the new district of Bangkok full of wide streets and skyscrapers – Avis in Thanon Witthayu just opposite to the Embassy of Switzerland. I only remember the impossible mission of changing four lanes from one end to another before we had to turn to get to the nearest gas station. I checked on google maps it’s 140 meters. If we missed it there was no turning for a while and as you can imagine we were short on time. But this was just a beginning. We had to turn into expressway where the outer lanes are opposite direction than they should be so it seems upstream. Confusing.
We bought bus tickets in a Travel Agency located in the main hall of Bangkok railway station at the passenger galleries. The bus was to take us South to Ko Lanta. In the meantime we decided to get something to eat somewhere close. Our choice was ลาภปาก Laappaak dining room I returned there next time I was in Bangkok. Afterwards we spent quite some time waiting in the station. It got dark outside and our bus was late. But we were not alone which was comforting. Other tourists with luggage were waiting as well although some of them going in different directions. Finally a man came and asked us to follow him. We went outside to a mini bus. MINI BUS! With our huge backpacks we thought we wouldn’t fit in. But of course we did. So did as many people as there were seats and no backpack was left behind. My first thought was “How on Earth will we travel over 800 km like this!!??” But well… we only got as far as some plaza in Bangkok. We were told to get out and wait. Then we got marked by some girl with different color stickers depending on where we were headed. I know we were stressed cos there was plenty of people in the square and the long distance buses were leaving us behind. There was a rumor that if we don’t get in we will have to wait for the next bus until morning. All this came as a complete surprise. Now I know there is no need to panic but then it was my first trip to a different culture and no one of us knew what to expect. The bus was comfortable, at least for me. I remember that we stopped on the way to collect other passengers. Some of the people arrived at the back of pick-ups to join us. At some point we had to get off the bus. We stopped by a restaurant where we could buy a hot drink and something to eat while waiting on another bus to come. Next stop – the harbor. We got on the boat. I insisted on sitting on the deck without sunblock. You can imagine how it ended. I was red as a pig. Well but it was worth it! The views were amazing and I think my skin permanently changed its color in the end. To be honest I’m back all white now. The lessons are: the travel might seem crazy, you might think you were cheated and be stressed about being left behind but I have this conviction anything can happen in Thailand and everything can be dealt with (well I don’t mean drug traffic) so don’t panic and be trusting. Second: Thai do not differentiate us the same way as some people do not distinguish Asians. We just all look the same to them. Third: I miss Asia.
This is it for today. It’s not a lot. I remember I should have some pictures from the boat but I can’t find them. This post is mainly a bridge between North and South. The next one will be all about tropical paradise! See you soon.