Predictably, as the alarm went off at 7am this morning we struggled to scrape our arses out of bed. Late last night we decided that if we felt too tired this morning we would stay another day but in the end we go for it and get a taxi to the ferry port at 8am. The ferry costs us 14 pounds for the four of us and the journey takes an hour. We arrive at the Thai port of Satun and immigration takes around another hour. The immigration officials are friendly and chat away to the kids but they are knackered, irritable and spoiling for a fight with each other.
We get in a sawngthaew (pronounced songlaw) these are covered pick up trucks with two rows of benches and the main way of getting around the towns of Thailand. We ask the driver to take us to the bus station but end up getting dumped at a bus stop, still that’s ok as we want to take 5 and buy a drink.
Eventually the bus to Trang turns up. We had originally planned to go straight through to Krabi but as the kids are being evil and we are also tired we decide to go halfway there instead. We get settled at the back of the bus which is comfortable enough and empty. Just as we are congratulating ourselves on rejecting the aircon bus and going like the locals our relative peace is shattered as 5 or 6 young lads get on. They are all pissed and chatter away to us, offering us their beer and fags. We tell them we don’t drink and smoke so they get out a hanky and encourage us to sniff it instead! I’m not sure if it contained anything more than snot but we only put up with them singing and dancing around us for another half an hour before we move further up the bus and they take the hint and leave us alone from then on.
Two hours later and we arrive in Trang. It is a small town on the Andaman coast and apparently a really good place to get out to some of the islands. It doesn’t seem quite as hot as Langkawi but the landscape is similar. We have passed many coconut groves and there are limestone cliffs, waterfalls and caves in this area. As soon as we get off the bus we start walking, we are trying to put a bit of distance between us and the fellas on the bus. Although they were friendly I had a bad feeling about them and don’t want them to know where we are staying.
They don’t follow us though and soon we are some distance away and relax a bit. We find the guesthouse we want and it’s gorgeous, spotlessly clean with natural, rattan furniture, crisp white sheets and silk bed coverings. We have to share the toilet and cold showers but there doesn’t seem to be many other people staying here and we virtually have the place to ourselves. I bargain the room costs down to 200 and 250 baht. This is around 5 pounds sixty total. We are working on an exchange rate of 85 baht to the pound until we know better and have checked with the money changers.
By now we are starving and go in the cafe next door. We have sandwiches and corn. In Asia sweetcorn is often eaten in bowls with added butter, salt and sugar and is completely yummy! We check our emails and let the kids have an hour surfing the net. Their internet requirements have definitely reduced recently and neither of them has complained too much about the lack of webtime whilst we were in Langkawi.
It is very hot in our rooms and we are all feeling heat exhausted. We decide to get take out and Simon comes back with some Chinese food and a red silk rose for me, we sit on the bed, sharing dinner, drinking Chang beer and eating with a plastic spoon- Happy Valentine’s Day!