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Published: February 25th 2019
No blogging for a few days, just went to the beach, so nothing to report. I was really comfortable at Best House, except for the wash basin being on the balcony. That was a pain in the neck. Otherwise it was a real bargain, in a great location and the owners were so nice and helpful.
Today was a travel day. I booked the 9am minivan. They go every hour from 6-4pm and cost 300b, hotel to hotel service, although I’m always a bit anxious that I’ll get dumped at the bus station and have to get a tuktuk for the last bit. For Long Beach the time was 9.40 as they start from further down the island. Be ready early, mine came at 9.30, then we waited 15mins round the corner for some guys who were not prompt! I was impressed the driver was so patient. He was on his phone trying to find where they were. We picked up at 2 more places before leaving Ko Lanta via the bridge and then the little ferry. As on the way over, the wait for the ferry is quite long. There was a big group of Thai bikers on gorgeous
machines on the ferry, lots of Harleys. They must have been boiling to death in their leathers in 32 degree heat. So by the time we actually got on the ferry it was 11am and we’d gone hardly any distance at all. Luckily I’d made a mad mercy dash to the loo at the last pickup, which was a smartish looking hotel. I flew off the minivan and asked the other passengers not to let him leave without me, but he was very nice and smiley about it. That put me in a much better frame of mind for the rest of the time!
I thought I’d get to my hotel by 12, but it was actually 1. Dropped off right outside, the last person to get off. Nice smiley guy with very little English then got quite chatty and told me what number 9 is in Thai (how many nights I was on Ko Lanta). Promptly forgot this handy information. The hotel is Krabi Orchid Hometel, chosen because it’s really near the night market, which I wanted to go to. Super clean, spacious room with huge bed and balcony, £18 a night. No breakfast. Very friendly people. A
Krabi Orchid Hometel. Great location.
taxi to the airport from here is 400b so I went for the cheaper option of minivan, which is at set times, so 8am for me, 170b.
I’d arranged to meet up with my buddy and colleague who was here with her husband after a month of traveling around. We were last together last September in Sri Lanka and coincidentally they were here for a few days in a hotel on the river, a 10 minute walk away,and with a POOL, she invited me to join them there and we had a great afternoon on comfy sunbeds. There were 2 young girls flailing around looking a bit bonkers. One of them said she couldn’t swim so Sheila went into teacher mode and gave them a few pointers. They were from Johor Bahru in Malaysia. I love Malaysians. So willing to strike up a conversation.
I left around 4 and Bill walked me back up the road to show me where to meet for dinner, at a fish restaurant on the main road. I had a few things to do, get my nails redone and find a pharmacy. Things are much cheaper than in Ao Nang, 25% or so,
and it is much less touristy. The little places to eat had writing all in Thai outside and I didn’t see many foreigners. I really like the town. Found a nail place, where they looked a bit anxious as I was a tricky looking farang, but we managed, nails done with painted flowers for 120b. Bargainous and a great job. Then I walked through the fruit and veg market, which was just setting up, and the clothes and souvenir market with yellow gazebos, and found a pharmacy. Got antibiotic cream for a bite (spider?) which wouldn’t go away, plus extra oral antibiotics for emergencies, again, much cheaper than Ao Nang. Walking back through the market, hungry as, there was a things on sticks place, and a young French guy and I were looking at the chicken. 10b each. We said we’d both have one. He was holding out 15b. He asked if I had 5b and paid for half of mine. We did ‘Cheers’ with them. Fab! Made me smile, and hoped that the chicken was cooked through.
A slightly disconcerting encounter on my way to dinner. The road the hotel’s on is very wide but not super busy
and it was dark. I trotted purposefully along, bag across me, and then saw a movement behind me. 2 young Thai guys on a scooter were veering right over from opposite to my side of the road. I was just before the corner next to a wall, they had no reason to be stopping there. I turned to face them, stood my ground and then continued on. They were definitely up to no good but must have thought better of it as I’d taken out the element of surprise and there were people about. Met up with my buddies and it was nearly all local people. A friendly waiter helped us out and did a great job of anti selling. We shouldn’t order that, only for Thai people. Bad smell! Brought 2 little pieces of the offending vegetable on a saucer so we could see for ourselves. It smelled fine, but we didn’t want to upset him by ordering it. They had a big barbecue out front and you tell them what fish you want and they weigh and say the price. 185b for 3 large prawns. Not really worth it but I said OK, and we had fried rice
and fern fronds, which I love. It was a great place to eat. Then we walked up to the night market for a spot of shopping and watched the karaoke on a stage, then had another beer on the way back. It was so nice to have company after a lot of time on my own, chatting about where we’d been and getting ideas for next time.
This morning I was up early as my hotel didn’t do breakfast, but round the corner there were loads of options, all open at 7am. I went into a more western looking option called Makan, set scrambled egg breakfast 139b, hold the sausages. In fact you can put those straight in the bin. I asked for tea with milk and a murky looking offering arrived. Thai tea, he said. Lovely, I said, lying through my teeth. Then he came back and said I had to stir it because sweet milk at bottom. Oh great! Then he felt sorry for me and brought hot water in a cute pot. Still tasted terrible. I went back to the hotel, faffed in my room and at 7.45 went downstairs to find, to my surprise, a
yellow songthaew, not a minivan like the photo I’d been shown. Because no more people. So it was a bit fumy but we hurtled along and it only took 20 mins. I enjoyed it. At the airport it wasn’t like I remembered from last year. I’d checked in on the app but for AirAsia now you have to go to the domestic terminal. It was right next door but the queue was sooooooo long, only one desk for all the flights. Finally got through and when I got to Singapore and had to put my luggage through the scanner before leaving they stopped the belt and said it had to go through again. Then 4 of them stared at the screen while I got a bit hot. But they didn’t ask me any questions and let me go.
Free bus from T4 to T2, free skytain to T1. Now waiting near the dancing raindrops for Gill to arrive in an hour. Whoop Whoop!
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