He Drives Like Crazy

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Asia » Thailand
May 31st 2006
Published: June 1st 2006
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I knew that Penang to Kho Tao was a long journey, but I never knew it would be this long! It all started with a 5 a.m. luxury minibus ride across the Thai border, and then I was rushed into another bus for the rest of the journey north. The driver clearly had some sort of death wish and had a habit of stopping every 10 minutes to try and pick up more passengers. This would have been fine, but what was scary about it was the fact he always overshot, and then reversed up the motorway to get to the perplexed bystanders while busses, vans and HGVs swerved to avoid us tooting their horn in the way that only 3rd world drivers can.

We finally arrived at our 'destination' at 2... before realising it was no such thing. Apparantly the 5 a.m. start had all be in aid of catching an 11 p.m. ferry, and infact we could have left 2 p.m. and still made it. I decided to kill time by eating - lunch was a strange nondescript but tasty curry, late lunch was a 'fried chilli and basil' (which came with chicken) and dinner was a rich and spicy coconut curry. I love the food here!

I played cards with Meghan and Johnny, a couple from Canada waiting for the same boat and when the boarding time finally came there was an audible sign of relief.

The ferry itself was something unlike nothing I have seen before, a cross between a boat and an alpine bunkbed. The entire of the cabin (which took up most of the boat) was a single mattress with numbers on the sides. It was a sleeper boat - exciting! I laid down by number 48 (my allocated spot) and doubted that in the hot, sweaty atmosphere that I would get anything like a decent nights sleep. However the length of the day had taken its toll and before long the gentle rocking and rhythmic sound of the engine had sent me into a deep sleep...


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