Monday, 30 September 2013


The floating markets were highly unimpressive and a mere tourist trap, maybe visit if you have never seen this type of thing, but I won’t be going back!  We also took the scooter to all the surrounding beaches, which were ok, nothing special I didn’t think, but we went all the way south to Prachuap Khiri Khan and the Pranburi National Forest. 

This was also a great little ride, as they all tend to be, and the area was distinctly lacking in tourists.  There is a beach there and also a cool little wooden walkway through the mangrove system which winds through and past the river that eventually feeds into the ocean.  A very diverse little National Park and another of those places off the radar, but worth a look if like me, you have the time. 

Once again travelling with Mon came in handy, as I got off very lightly on the scooter repairs I think and the whole ordeal only cost me 2700bt. Not ideal, but certainly could have been a hell of a lot worse, expense wise, if I had been travelling solo. Considering the damage I did to the car and scooter, a $90 repair job is awesome!  

The Scooter is repaired and returned and we pack all our gear and head to the train station for the journey south to Surat Thani, only we arrive to bad news at the station that there are no tickets left and we have no choice but to book 2 seats for tomorrow and check back into the hotel!  Oops!

With a sense of déjà vu we are back at the station the next day and make it on board the train around 5pm I think, the journey takes nearly 8 hours and the scenery is nice while the sun is till up.  As usual we chill out with a couple of cold beers and whiskey (we are now travelling with a small esky) and a vast array of snacks, I wouldn’t dare expect Mon to travel that long without eating every hour!  

By the time we arrive in Surat Thani it is after 1am and for the first time since I left Australia, I feel a little uneasy outside the station.  There are almost no transport options and I refuse to pay the exorbitant amount the only guy there is asking, we strike up a conversation with some locals and jump in with them.  We are the only people here and they were very helpful, our place was way out of town and they had no problem dropping us there.

Checking in is a bit of a hassle but we eventually get a room and crash for a couple of hours before heading back into town to get the bus from Surat Thani to Phang Nga Town.  The bus ride is as scenic as it is frightening, the roads and drivers throughout a lot of Asia are shocking, the road rules we know do not apply here, but it seems to work.

  From memory it takes around 3 hours, with the obligatory lunch stop in between, god can’t they go 3 hours without eating?!  The scenery in and around Phang Nga is possibly my favourite, thick jungle, with these massive limestone mountains and cliffs just jutting up everywhere, seemingly surrounding you.  It is seriously breathtaking.
Hua Hin Floating markets....    forgettable
Walkway through the mangrove forest

The lookout tower

 Not exactly travelling light...
Our train trip supplies

 Waiting at Surat Thani bus terminal

with obviously too much time to kill...