Day 54: Over to ThailandAugust 8, 2016 in Thailand
Not much to report today other than travelling! Early start leaving our hotel at 5:45am, taxi to the airport where we had a quick Maccas breakfast and then boarded our flight to Kuala Lumpur. It was the longest flight we've had for a while, over 2 hours and 30 minutes! I listened to a couple of podcasts and dozed.
Arrived in KL about 20 minutes ahead of schedule (a first for AirAsia I think!), but we checked in to our onwards flight with no problems and set about waiting around for a few hours. As usual we killed time by eating and drinking.
Our flight to Surat Thani was quite bumpy and turbulent, we even had to wait in a holding pattern for about 20 minutes while a storm passed over the airport. Thankfully it didn't stick around too long and we landed without incident. We'd booked a connecting ticket with AirAsia all the way through to Koh Samui (a flight to Surat Thani still on the mainland, then a bus transfer and a ferry trip over to the island). It was semi-organised chaos just outside the arrivals hall; someone met us just after getting off the plane saying our bus was ready, but then disappeared and after our 30 minute wait for immigration there was no sign of them.
Eventually we figured out where we were supposed to be and soon boarded a bus for the 90 minute ride to the port. Thailand feels much more rural than Malaysia did, and everything's just a bit more unfamiliar since their language has its own script (Bahasa Malay and Bahasa Indonesian both use English letters), the first time we've had that. The rhythm of the bus moving caused me to fall asleep, and I didn't really notice the majority of the journey.
It was gloomy and overcast when we arrived at the port, but the ferry was waiting and we hopped on. 20 minutes later at 4pm it departed, and immediately the skies closed in and bucketed down rain. The ferry took about 90 minutes to cross the channel, but we could see very little due to the rain. Thankfully it slackened a bit by the time we put in at Koh Samui, but still sprinkling.
As we got off the ferry I slipped down a metal staircase, jarring my back and giving myself a small cut on my forearm right where you'd lean it on a table. I've also just noticed while typing this that some of the LED pixels in my laptop screen don't look quite right, so they must have taken a battering as well. At the port we were a little stuck - we hadn't booked any onward transport and with no Thai SIM cards yet and no Wifi, we didn't really know where the hotel was or how to get there, other than that it wasn't far away.
The people at the dock weren't especially helpful, but we managed to find a minivan leaving that could squeeze us in. They charged us 400 baht though which is about $16 AUD - I think the ferry itself was cheaper. And of course we were at our hotel within 5 minutes! Definitely too far to walk especially in the rain and approaching dusk, but not far enough to avoid feeling ripped off. I think after travelling for a while those are the environments I detest most - where the locals have a massive information advantage over you and leverage it to the fullest extent. It's not a Thai thing, you get it at all ports all over the world. Very aggravating.
Our hotel is OK, right on the beach and has a nice looking pool which we'll hopefully investigate tomorrow if it stops raining! No plans as yet to do anything else. Dinner in the hotel restaurant where Shandos enjoyed her Thai salad but I was disappointed with my bland penang curry. Not the greatest of days all in all, but at least we're here safe and sound.Read more