Last stop

Trat Travel Blog

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Not Trat. This is modern Bangkok, from the Skytrain

Stayed in Bangkok a day longer than I’d intended to. Just like last time. This time, though, it wasn’t a cock-up that kept me in the city; as in Mae Sot, I started reading a Stephen King novel and stayed where I was until I’d finished it. The first three quarters was incredible. The last quarter was arse.


So it was a Friday when I left Bangkok for Trat, my final stop in Asia. I still didn’t trust the taxi drivers in the city so I got a bus to the train station, a tube to the Skytrain interchange, and a Skytrain to the Eastern Bus Station.

A tuk-tuk would have taken half the time and probably wouldn’t have ripped me off. Still learning. And with this convoluted journey and my natural inertia, I didn’t get on a bus until four in the afternoon.


It was five hours to Trat in a big, comfortable bus with air-con and recliner seats. A telly at the front showed a DVD of The Shawshank Redemption, dubbed into Thai; there weren’t any subtitles but I know the film so well that I got the gist of pretty much every conversation. I even quite enjoyed it. As soon as we reached the point that loses least in translation �" the opera over the tannoy �" the DVD started skipping. On our arrival I took a room in the rustic wooden Windy Guest House, had some dinner and went to bed.


I hadn’t intended to spend a day in Trat but I needed a passport photo to get a Cambodian visa and I couldn’t get one in time to cross the border today. I lost any number of days through this sort of incompetence, but Trat wasn’t the worst place to get stuck: a quiet, reasonably interesting little place, though there wasn’t much to see. Bought a bottle of Trat’s most famous export �" some medicinal oil a bit like Tiger Balm, a sniff of which could banish nausea or cool the itch from mosquito bites. I eventually dropped this bottle in a dorm in Shanghai, and it smashed.


Went to a local guesthouse to get advice on travel in Cambodia; I’d tried to get a room there last night but it was full, and the guy led me to the Windy GH with the word that if I needed information I should come to him. So I did. The guy arrived on a motorbike and beckoned me to follow him. Shrugging, I did so, though I didn’t see why he couldn’t advise me from the bar. Turns out he didn’t want to. There was a snake lying in the road outside, a couple of feet long and a nondescript dark brown. As I watched a young Thai came up and started bashing at this snake with the side of a plank of wood, again and again, while still it moved, until it finally stopped and he manoeuvred it at arm’s length onto the plank. It twitched again and he jumped a mile. I can only assume it could have killed him.



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Not Trat. This is modern Bangkok, …
Not Trat. This is modern Bangkok,…
photo by: GoeroeJ