Returning to Thailand

Ko Chang Travel Blog

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Passing the other fast-boat
 

It made for somewhat of a long day but I was able to leave Sihanoukville at nine-thirty in the morning and get to Lonely Beach on Ko Chang, Thailand, just after nightfall. Two boats make the 4 hour run between Sihanoukville and Koh Kong now - one going and one coming. I found a spot on top of the boat as far forward as possible. If seas became rough, the pilot-house cabin would deflect spray and keep me dry. But the ride went smooth. Just a few miles before we reached the  island of Koh Sdach, we met the other fast boat racing toward Sihanoukville from Koh Kong. We stopped briefly at Koh Sdach to off-load the usual bags and bundles of produce and groceries as well as a live pig and a motorbike. Young girls boarded our boat to sell bread, fruit, and meals of rice and fish.

 

The longer leg westward along the Cambodian coast went equally smooth.

Girls selling meals
There weren't as many fishing boats out as on the passage in November. As soon as the boat docked at Koh Kong I commandeered a motorbike taxi to the border for $2 and managed to beat most of the other Thailand-bound boat passengers who pooled a taxi for $5 a head.

 

But the border crossing went alarmingly slow. I bee-lined to one of the two windows at Cambodian Immigration and handed them my passport along with the completed Departure form.  While officials studied my passport, four other travelers processed through at the other window . The two or three Cambodian stamps in my passport for each of the preceding two years had probably caught their attention. Or perhaps it was the continuous stream of sweat rolling off my head, face, and arms by the sweltering heat and humidity that drew suspicion.

Nearing Ko Chang
Finally after more than twenty minutes I was cleared to leave the Kingdom and continue to the Thai Immigration Post, a hundred-yard walk west. There too, my passage was delayed an unusual length of time as my passport was carefully scrutinized. Neither country asked me any questions but typed in numbers and studied their computer screens.

 

By the time I was permitted entry into Thailand, most of my fellow boat passengers had already processed through and  I watched the tenth traveler fill a blue mini-bus and its dusty departure for Trat. I had to wait another twenty-five minutes for the next mini-bus to fill.

 

I was going to spend the night at Pop's Guesthouse in Trat but the one available room  looked much too cramped and dingy for the price (300 Bhat) so I took a taxi to the boat dock. The sun set as the ferry made the one-hour crossing to Koh Chang. By 7:00 p.m. I was checked into Siam Huts on Lonely Beach. The regular price for a bungalow was up to a staggering 700 Bhat which was very high for this time of year. Normally after February the prices plummet. Like before, being a 'regular,' my price was 300 Bhat which too was way overpriced.

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Passing the other fast-boat
Passing the other fast-boat
Girls selling meals
Girls selling meals
Nearing Ko Chang
Nearing Ko Chang
On top the boat to Koh Kong
On top the boat to Koh Kong
Cargo being tossed ashore at Koh S…
Cargo being tossed ashore at Koh …
Easy does it!
'Easy does it!'
Approaching the dock at Koh Kong
Approaching the dock at Koh Kong
Back in Thai waters
Back in Thai waters
Ko Chang
photo by: rotorhead85