.........Hat Yai airport to Pak Bara
Pak Bara Travel Blog› entry 5 of 18 › view all entries
The Hay Yai airport is pretty small which makes it nice in my book. Pretty easy to get around. My driver eventually shows up at the airport and we head out into the countryside towards the coast and Pak Bara. This part of the country is my first view of rural life in Thailand. Much diferent than the urban landscape of Bangkok. It is green and lush here. The houses in the countryside are fairly descent. I only saw a few huts and those may have been used for field workers. We passed through a couple of small towns and they all had a night market going that seemed to be very busy. One of the towns had wall to wall motor bikes parked along the streets for several hundred yards. The driver drove very fast but he seemed to be very careful. He didn't really pass on corners although he had the need to one time. You see a lot of ladies on motor bikes riding around with their veils on. This is the Muslim part of Thailand. The wind was blowing the veils back and they were usually riding double.
Eventually, and pretty close to sunset, I arrived in Pak Bara and got dropped off at my guest house, the Grand Villa Guest House. I got ushered up to my room and given my key without being spoken to in English. Don't think they speak any here at this hotel. The place was very clean and adequate though. I headed down toward the main part of town to check it out before the sun went down. Not a bad place. There's stores, restaurants and a few travel agents and the pier where all the boats leave for places along the coast.
Back at the hotel I finally meet my guide for my sea kayak trip out in the Tarutau Islands. She tells me to go try the restaurant just down the road that has a beachfront dining area. I try that and get some spicy garlic shrimp, complete with the heads and all. Pretty good but there were a lot of heads and bodies left over. After dinner I walk around town a little and then go check my E-mail in town. It is pretty cheap. The custom in town here seems to be to leave your sandals at the door of all the stores, restaurants and grocery stores so be sure to have an easy pair of shoes to slip off. This was the case at some of the places in Ko Lanta too. Although in this town most of the places were that way. I assume it was the Muslim influence and custom. When in Rome...... It does keep the floors nice and clean though. I go to a store for a beer and some water. The stores in this town seem to have a pretty small selection. Plenty of shelves but not that much to put on them. There's enough of them though so you can usually get what you need. I forgot to stock up on canned mackerel in tomato sauce though. That sounded good. Occasionally you hear a Muslim chanting in town over a loudspeaker. Some of them are more melodic than others.
Back to my room to rest up for another big day tomorrow.......................