What a night(mare)!!!

Koh Phangan Travel Blog

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I thought this was going to be a normal day. Well as normal as possible considering that I didn't have much planned at all as I was traveling down to Kuala Lumpur. When I booked my ticket the guy told me it was my boat ticket to Dom Sak, bus then to Surat Thani then minibus down to Kuala Lumpur, should be there by midnight. Easier said than done, definitely as I awoke at six am which I think I deserve a medal for. You know maybe a certificate style one, awarded for seeing sunrise before seven am as I can't remember doing that unless it was because I was only just coming in!

I got onto the ferry which was leaving at seven am directly from Koh Phangan to Dom Sak and found it to be quite boring and long, compared to the journey I took to get there. Not only that but there was nowhere to sit as everyone else knew where to go and had got to all the seats first! It wasn't even scenic like the first boat which passed closely by the islands and Ko Samuet for you to have something to look at. This one just went around through the middle of nowhere!!! There wasn't anywhere on board to eat anything proper either and so all I ended up having was a pack of peanuts which made me feel like shit and desperate to get to somewhere where I might be able to get some dinner!

Once at Dom Sak we transferred to a coach which was air conditioned and ok which to took us to Surat Thani where a taxi picked me up. Which I was a bit worried about as it had no signs or anything and looked like a normal car. The guy knew where I was going though and took me to some travel office, once there a lady asked if I had 500 Malaysian ringit on me as its a requirement to cross into the country, stupidly I said no and she got the driver to take me to an ATM to take out 8500 baht to change up. I didn't like the idea of this and when I saw the ATM was a bank as well with currency exchange I did think about going in and changing my money there so I wouldn't have to give them anything, but I'd left my bag there so would have to go back. They changed it up for me then the driver took me to a petrol station about 15 minutes away and I thought was going to leave me there. Then we waited for almost 2 hours for another minibus to collect me. I was starting to get really pissed of by now and had figured I had probably been ripped of already and so was best to stick with it to save myself paying out anymore money. Anyway this minibus drove me down to Hat Hiy, and dropped the other 8 people in the minibus to wherever they wanted. Then asked me where I was going. Really angry I snapped back Kuala Lumpur and he took me to another travel office. Here we go again I thought, but they were really helpful and didn't make me pay anymore and instead put me on an air-conditioned coach with reclining comfy chairs and told me where I could get something to eat in the fifteen minutes before my coach left. It was to leave at 7pm. I should have already been in Malaysia by now and only 4 hours away from Kuala Lumpur, instead I was 2 hours away to the border of Thailand, and 7 hours away from the Malaysian capital. Anyway I tried not to think about this and tried to get some sleep as soon as we had crossed the border.

5am we arrived in Kuala Lumpur and by then I was tired and agitated, extremely grumpy and not at all happy. Where the bus stopped was in the part of the city quite central with some hostels and shops and things that were quite busy. So I stepped of the bus and into the first hostel along there. Stupidly! I asked how much I could have a room for for twenty-four hours as I would be leaving the next morning at 5am anyway to catch my flight to the Philippines. And when he said ok, 53 ringit, I thought this was ok, I had 500 anyway which was changed up in Thailand for no reason!! So I asked to see the room and he gave me two keys to go and see two different rooms to decided which one I wanted. Went to the first one and opened the door. At first glance it looked ok, so I reached up and turned the light on. With a silent scream I thought no way! As the cockroaches that had been hiding in the dark started scrambling around up the walls and across the floor! I thought maybe it was just that room and was trying to give the benefit of doubt as I left that room and went to the second room. When I opened the door though a cockroach fell from the door frame stopping me from even turning on the light.

I have never run from a hostel so fast and on my way asked for a copy of the free map the guy had used to show me where we were. On this map where all the landmarks, hotels and railway routes and everything. On there I saw one I recognized, the Crown Regency, and took a taxi there, which wasn't too far. Once there I was really pleased and it looked really nice and clean so was excited about finally being able to get some sleep since it was almost half 6. Except when I walked in apparently all 634 rooms were full. And not just tonight, but tomorrow and the day after too. I wondered if that was true or if it was because I had a rucksack on my bag and looked a state after 24 hours with hardly any sleep. He wouldn't recommend anywhere either, but said that there may be somewhere further down the street. Really???? Anyway once outside I could see one of the taller buildings a sign saying Shangri La Hotel and headed across the road in that direction. If only I knew I would be paying one hundred and sixty pounds a night for it!!! Or rather Three hundred and twenty pounds for twenty four hours. Because even though it was technically the 15th already, it wasn't past the check-in time of 12.00. So 2 nights it was!!!

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Koh Phangan
photo by: alanmica