train ride from hell

Surat Thani Travel Blog

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well yes, either i've had bad luck or 2nd class upper bunk sleeper in a thai train is the worst form of transportation ever: no window, hot, they don't kill the lights at night, etc... terrible... i missed the good old chinese sleeper trains! who ever said thai trains are good? they suck! after 3.5 months of trains in asia, this was the worst train i've ever had (let's not count hard seat in china, that's a different kind of animal :) )

but quickly back to bangkok the day before: i decided to not get into taxi mess again and drive my luggage to the train station in the morning and leave it there as the station is well connected to the underground / skytrain transport system.

i've checked online that they have left luggage, few years ago 15 baht per day & piece, now 60. when i went there, the sign still said 15 baht but he asked for 60. so i quickly decided what bargain trick of the day to use and started with 'hey dude, i ALWAYS pay 15 baht.. why 60 this time' which resulted in a 'new company!' answer. trick 2: 'yeah? well, let's ask the tourist police what they think about that' (i like that empty threat to extort more money from underpaid workers in developing countries) and he switched into bargain mode.

finally, i paid 30 baht after a good old type-in-the-calculator-what-you-pay session. i thought that i should not bargain too hard as this left luggage place is famous for searching & stealing from bags.

took underground & skytrain combo to siam square and stayed there for the day until getting back to the train station in the evening where i quickly recovered my bag (which was not touched) and waited amid other tourists, mainly one huge intrepid tour... haha, suckers...

train station is well organised and tourist friendly so it was easy to catch the train, find the seat and off it went, very uncomfortably as mentioned above.

we arrived half an hour late at 0700 in surat thani (actually phunphin) and i made my way to the ad hoc travel agencies on the street selling bus/ferry tickets. i got overcharged 20 baht i think and paid 200 baht for the songserm express boat (the same the railway station agency wanted 300 for...) but there was not much time for bargaining.

the journey to ko samui was smooth! the boat was not cramped at all, only about 40% of the seats in the cabin were taken. (the khao san road chavs crowd was sitting on the sun deck and smoking weed anyway). nice ride, quickly arrived and found a songtao to chaweng beach in a second. they are supposed to overcharge like mad and the fair price for this route is 50 to 70 baht depending on guide book so i ran to the dude, said 'chaweng, 50!' and that was it, no bargaining... hmm... it filled quickly and off we went.

ko samui is huge! the ride was 20 or 30 minutes.
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Surat Thani
photo by: newtampo