The journey to Malaysia did not go as smoothly as we had hoped for- As we left Koh Tao, the ticket agents said we should purchase a bus ticket to Malaysia from them as it was a public holiday and all the trains were fully booked. We decided to ignore this as it is often a tactic to get you to buy a ticket from them. We arrived into Chumporn after a 3 hour ferry crossing and went straight to the train station - We soon realised the situation was much worse and that the trains were actually fully booked for the next 3 days...this delay would take us well over our visa allowance, which wasnt worth the risk of getting caught (deported from the country and banned from re-entering). Kim managed to find a local government bus that went non-stop to Hat Yai leaving that evening so we booked it as a last resort, the bus was comfy enough though the constant dripping air conditioning along with the bus ploughing through every pot hole on the road was enough to keep Andy awake for the whole miserable 9 hour overnight journey.
We arrived into Hat Yai at 5am and were barely able to get off the bus before someone was dragging us and our luggage off, asking us where we wanted to go next so we reluctantly handed over more money for a 3hr minibus transfer to Penang
, Malaysia leaving in 4 hours time. We both then wandered into a travel agents, which may actually have been someone's front room, and fell asleep on their sofa for a few hours.
We arrived into Georgetown
, Penang and made our way to Batu Ferringhi
beach. It was soon apparent that Malaysia wasnt as cheap as Thailand, we struggled to find a cheap bed for the night, which was hampered further by the fact that it really was a 3 day public holiday and the world and his dog were heading for Penang! We settled into a pleasant room for 2 nights and spent yet more time lazing around, eating too much, and borrowing the pool at the Shangri-La and Holiday Inn (many thanks to both hotels!!!). It was now time to make the journey down to Kuala Lumpur