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Miss Saigon? Probably Not.

The post where Sam babbles about scams, buses and sights in Vietnam

overcast 65 °F

Ah, here I am again, being force fed terrible Asian pop music as the headphone jack on this computer does not work. Oh, now the guy at the desk is singing along. Do the Vietnamese think foreigners love their renditions of love songs sang by teens who are in desperate need of a bang trimming? I'll never know. I do know that this is going to be a terrible post because not only do they force every one to listen to their favorite songs, they force it at the highest level. Subwoofers in my ear. What? You want to hear an example of the teenage love songs that bring me to my knees (and not in a fit of passion either)? Okay, you asked for it.

OH MY GOD. HE IS REPEATING THE SONG. Please. Stop. Singing. Ah, the treble...the treble is so terrible. I apologize for how bad this post is going to be. I can't even hear myself think.

So where did I leave off? Oh yes, in Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as everyone but the city's officials call it. When we arrived in Saigon, we liked it. It's a nice city. The traffic is terrible with scooters and taxis and people buzzing about like worker drones in a bee hive. But it's still (relatively) clean and well laid-out. It's hot and slightly smelly, but still nice. Or so we thought.

Our first night there, we got in a cab. Our hotel receptionist had warned us before leaving, "Be very careful if you are taking a taxi. Just be VERY CAREFUL." It was a little nervewracking. She didn't care to explain what to be wary of, just to be wary. Err? So we got into the cab we thought the hotel had called. After about one kilometer, we noticed the meter was high, okay incredibly higher, and ticking higher and higher with every block. It was a rigged meter. Obviously, most people would say something like stop, we can get out here. But it was our first night in Saigon! We were lost, confused, maybe even a little hurt by this scammery. We didn't get out of the cab until the meter reached over 200,000 VND ($10). It should have been a $2 ride at the MOST. We kept asking, "That's a lot of dong. Is your meter broken?" And he kept pointing and yelling "METER! METER!" I just kept saying, "Wow, that is very expensive. Lots of dong." And then he started yelling in Vietnamese and shouting, "METER." If you've never been shouted at by someone speaking Vietnamese, let me tell you -- it is not pleasant. We should have paid the $2 and left, but hey, we are new to this scam business. So we paid the inflated fare and pouted. We had been had. Turns out, there are fake taxis that copy the logos of the reputable companies. If you're in Vietnam, watch out for the fake cabs. Only take Ma Linh and Vina Sun. And make sure the logos are not copies. Also check for the drivers' IDs and rates on the cab's dash. At that moment, it was like a giant banner was rolled out, "WELCOME TO VIETNAM SAM AND AVERY! HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR STAAAY." It was just a sampling of things to come.

So here's the deal: All throughout our travels, we were warned by other travellers about Vietnam. They told us about the scams, the rip-offs, the negative attitude toward travellers. Remember the French dude in Bangkok -- "They (the VN) treat you like dogs!" So we thought we were prepared for it. Nope, two months in SE Asia did not give us the knowledge to travel through Vietnam without being ripped off.

Anyway, we couldn't find the restaurant. So we negotiated with a motorbike driver, who asked me if I "had baby inside" of me, to take us to a second place. Uh? Motorbike drivers have no tact. I knew that dress made me look fat. He brought us to the wrong place, asked for 20,000 more dong to take us to the right place then wouldn't give us our change. I was lucky to have enough in small bills to pay him his stupid 30,000 VND.

After those experiences, we walked. We walked all over sweaty, humid Saigon, feeling more than a bit slighted by the transportation system there. We went to the War Remnants Museum, which was both sad and interesting. What I know of the Vietnam war I learned through American movies, a couple books and my father. So it was interesting to learn about the war through the stories of survivors, photos and artifacts. The Agent Orange exhibit was disturbing. Babies are still being born with birth defects. I had no idea the destruction of the chemicals were so recent. I nearly cried during that exhibit. They spare no gorey details in the photos, which they shouldn't. We also visited The Reunification Palace and an art museum. Both interesting.

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(He is still singing.)

A big thing in Saigon's backpacker district is drinking ridiculously cheap beer (50 cents for a bottle) on the street. Yes, on the street. Foreigners pay to drink beerand sit on child-sized plastic stools in the sidewalks and streets. It's funny to see so many large Westerners nearly breaking the tiny hot pink and bright red stools beneath them. For a 1.50, I had some decent local beer and some great people watching. Best part? When the police drove up to make sure no one was sitting in the road. Of course, everyone was sitting in the road. So the husky Vietnamese shop owners began throwing the pink and red stools onto the sidewalk as the confused and slightly frightened tourists stared. I've never seen women of that size move so quickly. When the police left, everyone moved back into the streets. Too funny. I didn't get a great photo, so http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-photo/haz14/1/1261578939/more-street-drinking-it-s-the-vietnam-way.jpg/tpod.html) (< ERROR: the link title is too long!) is someone else's! Ha.

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One morning in Saigon, I decided it was way too hot for sight-seeing. So I hauled Avery and I onto a local bus (ticket price: 25 cents) to the waterpark! For five bucks, we spent the afternoon going down slides, intimidating children, floating down the lazy river and whatnot. Good fun. We went down this slide with a Vietnamese guy, and I think my screams of horror/delight terrified him. Poor guy. That slide was the boooommbbb.

We went to the big market in Saigon as well. There, we were blown away by the prices. In Cambodia, vendors start at $3 for a t-shirt. We usually paid $1-2. In Vietnam, vendors start at $15 for a shirt that is only worth $2-3! It's ridiculous how much they go up. It takes about 10 minutes to negotiate them down, all the while they are trying to make you feel guilty. As one lady told Avery, "Just buy the shirt! We are tired and want to go hoooome!" :p I've just stopped buying things in Vietnam because the negotiation process is just so grueling. So everyone, you'll be getting your souvenirs from Laos!

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A nice demonstration of weasel coffee in a Saigon market. Did I try it you ask?! MAIS BIEN SUR! It was okay. Kind of sweet.

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After this photo was taken, we were forced to buy a coconut.

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After the heat, scams and pollution (enough that my throat started to ache), we went north to Dalat in the central highlands of Vietnam. There we met up with two great guys from the Easy Riders, a motorcycle club that shows tourists around that part of Vietnam. But this is for another post, as there is so much to say. Avery will be writing that one.

After Dalat, we ended up in Nha Trang, the big tourist resort in Vietnam. It was full of Russians. So many that the restaurants print their menus in Russian! Avery got a sunburn; I got owned by a massive wave.

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Then we got on a night bus to Hoi An.

Oooh the dreaded night bus. I had refused to take them in Vietnam, as I'm already terrified of the Vietnameses' driving practices during the day. I was sure I would never wake up from a night bus. NIGHT BUS STRAIGHT TO HEEELLL.

Okay, I exaggerate. We may not have departed in hell, but the bus ride was straight from the bowels of hell itself. I do not exaggerate here -- I will probably be needing chiropractic services in my old age from that ride. It was that bad. On these buses, you're forced to lie at a terribly awkward 45 degree angle on a foam pad. A human's back is not built for this. There are three rows of beds, stacked two high. There are no emergency exits; there are two doors, but one is blocked by luggage. Are you hyperventilating yet? No? I'll keep trying. So you and 29 other people have only one exit to all fight for if your bus driver: falls asleep during the 16 hour ride, goes off a cliff, runs into a tree, runs over a biker/pedestrian/chicken/cow/all of the above,etc. It's terrible. And the roads! I rode a country bus for nine years. Those roads were like gliding on ice compared to what my poor spine experienced during those 16 hours of lying in something akin to a coffin. I digress. It was terrible.

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We arrived in Hoi An, slightly shaken and quite bruised but gloriously alive. Hoi An is a cute city in the middle of the Vietnam coast. It's so cute that UNESCO named it a world heritage sight! Other than get a suit made and see "the countryside," there isn't much to do. Well, after three days on a motorcycle, we were all countrysided out. So, we went shopping! I had a dress and a coat made. Avery had a suit made. He looked damn fine. Even the seamstress thought so, as she kept stroking his butt and saying, "These pants make your bum look so nice." Then the seamstress and I would high-five, and I'd be like yeaah, that's mine. Okay, not really. But she did say that, and I did smile and nod at her when she asked if I thought his "bum" looked good in those pants. She was like 8 1/2 months pregnant, so she could grab his butt all day for all I cared. Haha. Some quality work! We went to Kimmy's by the way, if you're reading this and wondering how long it will take for me to get to the point.

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MEOW.
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After Hoi An, I said NO MORE NIGHT BUSES AVERY. And we took the train to Hanoi. It was pretty expensive, but my claustrophobia has been so exacerbated by this trip. I don't even care if I have to pay $20 more to avoid having a panic attack.

The train is much more comfortable, unless you have noisy cabin mates...

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My discussion of the train and the finer points of Vietnam are for another post. There is no heat our current location, the misty mountain of Sapa, and I can't feel my fingers anymore. Oy. This tropical weather has really made me into a cold-weather-fearing pansy.

Tomorrow, we take the night train to Hanoi then fly to Vientienne, the capital of Laos! How excited am I to go to Laos? Well, I am so excited that I called Laos Airlines today and said, "Get me out of here! Can I switch my flight date?!" And now we leave on the 15th. Caaan't wait. Why am I so excited to get to Laos? Well, you'll have to read the next post.

Ciao!

P.S. Can you believe we'll be back in less than a month?! Crazy.

P.P.S. Are you still reading? Your reward is a photo. I found the photos of stuck van in Cambodia. So good. Also, check out the views behind Avery. Ah, so pretty.

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Posted by Sam.and.Avery 04:28 Archived in Vietnam Tagged taxi beach waves bus vietnam sun saigon hoi_an dress tailor scams ho_chi_minh nha_trang suits sleeper_bus night_bus war_remnants Comments (1)

Reflections On Cambodia

sunny 85 °F

Hello from the beautiful town of Dalat in Vietnam's central highlands! Avery and I were having so much fun in Cambodia, we forgot to write. Oops. Hope you weren't worried that we were eaten by a cobra or lost in the jungle or some other terrible fate. Just having too good of a time. ;)

DISCLAIMER: I put all of my photos on CDs. This computer does not read CDs. So these are Avery's photos. Thus, I am prominently featured on this blog. More photos of Avery when I find a functioning CD-ROM drive!

So now I am going to do a huge disservice to the country of Cambodia and condense our travels into one post. It's a shame because we had such an amazing time there and had a wonderful experience. But...yeah, here it goes. (AND DON'T YOU DARE JUST LOOK AT THE PHOTOS AND NOT READ THE TEXT. I spent a whole bus ride writing this one damn it!!)

After Siem Reap, we traveled to Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia, where we hired two locals to drive us around the city and surrounding countryside on their motorbikes. Saw some beautiful country, fruit farms, a bamboo train, kids walking to school, farmers tending their fields, the only winery in Cambodia. My driver Odom (or Mr. Excellent as he introduced himself) was an excellent guide, telling me all about himself, the Khmer culture, the local crops, the history of the area. He definitely lived up to his self-appointed name.

NOTE: Picture of our drivers and us is on my CD. Boo.

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In front of a temple that was once a Khmer Rouge prison, he told us his story of living through the Khmer Regime -- how the Khmer Rouge murdered his father and two sisters, how he worked in the rice fields from age 8-10, how he survived the regime's brutality and a refugee camp on the Thai border. At the refugee camp, he learned how to be a medic, working in clinics and hospitals in the area. When he returned to Cambodia in the 90s, he could not find work, despite his desire to aid his country with his medical skills. Corruption and greed had blocked his path. He did not have the $1,000 to pay his way into a job in Cambodia. Now he works a motorbike driver in Battambang, barely bringing home enough money to feed his family. He is fluent in Khmer, Thai, English and French. Despite all of this, he was an incredibly warm, friendly, hilarious man. He had me laughing the whole time, especially when he told us how his wife locks him out of the house after he has been drinking beer and eating dog meat with his friends. Too funny. One of the best experiences of my trip so far.

After a couple days in Battambang, we took the bus to Phnom Pehn, capital of Cambodia. Beautiful city. Many bored (read: annoying) tuk tuk drivers. Good food and shopping. Fascinating and heartbreaking cultural spots.

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Poverty and luxury often residing in the same city block. If you're not familiar with the Khmer Rouge, read this before going on.

Our second day we visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which is located on the premises of the former S-21 prison. "Formerly the Chao Ponhea Yat High School, named after a Royal ancestor of King Norodom Sihanouk, the five buildings of the complex were converted in August 1975, four months after the Khmer Rouge won the civil war, into a prison and interrogation center. The Khmer Rouge renamed the complex "Security Prison 21" (S-21) and construction began to adapt the prison to the inmates: the buildings were enclosed in electrified barbed wire, the classrooms converted into tiny prison and torture chambers, and all windows were covered with iron bars and barbed wire to prevent escapes." (From Wikipedia)

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It was heartbreaking. Like the Nazis, the Khmer Rouge took incredibly detailed accounts of everyone who entered the prison. The prisoners' head shots from those records now line rooms of the museum. The victims' faces are blank; devoid of fear, anger, any emotion. They simply stare back from the past. It's haunting. I can still see the walls, picture after picture of man, woman, child -- no one was spared from the cruelty. Only seven people survived the prison. The rest were sent to the killing fields.

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In the beginning, the prisoners were buried near the S-21 prison, but the grounds soon filled with corpses. They began bringing prisoners to Choeung Ek extermination center, also known as the killing fields.

There, prisoners were murdered, usually by bashing them in the head as ammunition was expensive and scarce. Bodies were piled in top of each other in mass graves. Nearly 9,000 bodies were exhumed from the graves. There are more that lie in the field behind the tourist area. The government has decided that those graves will not be disturbed.

Now there are huge depressions in the ground, like small bomb craters, where the bodies once lay. Bone and clothing fragments can still be seen everywhere. I saw a lot of clothing, only a couple of bones. Hard to hold back my tears and disgust at what brutality humans are capable of. Felt sick for the rest of the day.

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That night I dreamed of being locked in the prison alone, at night. When I awoke, the streetlights filtered through our hotel room's curtains, casting a sickly, yellow glow that was too much like the peeling yellow paint of the prison's walls. I had nightmares throughout the night.

Maybe you're wondering why anyone would want to see that. Why would a country with such a brutal past turn around and put it on display? Because you can't understand Cambodia without seeing it. You can't fathom the cruelty that humans are capable of until you stare upwards at 9,000 human skulls. You won't understand the pain in your motorbike driver's eyes until you see the cave where his family may have been thrown to their deaths. And you can't understand why so many Cambodians suffer from PTSD and depression until you come face to face with the injustice the Cambodian people have been dealt.

Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge, was never put on trial for the murder of over 2 million Cambodians. He died naturally in 1998. Only recently did the UN begin to try other leaders of the Khmer Rouge. Duch, the leader of the S-21, was just sentenced to life in prison -- more than 30 years after his crimes had been committed.

It makes you angry doesn't it? You would think that for all they have suffered, the Cambodian people would be bitter, depressed, angry people. But...they're not. At all. They are some of the happiest people I have met. To understand the strength of the Cambodian people, the sheer tenacity within their souls, you need to know their past.

Not saying everything in Cambodia is honky dory. There is still a lot of poverty, a lot of crime and corruption. There are things that need to be changed. But, I was still blown away by the spirit of the Cambodian people. Seeing things like this changes a person.

After Phnom Pehn, we headed to the sleepy village of Chi Phat in the Cardamon Mountains. Avery went mountain biking (his report on that later). I biked for two hours and decided I'd rather not suffer some terrible heart trauma hours away from a hospital. It was just way too hot for that kind of activity. New motto: "Quitters may never win, but winners spend their lives doing things they hate." Makes me feel better about quitting.

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Spent my time in Chi Phat talking to the kids at my homestay (their picture is also on that CD...grr), sweating and dreaming of ice storms.

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Our homestay:

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Favorite quote from homestay conversations?

(Homestay girl, me and her two friends are talking. One leaves.)
Homestay girl: We don't like her.
Me: Why not?
HG: She is always late for school. She likes to sleep in.
Friend: Yes, she is lazy. Sometimes she sleeps until nine!
Me: Oh...that's...pretty...late....

Then south to Sihanoukville. Met a couple from Minneapolis who just started a bar there. Listened to The Current. Felt homesick for The Wedge and cheese. Snookville is dirty; feels like all the bad of Thailand wrapped into one.

One night there then onto Koh Rong. White sand, blue water. So Beautiful. Got drunk with a couple Swedish sisters and a South African (Afrikaner). Played card games. Drank too many buckets. Played "Fuck the Bus," Sweden's version of the popular game. Went swimming at 1 a.m. in the warm warm waters. Played with the glowing phosphorescence like we were in that scene from The Beach.

Going for a swim!
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Then it pooped.
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Went to Koh Thmei. Nothing there but eight bungalows and a restaurant. Nice but got bored. Too much beach time.

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Planned to go to Kampot after Koh Thmei. It's an old, rotting French colonial town on the coast. We waited for our bus in the fishing village. No English. Van pulls up. Tiny Khmer woman in floral pajamas (the hit style here) and a orange plaid sun hat gets out. She has a gold tooth and gummy smile. Points to the van. "No, no. We are taking the bus," we say.

She rattles off something in Khmer and says, "no bus!" She points at the van again, smiling that gummy grin. I keep hearing "don't get in cars with strangers...especially ones who don't speak English." I am unsure. She is relentless. I am hot. I am defeated. "Kampot?" we ask. "Kampot!!" she says.

A friendly police officer (or just some random guy in a uniform -- you never know in Cambodia) claims the van is indeed going to Kampot. We get in. I laugh. That's all I can do at this point. I note that the windows open wide enough that I can crawl out if need be. I relax.

Every few miles, we pull over and let someone in. They always stare at us, say something in Khmer, then laugh.

At 17 people, the van is still stopping for passengers. A lady in a yellow blouse and white sun hat waves us down. We pick her up and head down a dusty dirt road, away from the main highway. Lovely, I think.

The van gets stuck. It gets stuck in some loose sandy, ashy substance. The driver spins the tires. We are really stuck now. Okay, everyone out. 1,2,3..push! Still stuck. We keep pushing and digging the van in deeper and deeper. I want to display my awesome snow bank rocking skills to everyone here, but the van is a manual. Don't think I could shift fast enough. I am sad.

(MY PICTURES OF THIS ARE ON THAT CD TOO....UGH.)

Finally, a man brings over a couple dried palm leaves and places them behind the back tires. All 17 passengers are pushing now. Pushing, pushing and ... the van heaves out and onto the packed road. Everyone celebrates!

There is an argument between the lady in yellow and the driver. We leave her standing in the yard. Everyone inside the van laughs. Avery and I imagine they are laughing at the lady in yellow and whatever ridiculous request she had.

In Kampot, we 125 CC Honda Waves and take them up Bokor Mountain. Beautiful views. Crazy road. No one crashes. Good thing because they have my passport as collateral. Ride out to the pepper plantations and through the countryside. It is so beautiful. Mountains, green crops, palm trees, giant white oxen. Potholes, loose gravel, homicidal traffic. We make it back a little sun burnt but unscathed.

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My "I am so getting a heat rash from this" face:
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Pepper:
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I surprise Avery with a really nice room at a boutique hotel. Air conditioning! Hot water! DVDs! CLEAN SHEETS. We are in heaven. We order room service all night and watch Dances with Wolves and Taxi Driver.

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Then we head out to the Cambodia and Vietnam border...

So what did I think of Cambodia? I loved it. Oh, I loved it so much. I was scared to travel in Cambodia. I had read terrible stories of scams, corruption, violence, etc. I knew that Cambodia was still unstable; a country still recovering from the toll of poverty, war, genocide. I had only wanted to stay there for a few days. We stayed for three weeks.

While Bangkok is an assault on the senses, Cambodia is an assault on one's emotions. So many days I was challenged to maintain my composure when I saw mothers and children begging on the streets, men and women with missing limbs because of landmines, the skulls of murdered Cambodians. It was very difficult at times. I was ashamed of my expensive sweat-wicking clothes that cost what some people made in a month. I was embarrassed to have ever complained about anything, ever. Because I have it so so good. Traveling in Cambodia taught me that. It taught me to be grateful for what opportunities, resources and basic human needs I have so readily available.

Cambodia also taught me how to be happy. Like I said, the Khmer people are so friendly, so kind. Like Avery's driver told him, "Cambodians just want peace. We want to be friends with anyone who wants to." It's so simple, right? I guess this goes together with remembering to be grateful for what you have in life. Be grateful, be happy. Smile. Talk to strangers. Forgive. These are the things I learned while traveling in Cambodia.

Posted by Sam.and.Avery 03:12 Archived in Cambodia Tagged landscapes road_trip bus kampot motorbike scooters biking homestay van ecotourism phnom bokor mountain_biking battambang pehn killing_fields khmer_rouge community_based_eco_tourism cardamom_mountains Comments (3)

Railay or Bust

A race against nausea and heat-exhaustion.

sunny 82 °F

With our desire to do some more SCUBA diving satisfied, Sam and I got an early start on leaving Koh Phangan the next morning. Our next destination: Railay Beach, one of the places I'd been most excited about visiting since we started planning this trip. We knew it was going to be a grueling trip -- it ended up being just over 11 hours by tuk-tuk, catamaran, bus and long-tail boat -- but keeping in mind postcard-perfect visions of sun-soaked white beaches and sapphire tides stretched between towers of jungle-capped limestone cliffs, we set out. Travel in Thailand up to that point had been fairly easy and pleasant compared to some horror stories we'd read from other travelers, but we were about to have a little experience of our own.

One option for travel here is to buy what the call a "joint ticket" which includes the bus, boat, taxi or whatever it takes to get from A to B for one price. We'd heard that some of the buses in those packages were "scams", on which peoples bags were looted and frequent stops were made so shop owners could hassle riders to buy something. We decided to forgo the package deal, get to the mainland and make our own way via the government buses which we had read were supposed to be safer, cheaper and nicer. So we took a Songserm slow boat from Koh Phangan to a small pier on the mainland with nothing around it but a ticket booth and a food stand. We were told there was a mini-bus on the way to take us into Surat Thani town, so we set our things down to wait and a few people bought some food and snacks from the only available option. After everybody was finished buying food, a guy who had been there since we showed up stood and announced that the mini-bus (which had been there the whole time) was ready. We've learned since then that buses in Thailand and Cambodia stop VERY often at food stands/ small shops. I can't decide if stops like this are a courtesy to the riders or if the bus companies get some kind of commission for bringing in customers, maybe a little of both. Either way it's a little annoying for a couple of westerners who are used to things running fairly efficiently and on-time.

Anyway, we made it to Surat Thani, where we set to work trying to find the government-run bus station that, as far as we learned, does not exist. It's actually just a street lined with buses of varying colors and shops that sell over-priced tickets. To get the best deal you have to find the correct bus and avoid getting suckered into buying a ticket while you're at it. There are plenty of people on the sidewalk assuring you that their friend runs the shop that sells the ticket you need. It's best to just ask them which bus you'll be riding and then go directly to the bus. The driver will sell you the ticket without the middle-man mark up. Even direct from the bus driver, prices can vary. Sam and I paid 200B each, the girls in the seats next to us bought from the same guy and paid 250B each. A Swedish couple we met had bought through one of the travel agency shops lining the street and they paid 500B each! And this is the bus that we thought was supposed to be legit!

As expected, the bus ride was awful. By the time we boarded the bus only the back seats, where you get none of the a/c, were available. But we had it better than the girl in the seat next to me. Things were fine for her until we started moving and some hidden reservoir of stale water cascaded from the ceiling into her lap. She patched it up with some first-aid supplies and the rest of the trip was uneventful; boring except for the continuous game of trying to keep from passing out or throwing up from the mix of heat and blaring Thai pop music.

The road signs for Krabi were a welcome relief, from there we were expecting to catch a long-tail to take us to Railay, but that would have been too easy. We pulled into town and everyone got off, except the six foreigners who were told this wasn't our stop. Instead we were driven to a coincidentally inconvenient spot about a mile out of town. When the Swedish man confronted the bus crew as to why we couldn't get off in town he was told "That stop Thai people only. You stop here." "Here" happened to be nothing more than a three-walled shelter with a few desks occupied by smiling travel agents eager to tell us the "more better" way to get to our destination. With no other option at this point Sam and I pooled together with the two Slovenian girls to take a cab to Ao Nang beach, where we hopped in a longtail for the short ride to Railay Beach West.

It was about 5pm when we arrived and we headed for the more backpacker-affordable accommodation on Railay Beach East, which is about a 5-10 minute walk from Railay West. We soon found out that this happened to be the weekend of the Chinese New Year. The combination of the holiday and the beginning of the tourist season meant ALL of the budget accommodation was booked by the time we got there. Sam camped out at a little juice shop with our packs and I ran around for a good hour or so trying to find a place we could afford. I finally found a place, a little windowless brick room big enough for a bed, it was ridiculously over-priced but it was the best we could do. Dehydrated, hungry, head aching and soaked with sweat, I took the room. I found Sam and lead her back to our home for the night, we both immediatley collapsed on the bed where we laid in the dark for few hours before even considering our next move.

I think it's a requirement to have at least a couple terrible travel experiences while in SEA. Ours wasn't as bad as some we've hear about but here's hoping it's the worst we'll have to deal with. At least it makes for an interesting memory.

Posted by Sam.and.Avery 01:20 Archived in Thailand Tagged boats boat travel bus longtail koh_phangan scam ao_nang getting_around how_to_get_around surat_thani krabbi bus_ticketrailay frequent_stops scam_bus joint_ticket Comments (0)

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