Enough of the city! Let’s go to the beach.
Today was a travel day, and I was glad for the rest. The bus ride from Ekkamai Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Laem Ngop ferry dock is over 5 hours. That means 5 hours out of the sun, off my feet, and in an air-conditioned first class bus. The ticket date is 24/9/2558 (I didn’t know they used a different date system) and cost 245 THB ($). We departed at 7:45 am.
At Laem Ngop, we buy a ferry ticket to Koh Change. You can see the island from the dock. To buy the 80 THB ticket ($3), you have to go to the toll booth that’s selling tickets to the car customers. So of course, I step in between the car and the booth to buy my ticket, and the other tourists follow me. The Californian says “Wow, I liked your assertiveness!” Well, it’s 30+C, were standing on a concrete heat pad, and they’re sitting in their air conditioned cars. They can wait. “Thanks.”, I say.
Adventures in Accommodations
I decided to stay at the Oasis at Lonely Beach because it was recommended by the experts at Travelfish.org, and had excellent reviews on Agoda. I chose the cheaper option of a cold shower because I’m so hot, and I don’t need hot water. 350 THB = $13 CAD
The taxi drops me off at the main road, because it can’t travel up the steep hill to the hostel. I have to hoof it. And I’m dripping with sweat. The hill gets steeper and steeper with everything step. All 550 of them. I counted just so I can complain about it. My bungalow would better be described as a shanty hut. It has a hole in the roof, the doors and windows are all makeshift and don’t close properly. The bathroom is outdoors, and worst of all the toilet is covered in ants and is flushed by pouring a pot of water in the bowl.
But I actually sleep fine. I use the mosquito net over the bed, even though I’ve only seen one mosquito and the net blocks much of the breeze from the fan. The next day I ask to switch to a better bungalow with AC and a flush toilet. He tells me they are 800 THB ($30)! Even though there’s a roof over the washroom, the walls don’t meet the roof (by design, for airflow, I suppose). When I get home in the evening, I hear dripping. The AC is dripping onto the pillow, and there’s a huge puddle on the ground. The old hippy tells me not to be afraid to complain. He’s been travelling Thailand for 4 months. The hotel says they’ll clean it up for me, but I say maybe it’s better I switch hotels, and they say ok. But the view was nice.
So I take my 12 kg bag down my favorite hill and start heading towards the Siam Bungalows. Someone asks if I need a taxi, and when I show them the address they laugh and say I can walk. But I don’t want to. For 80 THB, $3, they drive me a few minutes down the street. Siam Bungalows is right on the beach, with a pool. Sounds great, right? Their huts are only a tad better. They have real windows, and a door that closes, but they still have a tankless toilet and a roof that doesn’t meet the walls. Plus there’s no wifi in the room, and there’s no plug to charge things. The place is a mess, with garbage strewn everywhere. This surprises me because it’s low season. It costs 300 THB = $11.
This time I don’t sleep well. I see a cockroach and decide to be Buddhist (or chicken) and not kill it. I regret this later when I see him again. But I think he scurried out of the gap where the room meets the bathroom. The hotel had a disco party for the dozen other uninterested guests, and played techno all through the night. And I just can’t cool down.
I move again! Now to the Seaflower Bungalows, as recommended by my local travel agent. A bungalow with a roof, walls, flush toilet, AC, comfy bed, view of the sea, wifi and fridge costs me the exorbitant amount of 600 THB = $22 CAD. A room without AC and with a fan would have been 300 THB. This is the kind of place I have been wanting. They have concrete paths and manicured gardens. It’s very pretty. Plus a little convenience store next to the restaurant and laundry services. I am such a princess!