To Koh Phangan?

We’re all nervous to find out what will happen with Matcha Tours today. Will we get to Koh Phangan? Or will we be stuck in Krabi for another day. or 5. Forever? Who knows? We go get a quick breakfast where I FINALLY find a decent breakfast sausage!! Ilona points it out on the menu to me, that it says “most other restaurants serve hotdogs as breakfast sausage and one piece of fruit to make it look like you’re getting a variety”… and I know that they will not serve me a hot dog. It’s the most exciting part of my morning so far, so I order it. Obviously I am still in Thailand so it’s not the most delicious breakfast sausage I’ve ever had, but it’s good and most importantly, not a hot dog.

We walk over to the travel agency where we are half an hour early, so we sit and wait until 11 for a bus. Sam, our lovely travel agent from yesterday, pays no attention to us at all, even when Ilona goes inside and stands at the desk waiting to ask a question, he just doesn’t acknowledge her. I am not surprised though, let’s be real. When 11:01 rolls around I am beginning to be concerned, but by 11:15 a bus does actually arrive for us. He almost doesn’t let us on, when we tell him that we’d like to keep our original ticket (which we’ve read you are always supposed to do) so we give him a fake ticket instead so that we can get on the bus. He doesn’t notice, and tosses our bags in a pile in the van. Success! We are one step closer to Koh Phangan!  We drive 10 minutes away and are dropped off at another bus station. He gives our fake ticket to the staff member at the counter, where she glances at it and gives us new tickets for the boat or the van or something, I am never sure exactly what they’re giving me, and apparently neither are they.

We wait 15 minutes before a new van rolls up. This van seats 14, and we have exactly 14 people with 14 backpacks all crammed into it (they don’t have a trunk). It’s not the most comfortable 2 hour ride I could have asked for, and our driver insists on flying over each speed bump or pothole at full speed, but we’re getting there so that’s all that matters. We get dropped off at yet another bus station in Suratthani, a town much closer to the pier. We wait there for half an hour and grab some snacks. We are offered the option of paying 50 baht to upgrade to a “high-speed boat” which gets us there an hour earlier, but we don’t care and don’t want to put ourselves in anymore weird situations, so we decline and decide to stay with the slower ferry for 3 hours. No big deal. As the bus pulls up and we are about to board and have it take us to the pier, a staff members pulls me aside and tells me that we can take the fast boat for free as long as we don’t tell anybody. I figure what has happened is that there are two boats anyway, and not enough people paid the far upgrading price of 50 baht and now the “slower” boat is over booked. So I grab the girls and tell them to wait for the next bus. Obviously we’re not hopeful that this alleged high speed boat will actually get us there any faster, but if it does that’ll be cool and if not we haven’t lost any money. Whatever.

We get on the sketchiest bus I’ve ever been on, with a rainbow painted ceiling, stuffed monkey dolls hanging from all over the place, and a front door that won’t close. They pile all of our bags in the back, except for these two absolute princesses who are carrying two purses each and a duffel bag. They bring all their bags to the front with them and lay their stuff across a seat beside them. The bus is, as usual, packed with people, so their bags taking up two entire seats to themselves doesn’t work for me. There are no seats left for me to sit down in, or I wouldn’t have said anything, but when I am forced to choose between standing or saying something, I ask one of the girls to move their shit so people can actually sit down. She does it after rolling her eyes, and I take my seat. Now it’s awkward because I have to sit beside her, but luckily she just pulls a pillow out of one of her two purses, and goes to sleep against the window. I don’t know why people like this even come to Thailand, or how they’ve survived this long. Who knows, maybe today is their first day. The broken front door that remains open for the duration of our trip, does not become a problem until the rain starts. Then, I am splattered with cold and tiny rain drops every now and again while I try to sleep.

We finally make it to the pier for the last stretch of this ridiculous adventure. It looks like we’re going to make it Koh Phangan!! I notice while we’re waiting in line that my right ankle with the scrape from the motorcycle accident is definitely much bigger than my left. And it’s throbbing, a lot. In fact it has been all day…which concerns me a tad. The rest of my body is healing but my ankle is getting worse if anything.
We get on our fancy speed boat, which I’m still sure is the same as the regular boat, by pushing and shoving through a large crowd onto a very small metal board connecting the boat to the dock. We pass by the princess with her two big purses and duffel bag, whining about when she can get on the boat to some staff members instead of just pushing and shoving like the rest of us. I can’t help but laugh. We are so lucky that we shoved our way down here when we did, because it becomes clearly pretty quickly that there are not enough seats for everyone, but we manage to snag 6 close to each other. The downside of this is that our seats are also directly behind a crying baby. It starts puking everywhere and wailing when the boat starts up. Dear god. I just hope that maybe, just maybe, this boat really is faster than the other one, and I can get to Koh Phangan without the smell of child vomit being burned into my nostrils forever.
I don’t know how (but I thank my body for it regardless) but I manage to fall asleep until we arrive at Koh Samui, which is another island just below Koh Phangan. We will be at our destination soon! I almost can’t believe it. There was far less conflict than yesterday even though today was a little rough at times, we’ve made it and that’s all that matters.

The ride is not “smooth sailing” by any means. I feel more like I’m on a roller coaster than a boat, with the strong waves pushing the boat up and out of the water and causing it to go crashing back down over and over again. I have a relatively strong stomach in most cases. I am un-fazed by stuffy car rides, I can eat fried bugs and keep them down, and I have yet to get sick from any questionable Indian or Thai food. But this boat makes my stomach feel uneasy. It’s like being on a 2 hour roller coaster. 10 minutes after I go outside to get fresh air because I am DYING inside, the boat stops and we’ve made it!  We get in a tuk tuk with a Swedish couple who hopes to find accommodation at our guesthouse, because they haven’t booked anything in advance. They are fortunate and find a room at the place we booked, which is very clean and the rooms are quite comfortable. I am definitely happy to stay here for the next 4 nights.

We walk down the street to grab a real meal which none of us have had since breakfast. There aren’t a lot of options but the restaurant across the street has Pad Thai so I’m content. Just happy to be here! To Koh Phangan?

We wake up at 9am, all nervous to find out what will happen with Matcha Tours today. Will we get to Koh Phangan? Or will we be stuck in Krabi forever? Who knows?. We go get a quick breakfast where I FINALLY find a decent breakfast sausage!! Ilona points it out on the menu to me, that it says “most other restaurants serve hotdogs as breakfast sausage and one piece of fruit to make it look like you’re getting a variety”… and I know that they will not serve me a hot dog. It’s the most exciting part of my morning so far, so I order it. Obviously I am still in Thailand so it’s not the most delicious breakfast sausage I’ve ever had, but it’s good and most importantly, not a hot dog.

We walk over to the travel agency where we are half an hour early, so we sit and wait until 11 for a bus. Sam, our lovely travel agent from yesterday, pays no attention to us at all, even when Ilona goes inside and stands at the desk waiting to ask a question, he just doesn’t acknowledge her. I am not surprised though, let’s be real. When 11:01 rolls around I am beginning to be concerned, but by 11:15 a bus does actually arrive for us. He almost doesn’t let us on, when we tell him that we’d like to keep our original ticket (which we’ve read you are always supposed to do) so we give him a fake ticket instead so that we can get on the bus. He doesn’t notice, and tosses our bags in a pile in the van. Success! We are one step closer to Koh Phangan! We drive 10 minutes away and are dropped off at another bus station. He gives our fake ticket to the staff member at the counter, where she glances at it and gives us new tickets for the boat or the van or something, I am never sure exactly what they’re giving me, and apparently neither are they. We wait 15 minutes before a new van rolls up. This van seats 14, and we have exactly 14 people with 14 backpacks all crammed into it (they don’t have a trunk). It’s not the most comfortable 2 hour ride I could have asked for, and our driver insists on flying over each speed bump or pothole at full speed, but we’re getting there so that’s all that matters.

We get dropped off at yet another bus station in Suratthani, a town much closer to the pier. We wait there for half an hour and grab some snacks. We are offered the option of paying 50 baht to upgrade to a “high-speed boat” which gets us there an hour earlier, but we don’t care and don’t want to put ourselves in anymore weird situations, so we decline and decide to stay with the slower ferry for 3 hours. No big deal.
As the bus pulls up and we are about to board and have it take us to the pier, a staff members pulls me aside and tells me that we can take the fast boat for free as long as we don’t tell anybody. I figure what has happened is that there are two boats anyway, and not enough people paid the far upgrading price of 50 baht and now the “slower” boat is over booked. So I grab the girls and tell them to wait for the next bus. Obviously we’re not hopeful that this alleged high speed boat will actually get us there any faster, but if it does that’ll be cool and if not we haven’t lost any money. Whatever.

We get on the sketchiest bus I’ve ever been on, with a rainbow painted ceiling, stuffed monkey dolls hanging from all over the place, and a front door that won’t close. They pile all of our bags in the back, except for these two absolute princesses who are carrying two purses each and a duffel bag. They bring all their bags to the front with them and lay their stuff across a seat beside them. The bus is, as usual, packed with people, so their bags taking up two entire seats to themselves doesn’t work for me. There are no seats left for me to sit down in, or I wouldn’t have said anything, but when I am forced to choose between standing or saying something, I ask one of the girls to move their shit so people can actually sit down. She does it after rolling her eyes, and I take my seat. Now it’s awkward because I have to sit beside her, but luckily she just pulls a pillow out of one of her two purses, and goes to sleep against the window. I don’t know why people like this even come to Thailand, or how they’ve survived this long. Who knows, maybe today is their first day. The broken front door that remains open for the duration of our trip, does not become a problem until the rain starts. Then, I am splattered with cold and tiny rain drops every now and again while I try to sleep.

We finally make it to the pier for the last stretch of this ridiculous adventure. It looks like we’re going to make it Koh Phangan!! I notice while we’re waiting in line that my right ankle with the scrape from the motorcycle accident is definitely much bigger than my left. And it’s throbbing, a lot. In fact it has been all day…which concerns me a tad. The rest of my body is healing but my ankle is getting worse if anything.
We get on our fancy speed boat, which I’m still sure is the same as the regular boat, by pushing and shoving through a large crowd onto a very small metal board connecting the boat to the dock. We pass by the princess with her two big purses and duffel bag, whining about when she can get on the boat to some staff members instead of just pushing and shoving like the rest of us. I can’t help but laugh.
We are so lucky that we shoved our way down here when we did, because it becomes clearly pretty quickly that there are not enough seats for everyone, but we manage to snag 6 close to each other. The downside of this is that our seats are also directly behind a crying baby. It starts puking everywhere and wailing when the boat starts up. Dear god. I just hope that maybe, just maybe, this boat really is faster than the other one, and I can get to Koh Phangan without the smell of child vomit being burned into my nostrils forever.
I don’t know how (but I thank my body for it regardless) but I manage to fall asleep until we arrive at Koh Samui, which is another island just below Koh Phangan. We will be at our destination soon! I almost can’t believe it. There was far less conflict than yesterday even though today was a little rough at times, we’ve made it and that’s all that matters. The ride is not “smooth sailing” by any means. I feel more like I’m on a roller coaster than a boat, with the strong waves pushing the boat up and out of the water and causing it to go crashing back down over and over again. I have a relatively strong stomach in most cases. I am un-phased by stuffy car rides, I can eat fried bugs and keep them down, and I have yet to get sick from any questionable Indian or Thai food. But this boat makes my stomach feel uneasy. It’s like being on a 2 hour roller coaster. 10 minutes after I go outside to get fresh air because I am DYING inside, the boat stops and we’ve made it!

We get in a tuk tuk with a Swedish couple who hope to find accommodation at our guesthouse, because they haven’t booked anything in advance. They are fortunate and find a room at the place we booked, which is very clean and the rooms are quite comfortable. I am definitely happy to stay here for the next 4 nights.

We walk down the street to grab a real meal which none of us have had since breakfast. There aren’t a lot of options but the restaurant across the street has Pad Thai so I’m content. Just happy to be here!

Afterwards we go back to our guesthouse and hang out for the rest of the night to prepare ourselves for tomorrow night, when they have the pre-full moon party party, the jungle party!!

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