Going from Bangkok to Koh Samet was surprisingly simple, for being Thailand. Since we live a bit north of Bankok, and didn’t want to head into Victory Monument where we knew mini vans departures from, we took a gamble and hoped that the vans would leave from Future Park, Rangsit, as well. So took our bags and took a cab to the shopping mall and then we took the note with Ban Phe written in Thai and basically walked in the direction people pointed us.
We ended up finding the vans, paid 250 baht and only had to wait for about half an hour or so before we set off. We took the van to Ban Phe and was dropped off by the pier. There people dived over us and sold us the ticket to the ferry (50 baht each way) and showed us to the boat. Simple as that. On the island we took a cab to the hotel.
Ban Phe (town where the ferry leaves for Koh Samet) in Thai.
On the way back we did the exact opposite. Except this time we took the “hotel ferry” which took us to a pier a hundred or so meters south from where we had left. We went into a touristy looking place (might have been its own resort, but looked more like a departure hall for tourists heading out to the island) and asked for the vans to Rangsit (we didn’t want to end up in Bangkok and have to take the cab). She made a phone call, we paid 250 baht each and waited for half an hour before the van came along.
The van took us all the way to the big street just a few kilometers from where we live, so we could jump on the small local “bus” and a few minutes later we were home. The last ride we paid 8 baht for.
I think the trip took around 5 hours each way.
This is my view today. I’m sitting in the shadow doing some studying. Trying to stay away from the sun since I burnt my face on the snorkling trip yesterday.
Today I woke up around nine. Ate breakfast with my friends (was an okay breakfast, not the best I’ve ever had, but the coffee was good) and then we headed across the island to the big beach. Since it’s a protected area you have to pay to get inside, but since we had student ID’s we didn’t have to pay the foreigner price (200 Baht) but the price for locals (40 baht).
Found us a very nice spot on the beach, borrowed a book from a friend and then we spent the entire day there. Ate lunch, drank more coffee, finished the book. At four o’clock we were all a bit tired and headed to the “shops”. Ended up getting a foot scrub and massage before we found a nice restaurant where we ate really nice pizza.
Now the others are down at the hotel restaurant to have a free drink (apparently it’s some kind of cocktail party) while I’m up here in the room to do some studying. The paper is actually coming along okay. Might finish within the next few days. Which is good since I’m going to have to present it on Thursday.
Tomorrow we’re going snorkling!
Now back to studying!
Seriously, who can focus on studying with a view like this? At least I finished this weeks discussion essays. Now I can focus on the course project. About halfway through it now.
I just sent an email to the swedish Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy to ask about the law that gives illegal immigrants right to healthcare. I asked how they had worked with spreading the information about the law. Going to be interesting to see if I get an answer.
Right now I’m working on my course project while I’m waiting for the laundry to finish. Tomorrow a few friends and me are going on another trip. We’re heading to Koh Samet this time. Going to be nice to spend some time at the beach, but unfortunately I’m not completely done with the course project (I’m only about half way and I still have to make the power-point presentation) so I’ll have to bring the laptop to do some work. But I’ll live.
Since I got to Thailand I’ve gotten quite used to taking a cab wherever I go. In the beginning it felt strange, and luxurious, to take a cab, but now it just feels normal. If you’re three or four people it’s actually cheaper to take a cab than to take public transportation (which isn’t available everywhere anyway).
Every time you go into a cab here in Thailand is sure to be an adventure. Sometimes it’s difficult to get a cab. If they don’t want to drive to a certain area they will just say no and drive away. Here in Rangsit it’s never a problem with taxi drivers using the meter, but if you try to catch a cab in a tourist area they’ll try to rip you off.
Anyway, back to the adventure. The taxi drivers can be such funny people, or complete boring people haters. It’s always so unexpected who you get. Sometimes they sigh and roll their eyes and don’t even try to understand you, other times they get so giddy they try to talk thai with you and call people to tell you’re in their cab (the word for foreigner is one of the few I can pick out in a conversation). Once we thought a driver was high because he behaved like 10 year-old, but he was just excited to have us in the car and that he got to drive the highway (toll-way).
A few tips to get out the most of a taxi ride? Smile, try to communicate and just never be surprised. And don’t take it to heart if they laugh at you, apparently it’s just what they do, they don’t intend to insult you (were we told anyway, best to think of it like that).
Best fish and Chips in town