So it was time to say goodbye to the lovely Italian restaurants of Koh Samui and to get myself back to the sweaty humid metropolis of Bangkok.
I was actually quite sad to leave my little retreat in Koh Samui but I felt I’d done what I wanted to in the south of Thailand (at least for now…)and you can get literally anywhere from Bangkok so it made sense to make a pit stop there.
The previous day I’d booked myself a multi travel ticket at a cost of about £20 to take me back to Bangkok on what was the longest journey I’ve probably ever taken. The schedule was to have a minibus transfer leave the hotel at 10:15am, get taken to the ferry which was due to leave at 11:30, arrive at Donsak which is on the mainland at about 1pm, and then spend the next 13 hours on a coach, arriving at Bangkok at a leisurely 2am.
So after having breakfast and shaking the hand of Alan, the kind owner of the place I stayed at, the minibus picked me up. I didn’t take a picture but it was surprisingly modern and took me to the ferry port comfortably.
Soon enough, another ferry journey and this one by Seatran Discovery was pleasant and on time, things seemed to be on the up compared to my past traumas of these journeys! Only around 50 passengers the short trip and soon another solo traveller sat next to me. Unfortunately for him I wasn’t really in the mood for the ‘Hi where are you from, where are you going etc’ and soon fell asleep for the journey. Turned out he was on bus journey all the way to Bangkok also so maybe should have tried to make more effort.
Arriving at Donsak, I quickly found my way to the bus.
The bus was nothing special but the seats reclined and there was only about 10 of us on it, I still stupidly managed to pick the seat near the toilet that had the worlds worst smell, something even I’d struggle to create.
The driver welcomed us on and soon played a selection of pop tunes very loudly, including quite a lot of el Bieber.
He then gave us all a bottle of water and some suspiciously Oreo looking biscuits. Still, I’ll leave that one for the trademark lawyers to argue!
The drive was fairly uneventful and I slept a lot of it which didn’t help me later in Bangkok when I felt wide awake.
We stopped off at a rest stop at about 8pm and unexpectedly it seemed that our ticket included a free Thai buffet style swirly circular table dinner! That or we stole dinner, hmm
I happily sat down and gorged on the food on offer, chatting to a couple from Canada after a rather failed attempt to speak to one of the French guys ended fairly quickly when he said he was French and had bad English.
The bus went on and eventually we arrived at Bangkok at 2am, however…
The bus was meant to take us to Khao San Road which is the ultimate hub for foreigners in Bangkok, therefore I hadn’t booked any accommodation and planned to just rock up somewhere. Unfortunately the bus dropped us somewhere completely differently in the dark and conveniently in the hands of some poacher taxi drivers.
I had two choices really. I could of ventured into the darkness and tried to wander somewhere but wherever they dropped us was deserted and I had no idea where I was. The second option was to take one of these dodgy looking taxis to try to find a hotel I could check in and sleep at.
I saw two British guys my age also seeming to deliberate on this. I felt very uncomfortable taking a taxi with them but in the end I didn’t see any alternative and the taxi driver promised to take us some place we could check in to at 2am.
The distinct impression I got from the 2 guys I was sharing this mystery taxi with was frankly that they were idiots and very inexperienced and I very nearly last minute before entering the taxi changed my mind but confronted with no other option, and that I would share any cost with 2 others, I got in.
As soon as I got in the younger one of the two was having a paddy about something and I just wanted to punch the guy in the face and be done with him.
Still, the taxi driver made some light Tinglish conversation before proceeding to offer us some hookers for our room. Thankfully all three of us declined this option though I was almost tempted to tell him to send 3 ladies to my room just to see the guys reaction.
When we were driving we had asked how much this trip to the mystery hotel would cost us and he said ‘whatever you want’ clearly not expecting to be paid by us but rather by a commission from the hotel.
Well eventually the taxi rocked up to this interesting hotel/hostel…
Notice the nice love heart in the logo? Well I did, and was slowly piecing it all together that the offer of a hooker, the logo on the hotel, the late check in and advertised extra guest fees meant he’d decided to take us to a love hotel where people screw their hookers after a night out.
The other two guys got themselves a private room and I ended up getting a dorm bed for a reasonable 350baht (£7). It turned out this place was actually near Khao San Road which was surprising as on the taxi drive it seemed like he was taking us to the middle of nowhere.
I’d been given my key and was all ready to get some sleep and then the morons that shared the taxi with me said, ‘oh wait..’ chased the taxi driver down as he was leaving and told him we hadn’t paid him. Fuck my life these guys just didn’t get it.
Soon it seemed they had haggled a ridiculous 800baht price for our short journey and expected me to put 250baht (£5) in. I was quite angry inside at these idiots but they had already paid their share and were all looking at me expectantly so against my better judgement and because it was 3am by now, I paid the money and went to bed.