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Big ‘Ol Buses from Ko Phi Phi to Bangkok

Day 27 – Round the World 2008

So, time to leave the allegedly tranquil but mostly trolleyed Phi Phi. I have to admit I’m not too sorry. The place looks amazing outside of the hedonistic and decidedly manky drinking centre and the weather’s far from rubbish but there’s only so much beach I can take, and I think I’ve taken it. Cat also seems to be following my line of


thought, so we boarded the ferry in a good mood with pineapples on sticks trickling sticky juice down our arms.

The journey north to Bangkok was only remarkable for the fact that it almost didn’t happen at all. This was due to the siege going on in both of the capital’s airports which had pretty much crippled the country’s international air travel. It had all kicked off only days after Cat and I arrived in the country – with us alerted by a news report on the hotel TV showing hordes of yellow swathed royalists storming the main airport building. I had followed it for the two weeks we were in Thailand, first thinking it would never last long enough to affect us, and later with growing worry that we’d miss our flight out to Sydney. At one point we actually had the hope that it might benefit us, allowing us to make a free change and fly out of Phuket rather than have to make our way back up to Bangkok, but typically the canary coloured bastards gave up their protest a day before this would have gone through and we had to get on the 12 hour bus and wheel our way back north. In all seriousness though, in the end we were in Thailand for 14 days and the protest lasted about 10, starting just late enough to let us into the country and ending just early enough to let us out. Those royalists are considerate protesters, I’ll give them that.

The trip north consisted of a 2 hour ferry from Ko Phi Phi to Krabi, followed by a 3 to 4 hour bus to some random place in the middle of the country and finished off by the 10 hour monster north to Bangkok itself. All told it resulted in the pair of us stumbling off the bus into a muggy Bangkok morning at about 6am after travelling for around 16 hours overnight and getting the equivalent of the square root of f**k all sleep. The tempers were short and the walks were long as we went off in search of a hotel that would allow us to check in at this ridiculous time in the morning without charging us for the night only half finished.

We had got talking to a couple of folk during the journey – a dane called Peter and a Canadian called Jacinta – and they joined Cat and I on the hunt. Luckily, Thai hotels don’t really follow the norm and we didn’t actually have any trouble finding a place that let us park ourselves for just the price of the following night. Strangely though, once we’d actually checked in and sat down in the hotel bar to wait for our sheets it all began to seem like an anticlimactic end to a mammoth day. It was our last full day in Thailand, we couldn’t let it end with a whimper – somehow, stealthily four big changs had found their way onto our table. Oh well, when in Bangkok…

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