Date: Dec 20th, 2009
Since I had to catch a 11:20am Nok Air flight from Phuket to Bangkok, I had to head back to Krabi first. I checked out of my hotel just past 5am and got a pick-up taxi that was heading to Krabi town.
The taxi went around slowly (as usual) to collect more passengers before picking up speed. After a while, it was still me and an American girl (forgot her name) in the back. So we got talking.
She’s been by herself in Thailand for quite some time, originally with the Peace Corps and now teaching at a school in Trang, which is where she was headed. She told me about Trang and how I should come there as it was a lot less crowded than Krabi — but still offers pristine coastal beauty. Sooo, another destination for my next trip! 🙂
The white dude in the “lungi” who joined the taxi ride kept twitching and stammering throughout the journey to Krabi bus terminal. He made me look rich.
I reached Krabi around 7am and got a bus to Phuket but asked that I be dropped near the airport. The American girl advised me to do this because the bus will pass the airport anyway. But if I headed straight to Phuket bus terminal, the ride back to the airport from Phuket town would have cost me half-an-hour. See kids, striking conversations with strangers isn’t all bad.
I was awoken at around 10am by the bus stewardess as we neared my stop. I got down and out into the bright sunshine still in a daze. I looked around and wondered where the airport was. I saw the bus push on and across the road stood two moped taxis calling out to me. There was nothing around besides a highway, a few farm houses and trees. Also, a small sign pointing to a road that leads to the airport.
I crossed the road and somehow managed to get on the moped with all my luggage.
The short ride cost 50 baht or so (don’t quite remember exactly how much I paid). Anyway, after answering my dad who called me just as I had arrived, I took a trolley and went in. Checked in my luggage, got a window seat and my boarding pass. Twice. At the gate where we were supposed to wait for our flight, a machine that supposedly opens the door with the boarding pass managed to get mine stuck in it. So I went back to the Nok Air counter and quite embarrassingly got myself another boarding pass.
While my flight left on time, I sat by the window feeling quite sad that my stint on Thailand’s beaches had come to an ‘incomplete’ end. That feeling changed a bit a few minutes into the flight.
I felt a bit more satisfied after seeing all that.
By 12:30pm, we were above Bangkok.
We landed at Don Muang, Bangkok’s old International Airport, which is still being used by mostly budget carriers for local flights (hear that BIAL?). Took a metered taxi and headed to the highly commercial Sukhumvit area of Bangkok city. I didn’t have a hotel reservation or anything but I just looked at the city map and decided to stay in Soi 7 since it had a BTS station very close by. I had planned on taking the sky train this time to get around Bangkok.
I got down at the BTS station and just walked down Soi 7 (soi = street) in search of a room. Found a small sign for a family-run guesthouse called Thai House Inn pointing into an alley. Don’t be deceived into thinking you’re going to expect a down-rotten room in here. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you get for 700 baht (Rs. 970) a night (cheap for this area). The room and the toilet were clean and the only thing you will not find is a TV. (In case you want to know how to find it, I found a video by somebody who liked the place just as much.)
I checked in, unpacked, freshened up and went out for lunch. I was resisting eating Pad Thai (considered Thailand’s national dish) mostly because I’m not much a noodle person. But I caved thinking why come all the way here and not try it the way locals make it.
It was okay. I still prefer my steamed rice and Thai curry combo 🙂
After lunch, it was straight to the BTS station (Nana stop on the map) for my next sightseeing destination. There was a reason I wanted to be back in Bangkok city by Sunday — Chatuchak Weekend Market.
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