Despite falling back in to the travelling way of life with a bang, and having a few emotional moments after leaving the others behind at the airport, the bus ride was fairly quick and easy, after about three hours we arrived in Krabi town bus station. We seem to have learned what to do in these situations better than most, so whilst most people stand there negotiating with the tour agency office staff, or just accepting their drastically over-inflated prices to get them to their hostels, we just walk away and go to the public transport station where this time we just hopped in the back of a public Songthaew (like a tuk-tuk bus, with two rows of seats, that you can hop on and off anywhere on the route) for around a third of the price the bus company office wanted. It seems Vietnam and Cambodia were good practice for dealing with this after all.
Following a few busy and fun days in Bangkok, it was time to fly south in Thailand to Phuket, for what was to be for us all; a Holiday. The girls (Lily and Izzy) love flying, so it was another exciting day for them, we all once again crammed in to one Bangkok taxi and headed off towards the airport, a short flight later we landed in Phuket and we got picked up to go to Kamala for the first five nights, a quiet beach town away from the hectic main town of Patong.
After about a week in the north of Thailand, We had a night train booked from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya which Stac was a little apprehensive about, after a bad experience that we had in Vietnam, you can read about that here, but as soon as we saw the train we could tell that this one was very different. The train was brand new, clean, aeroplane clean in fact, with soap and tissue in the western bathrooms, big comfy seats that convert to beds just at night-time and a charging socket in each bed. The ride wasn’t too noisy or bumpy, in fact it was very enjoyable, it would have been even better if we weren’t still feeling a bit ill.
The journey from Siem Reap to Bangkok was supposed to take 7-8 hours by bus, but of course it didn’t, the journey was fairly smooth in a reasonably comfortable bus though. About three hours after setting off we arrived at the Thailand border, at which point the bus stopped at the bus company’s office, they gave us entry cards for Thailand and took all our passports to complete the Cambodian exit part of the border. I’m never a fan of handing our passports over to a bus company but we didn’t really have much choice.
What did confuse us, was that twenty minutes later, the guy who had the passports came back and the passports were nowhere to be seen, but not before another guy took all of our bags out of the minibus, put them on a trolley and disappeared with them. Questions to the staff about what was happening went unanswered. It turned out he was taking them to go through the scan process at the border, and we were loaded back on to the minibus for about a 200 metre journey to the Thai border section, this was when the obvious happened, another corrupt entrepreneur who now had our passports but apparently spoke no English, wanted $10 each to ‘fast-track’ us through the border, he showed us he had our passports and put them away again.