Day LI – Mai 8
I wake up when it’s lready light out and soon we’re transferred from one bus to the next for the last half hour to the border, that we cross by foot.
In the immigration room I see a poster reading about the application rules like photos and a 1.000b entrance fee. I get a huge freak out for a moment; for as far as I knew a 15-day visa was issued for free.
But all they ask for is my passport and I get the stamps without further ado.
Goodbye Cambodia, it was so good to make your acquaintance! Hello again Thailand!
I just walk out on the other end where it’s a turmoil of salesmen pulling their carts and all sorts of traffic, when the clock strikes 8 and the national anthem begins to play, and everyone freezes. It’s like a flashmob!
Another shout-out “Bangkok?!” and I’m put on a crowded minivan for 4 more hours.
I was thinking of just going to the station and arrange a train there myself to avoid a rip-off for which one is warned in Bangkok. But right where we’re dropped of I find a travelagency and walk in just to check.
The guy makes a few calls but tells me all trains are fully booked. He offers a bus-boat combo to Koh Tao for 700b – cheaper even than Lonely Planet says it should be. And I already discovered that in my 2010 version prices are mentioned lower than they are now adays. So I take a leap, leave my backpack with him and take a walk to kill the 7 hours till pick-up.
This office is pretty neat by the way; just one desk in a little alley, some posters on the wall et voila. Bangkok does have it’s charms.
As it’s just around the corner from Koh San Road I walk over to see what all the fuss is about. But I don’t get it; it’s just another tourist shopping street with many shirts, tattoo shops and loud bars playing those same hits over and over. I do go in to one of those and sneak off to their bathroom to clean myself up a bit; my last shower was over a day ago and the next isn’t scheduled before tomorrows check-in.
I stroll through smoggy Bangkok that feels quite cool to me now. At some point there is a big road to cross and there are some other tourists waiting at the light. When it turns green the cars don’t stop they look a little panicked. I just start walking, making my way between the cars. I remember how I was them in Hanoi and smile to myself.
I try to find the Royal Palace, but instead end up in Wat Pho, a pretty temple, but it’s so crowded, and over the top bright and gold.
And then suddenly I stumble upon that same stand where I had my first streetfood 7 weeks ago, and I sit down for another ‘best padthai ever’. The lady still cooks with the same passion and it still tastes magnificent!
I walk back to the travel agency to find my pick-up is also by foot, a 20 minute walk through the maze of little alleys behind Koh San, through a fighting school and what not.
It’s a pretty comfortable bus that takes us down and again I catch quite a few hours of sleep.