Thailand! The land of mystery and beauty… Wtf. I think the bus just passed by the nazi swastika with the eagle and English flag on a tiny street here… Erm, where was I?
Oh yeah… Thailand! The land of mystery and beauty. The land of magical wonders and amazing symbols. The land of Tuktuks and hard haggling. The land where you get ripped off and think you made a good deal. The land I’m currently in…
I arrived to Thailand around midnight and when I finally got a cab and made my way into Bangkok it was around 1 am. I had hoped to make my way to the station so that I could catch a night train south towards Ko Pa-Ngan. But when the cab arrived at the station, all I could see was lesser fortunate people who didn’t have a better home - bums, and cops. After assessing the situation and coming up with the simple fact that it would be a bad idea to be dropped off with all my stuff in a place like this I kindly asked the driver to keep driving and find me a nice hotel.
Down a small street close to the station the cab driver stopped and gestured me to follow him. He pointed towards an old looking sign which stated ‘Hotel’.
As I made my way to the sign - making a few cats who were helping themselves to the garbage lying across the street, leave for a moment and cast me annoyed glances. I saw that the staircase led seemingly nowhere. Up through a small passageway where I could barely walk with my pack without scraping the sides on each side. With the taxi driver closely in tow behind me.
We finally emerged into a bigger room where a simple wooden table and chair stood. A man was sitting in the chair - watching TV. Another one was lying on a wooden couch, sleeping with a blanket over him.
After a bit of grunting the man, who apparently just awoke from our ascend, he gestured for me to come closer and sign a paper. The room would be 250 baht for one night.
Tired as I was, I couldn’t be bothered to haggle for it, so I took it.
The floor was made of stone, all stained and worn by time. There were cats everywhere, seeking shelter from the harsh streets outside. The concrete walls where painted white, where the paint remained. He led us down a bigger corridor down to a hallway with old, worn wooden floor and four concrete pillars, which had proven to stand against the time and paid the price.
There were many doors on the sides, all with padlocks on them. The night manager led me to one of the doors and unlocked it for me. Opened the doors and showed me my room.
It was high to the ceiling and above the door was merely bars and insect nets. The doors were thin, worn and wooden and only secured by a thin metal bar. Easily broken by a kick or someone knocking a bit too hard to wake someone up. Or just subdue while his belonging were swiftly taken from him.
The room had a table. Small and made of metal, upon it stood a coffee pot - one which might’ve been taken from a kids toy set. And two plastic cups. Which seemed to be taken from another kids toy box, for they were not matching at all.
It had a sink with a metal pipe leading in from the window and a lever you turned to get the water on or off. Warm water was out of the question. The shower and toilet was located in the same room and same place for that matter. The shower did have a regular knob to regulate the flow, but this wasn’t moving and apparently just for show,. You regulated the water flow in the shower with a lever as well. Two modes - On or Off.
The toilet wasn’t one of the ones we have in western countries, it has marking for you to place your feets and then there is like a toilet bowl in the ground. And you have a bucket which you fill with water to flush with. Quite a tiering system since you have to hunch down and sit on your knees. But still a very functional one.
…Now I know why Asians are so good at squats….
It had a double bed with a matrass which was rock hard. Didn’t budge. But still, it was a place to sleep.
I paid the taxi driver for his services and decided to make myself comfortable… Propping up the bag against the door, just to give me a few extra seconds, should someone have the wish to try to get in. I laid to rest.
I slept only a few hours each time, waking up constantly. But I felt rather rested as I got up to try to make my way to the station.
Having checked out and walking down thee road I got called in by a tourist centre. Having nothing to lose I went inside, since I’m so late in trying to find a place to stay during a very popular time in a very popular area.
The lady was able to help me get transport and a hotel on and to Ko Samui, which is very close to Ko Pa-Ngan. And with a ferry to the full moon party.
I spoke to some other people who were also in there, and this was the first place they’d spoken to which could actually help them. All others had said everything was booked already.
Seems as if my luck is holding so far. Let’s hope it stays that way..
After having spent my day in the massive mall I am now sitting on the bus which is going to take me to a ferry which will finally take me to Ko Samui.
It’s 3 Am, so I’m going to try to get some sleep. It’ll be a massive day when I reach my destination with accommodation, food and Full Moon New Years Party!