MiscSE Asia

Getting to Phuket

posted by Stu 0 comments


On our final day in Bangkok we decided to visit some of the Temples and sights of interest. In addition to the Sky train and Metro, Bangkok also has a boat service which runs up the length of the Mae Nam Chao Phraya The Sky Train drops you off at Saphan Taksin and from there it’s a short walk to the pier where you get the boat. There is of course loads of people all trying to coax you to buy a day ticket that costs a small fortune, walk straight past the official looking ticket and wait for the boat to come. You pay once onboard and the fee is a max of 13Baht. The rivers of Bangkok are seriously dirty and its best to stay away from the edge and try not to get water in your mouth if it splashes up.
We got off at Wat Pho and went and looked round, it is basically loads of Temples and funky looking structures. It is also home of the Reclining Buddha which is a huge golden Buddha statue laying down. It was red hot and after sending some time mooching about we crossed the river and went to a huge Temple. I really can’t remember the name but we managed to climb up it and were all dying at the top from heat exhaustion. The views were well worth it though!
We didn’t go to the Grand Palace because I refused to pay 300 Baht to have a look round when everything else was only 50Baht. But apparently it is really impressive.
We had decided to head for Phuket and there are basically 2 ways to get there by land (not including taxi) The first is the bus which is direct(ish) It goes from Bangkok and leaves at 1800 taking about 17hrs. The second and what we chose is the train. It goes from Bangkok to Surat Thani, then from there you get on the bus to Phuket. We chose the train because it meant we’d have beds for a large part of the journey and it was really only slightly more expensive than the bus.
The train left Bangkok Hualmphong at 1930 and before long we were trying to get to sleep in a sweat box on top of some wheels which hadn’t been oiled since it was first built in the 1800’s. It finally pulled into Surat Thani at 0730 the following morning an hour late.
Instantly we were hounded by people selling bus tickets to everywhere in Southern Thailand. Eventually we got good prices and set off for Phuket on the VIP bus which had no toilet and looked liked something straight out of a 60’s Carry on Film which actually turned out to be the 1800 from Bangkok the night before. 5 hours later we pulled into Phuket town, and shortly afterwards bagged a tuk tuk to our hotel for an extortionate price.
By 9pm that night we were all fast asleep and looking forward to some awesome beaches and some major down time.

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