Readers' Submissions

Trains Without Planes And Automobiles

  • Written by Anonymous
  • August 8th, 2005
  • 11 min read


By Beanflicker


I've well and truly offloaded Thai1, it's now day six, five days wasted and “I’ve really got some catching up to do." So we went to Ko Samui, the trip started the day before with “so what shall we do then” We’re hot and hung over and I’m still suffering the effects of Thai1 on my mind and my wallet, (still we learn)……

Thai2 (tour guide!) is still with my friend. She mentions the island of Koh Samui, sounds nice “I thought”, let's discuss the idea first, I do not need the whole holiday going down the pan, the first half was bad enough. The plan was to get a train and then a boat ride to the island, sounds easy enough I hear you say, well take a sleeping tablet or a good book. It’s a long ride 9 hours in total, it has got beds though, the staff on the train proved to be a good laugh, they kept giving us beer, “but they completely forgot to tell us they had put it all on our tab!!” So everyone on the train had a beer on us according to the bill, I’d like to thank the two German geezers for helping us drink the beer and not sub the bill with us!
We arrived at a station in the middle of a “SATNAV free zone”, and waited for the bus. The station did have some good ‘people watching’ material if your'e into that sort of thing.
We had some backpackers that seemed to hook on to us, because thai2 (tour guide) seemed to know what was going on. She guided us through the ticket system easily enough and this was totally appreciated, the Surfing Community was also present, as was the local animal population, “have you noticed how all the dogs seem to look the same throughout Thailand”. It all meant for a most amusing day if you like wasting three, yes three days of your holiday, and not in a bar either.

We left Bangkok at 18.30. The journey I can say was long but quite pleasant, although dark for 99% of the time. I would on the odd occasion glance out of the window, and you could make out little huts with very dimmed lights set back in the distance. it all made for a very surreal experience. It gave the impression that I was travelling through some deep jungle in Vietnam (as cheesy as that sounds).

We arrived at another (SATNAV free zone) at 04.30 in a train station where it seemed the people were living. We waited for about an hour or so, spending what Bangkok change we had left in the shop trying to fill up with water again, that we had previously lost sweating on the train, this due in part to the extreme amount of booze we were consuming before we even started the journey.

With headache in tow we went to the edge of the station and waited for the bus to pull in and a strange thing happened, an old tramp “sorry no other way of describing it” completely pissed from some sort of jungle moonshine, stepped on to the Station Platform and started talking of the tourists. The next thing I know this bloke comes running over and punches him right in the mush, two of whom I presume “well I think they were policemen” also came over and started kicking this poor bloke all over the station. He finally stumbled away looking as confused as me “is this normal”, answers on a postcard please.

We boarded the bus with 50 or so other people, packed ourselves into this bus that reminded me of some 1960’s Hippy bus. It also reminded me of those incidence you see on the news “50 people died today on a tourist bus, the relatives have been informed” but it's an adventure, so one must go with the flow”.

Please do not think I'm complaining but Thai2 (tour guide) could've at least mentioned the boat trip this turned out to be “HELL”. 200 or so other tourists who appeared experienced travellers, seemed to know where the best seats were, as we ended up on the bow of the boat in direct sunlight. It may be ok for some of you sun worshippers but in Farangland the sun only appears once a year, so a lot of people in my country do the fake stuff “ER DON’T, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU’VE BEEN TANGO’D”.

The boat set off through an absolutely massive fishing yard. This seemed to go on for miles, (Aaah, the true Thailand.) This I think is how Thailand should look or how I perceive it, where I'm sure it's always busy but really so laid back.

I wandered around the deck for a while stepping over everyone’s feet, but this gets tiresome after a while so I settled down remembering that thai2 (tour guide) had informed us it wouldn’t take that long.

(“This rush to be somewhere as if your life depended on it, is it a British thing”) 3 or so hours later we slowed down to the first of four islands, We went to stand up and, Thai2 (tour guide) informed us “not yet, one more island, then we get next boat” we sat back down and waited for what seemed like half of the passengers going ashore.

So we made a dash for the best seat we could find and then another load got on, we set off on the second part, but this time we sat in the VIP area, we later found out of a surcharge for this area but did not pay, but did however get to watch Alien / Predator movie two months before its release date. It would, I suggest, be a good idea when you're on the boat trip from hell to watch the films but get up the front as the kids and the engine make it difficult to hear. We saw yet another island. This may have been where a lot of diving occurs as we had overheard people talking of diving, so draw your own conclusions on that one. I'm not into diving myself but what ever floats yer boat I suppose and anyway beer and swimming are a no no as I was instructed by my swimming teacher at school. We did at this point think that we were there what with everyone getting off, but no, one more stop “I wanted to chuck thai2 (tour guide) in the drink”.

Hot, sweaty and hung over, we boarded another boat and made our merry way to the elusive island of Koh Samui. I felt uncontrollably tired by this point and really needed to get off the boat, the sea air mixed with sweat felt like it was digging in to my very soul. So I made my to the front of the boat and went into a deep sleep which felt like half an hour but turned out to be two.

So two hours and a sunstroke later, I was awoken by my friend informing me we had arrived, to which he said “f–k you really need to get out of the sun, and SOON”. Three quarters of my face had third degree burns, the rest was “sweet as”. Sore is not a word I choose to describe. So we finally get to what I think is the island, got our bags, and got off the boat.

I asked as to what we would be doing next, and her reply “we get one more boat, then we there” I said “oh you had better be joking”. I'm far from a violent person but there is a limit to anyone’s patience, “death was on my mind”.

It's not the rocking that makes this trip difficult, it’s the engine in your ears for 9 hours, and what with no beds to sleep on when you have a hangover. I know the bed is pushing it a bit but those plastic seats for that amount of time MMM!

So on with the epic journey, with my face looking like a 50/50 bar, the smile I have to admit was fading by this time. We got to the island two hours later. I've still got the smile though, I'm not in the U.K, I could’ve been in the North Pole I’d still be smiling as long as I'm not in the U.K. I shouldn’t say the things I do about my country of birth. I respect the views people have of their native homeland, but I refuse to be compared to the pompous attitude that stains the shithole that I originated from. Anyone wishing to swap lives with me please send me an email cause your welcome to it “give me Asia any day of the week!!”

We walked to the end of the pier, found one of the all too frequent open back taxi buses, for a trip that took an hour and a half.

Travelling through Koh Samui brought the reality of just how important it is for these people to keep their roots and not suffer westernisation. They should hold dear their ways and keep out the plastic existence that we live in the west away. The Thais have lives I can only dream of, because as poor as they are they still hold the smile, which is all to rare where I come from.

“That’s the Bollaticks for the day”.

The ride was rough and dusty, but it did feel pretty good to get off that boat. I glanced at my friend and said “airport next time then”. That has been decided for our return trip. I was starting feel dehydrated and dizzy and felt a mess due to the hangover I had from the train. We got to the hotel and the shower was screaming at me “over here over here”. I had a sleep for an hour then out the door. And now it all started to look nice, palm trees, and white sandy beaches. What a fantastic island “I bet you were reading this and thinking typical moaning British wanker”. Well all I can say is, it was the best four days I can faithfully say I've ever had, without a doubt. I could take loads of pictures, but it just doesn’t tell the story, and I did take plenty of pictures, but my phone got stolen, but that another story.

I went to my first ever Gogo bar, naive I hear you say “Ive been to some pretty good stag nights and strip clubs back in the U.K, but puppy fat always springs to mind and the word “YUK” (you British know what I mean) thinking it was just another titty bar, but I was happily mistaken.

We stepped through a curtain to find ourselves gwapping at 12 of the most beautiful women I think I've ever seen “this was the highest point in the holiday”. Now I’m a leg man and these Asian women have got beautiful legs, I couldn’t not take my eyes off 'em. 15 and 35 will be on my mind for quite a while and I would like to thank these two girls for some nice entertainment. Your dancing was truly fantastic. We ordered a beer and I sat there. My chin spent most of the night on the floor, although I can say that you felt they didn’t want to be there (obviously) but we make these choices in life some can’t, like IM sure many of these beautiful creatures.

Being a female in Thailand isn't what it’s cracked up to be. I've heard in some parts whether true or not that females are not the choice of parents but the male and that they are often starved if food is short so the male can grow. It sounds like the animal world to me but this is the way things are, you have to respect the country's culture. Like the tramp, I really did want to help but like readers' subs say “do not get involved”. It can end up worse for you.

So that pretty much sums up the worst journey ever. Don’t do it, get a plane it may cost a bit more but at least its comfortable, 2 hours and not 18, so that means we wasted a day and a half of valuable bargirl chat and beer, but I can promise I did make up for the last holiday, what with Thai1 making it one to forget.

To sum up Ko Samui to anyone not having travelled there, DO IT, and do it soon. It's tropical for a start, you can take the scenic route or save 18 hours and go express, but go, it's beautiful, the girls are beautiful, the beer is just as nice, it does compare slightly to Koh Samet but is busier at night, the bars are open the same as Bangkok time, but its lively, the food is nice, I only had one complaint to make, I came home!!!!

Stickman's thoughts:

I am amazed that anyone would overland it to Samui. Never have and never will!