A Travellerspoint blog

2017 OCTOBER - THAILAND RAIL JOURNEY part three

TO BANGKOK AND FURTHER SOUTH

THIS BLOG IS BEING WRITTEN FROM MEMORY SO NOT MUCH DETAIL. I AM CATCHING UP ON MISSED BLOGS WHILE RELAXING ON TIOMAN ISLAND.

DAY 243 FRIDAY 6TH OCTOBER 2017

AYUATTHAYA TO BANGKOK

Today we are returning to Bangkok, we need to make just a quick stop to collect our bag that is in storage at Mango Lagoon Place, we left it there before we went over to Cambodia - over a month ago, so we hope it's still there.

Breakfast at our accommodation was the easiest for this morning, but it was more like brunch as we were not in a big hurry to go anywhere early.
I had pancakes with banana & sweet syrup 80 baht = aud $3.08 & Lyn had fruit & yoghurt for 60 baht = aud $2.31, we shared a mango smoothie 40 baht = aud $1.54.

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After eating we returned to our room to pack up the last of our stuff and I was merrily chatting on FB when Lyn asked 'what time is the train?' Just after 12 I replied, well we best get going as it's 3 minutes past now. Shit, I thought it was just 11 o'clock. Lucky for us the train station is only 4 minutes walk away - maybe 5 with us dragging our luggage. I was purchasing our tickets as the train was being called. That was close. This is only a short ride over under 2 hours to Bangkok so it really would not have mattered if we missed this one as there would be other trains we could catch today. 3rd class 15 baht = aud 58c - unallocated seats so everyone just scrambled on when the train stopped. We were just lucky with timing and managed to both get seats as soon as we boarded the carriage.

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This was the longest (most amount of carriages) and the most crowded train we have been on so far, which makes getting a seat even more lucky. There were people having to stand in the aisle, made even more uncomfortable by the food and drink vendors plying up and down the corridor.

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Not much countryside to look at out the window in this leg. Being so close to Bangkok already we drove through suburbia nearly all the way. Seeing the back of peoples living quarters, as you do when travelling by train, is always interesting. Not the prettiest of views here in Thailand as you can imagine, and some of the food preparation sights you just really don't need to see.

Our train arrived into Bangkok station just a little late due to the fact we were delayed at a couple of stations, think we had to wait for oncoming trains to clear the tracks, because as soon as they passed we would move on. As we are only spending one night in Bangkok we decided to purchase our onward ticket while here at the train station. There are special ticket windows for advanced ticket purchases so we had to take a number and a seat and wait our turn. 10 minutes later I was at the counter handing over cash for our ride out of Bangkok tomorrow. Lucky we did buy the tickets today as 2nd class was already sold out, so 3rd class it is for us again.

Leaving the station building we are prime targets for taxi touts and drivers. These buggers refuse to use the meters with us, they quote a stupid price and don't seem to care if you walk away. I guess they know that we need the transport so this is one of the rare places where they stick together and do not give in to a reasonable price. I suggest to Lyn we go out onto the main road and flag down a taxi away from these sharks. This has worked in the past, but did not go so well today. I few stopped but would not agree to use meter and would not agree on the price we wanted to pay. This was not looking good, we even got so far as to load our bags inside a taxi only for him to remove them once he saw the address.

We moved further along the street, still prices quoted were crazy 200, 300 even 400 baht. We know the distance in a meter taxi is only about 70 baht so it was hard for us to give in to a more expensive price. Eventually, we had to, and climbed into a tuk tuk with our bags at an agreed price of 100 baht = aud $3.85. This was worse really because a tuk tuk should be cheaper than an air con taxi, but this guy was the only one who agreed to take us for the maximum that we wanted to pay. Worst part about travelling in a tuk tuk is you get all the traffic fumes right there in your face. Lucky the ride was only about 15 minutes and he dropped us at the front of Mango Lagoon Place, where our bag was hopefully still in storage and where we hopefully would be able to get a room for the night.

Prices are a bit higher here in Bangkok and due to the facts this was where our bag was, we knew this place was clean and they had a room with 2 single beds we gladly paid the 900 baht = aud $34.65 they asked for.

Up in our room we had air con and a tv with English speaking channels! Small things satisfy us!

We had been looking forward to having ribs and roast potato for dinner, from the restaurant attached to our hotel. The old man was again in the alley way bbqing and we were not disappointed with the meal for 160 baht = aud $6.16 each. Washed down with Bangkok priced Leo beer for 110 baht = aud$4.23.

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After dinner we returned to the same massage/nail salon to have a manicure 150baht = aud $5.77. So now our nails are back to looking lovely and cared for. Just before the ladies finished our nails, I suggested to Lyn we should have a foot massage 120 baht = aud $4.62 while we wait for them to dry. So a great pamper session for less than aud $10 each!! Makes up for the overpriced beer.

Back to our room we rescue our bag from storage and I must admit there was a little part of me that was surprised that it was still in the storage room. And another little part of me was hoping that it was not there as now we have more weight to carry. lol The bag was still totally intact and looked untouched, still we decided to wait until the morning to open it up and tackle the question of how we are going to carry it all.

More English TV, watched a few non-descript movies, before going off to sleep.

It was supposed to rain today, but both on and off the train we did not see any.

So we have now travelled from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on an assortment of trains.
Chiang Mai to Lumpang 53 baht + Lumpang to Phitsanulok 48 baht + Phitsanulok to Ayutthaya 168 baht + Ayutthaya to Bangkok 15 baht = totaL 284 baht = aud $10.97 each, approximately 700km.


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DAY 244 SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER 2017

BANGKOK TO HUA HIN

Our train is not until 1pm later today so we head out for breakfast. We go to the Green House Restaurant at the other end of Rumbuttri where they serve a great tomato & egg dish called ‘shakshuka’. We ate here a few years ago and keep meaning to come back to have it again, but always seem to run out of time, so made special time for it this trip. It was delicious as we remembered and served with real bread & butter – washed down with a coconut shake total 332 baht = aud $12.83.

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Getting a taxi to the train station was again a challenge, however we managed to find one that would take us for 150 baht = aud $5.79 , no one wants to use a meter when you can rip off a tourist.

Today we are traveling to Hua Hin.

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We had 2nd class tickets and sat in an aircon compartment, it was a pretty comfortable 4 ½ hour trip for 152 baht = aud $5.87.

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The hotel I booked for the next 3 nights was walking distance from the train station so we dragged our luggage down the street a few blocks and finally found it. Hotel Ansu 630 baht = aud $24.34 per night including tea & toast breakfast. Didn’t realize it was a cave room, with only a tiny window in the bathroom to the outside, but with air con, TV & hot shower we didn’t mind. The location was good also.

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Hua Hin is known for its seafood night market and our hotel was just 2 blocks so we went out looking for dinner. Unfortunately, the seafood is priced the same or more than it is as home so we gave it all a miss and had a huge pork chop that was cooked on the BBQ served with a big baked potato – excellent.

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DAY 245 SUNDAY 8TH OCTOBER 2017

HUA HIN

Today we went to the beach, walked about 7km along the length of Hua Hin Beach. Stopped a few times for a swim, the water was lovely clean and very warm, like a bath. It was very hot so after a cooling off in the air con of a 711 we cheated and caught a songthaew back into town for just 5 baht = aud 19c.

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That night we ate at a Dutch restaurant – it was delicious and a nice change from the Asian food we have been eating.

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DAY 246 MONDAY 9TH OCTOBER 2017

Today we hired a motor bike to do a little bit of exploring. Just south out of town we found a fishing village with lots of shack restaurants selling seafood which was much cheaper than the seafood we saw in the night market. We ear marked this place to come back later for dinner.

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We stopped and had a swim at the beach on the other side of monkey mountain.

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And stopped at KFC to have our addicted to ice coffee.

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We decided to ride up to Cha Am which is about 30 km up the north coast, first stopping at a petrol station to fill the bike with fuel, always get motorbikes empty. The bike had been playing up all morning, being hard to start but now after putting in the fuel it would not start at all. The young guys who pump the fuel did their best to get us going again but the bike did not want to start. They even put in a different battery from one of their own bikes to see if that would work. Of course it didn’t so we were stuck with a no go bike. The guys helping us did not speak any English but we managed to convey to them to phone our hotel where we hired the bike from and advise them it was not working. We waited for an hour before deciding to walk back to the hotel as no one had shown up to replace the bike as yet. Back at the hotel they had sent someone out but of course we had the key so they could do nothing. Long story, short, the bike was kaput and we were refunded our 200 baht hire fee so we could hire another bike from the place next door. No refund was given for the fuel we had put in the bike as suddenly no one spoke or understood English. It was only a couple of dollars so we did not worry too much and had lost 2 hours of time already.

Rode along the highway up to Cha Am which looked like a really really touristy place even compared to Hua Hin. But definitely more aimed at the Thai tourist. We stopped and had a swim because it was so hot but the beach was not half as nice as it was in Hua Hin.

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Rode out on the Cha Am Jetty to see the big squids.

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Rode on the highway back to Hua Hin before dark and headed straight to the fishing village to have a fabulous seafood dinner of oysters, scallops & clams.
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Posted by Cindy Bruin 00:20 Archived in Thailand Tagged bangkok

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