Sorry for the lack of updates lately, we either haven't been able to upload anything onto the website, or the hostels we've been staying in haven't had internet access!
Although we're actually in Australia we thought we'd update you on our last few days in Thailand.
We left Ko Phi Phi on Thursday morning (11th) to travel back to Bangkok which is where we were to catch our flight to Sydney. We caught the ferry across to Krabi and then a mini bus back over to Surat Thani which is where the trains depart from back up to Bangkok. On our way from the station we had heard a rumor that all the trains were booked up for the night as it was some National Buddhist day, but we'd learnt to ignore such rumors as their usually created to get you to take a more expensive mode of transport.
Unfortunately this rumor turnt out to be true and we were told that every seat on every sleeper train had been fully booked up for the day - s***!!! The only seats left were either in first class on a train that didnt leave for 8hrs & we'd have to pay an additional 1,600 baht, or there were 2 seats in '3rd class sitting' on a train that left in 2hrs. Us being cheap skates & wanting to get back to Bangkok took the latter.
On the train we soon realised that very few non-Thai's must sit in 3rd class seating because as soon as we walked through the door everyone stopped talking and stared at us - and this staring continued for a good few hours! Our tickets were also constantly checked by the guards as they thought we'd got onto the wrong carriage - unfortunately not! The journey itself wasn't the best as we had to sit for the 12.5hr train ride on a rock hard seat and there were also some very dodgy smells coming from somewhere but all in all we did not mind too much as it got us back to Bangkok when we wanted.
On arrival we headed to Helens Uncles & Aunts where we had our first warm shower for a month and got to sleep on a comfy bed! During the day we walked around the 3 giant shopping malls & realised we couldn't afford anything (Gucci, Prada, etc...) so we settled for a Thai massage. I've never had one of these before but it bloody hurt! The lady was digging her thumbs in my back, legs & arms, stretching & bending me in all directions & even at one point was walking on my legs but I did feel much better afterwards!
In the evening Helen's Uncle and Aunt took us out for another lovely Thai meal at a restaurant called Lemongrass. The following day was our last day so Richard & Ivy took us to a posh hotel called The Queens Park where we had a fantastic dim sum. From here it was back their condo and then into a taxi to the airport.
All in all we had a fantastic time in Thailand & wish we'd had longer as there was so much more to see! We would also like to say a massive thank you to Richard & Ivy for their hospitality, you have been fantastic & its been really appreciated!!!
Gavin and Helen