We failed to have the early start for our days travel today, so we got the 12 pm ferry/coach combo ticket to Surat Thani. It had seemed pretty windy from the view of our beach hut and this translated into a choppy boat ride. As soon as we got off the coach we were whisked off to a travel agent to book our ticket to Hat Yai. I had thought we would be able to get a night bus to Kuala Lumpur from there, but obviously the border wouldn't have been open so we were a bit apprehensive about staying the night there because it's in one of the regions the UK government recommend you avoid, but the agency assured us it would be ok.
When we got picked up in our air-conditioned minivan we were the only 2 passengers so we thought 'great, personal chauffeur all the way!' but it didn't turn out like that, and the driver dropped us off at another travel agents to wait an hour to gather more passengers.
Alice got some food then we went to an internet café to research a place to stay tonight, although we didn't have much time to book anywhere, so just left it to chance, although as the hours crept on I was starting to worry we'd have to spend the night outside.
A rather large man got on further on, and rather than sit on the back row which was entirely empty apart from Alice's rucksack, he decided to sit next to me. For the next4 or 5 hours he then drifted off to sleep on my shoulder and squashing me right up to the window. I think I might have offended him a bit when I sat in the back row after the service station, but Alice gave him one of her sugar crunchy roll things, so hopefully he wasn't too upset.
The driver dropped us right outside a posh looking hotel, but it was quite expensive, although I'm quite impressed that they answered honestly where a hotel would be that was a bit cheaper. In another expensive hotel they also gave us directions to it, when they could have easily tried to persuade us to just stay there.