When we arrived in Surat Thani we jumped into a tuk tuk and, as usual, checked out a few hostels before we found one cheap and nice enough. Dan and Stuart paid a little extra for air-con and hot water but we opted for a fan room and used their shower - skanks! JAfter we'd put our bags in, we went straight out to get something to eat at an indoor DIY Thai BBQ. It was lovely but proved pretty difficult to order as the workers spoke little English! We stuck with the meat that we recognised and ate lots of random vegetables.
The following day we went to book our train tickets to Bangkok for that evening. After much deliberation we decided to get 2nd class reclining seats on the night train - a compromise between cheap and comfortable! After we had booked our train we went to find a hospital for Dan, we didn't know where it was exactly but had been told that it was a short tuk-tuk ride away so we pulled over the next tuk-tuk and attempted to ask for a ride. As Surat Thani isn't a tourist area, few of the locals speak much English, meaning that the simplest of tasks can prove difficult. Its so funny how when you are not being understood you just keep repeating what you are saying only louder! As if its going to help to have four English people shouting 'hospital' and 'sick' at him! At one point I even said 'nee-naw, nee-naw' - he looked at me like I'd lost the plot! Kieran also got a funny look when he started hand signalling a slit throat action or what I would say was the common sign for dead! Finally, I think he understood - probably as a result of us showing him Dan's leg, and took us there - after all of our efforts it turned out to be like a two second drive! The hospital visit itself was pretty mundane - he just had his wound cleaned - but, as we knew that hospital costs could be quite expensive and nobody had asked us to pay yet, we thought we'd chance our luck and walk straight out! We got about half way down the road before we heard a little voice calling us, we all turned around and apologised pretending that we had forgotten! - we felt very bad then and even worse when we went in and it was only 500THB (about £10!).
When we got back to the hotel (about a five minute walk from the hospital) we killed some time on the internet. While we were there Kieran spotted a foot massage chair and a full body one, they were only about 50THB so we both jumped in. (Ki had pretty sore feet from walking around bear foot for the past month, so I got the big chair - buzzin!) It was well nice but unfortunately the only massage either of us had had in Thailand! Lol.
That evening we went to the station early as the last bus was a few hours before our train, but it was still dark when we got there. There were a couple of dogs hanging around and we were all clearly still scared and so avoided them as best we could. While we were waiting for the train Dan and Stu went to the shop to get a drink and we stayed with the bags. We bought some chicken on a stick - not a good move! The dogs were instantly attracted and me and Ki crapped ourselves! There was one particular dog that had a limp but was still evidently up for the chase; we dodged him around the bench for a bit while we ate it and then, thanks to Ki's tactics, I managed to get away to put the rubbish in the bin (we didn't want to give any to the dog because he blatantly would have hung around wanting more!) I stood at the bin for a bit and left Ki to face the dog. All of the locals were looking at us like we were crazy! And telling us it was OK, but I still stand by my fear - the dog definitely looked rabid! When Stu and Dan got back we decided to cross to the other platform while we waited for our train as we still had about another hour left, and being constantly aware and scared is exhausting! We sat peacefully for about 10minutes and then we spotted the scary dog with the limp crossing over the platform! He walked straight up to us and sat down! We were all pretty scared but kept our cool this time and after about 15minutes he got up and went back to the other platform. Phew!
About 5minutes after the dog left, a random scruffy looking man came over and started talking to us; he had little/no English and we could only make out a few words: 'beautiful', 'English' and 'sterling'. We were all quite confused and kept trying to give him 10bhat which he wouldn't take, which lead us to believe that it wasn't money he was after. He then seemed like he was asking me to go over to the other platform with him (maybe so we would buy him some food?) who knows? This awkward conversation attempt carried on for a little while before we finally offered him 20bhat and he took it and quickly walked away! We then realised he'd been after money the whole time, we just weren't offering enough! Cheeky w***!
When it was nearly time for our train we went back over to the other platform, glad that we couldn't see any dogs, and sat down to wait. As we were waiting we heard an announcement on the tanoi. It was in Thai firstly and then repeated in terrible English. We managed to make out 'delayed' and '9.10' which was the time of our train, so Ki and Dan went over to find out what was happening. They found out that our train had in fact been delayed until midnight! And that we could either wait until then or downgrade to third-class and get the next train! We really didn't want to downgrade as the third-class carriage was shockingly bad - the seats were small, plastic two seaters that didn't recline! But more than being comfortable we wanted out of this station! So we agreed on third class! :(
Once on the train we played a game of poker before attempting to get some sleep. We were keen to get to sleep early as we knew it would be a disturbed nights sleep and also because we were arriving in Bangkok at 6am. There were a few spare seats so me and Ki moved to the seat in front, meaning we all had a seat to lie down on (although, I was the only one that could curl up small enough not to fall off! - Ki actually tried to find a more comfortable sleeping position on the dirty floor it was that bad!). The journey was awful! They left the lights on and the windows open all night! So it was freezing, bright and uncomfortable and, to add insult to injury, the train was rickety and ridiculously bumpy! At one point the train broke so suddenly that the man next to me went flying off his seat onto the floor! Bless him! We really thought the train had crashed! Oh well, its all part of travelling, in fact if we didn't experience things like this it wouldn't be travelling!