Visa Run or Visa Stroll
So the Kingdom is extending it's boot into my derriere again and I need to amscray out of the country in about a week.
Last time I curled myself up into a ball and endured a horrid one day bus/minivan trip from Phuket Town to Penang through the Hat Yai border. I have learned the hard way that it's way better to break the journey up into little 2-3 hour legs if possible, so this time I'm thinking;
Phuket Town - Krabi
Krabi - Trang
Trang - Hat Yai
Hat Yai - Penang
I've already done the first part and it was a fairly endurable/thrifty trip from P Town to K town. 140thb for a 3.5hr minivan ride, WITH NO TOILET STOPS. Which made things a little uncomfortable towards the end since I had a can of Shark Cool Bite under my belt, looking for a way out. For anyone who hasn't already figured this out, you're best off going to the hong nam (toilet) right before you leave, then maybe sipping sparingly from a bottle of water whenever you get drymouth for the first couple of hours, then quenching your thirst closer to the end of the trip.
Anyway, is there anything major worth stopping for on my trip down south besides the places I mentioned?
Anyone know what it costs to get a bus/van ride from the bus stop in Krabi Town to Trang? Seems to be about 300thb for a hotel pickup, but I'm always curious what the locals are paying.
#1 Posted: 7/12/2010 - 13:34
Hey Cranky, if you are going to Trang, you could consider doing a sidetrip to the islands just off of Trang for a bit of 'R&R'. (Yeah, like you need it!). They are beautiful - but possibly a bit too quiet for your liking..? I enjoyed Koh Kradan - but their isn't anything to do there but read, swim, snorkle, read, sleep, read.... It's bliss! Koh Muk has a little bit more action (and I use that term loosely) and interesting places to just explore. But Phuket it aint!
I paid 115 baht for bus from Trang to Krabi in Feb this year. It was a public bus from the Trang bus station.
Bus/boat trips from Trang to Koh Kradan was 400 baht - let me know if you want more specifics on any of this.
That's my 20 baht's worth!
#2 Posted: 7/12/2010 - 16:01
You've got me pegged all wrong. I'm just as happy to chill out with a book and a swim as I am to enjoy the err... "action" of places like Phuket.
I could happily bum around in Krabi for a month or more just sipping coffee and surfing the net - I don't bore easily - even with the cruddy weather it's been having lately (fon doh every day)
I saw on a website just now that it's 117thb from here to Trang by bus, so I'll probably get a 20thb local bus to the station up the road and go from there. Looks like they run every 45 mins or so. Just need to find somewhere to post up for a couple of nights in Trang that's as awesome as Good Dream is here (eg has decent wifi, hot showers and single rooms for 150thb (min stay 2 nights for that price, but still))
Any recommendations for cheap rooms in Trang near the bus station? I don't like walking too far with 20kgs on my back that much, and I'm happy with a fan room as long as they have hot showers.
#3 Posted: 7/12/2010 - 16:39
In that case, get said derrière over to the islands! (Stay at Lost Paradise on Koh Kradan... I recently posted contact details for them along with an excellent travel company that can help sort out all your transport to/from).
In Trang, I stayed at Sri Trang Hotel which is right opposite the train station. The bus station was a short, 40b tuktuk ride away. I like the hotel - friendly, and really nice rooms for 450baht, incl fan and hot water. That was in Feb - it might be cheaper at the moment being low season. I think they had aircon rooms as well, for maybe another 50 baht..?
Whatever you do, though, don't get a room on the side that faces the train station (ie west). Those rooms are bloody hot even with the fan running full blast and windows wide open. This is because the west facing wall is made of concrete and soaks up the heat from the sun. It was still hot to touch in the morning. Get a road-facing room! And/or pay more for the air con. The hotel had big rooms with hot water and free wifi. Friendly and helpful staff, etc. They happily looked my big pack for a week while I hit the islands.
There is a listing on TF somewhere for the hotel with contact numbers, etc. I phoned to book ahead of time but it wasn't really necessary.
I liked Trang. There is a decent supermarket (Lotus?) across the road, an awesome coffee place next to the train station, and an excellent night market up the road. And for some inexplicable reason, some of the buildings have massive spiders and cobwebs across them!
Sigh.... I'm fighting this need to get back over there. Have been researching my next trip in Laos. It's getting harder to concentrate at work.....
#4 Posted: 7/12/2010 - 17:05
Hey I saw a big fake spider thing up on top of one of the shops in Krabi too. Must be a southern Thai thing.
Technically it's already high season now, but you wouldn't know it from the weather. Nobody told the Gods. Anyway, at least the rain cuts down on the tourist numbers and helps ease the prices for accom. You're pretty spoiled for choice round these parts right now from what I've seen.
Don't face the tracks, got it. Thought it would be a noise thing til you mentioned the heat from thick walls.
450 sounds a little steep, coming from 150 a night with all the comforts I need. Maybe I'll dorm it for the first night and just hunt down the bargains. Let's see, where's my Lonely Planet book gotten too...?
Good coffee is important. Anyone in Krabi would do well to pay a visit to Pang's Sweet n Sour next to Good Dream 2 (near the water and the little night market). She'll do a nice big cap for 35thb - 90 with brekky. Just stand back a bit when you first meet her, she can be a tad over zealous.
#5 Posted: 7/12/2010 - 17:17
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