6 Hours Turns To Almost 16 Hours

on Saturday, 24 July 2010

We are up at 7am to catch the minibus, which we think is going to take us straight to the pier to catch the ferry to Koh Pha-Ngan. I have read that they dump you somewhere along the way and you get picked up again, low and behold after about 4 hours travel, we arrive in Suratthani and have to change bus. They try and sell us hotels and all sorts, there is also a 2 hour wait, this turns into nearly 3 hours. We then have about another hour and a half on a big coach to the pier. The coach doesn’t have enough seats for everyone, so instead of taking a minibus as well, they just grab a load of garden chairs and put them in the aisle and make people sit there. I would not be happy! We arrive at the pier and the boat is absolutely full already, and some of the people have obviously been waiting quite a long time. We get on and sit down the side of the boat, we are told a girl had fallen of the walkway when getting onto the boat and with the drop, she must have hurt herself quite badly. This boat trip takes about an hour and a half to Koh Samui, where we all have to get off and sit on the pier for almost another hour, with no information, just people trying to sell us taxis and hotels. There is a lot of people, mainly very young, most must only be 18 or 19. Eventually another boat arrives, absolutely packed and a few people get off and then we are told to get on, by this time it is dark. It has scribbled on the side max passengers 324, which seems a bit excessive for a ferry this size. Not too mention there must be almost twice that on there. The whole boat is literally full of people, the whole deck, you just can’t move, because every inch has people sitting or standing. This ferry is a little faster, and we get to Koh Pha-Ngan about 45 minutes later. Then there is the nightmare of getting everyone and their luggage off the boat and into taxis to take them to the hotels. As soon  as the boat arrives, about 50 taxis and touts run down the pier, obviously held back until it arrives, it is like an army rushing down, screaming hotels and places on the island. They set up a slide and start sliding all the bags down onto the pier. Luckily we know where in the huge bus size pile that ours is and jump back on the boat and grab it. As my strap is almost broken and every time somebody picks it up from the wrong strap it breaks more. I am relieved to get it off without them chucking it about. We decide to just go to Haad Drin and find a place there, so get a shared taxi with 3 other people. The roads have ridiculously steep up and down parts, almost like a rollercoaster. Some of the taxis are so overloaded they can’t get up the hills, luckily our driver was not very good at convincing people to get in his taxi, so we don’t have the problem ad have some space. We have a look around and most places are either full or too expensive. We find one place which is 150baht(£3) each, but is pretty dreadful, we are so tied though, we decide to stay one night and find somewhere better in the morning. We go and find a restaurant for some food and end up spending more on our dinner than on the room. In hindsight I’d rather have gone hungry and got a better room. What a nightmare day!

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