We eventually managed to drag ourselves away from the comfortable surrounds of the lovely Red Inn Court in Georgetown, Penang to continue on our travels north into Thailand.
We arranged a small mini van transfer via a counter at the Komtar bus terminal which conveniently picked us up from our accommodation. It was a bit of a hair raising ride across the border to Hat Yai, but our Thai driver did manage to get us there alive though. Or maybe it was Buddha looking after us as we also had a monk on board! Our driver was kind enough to help us at Hat Yai with working out which bus we took onward, as we were under the impression that we were on the one van all the way to Trang. Damien did ask the girl at the Komtar counter this question several times but I guess either there was a communication breakdown or we were just told what we wanted to hear!
Either way, it all worked out and we found ourselves seated in a larger sized and much older vehicle. This fact made us both happier as we knew older = slower! Upon landing in Trang we did a brief walk around the four or so guesthouses in the vicinity and ended up staying at the Sri Trang Hotel. It has a nice and relaxed chill out area with a large pond in the centre filled with fish. The pond, along with the bright green painted walls and large bamboo and green paper umbrella in the centre, combine to make it a great place to sit and eat and do some planning for our next part of the adventure.
Later that night we walked up the road to the local night market that had an abundance of tempting options. We walked the length of the market and then backtracked until we finally came to a decision, and we were not disappointed. I had a selection that consisted of a minced chicken dish which reminded me of chicken larb salads I have had before, a liver (I think!) and mushroom dish, pickled bamboo shoots and the best being an eggplant and minced chicken dish. Yum! I went back for seconds of the eggplant one. It was paltry in size and that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
After the night market we retired to the Wunderbar which was attached to out Guesthouse where Damien had a few beers, and later I joined him as they looked very refreshing indeed 😉 After that closed we made our way up the street to a karaoke bar but refrained from joining in this time. During our drunken revelry at the karaoke bar in Georgetown I actually got up and sang. This is a sure sign that I have had too many drinks, as usually I would avoid unleashing my singing voice on unsuspecting patrons in a sober state. But how could I refuse? I discovered I had a friend in Becs (one of the English girls we met) as she was also a massive fan of Neil Diamond’s Forever In Blue Jeans. It had to be done and it was! Badly I’m sure but at the time it was legendary!
Once the karaoke bar shut in Trang we walked back to our digs and noted that this was not a party town as we were the only people left in the street. A good nights sleep was had and the next day we headed out for breakfast to the day market. We soon realised that we weren’t going to get any grub there as the few shops we could find selling food had nothing in English and we could not see anything we could point at. We did buy a bag of apples though and then headed back to where we came from, or so we thought. We got a little lost but once we did get close to Sri Trang Hotel we found a little shop selling noodle soup. It was very tasty and only a $1 each (30 Baht). The owner also sat and chatted to us and we used the opportunity to learn a few more Thai words.
The rest of the day, aside from going downstairs for food, was devoted purely to sorting out and booking what islands we would visit whilst in Thailand and also what towns we would visit outside of the Andaman Coast. This literally took us all day long as we work shopped what felt like a hundred different ideas. But in the end we came to a plan we were happy with, and it boiled down to us deciding that we wanted to maximise our beach time and downsize the other aspects of Thailand. All in all we were quite pleased with ourselves and felt quite excited about what was to come. This extended island time would not have been possible if we had not had our fortuitous meeting with CJ in Georgetown. CJ came to our aid again that day when Damien queried him about what our accommodation options should be during the Songkran Festival. To which CJ replied, “Dude, this is the biggest Thai holiday in the year, you will need to book something!” So we are now locked into a potential water fight in Ao Nang which is a beach town on the mainland.
I am sitting writing this post from a table by the beach on Koh Kradan and so far I have to say our choices have all come up trumps!
While I have been typing this Damien has been catching up on his news and read that there was a bombing in Hat Yai yesterday. We were both a little shocked by this escalation in the violence in the southern part of Thailand as from our knowledge it has not extended to Hat Yai before. We are glad we are out of there but sorry to hear the loss of life it caused.