Getting to Thailand

Surat Thani, Thailand — December 20, 2012

A traveler wants to be there, but a lot of getting there often comes first.

We start out at the hour of dark. We’ve scheduled a taxi. He arrives ten minutes early. We’re on our way to Thailand.

Boarding at LCCT
Heading out to our plane at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal. We’re going to Thailand. Photo by Brett Fisher.

Kuala Lumpur’s LCCT

Taxi, light rail, and bus get us to the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), which is also known as the Airport if you’re flying with Air Asia. Air Asia flies all over Asia and for incredibly low prices if you schedule right. This is why we’re flying out on a Thursday and coming back New Year’s Day. The scheduling might not be that “right,” but the prices are.

Surat Thani

We land in Surat Thani, Thailand. Lori’s debit card from our Malaysian bank doesn’t work in the ATM. Oh, great. That’s where our travel money is. My debit card from our US bank works. Disaster averted. We’ll work out a fix later.

We buy tickets and get on the “small” bus going to the city center. We’re told that’s where the bus station is for the bus to Khao Sok National Park, our first destination.

The small bus stops at various hotels and a boat dock letting people off. After an hour we’re dropped off in front of some shops. This is the bus station?

No, it’s a tourist booking agent’s office. She tries to sell us a minibus ticket for 700 baht for the two of us. Lori was told at the airport it’s only 150 baht each on the “big” bus to the park. We get big bus tickets for 250 baht each (about $6).

The bus doesn’t leave until 2 pm. We’re pointed towards where we can get some lunch. We walk a few blocks, admire a temple, and find a small café serving lunch.

Statue on Gate - Surat Thani - Thailand
Ornate gate to a temple in Surat Thani. Photo by Brett Fisher.
Ornate Wall - Surat Thani - Thailand
I like patterns like this decoration on a wall in Surat Thani. Photo by Brett Fisher

The menu seems to be a choice of glass noodle soup with pork or chicken and chicken satay with rice. We know this by looking through the window at what’s being prepared. We can only read Pepsi on the menu board. We have the soup and it’s very good. Lunch for both of us for 82 baht (just under $3).

Back at the booking agent’s, a big bus pulls up. A large man in a red shirt working there says in heavy Thai accented English, “Give me your ticket. Get on the bus.”

The big bus stops at a bus station on the way out of town. Why weren’t we just brought here? Maybe tickets from here would be 150 baht? We wonder if someone is working a deal. A Finnish couple we’ve made friends with wonders the same thing.

Khlong Sok

After 2-1/2 hours, the bus stops in front of some shops on the side of the highway. Some fellows are holding up signs from various resorts. We find the one for Our Jungle Huts and load up in the back of a songthaew. We unload at Our Jungle Huts in Khlong Sok just outside Khao Sok National Park. This is our home for the next three nights.

The getting there is finished.

Lunch Menu - Surat Thani - Thailand
Lunch menu. Let’s see … I’ll have the Pepsi? Photo by Brett Fisher.
Lotus Flower - Surat Thani - Thailand
Lotus flower growing in a large, water filled pot in a courtyard between shops. Photo by Lori Fisher.
Brett in formal wear in Lombok!

Thanks for reading. Have you been to Surat Thani? How was your visit there? Le us know about this or any other thoughts on this post in the comments section below.

Happy wanderings!