Thursday, 12 June 2008

Back in the Land of Smiles

It's so nice to be in Thailand again. When you arrive in the airport, there's a big sign saying "Welcome to the Land of Smiles". It's nice.

Littletree enjoyed being back in a familiar place, and she asked to go to the dentist again to have her teeth cleaned (I guess in response to me taking a close-up photo of her teeth in a bid to get her to brush.

I took her back to the same dentist we'd been to about a year ago to have Littletree's teeth cleaned. They are really nice there, and very sensitive and patient with small children; I can't recommend them enough. (not to mention paying only $10 for treatment in a private dental clinic!) 04 dentistLast year when we did her teeth, it was also at her insistence, and it had gone very well. This time she had less tolerance for the procedure, but still, came out with a set of shiny pearly whites and a minimum of fuss.

Who would have thought that a child would be begging to go to the dentist?! I guess one who hasn't been exposed to cultural images of dentists being big scary menaces. LOL

After we spent 2 days in Bangkok, mostly recovering from the journey out of China, and with Purple right back to work, we booked ourselves in on the night bus to Phuket. Somehow, after taking a 16 hour overnight train in China, taking an overnight bus seemed do-able, but it turned out to be much worse than it sounded.

Naturally, the bulk of the difficulty was thanks to the travel agent not mentioning a lot of what seemed to me, pertinent information. Like, we were told that the bus would leave from Khao San Rd - where the travel agent was. They didn't mention that we would have to walk to the top of the street, and when they finally told us that, we were told it was just to the end of the street - a hop of about 150 metres. Only we were herded (with Purple hobbling on an injured leg, and us lugging 2 loaded backpacks, a suitcase, 2 full day bags, a guitar, and a bag of food - which we could just manage to carry, if it weren't for the wild card - SLEEPING LITTLETREE!) for about a kilometre! *groan*

Finally, getting to the place; some random spot on a big road, we waited about half an hour, then the bus came, and parked on the other side of the road, so we all had to lug our gear across in front of whizzing freeway traffic.

On the bus, no worries. we scored a full row to ourselves, and the bus was somewhat comfy - the seats reclined pretty far and had foot rests. 10 hours later, we arrived to Surat Thani, a big town in southern Thailand, where we all had to get off the bus, lug our bags to the other side of the road, and sit in front of another travel office, waiting for a mini bus to take us to Phuket.

For some reason, minutes after the entire bus load of people set their gear down, a guy came out with a hose and started watering our bags! Nothing would make him stop. Purple got red in the face and would have attacked the guy, I'm sure, if he hadn't been safely behind a fence.

We waited there for an hour, before a car came and took us to another travel office, where we waited another hour before a minibus took us 3 hours to Phuket, and then left us at another travel agent where we waited about 40 minutes for another car to take us to the bus station. The whole journey was about 18 hours.


But we arrived, and our hosts, my new birthing clients, were there to pick us up :)


  1. Oh my goodness, I love travelling, but I think that I would have gone into meltdown mode if I went through what you did :-)

    Glad that you all arrived safely though!!

  2. How odd about the man with the water hose...crazy thing he did to your bags.
    I know you guys must be worn out, hope you get some rest.

  3. I liked the part about the dentist :-) I have never told Zak how "scary" they are and he has always looked forward to going to see him :-) He gets to wear cool sunglasses during the procedure and does his cavity fillings with out numbing.... just uses a slower tool :-)

    What the heck was with the hose thing? Why did he do that? Hmmm....

  4. You could have taken the train and then the shuttle from Surat Tani to Phuket....


  5. Was the watering some bizarre bug control or were they on fire?


  6. thanks leon. I am well aware of our travel options. originally our plan was to take the train to surat thani and then the mini bus to phuket. only it was cheaper and seemed easier to take the vip bus, which was supposedly leaving from kaosan, and then a mini bus would meet us to get to phuket. ostensibly the exact same deal, only with the bus it was cheaper and saved the taxi to the train station.
    yeah right.

    and the guy hosing our bags... well, I have this idea that every morning at 5am, a big bus load of tourists get off a bus and stack their backpacks on the footpath in front of this guy's place and every morning he gets out his hose and waters them down in an attempt to keep his part of the street "foreigner-free".

  7. My daughter needs to watch yours go to the dentist. So much for the pretty Thai lady working on her teeth... they had to tie her down to the chair! And alas, a broken tooth so we're going back as soon as we get back to BKK this weekend.


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)