Bangkok suffocated me, consumed me, took my strength.
I needed to get away from this polluted atmosphere of automobiles and concrete, but for just one weekend, the destination could not be far.
Koh Samet appeared as the ideal.
An island 200 km from the capital, with its clear and warm waters.
After work on Friday it was time to leave, but my stubbornness would slow me down for a moment.
Taxi rides are relatively cheap compared to other countries, but I do not like them.
I’m a weird person, I know
I sit in the back seat of a cab and feel isolated. I feel like a King, away from his people, watching everything through the closed windows to keep the air conditioning running.
I avoid this means of transport whenever I can, and it would not be different at that time.
Ekamai was the name of the bus station where I was supposed to go, and Google Maps, which is not silly (but knows little about the Thai routine) showed me a local bus to there.
Bus # 23.
I walked up to the bus stop and saw the big orange vehicle on the previous corner.
I thought “how lucky”!
But it rounded the street, went to the opposite side and ignored that stop.
I thought “what the fuck!”
I kept walking, under a strong sun, searching where it really would pick up new passengers. A few meters beyond and I got to the correct location.
In Koh Samet I would meet Toni, a German girl who marked me with her smile, and vision of life. One more stranger on Earth, how more people should be.
In a world where everyone tends to be always connected, facing the cell phone screen and ignoring the surroundings, she decided to abstain herself from it.
She does not have a cell phone and many people question this fact, they think it’s absurd. I was not so radical, I continue with my phone, but I discarded the Sim card. When I’m at home, I connect to the Internet. If I am outside, I communicate with everyone, I ask, I have fun.
At the bus stop the minutes passed, but the buses did not.
1 hour and nothing
When I was almost abandoning one of my principles and taking a taxi, I spotted the number 23 at the top of public transportation. I ran to it, put my bag in a corner and separated the 13 bahts ($ 0.40) to pay, when the bill collector asked my destination and with signs showed that I was in the wrong vehicle.
The driver spoke little English and informed me that I should wait for the bus 23.
I did not understand. I was on bus number 23.
Until he mentioned that it was the 23 with air conditioning and would not go to Ekamai.
I got off at the next stop and got afraid I’d miss the last transport to the island. It had already been almost 2 hours. With a conflict in my mind, I decided for being efficient and took a taxi, at least to the metro station, from where I could go further.
Then there was no more secret. Station, bus, more than 4 hours of travel and a stay in Ban Phe, near the port to the island.
It was already late and the crossing would cost a lot. The next morning I would wake up early and cross the sea for a mere 50 baht ($ 1.50).
The island itself was wonderful. Blue sea, clean, white sand, some resorts, but with the option of quieter places.
2 days were definitely short time, but enough for me to wish not returning to Bangkok.
Return that had been arranged even before the trip: it would be the first hitchhiking experience of Toni in Asia.
“Make Hitchhiking GREAT again” being spread around the world.
We took the boat back to the mainland, walked about 2 km up the highway and reached for the road. Exactly 5 minutes later we were inside a pickup truck, with a nice couple who could not understood us.
They were not going to Bangkok, but took us for about 30 km. With one eye on the map and another on the road, I noticed something strange was happening. The driver was taking us to the bus station, in a genuine act of help, but it was not quite what we wanted.
I tried to explain, but there was no sign of understanding. I asked them to pull up and we left the vehicle with strange looks of surprise.. Everything was explained later with messages, and funny translations. They got my contact, asked if we had arrived well, and wished us an excellent trip through Thailand. Cute.
This entry was posted in Asia
The second ride of the day was even faster. Only 4 minutes of waiting and we were in the back of a pickup.
Better than expected!
Between smiles, conversations, and a lot of sun, we got a new incentive for the life in the capital.