Culture shock

April 9th, 2009 by scott and becky

34 km, 2h 15 min

Today turned out to be a very wet day. It was not raining when we packed up, but right after we started riding from the hotel out to the ferry (a 23 km ride) the rains began. They were light at first, but the heavens opened up before we arrived at the ferry terminal, ensuring that we were completely soaked. Fortunately, it was warm outside and the rain was warm, so we were only wet.

We took the boat from Langkawi to Satun in Thailand. To Becky, the boat felt a little like a death trap. It was similar to the boat we took to Langkawi, in that it was a high speed boat with a tube of a passenger compartment, that felt very much like being on an airplane. In the back, where we were seated, there were two rows of four seats across. There were only two exits that Becky could see – hence her feelings of trapped-ness. Fortunately, the crossing was smooth, and within an hour we were in Thailand.

Scott was approached at the ferry terminal regarding a bus that would take us to Krabi. We confirmed that it was one bus (we were afraid it would be two). The person selling us the tickets said that the bus left from the ferry terminal (7 km outside of Satun town). Since it was still raining, we opted for this bus – which turned out to be a pickup truck that shuttled us to the bus terminal in Satun. We aren’t sure how much of a premium we paid for this service, but in the end it worked out well and we paid 900 Baht each for bus and bike (300 for bikes).

Upon arriving in Krabi, we checked out a variety of accommodation before settling on the Cha Guest House. What we looked at varied in price from 700 Baht to 250 Baht. We paid 300 Baht (about $10 CAD) for a clean room with a fan. The nice thing about the room was that it was like a small cabin in a garden, which did not involve any stairs (always a bonus when you have bikes to contend with).

The town was preparing for the Songkram festival and had a booming night market with a couple Ferris wheels and other games for the kids as well as a large stage with a live band. We walked through the street market and were amused at the various food stuff on offer – including a variety of fried bugs. Fortunately, we had already eaten dinner, so we will save that experience for a later date!

We lasted only 18 hours in Krabi before fleeing. It didn’t take long before we felt the need to get out of there. The town is a backpacker haven, full of cheap guest houses (actually, not so cheap for what you get) and tourist oriented restaurants, as well as tons of western tourists. When breakfast choices were “American Breakfast”, “English Breakfast”, “Pancake” and “Omlette”, we knew we were staying someplace a bit too tourist-oriented for our taste. It was nice to have fast Internet again though.

Between the new alphabet, completely different language, and new food, we’re feeling confused again. Activities of daily living are more challenging, even here in “Backpackerville”. We were definitely spoilt by the ease of figuring things out in Malaysia and Singapore.

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