I don’t recommend taking a 14-hour bus ride to anywhere in your life. Sure, it sounds awful enough, but I cannot explain the uniquely agonizing delirium that came on after hour 12 or so. We took a bus from Bangkok at around 8pm from the hotel. It showed up about 2 hours late, so we got an early start on the waiting bit.
The whole operation was a bit hackneyed. Despite there being 200 backpackers swarming around 10 to 15 buses, there was little organization besides one screaming Thai man ambling angrily up and down the sidewalk. It seemed that there were few people going in our direction, but we were told (rather, yelled at) to get on a certain bus with a group of 30 people going to various different places.
Once we got on, it was a relief to finally get going. Only… 14 more hours.
I took off my shoes, got comfortable, and popped a few light sleeping pills to get myself settled for the journey. Much to my dismay, and for the 20 or so people seated next to me, I had chosen a seat next to the loudest yahoos in the world. These little gems (about five guys and one homegirl) were from Israel, which I gathered from their loud and boisterous introduction. For the next 8 hours, they managed to piss off almost everyone in their vicinity. They requested a handheld cam bootleg version of Avatar to be boomed (in Thai) over the loudspeakers for all the bus to enjoy until 2 in the morn. In case you don’t know, this is an incredibly loud movie with Thai dubs. In my sleeping pill-induced state, it felt like I was slipping in and out of a Thai POW interrogation room. After the movie ended, the guys talked. I mean, the guys TALKED. One of the guys had a pleasant habit of punctuating his sentences by pounding the arm of his chair and maniacally laughing. The same guy later made kissing noises at every solo girl in our area of the bus for about an hour, while repeatedly shouting, “Ey, Come ere.” A classy move, but surprisingly he failed to attract any flies. Even after a British guy asked them to pipe down behind them, the group valiantly trucked on in their plight to annoy the world.
We eventually parted ways with them after two bus transfers
. We didn’t buy enough water/food before we got on the bus, so I was grateful for the first few breaks/bus transfers. We stopped at big rest stops, where all the backpackers headed down to southern Thailand stop together on the way. At around 2am, I scarfed down some fried rice and chicken that was dished out on the cheap to all the people from the buses. After this stop, we were on the road again and I slipped in and out of uncomfortable sleep for the next few hours. Finally, we hit the last stop before breaking off from the big group to Krabi. It was unfortunately a 2 hour wait or so until our bus actually arrived. Keep in mind this is around hour 12 of the ride, the morning sunrise is just beginning to lighten the sky, and I’ve had little to no sleep for quite some time – not to mention the general mayhem and confusion of these rest stop situations. I’m feeling waves of nausea from the ride and my body is pretty much screaming at me from the inside to stop whatever the hell I’m doing. A few hours later, we get on the last bus to Krabi.
After a few more hours on the bus, we get to a smaller rest stop and are told to wait for our van to take us to the hotel. At this point, I’m so tired I could set up shop on a toilet to fall asleep, but luckily the wait time was slim. We took a ride to the hotel bungalows, I took a shower, and crashed out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Turns out those waves of nausea weren’t from carsickness and that questionable chicken and rice were probably not such a good idea. I woke up about four hours later from my body trying to rid everything in my stomach in every way possible. I couldn’t keep much down and got a nasty fever from the bug as well. I stayed all day and night in bed, unable to move unless it was to run to the bathroom. Quite a horrible reward for 14 hours on a bus. However, in the middle of the night, I felt my fever break and sweated it out ‘til the morning. Today I feel pretty fine, a bit weak, but already up and exploring the area with Grant on New Years Eve.
We walked to the beach, which is about 5 minutes from our hotel. The ocean was beautiful and it feels like there’s a buzz around the small beachside hotels/restaurants for tonight’s New Years stuff to pop off. I wish I was feeling more in the spirit, but after about 15 minutes of any physical exertion, I feel like I have to sit down. Nevertheless, onward ho to next year. May my stomach be that much stronger for what I put it through in the past 12 months.
Oh yes, and new year’s resolution number one: take a flight if you can.
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