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Arriving in Bangkok on Friday (13th…eek) gave us a day to organise the train, our stored bag and sell items we had collected on the way at a second hand stall located on Ram Buttri street which buy basically anything off you for a cheap cheap price. A bookshop also located on Ram Buttri street buys books off you and are particularly interested in Lonely Planet books, paying a decent price for the newer versions of any country. This time we stayed at Chart Guesthouse, bang in the centre of Khao San Road just because it was cheap and easy to get around. The day after we arrived we got the train at 11:30pm which gave us the entire day to relax. This time we decided to pay for seats instead of sleepers and unfortunately it wasn’t the comfiest ride but doable.
Arrival at Surrat Thani was around 9am and we then hopped on a local bus to the centre to get a minivan to Khanom. We were the only white people on this bus and it took an hour but it only cost us 60p so cest la vie. At the bus station we asked around for the minivan and a little clever old women walked with us to the travel agent that sold us the tickets. We then learnt they conned us right up front, triple the actual price we paid on the return minivan. The minivan station was just past this travel agent and would have cost us a lot less. Another two hours got us to Khanom centre and then two motorcyclists drove us to our bungalow.
Khanom did not seem very touristy. There were resorts but restaurants and bars were not common, especially not by the seafront which is unusual. It was ridiculously quiet and relaxing and we spent the day at the deserted beach. Max entertained himself knocking down a coconut from a tree and carving it to drink…his first coconut in Thailand! Later on he built a raft out of bamboo and rope. This was all whilst I lay and sunbathed on a sun lounger we found.
Max's man-made raft
Our sink in the bungalow
We keep forgetting that we are accustomed to having dinner later than others and because the kitchen had closed the owner kindly lent us her scooter to head to town.
The next day was THE DAY :) Gavin (Sid ) and Nam were soon to be wed and it was the perfect day for it. We made our way to the luxurious Ratcha Kiri Resort at midday and met Sid’s mother and friends. We sneaked in some pool time whilst staff were setting up and at 4:30pm we were all dolled up, wearing our tailor made suits from Hoi An, ready for the ceremony. The venue was decorated beautifully with a baby blue and white theme, a heart shaped flower arch postitoned just behind the alter, ceremony seats facing the beautiful Khanom beach cove.
- sid & nam's wedding -
Blue skies and the location made it a perfect day. When Nam was ready the bridesmaids began the ceremony followed by Nam and Sid’s mother arm in arm, in her dazzling white dress.
I hear Wedding bells ringing!!
Being held in Thailand there were very few of Sid’s side from England but many work friends attended and there were still enough of us to have a pretty good time, especially with Nam’s side of girls and her two young nieces that showed us some good moves on the dance floor. The Thai love their upbeat music.
The buffet food was delicious and all of Sid’s work friends from Bangkok and ourselves sat on a table together. After dinner we released the lanterns in pairs which was a very nice touch, each lot lantern filled the sky one by one.
Having started so early the wedding finished by around midnight but three of us stayed making use of the open bar and chatted away for a few more hours.
It was a shame we couldn’t make more use of the luxury hotel room with balcony and bath tub but we checked out and spent the day by the pool side, having it all to ourselves as everyone had left by midday.
In the afternoon we made our way back to Surratthani to catch a train to Bangkok. If we thought the journey down from Bangkok was bad we were terribly mistaken. We got seat tickets again but this time it was in a fan carriage with windows that did not shut so the noise was incredibly loud, loud enough that it was disturbing to the ears. Ear plugs really do save your life at times and this was one of them!
Having left at 9pm we arrived at Bangkok at around 10am and spent the day organising our winter clothes from the backpack in storage, ready for the cold that China would bring. We discovered there was a pool which had just been built at Wild Orchid (a hotel we previously stayed at) so we snuck in and used the pool for the day before heading to the airport at 11pm to catch our 2am flight to Hong Kong.