Saturday, 21 January 2012

Hualamphong Dining

The video says it all really. It's not a bad restaurant if you have time to kill before getting on your train down to Suratthani. The food was rice and chicken or pork. It cost about 40 Thai Baht a plate. The beers were reasonably priced, too. Next door is a handy convenience store to stock up on snacks, cigarettes etc. for the journey.

Remember that the train doesn't actually go to Suratthani. It goes to Punpin Station that is about an hour from a ferry port to take you to Koh Phangan. When you get off the train you get rushed by steerers trying to sell you tickets for the Seatran. This is one of the irritating things about traveling in Thailand: they tend to try and herd you around.

There is a man outside the row of cafes who sells tickets for all the transport companies. I prefer waiting at Punpin for an hour or so and getting a bus/boat ticket for the Raja Car ferry that leaves from Donsak. This is the biggest boat and rocks around the least when the sea is rough.

The worst boat to take when the sea is rough is the Lomprayah. It's a high speed catamaran and bounces over the waves. Last time I took it was January 9th 2012, just after the Full Moon Party. I have never seen so many people sick. I was heaving too. Those who had spent all the previous night drinking buckets must have rued their decision to take the Lomprayah the next morning.

The good thing about the train from Hualamphong to Punpin is that you get a better night's sleep than the bus. Also the prices go up less often than for the bus/boat deals. 

There is a dining carriage on the train where you can get food and beer. You can also smoke there. The beer and food is expensive, though. There are also vendors (legal and illegal) that sell meals that go up and down the carriages.

For a description of the First Class Air-Con Carriage and the journey between Hualamphong, Bangkok to Suratthani click on the link.

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