After a 2,5 hour taxi ride with a crazy riding driver we arrived at O’smach were usually Thai people cross the border to Cambodia to gamble at the casinos in Cambodia, because it’s illegal to gamble in Thailand. After we got our departure stamps from Cambodia on the right side we had to cross diagonal for a Thai visa. We filled in the forms, walked to the desk delivered our passports and we got 15 days of visa when we walked off. From that point small minivans were already waiting on the left side of the road, they drive left in Thailand and on the right side in Cambodia so that felt a bit weird. The minivans looked familiar since we used to take those from Surin to Kap Choeng when we visited Ampon and Oem for Michaels diabetic stuff. Now we wanted to take on from Chong Chom (the border side of Thailand) to Kap Choeng and it was as easy as usual. It took us less than 45 min from the border on the Cambodian side to get to Kap Choeng. 5 minutes before we were in Kap Choeng we gave Ampon a call if she was able to pick us up. Unfortunatly due some miscommunication she was in Surin and wasn’t able to pick us up in Kap Choeng, luckily Oem’s house the place were Michael left his stuff is only 1,5 km away so walking was not that big of an issue. We doubted a bit of the direction so decided to call family in the Netherlands (we didn’t have the number of Oem) so we had to wake them up at 6.15. Luckily they answered and explained us (thanks Frank!). When we arrived 10 minutes later at Oems place he came to help us out a bit. With hand and feet we tried to communicate and at some point Oh from the Netherlands called him so we had a translator. He gave us some food and when we had packed everything a friend of him brought us to the busstation of Prasat, a city between Kap Choeng and Surin. From there we took the bus to Surin, when we arrived in Surin we bought our train tickets to Bangkok. Our train would leave at 16.41 so we had still 1,5 hours to spent. They were setting up a sort of party/dinner festival with all kind of food stands and tables. Some were already selling some food so we got some fruit and spring rolls for in the train. The train was perfectly on time and we had a relaxed ride to Bangkok.
Since we had seen already the most of the north of Thailand we wanted to go to the south as soon as possible. We reserved a room for one night in Bangkok near the train station to go to Koh Tao the next day. When we arrived at the Hostel the guy didn’t know that we were coming and it took him an hour to come to the conclusion that he had only a room without a key. At that point we didn’t care anymore we were tired and wanted to sleep. So we got into the room and I instantly fell asleep while Michael tried to make a short skype call with his parents.
The next morning we headed for some breakfast and good coffee while we tried to call a company to book a ticket all the way to Koh Tao. When we had arranged everything and had some good food we walked out and saw a Dutch girl with her parents eating some Kruidnoten. I got the chills and a sort of homesick feeling came over me, soon I recovered when I was eating a few of them. She was also traveling for a while already and her parents decided to visit her.
We packed our bags and headed to the office were we reserved two tickets to go to Koh Tao. We paid and could leave our bags there for the day while we got some food, a massage and bought some souvenirs.
That evening the night bus left at 21.00 to arrive at 5.00 in the morning at the pier of Chumphon. The ferry would leave at 7.30 so we had still some time to spent, reading my book made the time fly and before we knew it we were on the big high speed ferry from Lomprayah. The sea was very rough, luckily I took an extra traveller sickness medicine because after 5 minutes 200 of the 400 people on board were vomiting, the crew ran around, handing over bags and tissues for everybody who needed it. The last 5 minutes I was a victim of the waves as well. Luckily the ride was over soon.
At Triple B bungalows we were welcomed by a green thin snake on the road to our bungalow and while one of the guys was carrying it away we checked out our bungalow, small with a matrass on the floor, but very decent for the price. We decided to stay in Koh Tao for 5 nights before moving on to our Christmas address on Koh Lanta, the weather wasn’t so nice but that didn’t bother us to go diving. In 3 days we dove 7 times of which one UV-night dive which was really spectacular. After our first day of diving we visited a latin party, with the people from la bombona, the dive school at which we were diving. A lot of fun but the evening was over for us soon, since we decided to dive the next morning at 6 a.m.
At one dive I had a panic attack during the descend, luckily it stayed with this one time and I was able to dive normally after that incident. I didn’t really know why it happened, probably because of the many people that were in the water combined with the high waves.
After 5 nights it was time to move on to Koh Lanta, we had booked a complete tour again from Koh Tao to Koh Lanta with the boat leaving at 5 am…..