Suk Sumran, 23.12.2012
Today we crossed the country from the gulf of Thailand to the Andaman sea. The day started with a swim in the pool, breakfast with sea view and sweating in 30 degrees plus. We drove from our luxury resort (6.000 thb per night, 2.300 thb for the dinner) approx. 2h south to Chumphon (tank of gasoline 1.140 thb, 44 thb/liter), where we ate lunch in a typical Thai eatery on a main street. Rice curry with chicken (incl bones) for both, bottle of water: 70 thb.
After lunch we took a walk down the road, the town was dead and we couldn’t find something we would have called a town center. In a couple of blocks from where we ate we counted 6 opticians, 3 electronics stores and many eateries, one dirtier then the next. Then we left, headed for Ranong. On our way back to the motorway we saw several pickup trucks with their monkey sitting on the roof!
Leaving the coastal road we headed into the jungle. Fantastic landscape, huge palm forests, small villages left and right of the main road. We got showered by our first tropical rain. And at some point saw the river separating Thailand from Burma. It was strange to drive in a place like Thailand, free, easy going, decent in civilization, knowing that on the other side of the river things would be quite different. But how different? We would have loved to find out.
After a stop at a gas station with 7eleven store to buy snacks and drinks, we found a Tesco mall a couple of km later. Huge mall in the middle of nowhere, but fine to stock up with drinks and snacks for some days and buy things you don’t find at a roadside store or gas station. And they have some great fake liquor brands (check pics below).
When we left the mall, 18:15, it had gotten dark. Several police roadblocks later (after sundown every village seems to have one), trying to find a place to stay, we drove off the main road to Praphat beach, hoping to find a place to stay. But the beach was deserted. We just saw some signs alerting us about Tsunami danger. At that point we thought how happy we were 8 years ago to have come to Thailand too late to witness this disaster.
And suddenly we reminded ourselves of a road sign “rooms to rent”. And yes, we found a room in a kind of Thai motel. With restaurant next door. Dinner was Pad Thai noodles with chicken, Tom Kha Ghai soup with rice, 2 Chang beer and free mosquito spiral. Night + dinner 925 thb. After a day on the road the shower felt great! Good night.
Suk Sumran, 23.12.2012