If anybody would have told me how our trip would be from Chiang Mai to Koh Tao, I would have suggested to take a flight.
Our 14 hours night train to BKK had 3 hours 30 min delay allegedly due to heavy traffic as it seemed to get stuck at every red light in the city, it took 2,5 hours just to get from the Dong Muang airport to the train station. Therefore we missed our next train to Chumphon.
Have you ever taken a shower in a train or at a train station in Bangkok? Not really appealing but after a 17 hours train ride it seemed like we where bathing in a hot spring even though it was a small dirty cubicle at the station. A cold shower and fresh clothes made a big difference.
After 3 hours waiting we took the next train to Chumphon and 9 hours later, at 1030 pm we arrived at a very small village (the only reason people come is that the ferry to Koh Tao starts there) and spent some time looking for any guesthouse that was open. We just needed a place where we could grab a bit of sleep and maybe a shower which we managed to find however we had to share the shower with a bloody great big spider.
Six hours sleep in a guest house with a shared bathroom and then 3 hours on a ferry to Koh Tao. At his time I suffered already from food poisoning (not sure if it was a good idea to buy some seafood soup through a train window as we passed the women at a train station) and spent my 6 hours sleep more on toilet than in bed.
57 hours after we had left the north, we arrived on the beach and I was close to just sit down in an alley and fall asleep. I really could feel that I reached my limits and that my legs would not go any further. Bare in mind that my knees were still shaky from the yummy rice soup with seafood I bought on the train
We finally found a nice bungalow on the beach and the last thing I heard were the waves.
After that….asleep for hours.
Looking back its all not that bad and if we would have taken a flight we would have missed so many good things. The awesome view on rice paddies from the train, the pick up for the ferry which did not have enough space and 5 people had to hang on outside at the end of the bus, Sam getting straddled by a candian as there was nowhere else to sit, the baggage falling from the roof while we drove and one had to run back to find it on the street……and of course the people you meet on a train or the ferry and you listen to their stories.
There is one thing Sam and I had realised on that 57 hours trip. We are not 25 anymore and we need to pace our travel so that we can enjoy it without being exhausted and sick for days.