We leave our house, and home for the last 3 months, and grab a iced coffee at the local bakery.
The girls at the bakery, who have seen our faces occasionally for our stay here are curious as to where we are going. We see the landlord of our house drive by, with a few bits he has taken from the house.
After our drinks we wait by the road side for a pickup to the ferry. One soon drives by and we jump in.
It’s a nice journey, still seeing things for the first time.
At the immigration office, where we got our visa extensions we see a guy still with his ferry ticket on his chest. He jumps in the pickup with us. I guess he has come over from Ko Phangan to get a visa extension, and he is on his way back now.
At the ferry terminal we jump out, and quickly chat the pickup driver. They are not all bad!
We chat with the travel agent lady. There is no organised transport from the bus station to the train station. But, he brother has a car and he can take us. Now, this is not something we would normally do, as freestyling is the way to go, but we don’t want to be standing around, in the dark, at 9pm with few options. So we take her offer, and wait for the later ferry, as we have so much time.
Once on the ferry, we relax and admire the sunset, something we have seen little of over the last 3 months, due to being on the wrong side of the island for such a thing.
Once on the mainland we take a mini-bus to the bus station. On the bus I hear a Japanese guy is also trying to get to the train station, and offer him a ride in our car. We chat with him throughout the night.
At the bus station we only wait 10 mins before getting in the car, and are whisked off to the train station.
The train station is busy. At least 3 trains come whilst we are there, and clear most of the passengers away. We have a 3 hour wait here, from 10pm until 1am. Not the best time to be hanging around on a train station, in the dark, in an area of Thailand that has seen religious troubles in the past.
However, these troubles are not taken lightly, and the police are there in numbers, tucked away, but there.
We feel comfortable and being to pass the time. Later I see that our train is 50 minutes late and will arrive at 01:35 and not 00:40 as expected. Not such a big deal when already waiting this long.
We notice a lot of homeless people sleeping/living on the platforms between the tracks. At least they don’t face the freeing temperatures of Europe here. But we do see a number of cockroaches cruising around the platforms.
Eventually, the train arrives and we jump on. We are very familiar with the Thai and Malaysian trains and jump straight into bed. It takes us both a while to get to sleep, but we do.
In the morning we are woken earlier than expected (later realising that we didn’t change our watches at the border). After a quick DIY breakfast (croissants from Thailand and iced coffee) we are ready for the border crossing.
We are across the border, and into Malaysia without any troubles. An easy 90 visa again.
Back onto the train, and we continue south. The train rolls into Butterworth early we think, but of course it’s a little late as our watches are wrong.
We jump off the train, and walk on the ferry terminal. The boat promptly leaves and we are crossing the waters towards Pulau Penang.
The island looks very enticing as we approach. Almost like a mini Singapore. We can see the Tune hotel that we will be staying at. A great relief from the normal dreadful accommodation in Malaysia.
The hotel is a little further than we expected, but we walk it anyway, and we’re glad to put our bags down in our room.