This is the 3rd part of my Journal
For travel advice and general experience, check out the main “25 Days in Thailand” page where I wrote about my preparation and what I did before my journey.
In the menu above, you can view the other parts of my journey.
DAY 3 – 23.NOV.2012
Phuket to Chumphon
As usual, at 6 am in the morning, I was getting ready to leave the guest-house. 6.30 am and I had to look for the owner of the place and a sign on the front door directed me to a few shop-lot away and a man came out. He went into the guest-house and a few minutes later, passed over the THB500 deposit and I was on my bike looking for breakfast.
Along the road out of Phuket Old Town, I spotted a roadside stall and had a simple breakfast of rice soup (sort of congee). Then I was on my way out to my next destination.
Phuket is now so developed that getting to Sarasin Bridge took about half an hour from where I had breakfast. As I passed the bridge, I looked over to the sea and enjoyed the sea breeze flowing over my body.
Getting to Ranong is back to Highway 4 that runs across winding hilly areas. The sea was hidden from the road by trees but I know it wasn’t far away from the road. Then I passed by some lovely bays and came to a sleepy tourist area called Khao Lak about 60 km from Sarasin Bridge. Khao Lak reminds me of Patong Beach in Phuket about 20 years ago. Still at its infancy in tourism developments, It has big, beautiful and quiet beach side hotels. Mentally, I told myself that I’ll pay a visit to this place in the future because it lovely. I could see a few developments to attract tourists and one of the attractions was the building of the Tsunami Memorial Park.
The municipality has earmarked a big area for this Tsunami Memorial Park. I came here by following the sign-board along the main road.
After this, I passed through many other towns and villages until I was about to reach Ranong when I spotted from the main road a lovely waterfall.
When I was passing through this area, they were redoing the highway, making one side of the road into manually controlled double passage way.
As I went into Ranong, I noted that it was dusty and smelled of fish everywhere. Filled up my petrol tank and went looking for lunch. I spotted a stall selling chicken rice and it only cost THB45 with a can of Pepsi.
Ranong to me is a busy port that trades heavily with Myanmar, which I could see from the sea-front. I didn’t spot any interesting there and immediately continued my journey to Chumphon on Highway 4. Again, the road was winding along mountain ranges.
At one point of the journey at this narrow part of the Isthmus of Kra, I took this photo at one of the rest areas.
By about 2.30 pm, I was already in Chumphon looking for the motel I was supposed to stay, which I booked through Agoda.com. This motel is not in the city but lay hidden behind the Chumphon’s stadium. With great difficulty and only through the help of an old man on a small motorbike did I managed to find the Dawrerng Hotel.
Dawrerng Hotel reminds me of a cheap motel for lovers, but at USD10 per night, not much to complain. My bike has a covered porch just in front of the room. Very easy to load and unload my baggage.
After settling into the room, I went hunting for the tourist information centre and found it easily. It was located in front of the railway station. Then I went looking for places of interest and finally ended up in a Thai Traditional Massage centre that provides massages on the cheap.
AT THB150 per hour for the traditional massage, I asked for 2 hours of rub-down. My body haven’t felt so good after the massage and I gave THB50 as tip. After that, I went next door for a THB160 Thai dinner. OK, OK… me splashing around a bit since I had any good dinner last.
Now without much difficulty and knowing the stadium as a landmark, I got back to the motel and called it a night.