16th June – Phitsanulok to Bangkok (train)

The photo:

When’s the train going to arrive?


The chat:

The imminent arrival of my brother, Nick, obliged us to use a faster form of transport than the tandem to make it to Bangkok in time. The train we took was faster, but only just – Thai trains are VERY slow – at least those that allow bikes on board. Due to leave at 10 a.m. (a civilised departure time that we almost contrived to miss, by visiting the same coffee shop as yesterday – incredibly the proprietor had become even more unhurried overnight) – the train didn’t end up leaving until 11.30a.m. It then proceeded to trundle down the line, stopping at every single station and more often than not between them  as well, and we eventually rolled into Hua Lampong at 8.30pm. A 250km journey had taken us 9 hours all told, an average little faster than we manage on the tandem!

Emma had once again come up trumps with her accommodation selection talent, securing us a room at the super friendly, super comfortable and (while the discount  rates remain in place) super good value Korbua House. Well situated on a canal, near but not TOO near the infamous backpacker ghetto that is Ko Sahn road and on a soi frequented by some great street food peddlers, this hotel was perfect.

We celebrated our arrival in our third capital city of the trip by drinking quite a few too many whisky and sodas with Amanda and Neil from South Africa – who were equally dubiously celebrating their second-to-last-night in Bangkok, at the funky Eau Vie bar. Hope you two were hungover the next day too – and  good luck with the new business venture – we came to find you the next evening but the bar was closed!

Tardis-esque moto taxis at Phitsanulok


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