Saturday, February 9, 2013

Maximum occupancy, maximum shmoccupancy.

We rose early in Thongsala—almost as early as when we got up to watch the alms procession in Luang Prabang—to walk to the pier to catch the 7am ferry back to mainland; a 3-hour trip that felt like 20 minutes, thanks to the magical anti-nausea time portal. To a bus, to a transfer station for an “hour” wait, to a van, to another bus station. We had just finished taking the last bag out of the van when the driver, after a quick chat on his cell, whistled and announced hurriedly that we were to get back on the same van. “Bus left. We chase.” Seriously?! Awesome! Let’s DO this! My visions of a thrilling, high speed van chase didn’t amount to much, however—there was some swerving, but he hardly honked or anything!—and we caught up to the big bus in just a few kilometres.

Our big, Khao Sok-bound bus acted like a commuter bus and stopped every few minutes to pick up passengers from the roadside, and of course, when I thought all the seats were filled and we were going to finally get on the road, we just kept picking up more people who had to stand in the aisles, until my view was limited to the narrow strip of window between the curtains on my right, and the heavily deodorized armpit of the man in the aisle on my left. (Though not good with heavy scents, I admit that it was preferable to the alternative.) Other than taking the sharp curves at full speed, the rest of the drive was relatively uneventful.

Will the transportation be more “civilized” in Malaysia? Gosh, I hope not. You can’t make up stories like this! (Or this. Oh, good times.) Oh, and though I haven’t technically shared my seat yet with livestock, the baggage area on one of our previous buses did have a few totes of baby chicks. We could hear them cheeping. Transit adventures abound!

Mauve-y sunrise in Thongsala

The view of mainland from inside the ferry (the windows get wet because it's real splashy up top!)

High speed van chase!

The view from our Smiley Bungalows just outside the entrance to Khao Sok National Park


  1. A high speed bus chase in a cool is that! Glad you made it safely too! Love Mum & Dad

  2. So many great stories and adventures!! And what a sunrise:)

    Katelin xoxox

  3. what a view from your bungalow!