Day 71 Surat Thani to Sichon

77km/4hrs

Heavy cold and didn’t sleep well with AC that only knew freezing or off. I turned it off and woke in a pool of sweat. So not too keen to leave but couldn’t stay in that room. Heavy rain delayed departure but the hotel has a Chinese restaurant downstairs so got breakfast. Asked way to Sichon but people in restaurant did not seem interested and others kept trying to direct to direct me to one of the tourist islands. That’s why people come to Surat Thani. Rain stopped but was only fooling as usual and started again 15 min after I left and continued all day. Dirty water from road sprayed up on me from back and front. Guess that’s why they invented mudguards.

Getting more Muslim. Mosque across river in Surat Thani, jilbabs (head coverings) and Muslim restaurants with Islamic script and large photos of Mecca.

Expected expensive resorts in Sichon but Prasarnsarok Resort gave an old bungalow for 400B rather than the others for 1,600 and above. Beautiful crescent beach and friendly staff. Went for swim and am now listening to a tubby grey haired westerner playing a guitar on the beach for himself as the sun sets. Could be worse.

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bike looking wet and miserable

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old bungalow at Prasarnsorak resort

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beach from Prasarnsorok resort

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Prasaransorok resort

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tubby westerner playing guitar well at dusk

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Day 70 Lamae to Surat Thani

107km/7hrs

Country roads most of way (4112 & 417 into Surat Thani). Flat but few slight hills. Good road. Food and drink available. Ban Don hotel 400B is fine and good friendly service. Even got bars on the windows to hang ones washing.

I got the impression that the youth managing the resort was not too sad to see me leave. I gave him a cheery hello and thank you while offering him the key but he just nodded at the counter and turned his back. No matter, I don’t thinkĀ  we were destined to become close friends.

I didn’t get lost for a change but did have a dog attack. Two women were chatting at a road junction and as I passed their dogs rushed me. I managed to out run them when expressing my disapproval to the women. ‘I would appreciate it if you could keep better control of your lively dogs’ or something very similar. I have a respiratory infection so left a trail of phlegm in my wake today.

Paddy has made way for plantations. Rubber but mainly palm. People beeping and waving encouragement and generally very friendly. Lots of places for food and water.

Lonely planet guide made Surat Thani sound very sleazy. They suggested getting here and leaving the same day and if one had to stay not leaving the hotel. It is not so bad. A few nice coffee places, a good night market with better food than in most other places and a Cool club. I imagined girls mobbing you as you left the hotel shouting, ‘Hello, you handsome’. Actually the town is a bit dead after 9pm.

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garbage picker, Surat Thani

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street from my hotel

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not a nice road going into Surat Thani for last 20km

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motorbike mechanic

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quiet country roads for most of the day

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roads in south are a bit too straight

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obvious large Chinese community in Surat Thani

obvious large Chinese community in Surat Thani

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I didn’t see much other night life around

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Doesn’t look a bad hotel just up the road from Ban Don hotel