Greetings from Malaysia!
Today I’ll tell about my evening at Surat Thani Railway Station and train to Malaysia. Attention, some madness detected 🙂
Unfortunately I didn’t have much time last days. As I still have many things to tell about Thailand, next few articles I’ll be writing about either Malaysia or Thailand 😉
I planned to leave Thailand in the middle of February. However I found out that life on the island is a bit boring, so I decided that it’s time for Malaysia! To get there I needed to take a ferry from Ko Samui to Surat Thani (city in the mainland) and from there I decided to go by train.
Since I was at Surat Thani Railway Station around 9 PM and my train planned to arrive at 2 AM, I had plenty of time. Railway Station in Surat Thani is definitely not on the top of interesting places in the world. There were many officers, so it was not scary there at night. Well, at least for some time 🙂
Cafe were I was sitting closed at 11 AM, but WiFi was still working there (no default WiFi at Railway Station). So I decided to sit downstairs (cafe is on the 2nd floor) under the cafe. Headphones mode ON, “Rick and Morty” turned ON, I’m ready to wait for a train!
Suddenly I noticed that one lady is talking to me, I took off my headphones. Our communication was really bad: she was smiling and actively talking to me in Thai, I was smiling and actively answering in English. After some non-successful conversations she tried to say something in English like: “Train…Platform…Go”, I tried to explain: “Train in 3 hours…enough time…here’s Wi-Fi”. Lady was persistent and went to an officer, he asked my ticket and said to go to the platform 1 (actually ~5-10 meters to the side). I explained him that Wi-Fi is here and I don’t want to move as I have plenty of time before my train. They forced me to go away. I was like WTF, I cannot sit where I want at the Railway Station? It was just a normal place, nothing there like office or people to whom I could make any troubles by sitting. Anyway I decided not to argue and just go there.
Time is passing, I’m sitting where officer said, no Wi-Fi, no life around 🙂 And suddenly here comes this mad lady and starts talk to me again in Thai! She put sometimes the same words in English: “Train…platform…Go go…to platform 1”. Well, story repeats, she calls another officer, he comes and checks my ticket saying that my platform is 1 (where I’m actually). I said that I’m aware, he told OK, smiled and gone away. This situation was and funny and irritating.
Angry and sleepy I waited for half an hour. Noticed that no crazy lady around and went back to Wi-Fi place. And guess what? 🙂 Officers came to me again, checked my tickets and tried to force me to go to platform 1. Actively saying: “2 hours till train…Wi-Fi here, please”. They smiled and said: “Oh, OK, of course”. I was sitting on the stairs and hoped that nobody would come to me in the nearest 2 hours…
But here comes another lady to me, smiles, puts keys into my hand and walks away!
I’m standing like “What is happening here?” My fast thoughts are: “Probably she saw me on the stairs and gave me keys from cafe, so I can walk upstairs and sit on the benches there. Cool lady, but whom I should give the keys back?” Second iteration of thoughts: “What if she will go to police and say that I stole it? Why even she would give keys to anybody she doesn’t know? Maybe she stole the keys?” After 5 seconds thinking I’m calling her back: “Hey, sorry, take your keys, please!” Of course she doesn’t stop, so I’m going after her.
What would you do if you gave your keys to anybody you don’t know? Probably run away as that lady did! At that moment I confirmed in my head that she stole the keys. Interesting, how bad is life in a Thai prison? 🙂 Luckily, the woman was not that fast, so I reached her and gave the keys back. Lady smiled, took the keys and silently went away. Totally shocked, tired and sleepy I’m going back with a hope that nobody stole my bags while I was running after that lady…
Finally my late train arrived at ~3:30 AM! As I didn’t have ticket printed (on the tickets it was written that they should be printed) I was worried some hours before, even though station officers told I don’t need to print my ticket. However after this weird evening I was ready to face any weird situation when I’ll be boarding 🙂
Chooo-chooo. Funny, but nobody checked my train ticket. I mean totally nobody 😀 I just came to my place and found out a nice surprise, trains are really good there! They were clean and cozy with much space to sleep. I put on my ear plugs and slept like a kid.
In the morning I was observing beautiful views from the window. Traveling by train is actually very romantic, I really enjoyed that journey. Exploring the country by just sitting in a train! Sadly it doesn’t work for a plane 😉 Actually I started loving traveling by train and bus, when transportation is comfortable it’s really lovely!
Train stopped at Padang Besar, it’s a border town. I went out, passed border control quite fast, gave my fingerprints and I’m in Malaysia, yoohoo! Train station in Padang Besar is very old, almost nothing there.
To buy further tickets you need to pay only with Malay Ringgits cash. No ATMs around, however one tricky currency exchange: there’s a lady, you ask her to change money and she tells what is the exchange rate. Quite interesting procedure 🙂
Money changed, tickets to Butterworth bough and my first stop in Malaysia is Penang!
P.S. I have no idea what was happening with these weird ladies and officers at the Railway Station, however now the whole situation makes me laugh 😉