It seems that our journeys are becoming the star of the show, and not always for good reasons.
To get to Ko Tao we had to take a night train from Bangkok, a coach ride and then an early morning boat ride. The train journey went like a dream. We arrived at the station in good time. The train was ready on time and the berth in first class turned out to actually be first class. Take note Vietnam! And even better we had a room to ourselves.
Obviously it wasn’t ideal to see in the new year on a train, but we did by complete chance pull into Hua Hin station at midnight and got to sit and watch fireworks and lanterns from our window. We then managed 3 hours kip before we neared our station at around 4am.
The coach arrived an hour or so later and we soon found ourselves at the boat dock. The vessel Claire had booked was a large high speed catamaran and we had already planned to sit on the top deck and snooze during the 90 minute cruise.
Initially we sat downstairs as the top deck seemed to be closed and it soon became evident why. As we cleared the mainland the high speed catamaran hit large waves and was thus launched in to the air whilst lurching violently from side to side. It was pretty terrifying and the only thing that made it less terrifying was the calmness of the staff. Though they may well have been drunk still from their New Years Eve celebrations!
At first the rollercoaster nature of the cruise had people screaming and whooping in equal measures but after 5 minutes we and many others were staggering to the back of the boat. Shortly after that everybody was handed a sick bag. For the next 85 minutes the journey became carnage accompanied by the delightful sound of virtually everybody sitting near us retching and chundering.
Claire lasted about 15 minutes before she stuck her head in the sick bag. The Thai woman next to me looked like she wanted to die. Staff were patrolling the aisles with towels. I vaguely remembered that staring at the horizon helps with seasickness so I stared hard at the horizon (when I could see it) and held out for nearly an hour. But then I too gave in and heaved. From then on the journey was just plain unpleasant.
When we eventually arrived (90 minutes felt like a lifetime) we grabbed our bags and made for dry land as quickly as possible. Never have the dirty steps of a 7/11 store looked so appealing.
We both vowed never again. Until we discovered that the only other option to our next destination Koh Samui would be slower and worse. So we are back on the catamaran tomorrow morning. We will be skipping brekkie and dosing ourselves up on travel sickness pills.