Tropical Rain heading North
We left Khao Lak on Monday 2nd January 1:00pm, we arrived in Ranong around 4:oopm. It rained most of the way. Even in the rain, the views were spectacular, which can’t be said for Ranong, the town was surrounded by mountains covered in lush green rain forests and mist. The hotel was OK: simple, clean and cheap. We went out for dinner in the rain, luckily we had purchased some plastic rain macs (50p each). The food we had was cheap and hot, we asked for medium spicy and was served with something that was hotter than hell on a hot day! Good job the beer was ice cold. We ate what we could, paid the bill, put on our waterproofs and made our way back to the hotel. When we woke next morning it was still raining, Ranong didn’t look any better.
We should have read this extract from the Lonely Planet:
In many ways, the capital of Ranong Province is a stereotypical border town: shabby, frenetic and ever so slightly seedy. But while most visitors roll into town for visa services, the town has a thriving Burmese population – keep an eye out for men wearing traditional longyi.
We both decided to head north for Prachuap Khiri Khan on the East coast, a journey of 300 miles. We arrived at the bus station expecting to catch the 10.30am bus to be told that all the buses were booked for the day and to book seats for a bus tomorrow. We’d checked out of the hotel, got all our luggage so that wasn’t an option. It was a relief to be told that we could get a minibus via Chumphon which would leave as soon as all the seats were sold. Fortunately that was just about immediately. We knew that we could, if necessary, catch a train from Chumphon to Prachuap but that turned out not to be necessary as when we arrived we were told that the minibus to Prachuap would leave in about an hour – just enough time for us to grab some lunch. Just arriving at Chumpon in one piece was a relief – we should have had the driver drug tested before getting in as he appeared to have had a death wish!
Anyway, we arrived safely in Prachuap Khiri Khan and went to the hotel we had found on the web. We asked to see the room and the view made it a no brainer, for £15 a night we would be waking up to this!