We took an afternoon train from Butterworth to Bangkok. It was a long and tiring journey. The first class train from Malaysia to Thailand is very nice. But we only tried it for a few minutes :) The tickets were actually not very much different, the second class was RM 60 (US $ 15) and the first class was US $ 22 for upper berth and US $ 25 for lower berth. But since we really had to save we chose the second class.
The second class carriage was really bad. The wooden windows were very big and couldnít be closed. Since we didnít have aircond and it was hot nobody wanted to close them anyway. However the area we passed through were dusty, we got very dusty after the 22 hour journey!
The seats were also hard with straight back so it wasnít comfortable at all. But then again, we wanted cheap journey, not a comfortable one.
At the start of the journey there were not many people on the train. So once the train started we and 2 Canadian girls stole to the first class train and sat there. The conductor kicked us out back to our class when we reached Hat Yai, a little up north from the border. But it was a nice try. The first class trains were nice and clean and cool. I bet it is nice to be able to stretch our tired backs on the berth! We had to curl on our seat the whole night! Still, weíre lucky we could still use the toilets of the first class. Theyíre definitely cleaner than in our class.
Like in Indonesia, the train was also not on time. On the schedule it is supposed to be 20 hours only, and yet it took us 22 hours to reach Bangkok, and we were dusty, dirty, sweaty and smelly. And hungry. We couldnít afford to buy food on the train so we survived only with bread.
Nana didnít like the journey. She is not used to long travel, moreover an adventurous cheap travel like this! She hated the train trip, which was understandable. Dewi, Julinda and me just accept it without complain because we wanted cheap travel, and we tried to make the best of it. But Nana really couldnít stand it and she almost broke to tears of disappointment and anger.
We took a hotel right in front of the Hua Lamphong Station. Itís a small hotel with a very-difficult-to-find door, because it is in a small alleyway, hidden by hawker stalls. It cost us 400 baht per night (about US $ 10) for a simple family room with bathroom and aircond. But the mattresses are very hard.
We didnít care. We were happy because in front of the hotel there were lots of food stalls and the food was cheap. I ate and ate. I think today I had the most delicious Tom Yam Gong in the world. Maybe it was, or maybe I was starving :D
Bangkok, Tuesday 22 June 1999