I have just traveled from Bangkok to Trat to stay overnight before taking the ferry to Koh Kood, or Koh Kut as it sometimes called; I made the journey by bus using Chrodchai Tour, a company that operates from Bangkok’s eastern bus terminal (Ekkami) to the bus terminal in Trat…….. Ekkami bus station is situated 50 metres from Ekkami Skytrain station so it is very easy to get to.

The bus had comfortable seats, air-con, an on-board toilet which was clean and disinfected, and the one-way ticket cost 265 Baht (£5.00) which I booked a day in advance by going to the bus station, which I believe is the only way to buy an advance ticket…….. because I was staying overnight in Trat, I was not under any time-frame pressure, as a consequence of which I booked the 11.30 bus, which was not full………

The bus left at 11.40 and we made 8 pick-up stops on the way, and somewhere in the twenties, I lost count of the number of drop-offs; but despite making more stops than the H37 from Hounslow bus garage to Peckham Rye, we arrived at Trat exactly five and a half hours later……..

On several previous occasions, I have used a mini van service from Ekkami on my way to Koh Chang; their drivers (all of them) drive like demented, partially sighted ambulance drivers on an emergency call, only to then stop for half an hour at a petrol station with a large store where you are supposed to shop, in return for which the driver receives some form of commission, a free lunch or whatever (when all you want to do is stop for five minutes to point percy at the porcelain)……….. so if you are just going to Trat and don’t need to catch an early ferry to Koh Chang, this bus does not take much longer, is very comfortable and you negate the ordeal of putting your life into the hands of some incredulous, maniacal, wannabe Tornado pilot…………
I had pre-booked 1 night at the SA hotel in Trat and I arrived there at 17.30 where I found the most unfriendly welcome that I have ever received in extensive travels in south east Asia; at the reception desk I offered my well practised “Sawadee Krub” accompanied by a friendly smile, when the receptionist finally turned to look at me, she gave me the kind of stare that I think has only ever been witnessed before by serial killers, peadophiles or traffic wardens, and having been none of these, I at least discovered a new experience……….she did not utter a single word, she just looked at my printed reservation and slammed the key for room 511 down on the counter………… for the Hotel, it does what it says on the tin; most people only stay for one night, using Trat as a springboard for a visit to Koh Kood or Koh Mak the following day………..the room was large and clean as was the bathroom and the new (2011) air-con unit worked quietly and efficiently, so for 500 Baht (£9.50) it suited. The hotel is well situated very near the centre of Trat and a short walk to the wonderful night market, where I went in the evening ………….hundreds of stalls bursting with colour and vibrancy accompanied by the usual cacophony of banter, as locals negotiated for the mostly takeaway food of all descriptions; the market opens up over to one side with stalls that have tables and chairs, where I sat and ate some wonderfully delicious and cheap food, pak boong fai dang (morning glory) and kapow gai sap (chicken chop chop)………….. and drank a nice cold bottle of Chang beer………..


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Above……….Ekkami bus station in the Eastern suburbs of Bangkok………and below, my air-con bus to Trat……..

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When I arrived in Trat, there was a great storm raging and some beautiful sunshine……….and you all know the consequences of that combination……


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Above and below, the night market in Trat…………

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Above, I spotted this lovely little bottom, well yes, two actually, but the one I’m referring to belongs to the little dog and is protruding from the floor-pan of the scooter……………

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Above and below, this is him the little scallywag……….I shall never forgive him, he completely distracted me from the other lovely little bottom…………ekekekekekeke

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Above………the food stall in the night market where I decided to eat……….and below, dinner and a cold bottle of Chang…………..the good decision making is on a roll……..

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