A fair while ago I went on holiday with Agatha to Hungary, now I have been to Hungary before but only ever to the capital Budapest our destination was the town of Heviz. I thought I had been quite clever and planned out a route that used trains to get there from Bratislava which I thought was going to be simpler and quicker than getting a bus from Bratislava to Budapest and then another bus out to Heviz. I think the journey totalled 4 trains which sounded like a lot and indeed it was. After several hours of travelling Agi and I finally arrived at our destination tired and hungry. I still say that it was probably because Agi can speak Hungarian (her native language) that we got there at all but believe me Agi (I know she reads this) that journey was nothing compared to what I have just been through.
So day 5 in thailand and I have ventured once again into unknown territory with Thai trains. This morning I checked out of my hostel and jumped in a cab to he main train station (this in itself is quite an achievement), my destination a place to the south of Bangkok called Hua Hin. Getting the ticket was easy, just go up to the booth and ask for it and wih thanks to my friend @dianshuo he put me onto the man in seat 61 which is a must if your planning a big train trip anywhere in the world. The train left on time which I was slightly surprised at, all good I thought as I settled in for a 4 hour journey. On route I dived into a book and read most of he way. I was a little anxious about arriving in Hua Hin as I booked a hostel and really had no idea how to get to it. We arrived an hour later than scheduled and I walked to he nearest hotel to point me in the right direction. I showed the guy behind the counter the address and he gives me a bit of a strange look.
“Your hostel is in Ban Krut, not here in Hua Hin”
“Oh dear”, I think I said, “so would it cost a lot to get a Taxi to it” and he nodded his head, oh dear indeed…
“You can get back on the train to it”, he advises helpfully
“I guess I will do that then” I say, thanking and saying goodbye in Thai
Back at the train station I ask about a ticket to he right place, the lady tells me the train is at 20:00 and I agree to take it. I look at the new ticket and discover that its another 2 hours on the train, its at this point I begin to wonder just exactly where I am going and how could I make such a big mistake. I double check the booking and in black and white it does say the hostel is in Ban Kruit, how on earth did that happen? Well its rather simple and slightly my fault (only slightly). When I booked the hostel using Hostel International website I specifically selected Thailand and the Hua Hin and it came back with one place which I then booked. What I had not realised is that the hostel was not in Hua Hin because of course of my selection. So you can see roughly what went wrong, I was mislead by the site and on top of that I did not run some checks before booking.
If that was not enough to cope with the train I got to Ban Krut was 2 hours late which means I should of got there about midnight of course this was too easy to go well. I sat on the train checking every time it stopped to see if the stop was the one I wanted, this was actually quite stressful as the last thing I wanted to do now was miss it. Of course tiredness took over a little and I fell asleep for a while, being woken by the train stopping. I stick my head out the window (you can do that on Thai trains) to try to see what stop we are at, the stop name is too far away for me to see and I begin to panic a little. Do I grab my bag and get off at a stop that might not be mine? Do I try to run and see what stop we are at without the bag? Oh shit we’re moving again… Come on I start to think in my head, don’t let the only station I could not see be the one I wanted, of course, it was. Trying not to panic more I resolved myself to get off at the next stop and find out if there was a train back or a nearby place to sleep, I arrived at the next station around 01:00, got off and asked if there was a train back, there was, it was scheduled for 04:00, 3 hours. After walking down the road a little, finding a 7-11 and grabbing a drink I decided eventually to wait in the station. I had no idea where I was but I know I needed to stay someplace semi-safe and my theory was that it was safer in the station than to wander round to try and find a place to sleep. After 3.5 hours of waiting the train turns up, I get on and go back the one stop and then try to figure out where to go. I ask a local to draw me a map to maybe the nearest 7-11 or hotel and they really helpfully do so I walk to the hotel and from there ask how to get to the hostel. The numbers that were given for the hostel to call were not being answered (it was still too early) but the nice guy at the hotel reception offered to drive me where I needed to be and so here I am. Safe, well and after some sleep feeling a little more human.
This really is one of life’s little lessons, look before you leap comes to mind as well as the phrase you can’t always trust the internet. Okay you can stop laughing now.