Thursday, 22 January 2009

One Night In Trang

There’s not a lot to do in Trang, but it’s a nice enough place. Very clean and pristine. An older traveller at my abode told me there were caves and the like to visit just out of town, botanical gardens and waterfalls etc. But as I didn’t have long, I wanted to get off to Lipeh as soon as possible.

I stayed at the Yamawa B&B. It was the first in the Rough Guide, and cheap enough. And the lady who runs it is very helpful and friendly, even down to her asking for my email address so she could advise her future charges about Lipeh. The room was lovely, so I ditched my gear, jumped into the shower and then headed back out.

The night market was just up the street, so I wandered up for something cheap to start offsetting what I’d spent on the islands. I bought a chicken curry with rice and a drink for 20 baht (30 pence) that was delicious. The people were really friendly, and three beautiful young girls made room for me to sit down. Oh, to be a teenager again. On second thoughts No…they were years of severe emotional trauma, with girls determined to crush my spirit; and balls, in some cases. Happy in my 30s, thanks.

I finished dinner, and browsed the market as I headed home. A light wind had picked up, and as I passed one stall two locals were wrestling with a canopy. The one next to it came free and collapsed towards me, hitting me in the neck. I managed to grab it and rectify it before it broke or did me any damage. There were Oohs and Aahs from fellow stallholders and locals before they realised I was unhurt. I pointed at the guys and shouted “They try to kill farang!” and made choking motions, to much laughter. Everyone jabbered amongst themselves and laughed as I walked off. Whether they laughed with me or about me is irrelevant; as long as everyone is laughing, life’s good.

A beer-free evening saw me waking fresh as a daisy the next day. And the firm bed had been the closest so far to my rock-hard mattress at home. Bliss. The nice lady downstairs pointed me the way to a good vegetarian café to have breakfast. The curry was great, but I can’t get used to eating this first thing in the morning; it’s too much. Spicy belches at 9am? But 3 small dishes with rice, and a fresh fruit shake only relieved me of 80p. A far cry from the islands, these small towns. Refreshing.

The lady at Yamawa had organised the trip to Lipeh, bus and boat transfers…the lot. You can guarantee they put a bit on top, but it’s just so much easier than organising it all yourself. Time is money, and I’d rather have my time given the option. The VIP minibus turned up, the air-con freeze-drying the sweat on me, and away we went. Headphones on; next stop Ko Lipeh.

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