Monday, December 22, 2008

Off to Hat Yai!

This year for the first time we're spending our Christmas in Hat Yai.

We booked our hotel (Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel) through this website: http://www.hotels2thailand.com/. We booked for four nights and were charged 1037Bt a night for the room, 501bt a night for an extra bed and 1089Bt for VAT. The total came up to 7241Bt.

Since it was going to be a rather long journey we did some research online and decided on the Konsortium Bas Express Semenanjung (KBES) as our choice of transportation. The journey was estimated to take about 10 hours. There were other companies to choose from but KBES seemed the most reliable.

Apparently there are some unscrupulous bus operators out there advertising on the website shiny new comfortable double decker buses. On the date of travel, you will likely find the bus you've booked to look nothing like what was advertised. Buyers beware!

We were considering taking the train but it meant an additional 4 hours of travel time and KTMB did not provide sleeper cabins on their Hat Yai route.

The tickets cost us RM50 each and there were no discounted prices for children. Departing time was 10:30PM for the more comfortable double decker bus (which did not have a toilet).

Having a bite at KFC at Puduraya while waiting for our bus
Pretty comfortable and spacious
Its a comfortable double decker bus

The bus departed at around 10:45PM after some hassle with the Road Transport Dept (don’t know why). It stopped briefly along the PLUS highway for passengers to have a potty break before proceeding to Changlun.

The hawker centre in Changlun

We reached Changlun at about 5:00AM and had to wait for a bit as the Malaysian-Thai Border Check Point only opens at 6:00AM.

Bleary-eyed travellers
My camera did not leave my sight
Back on the bus for our border crossing

We cleared the Malaysian Check Point at 7:00AM and reached the Thai Border a short while later.

View of the Complex from our bus
A welcome sight

 We cleared Thai Immigration at 7:45AM and was back on the bus to head to Hat Yai.

Cat and Brendan looking decidely excited to finally be on the way to Hat Yai
Managed to take this photo while the bus was speeding along

Hat Yai here we come!

Forced Hiatus!

It would have been exactly seven months to the day since our last post.  A lot has happened since then, and without going into details ou...