I last left you with our departure from Bangkok. It was an interesting couple of hours getting out but at the time the juice was still very much worth the squeeze. The next major decision point came when we had the option to break off from the main highway and travel down a smaller road along the coast. The map showed quite a few towns along the road so we figured it would be a good place to find some food and maybe even a place to stay.
The first town we turned into was bad news. We locked the doors, rolled up the windows, and I hoped to god that the locals didn’t see that we were all white inside the van. A little further down the road though was Chan ‘Am Beach. That sounded promising enough so we ventured forth. Going way to fast to even think about a turn off, we missed the first 5 or 6 hotels that we passed. Finally we arrived at a local establishment that looked absolutely gorgeous. As I walked in to check out the prices, I crossed a bridge over the creek that ran through the lobby. This place was class class class, first class all the way. The price wasn’t though. It was rather reasonable but then came the decision that would decidedly change our trip forever: “Do you want to just drive all the way there tonight?” The consensus was yes, so I tossed the keys to Kyle and took my first break.
On the short end we heard 8 hours driving. That’s no problem. I’ve done that trip from Boston to D.C. many times. On the long end we heard 12, which is still shorter than D.C. to Montreal. We never heard 17, but then again we also never heard of Elephants in the road, demolished bridges, and military checkpoints. (I’m foreshadowing).
We go to the beach to get out feet wet and say Hi to the Gulf of Thailand holding a local brew and some cheap street food. Another hour with the smell of saltwater in the car and we stopped for dinner. A funny thing happens when 5 guys order coke in Thailand, one of them gets a rum and coke. Also, we were in the middle of nowhere but every waitress at this restaurant was an 8 at the least. It was at this point that I really started to appreciate Thai women. Why not spread the yellow fever to the southwestern strand?
Now, this is where it starts to get really interesting…