Previously in How To KRABI Yourself with RM350, Chapter 1: Senandung Langkawi Train
|Credit to whasib|
In this chapter, all of you will be have a walk through the wonderful adventure from the Hat Yai to Krabi, Thailand. Believe me, the journey itself is an adventure and really did challenge ourselves physically and mentally. Basically, if you can survive this kind of journey you will be able to compete in Amazing Race. When I said 'able', it doesn't mean winning though. (rolling eyes)
Hat Yai Railway Station
Both of us arrived in Hat Yai Railway Station around 9.45am (Thailand time). Surprise surprise, the train didn't stop yet in the platform when the coaches full with travel agencies' personal or what we Malaysian call "ULAT". They will tail you everywhere you go and surround you like a swarm of bees and you were the beautiful blossom flowers that full with delicious sweet nectar (call it exaggerated metaphor but well - if we don't compliment ourselves, who would right?) They will even usher you to their travel offices located adjacent to the railway station and be sweeter than the sweetest sweets. The ssweetness of their offerings; if being put as a parallel example as a candy, it would be swarmed by millions of ants for a month. Both of us label them as "shadow" for their hard-sell marketing technique and tailing all tourist until to one point, Eeman felt so annoyed and simply ignored them.
All of them will offer their transportation services to all southern Thai tourist destination from Phattalung up to Surathani - air-conditioned mini van with a small group of 10 to 12 passengers per trip. The van will only proceed once it is full with passengers. By any chance of luck, if there were cute collage students together in the same van, obviously the journey will be something. Beautiful nature scenery outside and good-looking and pleasing to the eyes inside, our face blush all the way (enjoying the day dream running along the beach with the cutie-pie enjoying the ocean breeze whereas the cutie-pie is snoring in front of you).
The fare for these ride is between 500baht to 800baht - depending to your bargain skills.
Another type of "Ulat" that will there to welcome you is the tut tut drivers. Be prepared to give them a cold-look and a glimpse of Malaysian-style-glance or jeling. Reason being the drivers will simply charged you a ridiculous fare to anywhere within the city. One even charged us 50baht for the trip to Hat Yai Bus Station! Around RM5 plus babe! Can you imagine?! Hello - with this challenge a 10 cent is worth RM1,000! In other words, these drivers are more less the same like some our local taxi drivers that park their taxis for hours in front of Sungai Wang Bukit Bintang and charging you not by the meter but informed you the fare from Bukit Bintang to KLCC is RM30.
Travel Hack : What we did is, once we disembarked the train; we immediately went to the tourist information counter located at the main exit gate at the platform. All these "Ulat" will guide you to use the exit gate B which is located at the end of the platform to avoid the tourist to passing through the information counter.
|Look out for this sign-age! Tourist Information Counter is |
located at the main gate with this sign on top!
At the counter, we were told the cheapest way to Krabi is by taking the executive coach bus from the bus station to Krabi town. The officer that assist us; not only cute, adorable, handsome, "drop-dead-wakeup again-look at the face-fall dead again" gorgeous; but very kind enough to show us and teach us on the tricks to enjoy the locals' tut tut fare! He told us that we -
are gorgeous need to take a tut tut that is on the move instead of those drivers that simply wait for their passenger-nee-victim. The supposed tut tut fare from the railway station to bus station is only 30 baht!
|Even it is a travel challenge with a limited budget - style is on baybeh!|
Hat Yai Bus Station
The tut tut ride from the railway station to bus station station will take about 10 minutes. Don't expect the bus station to be air-conditioned like our UTC Puduraya though. In fact it is an open space area and adjacent to it is a row full with travel tour counters.
Again, you will be welcomed by a swarm of "ulat" that going to promote their services to you. However, they are more proper. Not in term of the marketing technique but they do wear a red color vest. A uniform compared those at the railway station. However, having these experience make me wonder, "now I know how Kim Kardaishian feel when she arrives in any airport and welcomed by a swarm of paparazzi"
The ticket counters are located inside the bus station compound. If you are lost and couldn't find where to buy the ticket, there is a tourist information counter located in the middle section of the station, exactly in front of the main entrance.
Travel hacks : Do not buy the ticket from the travel agency located outside. The fare is the same rate as the one near to Hat Yai Railway Station.
|Hat Yai Bus Station|
Executive Bus Hat Yai - Krabi
Travel hack : take the non-peak hour bus!
|Don't ever ask me to translate this one!|
My advice to you, once arrived at the bus station - simply take your time. Just relax, have a cigarette, sit down at the muslim-halal stalls and order some meal and drinks. Why?! The bus fare from Hat Yai to Krabi is between 240baht (peak hour) to 186bath (non peak hour). The peak hour are those bus scheduled at 8.15am, 10.45am, 3.15pm and etc. These are the time where the trains from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok; and most international flight arrives in Hat Yai. Hence, the bus station will be pack with foreign tourists who are looking for bus tickets.
The non-peak hour is an hour later, 11.45am and 1.15pm (upon your arrival in Hat Yai from KL Sentral) and you will enjoy the local fare of 186baht! Well, call me a cheapskate but hey, with this kind of budget, if I need to walk in order to save a dime - I definitely would (again it is only a metaphor statement though - don't take it seriously! I will not ask you guys to walk for 300plus KM to Krabi). The route itself is actually Hat Yai - Phuket, along the way it will stop at 3 towns. Krabi one of them.
For 186baht fare, the bus is quite comfortable and amazing! Simply because it is a double-decker-pink-color bus! It is spacious and you are able to recline the seat lower than a normal express bus available in Malaysia. Reason being is due to the size of the bus itself, which is way bigger than the normal ones, it gives each passenger a big space for your feet to rest. I must say, the space for each seat is way bigger than Air Asia Boeing 737 airplanes'. There is a VIP Lounge located at the lower deck and a toilet. The upper deck will have normal seats; 4 each in a row.
The journey from Hat Yai to Krabi is about 5 hours and you will enjoy the mountain scenery of southern Thailand. Sit back, relax, read a book, play cards with your travel buddies, scrabble or just wear your eye masks and doze off!
Every Hat Yai - Phuket bus route will have 1 meal stop. Usually the bus will stop at any rest area available between the first town, Phattalung and the second one, Trang. No worries, as the southern Thailand has a high number of Muslim populations, all rest area will have at least 1 halal stall. Luckily for us, our bus stopped at an area with all stalls offer halal foods.
I had a bowl of Mee Celup which cost me 40baht. The dish is not the same as our kelantanese-mee-celup though, it is more similar to our plain-flavoured "mee sup". For those fellow travelers who doesn't like spicy-flavored meals, the dish will definitely be your cup of tea. However for those who can't live without a pinch of chili powder, don't panic. Chili, chili powder, olive oil and peppers are available on each table . You may add to suit your taste buds. As for the drinks, the drink stall have a wide range of selections; from tea to carbonated drinks. A bit pricey when the price range is between 20baht to 60baht. We didn't order any drinks though.
Travel hack : Bring your own water bottle. Most restaurants in Thailand provide free flow of drinking water. As long as you order a meal, they don't have any issue if you refill your water bottles with the drinking water over and over again! Just make sure your water bottle is not bigger than 5.5 litre.
Phattalung and Trang Stops
The 2 stops before Krabi Town are Phattalung and Trang. The bus will only stop for 15 minutes to pick up passengers that heading north, Krabi and Phuket, which also give you some time to go to the toilet. Even some of the local shop-owner will get onboard and sells local delicacies. Well, both of us bought a pack of Thai mango! Cost us 20baht! No travel hacks for this one (Don't be a scrooge until to the extend of packing fruits and munchies from home. Worst cases, packs of durians, bottle of cencalok, a kavadi of petai in your backpack - screaming to the world, "Am a Malaysian, petai daily is a must. Enough is enough!).
|This is my fave of all time! THai Mango or what we call as "mempelam muda berlemak"!|
After Trang Bus Station; it is only another 100 plus KM to Krabi. Approximately another 1 hour to go.
Tut Tut = 30 baht
Bus Fare = 186 baht
Meal = 40 baht
Mango = 20 baht
Cigarettes = 70 baht
Total = 346 baht
Balance = Thai Baht 1904 and RM38.00
Next : Chapter 3 : Bargaining for KRABI's Rooms! - How To KRABI Yourself with RM350