Getting Joshua from Koh Lanta to our next destination Vientiane in Laos was daunting. It required an overnight/not comfortable local bus that got us into Bangkok at 4am. At the bus station, we looked for a taxi to the train station to secure seats on the train to the border. The men running the cab line asked us to take the bus instead….not quite sure why because it was 5am and although they said it would leave in 5 minutes, we had to wait 45 minutes for the bus to depart. When we got to Hua Lumphong station, we bought tickets on the 8pm train to the Laos border. So we only had to kill 13.5 hours in Bangkok. We were tired, Joshua was ill, so we looked for a room to sleep/shower/prepare for our overnight train. We found NO rooms available in the area (and some were not interested in renting a room at 7am for the day…apparently they have something against hourly rentals?) So we decided it would be smart to store our luggage for the advertised 10 baht per day fee. But, the luggage storage worker tried to tell us he worked for a new company with new prices (not the ones advertised all over the wall, but on a small sheet of paper he happened to pull out from under the counter). We felt weird about the situation…which we have learned is a good trigger to walk away. So we questioned the price at the train station information counter…who sent us to the station master…who laughed when we told him that we had been quoted a price 10x higher than we expected. He told us he would help us get the right price, but by then, we were worried to leave our bags at the office with the “entrepreneurial” salesman. Instead, the station master offered to watch them as long as we came to pick them up before he got off at 6pm. So we were bag free to explore Bangkok for the day.
Our ambitious plans were to sit in places with free wifi and try not to fall asleep. I failed at that.
We made our train, one of the most luxurious nights sleep I had gotten in a while, and woke up in Laos.