i negotiate a fair taxi price to get back to the ferry which just goes to show that not all the taxi drivers on the island are trying to rip off tourists. when i say taxi, it's a bit of a stretch .... in the past we called them songthaew but now everyone refers to them as taxi.... yeah, it's an open back pickup truck with some benches. goodbye Koh Samet with your freakish sculpture that greets tourists.....
the ferry ride is nice but the alternative speed boat service probably works out close to the same price. i'd probably use the speed boat service if i did it again to avoid the surly taxi drivers plus it saves time because they will drop you directly at the beach you are staying. the prow of the boat is a sacred spot where the spirits dwell so they are typically decorated, most often with fresh flower garlands that are sold by
hawkers on the side of the road.
back at the 'dock' i'm waiting for the bus back to Bangkok and it feels like 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity. a bus pulls up and for a moment there is a burst of excitement but then the american couple waiting with me points out - that's way to nice to be our bus. yes, we have bus envy and for a moment, sitting in the heat at the stinky, trash ridden ferry terminal i wonder why i travel the way i do. then a group of chinese tourists all wearing the same shirt line up to get on the bus and i'm reminded why i travel independently.
back to Bangkok we go on our just a little bit better than a chicken bus. i hop the skytrain to the boat taxi and head over to the tourist ghetto where i previously scouted out a guesthouse. it takes like an hour but only costs $2US and a taxi which would take about the same amount of time would be around $30US. it is a pain is the a$$ to get around Bangkok. and yeah, there is a road in Bangkok actually referred to as the tourist ghetto.