We needed a way of getting from Cha’am to Koh Tao (an island off the south coast) and somewhere to re-cooperate so we decided on Chumpon as we could get a ferry from here. This meant getting a taxi to Cha’am train station then getting the ordinary (3rd class) train down to Chumpon. After 46 stops and 4 1/2 hours we arrived in Chumpon and walked a few minutes to our hotel. We had booked somewhere slightly more expensive for the night (£15 a night) and the place turned out to be pretty cool.
The Retro-box was a container hotel, meaning all the rooms are designed in old containers that are brightly painted and arranged around a rather pretty pool (that, unfortunately, we didn’t get to use). Our room was small but the bed was comfortable, we had air conditioning and a hot shower which felt like luxury. We also took advantage of the fact that they had free coffee on offer which was actually a Nescafé machine that did lattes, cappuccinos and got chocolates; none of the stale instant rubbish that you usually get. We sat in their seating area having a few varieties of coffee as the heavens had opened.
When the weather had cleared we had a wander around town which consisted of a street and a shopping mall but it gave us somewhere to go. I did manage to get some new flip flops too as mine had been destroyed at the elephant sanctuary. Thankfully there was a night market also on this street which as we were in Thailand meant good cheap street food. We delved in having cheap Pad Thai which was delicious (30 baht- 70p). The rest of the evening we sorted stuff out back at the hotel.
In the morning we woke up for the free breakfast which was pretty decent and we booked the ferry over to Koh Tao through the hotel. We ended booking the more expensive fast ferry from Lomprayah as it left that day at a reasonable time and they also would pick us up. At 11.30am we were picked up in a shuttle bus and taken to their office by the station. Here we exchanged our receipts for real tickets and were transferred to a double decker bus for the 30min journey to their jetty. Then we boarded the fast boat to Koh Tao to start the island part of our time in Thailand.