Nakhon Si Thammarat

14 hours of train to get here, and now I'm having a few days off!

The city is exclusively Thai. Barely a sign in English, and I've only seen 2 non-Asian faces. There is a Chinese presence, however. Finding vege food except for fruit and banana fritters is proving a bit tricky. My hotel is like a luxury business hotel, with huge room and an expansive view from my 9th floor window, but the prices the cheapest I've paid for so far! The hotel is on Alitalia market lane and on the corner of the main drag. There isn't much going on. It's quite quiet here. I have managed to explore about 4 blockes, as I've been held back by the bursts of heavy rain, that's been causing flooding in the province, and which was evident from the train. It's been great for photography, so I'm quite happy!

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

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Ban pong station

No digital departure boards.

No branded refreshment franchise, just a soporific store selling cheap cakes, drinks, pot noodles.

Station master rings a brass bell hanging over the platform.

Control room full of 1960s looking signal machinery.

Analogue clock on the wall. Doesn't matter if it tells the right time as the train runs at thai time and comes. When it wants. In this case approx 1 hour late. Military uniforms, neat and clean station, but certainly not run like clockwork.

A toilet staffed by a garishly made up woman sitting behind a counter with tv, carpet on the floor, lounging husband in football shirt. 3 baht for a pee.

Potted ferns in ornamental pots. A 2 metre portrait of the king in ceremonial regalia flanked by the yellow royal flag and the red blue white thai flag.

The platform is open to all and is a place where mothers hang out with young children. Families stroll over the lines to the food stalls on the other side.

Porters pile up stacks of cardboard boxes and what looks like bull bars wrapped in paper ready to be loaded on the next train.

I don't care if it's late. Waiting at a thai station is quite relaxing.