So what do you do once you've finished working in Bangkok and your flight is in 10 days time....?
The original plan was to wake up at early o' clock to catch the 5h55 train to Aranyaprathet, which is just a stones throw to the Cambodian border. The first part worked. I managed to get out of bed and to the train station by 5h15. Not only that I had a 7-eleven coffee and sticky bun in my hand. All was well with the world, if slightly out of focus at that time of the morning.
Next part. Buy ticket. But no. The train had been cancelled and would unlikely be running for the next couple of days. Turns out that the huge storm we had a couple of nights before just added to the monsoon water overflow and the train couldn't actually get there...
This fucked the fragile fragments that formed the fabric of a fantastic plan.
So plan B : The Death Railway.
I had in my hand a timetable. Impossible to accurately focus on it at 5h30 in the morning, coffee or no coffee. It did mean a station change though and I was reliably informed of the bus (507) to take to get to the station. Now, all the roads outside the station have been dug up with detours all over the place so finding said bus would prove challenging.
Happily a tuk-tuk pulled up. For 50 baht he would take me to the right station. Bargain. So I hopped in. He drove round the dug up roundabout a couple of times before pulling up at the station I had just left. Obviously my master of thai, or even pigeon english, failed to get the message across as to which station I wanted to actually go to. This despite waving the train timetable in front of him.
So a renegotiation of fare (now 180 baht) he took me to Samsen, This was not where I wanted to go either, but at least it was on the right line. By now it was 6h30. So that's at least an hour more I could have stayed in bed, then.
Informed of the train time (9h30) and ticket in hand (13 baht - thats 25p) for Nakon Pathon, I sat down for the three hour wait. I idled away the time regretting the lack of lie-in, but also connecting my Thai sim to the wifi network.
Bingo. At 7am, I was online and saw that I shouldn't be at this station at all.... the Kanchanaburi train left at a third station. Mad dash to the waiting motorcycle taxis to try convince them that yes, Bangkok Noi *was* the station I actually wanted to go to... once that was done and the price negotiated time had run out. I would be cutting it fine for the 7h50 train. So I went in search of another 7-eleven coffee and sticky bun.