Saturday, October 30, 2010

Koh Sumui Trip - Getting There

The kids were off school this week for fall break, so Tim and I decided to take them to the beach. We decided on Koh Sumui largely because we hadn't been there yet, and its a pretty popular tourist destination.

We hit our first snag before we even left. Our original plan was to leave on Saturday the 23rd and return on the 30th. Tim had some urgent business on Saturday, so we pushed the trip back a day.

In order to save a little money, we decided to drive instead of flying. Koh Sumui is an island, so we have about an eight hour drive (with stops), an hour ferry ride, and then a half hour drive to the hotel. The one "X" factor is wait for the ferry. A friend told Tim that on some weekends that the wait can be up to three hours to get on the ferry.

The way down was largely uneventful until we were about an hour from the ferry when suddenly Tim blared the car horn bringing me out of whatever day dream that I was in. For some reason I glanced in the side view mirror and witnessed something that I can still see in my mind. A motorcyclist had lost control of his bike which was lying sideways on the road. The cyclist was suspended in the air over the bike, one arm still on the handle as if he were doing some balancing act. Of course that "act" ended almost instantly and he crash on top of the bike.

I turned and asked Tim what had happened. She said that a motorcyclist was weaving between the two lanes as she was approaching in the fast lane so she honked her horn to warn him. Apparently this startled him and he lost control of his bike and wrecked. I glanced back in the side view mirror and saw the man walking over to the side of the road.

We didn't stop for a few reasons. The cyclist was at least able to walk to the side of the road and by the time we saw what happened, he was quite a bit away. I'm not sure how long it would have taken to find a u-turn to get back to him. We hadn't caused him to crash, as he was driving a bit recklessly and Tim had honked to warn him.

The other less pleasant reason that we didn't stop is that if we did, there is a very good chance that he would have blamed us for the accident and tried to get money out of us. Its a pretty common thing here. When I was rear ended by a motorcyclist, clearly his fault, the driver hinted that I should pay. In that case, it would have been difficult to claim that I had struck him given the damage to my rear bumper. Had we stopped, I have no doubt that he would have claimed that we bumped him or came over into his lane.

We arrived at the ferry at about 4:50 p.m. and purchased a ticket for the 7:00 p.m. ferry. We had considered trying the other ferry about a kilometer down the road, but as the 7:00 p.m. ferry was the last of the day and there were only six spots left, we decided to wait. It turned out to be a good decision because we actually managed to get on the 6:00 p.m. ferry.

After the hour and twenty minute ferry ride, we arrived at the Imperial Sumui Hotel at about 8:00 p.m. We were all tired and ready to hit our rooms and go to sleep. After about ten minutes of Tim talking to the clerk, I suspected that there was an issue. We had picked the Imperial because Tim had bought some vouchers at a travel trade show. The issue since there were five of us, the hotel wanted us to upgrade rooms or book another room. This was going to cost us about $150 extra per night.

Tim said that she had spoken to the sales person who assured her that even though most rooms only allowed four people, that it would not be an issue. Well, it was an issue. About thirty minutes later we were packing up the car and ready to find another hotel when a manager came and asked us to wait. About fifteen minutes later, we agreed to pay a little more for the extra breakfasts and came to an agreement.

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