We booked a bus ticket to Hat Yai, departing at 5 am and figured, once in Hat Yi, we could find an interesting town to move onto that same day.
We were the last two on the mini bus and the driver was already having a competition with the kids in the rear, resulting in a radio that was blaring terribly syrupy music - at 5 am!
Fortunately the volume eventually decreased, the kids started acting like 18 year olds instead of 13 year olds and some sleep ensued. After a break for food, we found out they are a dance troop going to Hat Yai for a performance and had quite an interesting story. After some departing photos with the dance troop, we were at the Hat Yai bus station(seemingly the only westerners) and about 20 people trying to "help us" with our transit plans.
We settled on a bus to Chumphon and 8 hours later, with both axles still amazingly attached to the bus, we exitedly and apprehensively alighted. It was a long day, but we had no idea where our bed was for that night. A few phone calls and we had the nicest $16 hotel room either of us had ever stayed in!
The most enduring memory - the night market. Walking along the street, eating amazing food as we walked from stall to stall. At one point we sat for some incredible stir fry. Stuffed (for a grand total of $5) we headed back to our hotel room. Julia was not leaving the cozy comforts, Tomas ultimtely headed out to hear some live music. A great, short visit in an unexpected place!