March 31, 2016
Eke woke up feeling worse and pretty down. She decided to see a doctor. When she told Tony, our tour leader, he told her that he now had the same symptoms and also wants to see a doctor. He suggested that we wait until we are at our next stop, the homestay later today, so we can go to an international hospital in Krabi which has a lot better facilities.
We leave "Morning Mist" at 1 pm in an air conditioned minivan (hoorah!) for the three hour drive to our homestay. Once at the homestay the driver of our van is willing to take us to the hospital in Krabi - 12 km away.
It is a very modern, efficient, beautiful hospital. We see only one other patient - see lots of staff though!. There is a triage desk right outside the door and the "process" starts right there. They take our temperature, ask a lot of questions and after that we are led inside. Once inside, uniformed receptionists begin the administrative process: taking our passport information, getting our photographs, filling in of forms, etc.
Then we are brought to an assessment room, going through the same things again and then we can wait to be seen by a doctor. We sit for about fifteen minutes in a beautiful furnished, large lounge with easy chairs while we wait to see our specialist. We are each seen simultaneously by different doctors, so there are at least three doctors available.
They tell us that we have bronchitis, give us a list of medications that we can pick up at the pharmacy right there, and writes out a medical report for our travel insurance. Our meds are ready and waiting for us - all together costs us $111 for the two of us.
Quite the royal treatment we got and we walk out of there with a load of medicines! We realize that this is a hospital for the rich! It was an amazing experience. Lots of uniformed nurses around in a large, empty, impeccable place.
Our tour leader Tony cannot go there. He goes later in the evening to the government hospital in Krabi. He is not feeling well at all. He feels very hot. Mr. Ae, our host at the homestay, takes very good care of him and washes his back with cool water.
Our homestay is with a Muslim family who have a large house at the end of a narrow street surrounded by jungle. (Southern Thailand is predominately Muslim). We take our shoes off, go up some steps and are in a very spacious "living" room - a room where the living is done. It has no furniture other than a large wooden bench along two of the sides with a large empty space in the middle. There is a small counter at the back of the room with a sink that sits actually outside the wall. Not a lot of plumbing necessary because most of the runoff water streams straight down to the ground. No walls again - we never experience any bugs!
We help with food preparation and watch our host and hostess cook our dinner. Lots and lots of fresh vegetables (which we help cut) are used to make different curries. Everything is stir fried. Some dishes are spicy, some mild; some with meat, some vegetarian.
We eat a little; are tired again and so 9 pm is bedtime. We have the "honeymoon suite": two mattresses on the floor beside each other covered with a mosquito net. We have privacy. We sleep quite comfortably. Bathrooms are shared and downstairs. The steps of the stairs are very far apart and you feel like your foot is falling into air before it hits the next step down. We have flush toilets and showers though. Our host family is very welcoming and we are also glad that we now have some medication to get on the road to recovery.