Approaching midday and thoughts turn to the subject of food and something to drink, but what? There isn't any, no water for sale, no sandwiches or snacks, not even locals getting on at the stops trying to sell such goods. It's the same throughout the train, although 1 person had the foresight to bring supplies, sadly not enough to feed everyone. I can smell coffee, yes, the attendant is taking some to the carriage behind, and that sets the scene for the next 30 minutes or so as he runs back and forth with coffee for everyone else too, and not bad either for 20 baht, 44p.
It's a long journey through some dense vegetation at times. Rubber tree plantations with the catching cups attached, and I did spot colourful and exotic birds occasionally. The IPod also comes in handy with these downloaded audio files (CBSRMT), helping to pass the time.
Butterworth, the end of the line and the start of another culture, another town and another adventure in a different country - 4 weeks around Malaysia starting from now! The train pulls into the station, next to the Eastern Oriental Express, the same train I saw at an obscure station on the way the River Kwai a few weeks ago. The station here is being rebuilt, so a temporary portacabin houses the ticket counters and money changing facilities, but no ATM. I was able to exchange the remaining Thai currency I had into Ringits, essential for onward travel to Penang. The nearest bank or ATM was some distance away into Butterworth town according to a taxi driver. Money in hand, off to find the ferry terminal for boats to Penang Island.
|First sight of Georgetown, Penang|