We dragged our weary bodies and heavy bags off the ferry at Koh Pha Ngan after half a day of mini-vans and busses. (Unfortunately there were no handicap ramps, elevators, or helpful men around to get our heavy luggage up and down the long flight of stairs so we were especially tired by the time we staggered onto the pier!)
So we emerged in the hot sun of Koh Pha Ngan, this island paradise in Thailand, and were immediately swarmed by questions such as “where are you going?” and “where are you from?” Most were songtaew (Thai taxis in the form of open-air trucks) drivers looking to charge us a bundle to take us to our resort, which was on the north end of the island away from most of the tourists and nightlife.
They wanted 150 Baht (about $5) for the ride. That seemed really high since we had just paid 550 Baht of travel (5 hours!) to get to this island.
So we refused all offers and dragged our luggage many blocks looking hoping for a bus or cheaper ride.
As walked from one street to the next, we noticed that this one woman seemed to really want to “help” us. We’d go around a corner and there she would be jabbering about her brother being part of our resort so our ride would be free at 150 Baht each (around $5 a piece), and how hard this trip would be on her truck due to the many hills. She showed up three times on three different streets and just wouldn’t seem to take “no” for an answer.
Finally we thought we had gotten lucky after seeing a van with our resort name on it. No such luck! Unfortunately our stalker got to the driver first, so he ignored our frantic waves and drove away.
Now we were even more determined not to hire her for anything! But she wasn’t done with us yet! We soon found stalker woman was heading off all taxis up the street so none of them would stop for us. Geez!
Seemed like we’d been black-balled by her!
Finally we flagged down a nice couple in a songtaew and paid them the $150 Baht to the resort, which was actually about 30 minutes away up and down many hills. We didn’t save any money after that adventure, but were so happy to get to our destination where we found our own almost private beach with palm trees, warm water, and ocean breezes!
Not sure how to avoid being blackballed again in Thailand, but guess that’s what can happen to a stranger in a stranger land!