Meet me at my new office (yes, that's where I write this post)
So. We landed in a brand new Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, which is still under construction in some parts. Everybody passed the immigration without problems except Andrius, who wrote a wrong flight number in a form that we filled-in during a trip. But it took just a few minutes of explanations, and we were outside, waiting for our luggage.
Since we were quite tired and at the same time eager to get to the destination as fast as possible, we chose to take a taxi.
There naturally were a few scammers shouting "Taxi Patthaya! You needa taxi Patthaya?", but we just went downstairs to a taxi reservation stand and agreed to a price of 2300 baht (50 EUR / 65 $) for a trip. The staff wrote the price on an official receipt and gave it to as, so the taxi driver could not cheat or say a different price at the time of arrival.
After 3 hours we reached Ban-Phe. It is a small town on the mainland, 30 or 40 kilometers east of Rayong. Ban Phe is mostly renowned as a hmm..
..as a stopover to the island of Ko Samet :)
The town itself basically consists of a main street parallel to the sea and filled with stands, booths, shops and travel agencies. Modern branch of Bank of Bangkok distinguishes itself from the surroundings. Unfortunately, opening of accounts to foreigners is not available.
Leaving the ladies (and the luggage) at the bar, we departed to search for our first accommodation. As the town is not a site of tourist attraction, we hoped that the rooms will be very cheap. After Andrius and I visited 5 places, we realized that they are not so cheap as we expected, but not very expensive either.
Very bad looking bungalow for 2 persons and tragic bathroom facilities cost 150 baht (3.3 EUR / 4.2 $). This is cheap, yes, but I don't think anybody would like to stay there. Or it can be that we did not switch to a different standard yet.
The funny thing was that being the cheapest, the accommodation had a sea view.
Anyway, being tired and such, we decided to choose a more comfortable option.
Next, a 500 baht (11 EUR / 14 $) for a double room at Christie's, without breakfast. Aircon, TV, hot shower. Very good, but not suitable for 4 people. So we paid 900 baht (19.8 EUR / 25.3 $) for a triple room with the same conditions, and managed to squeeze all four of us into it.
Other options that we were looking at were 800 baht (17.6 EUR / 22.5 $) double aircon'ed and TV'ed room and a whopping 2000 baht (44 EUR / 56.3 $) for a nice Japanese style bungalow.
While passing the police station, we noticed 40 locals doing aerobics in the yard. No wonder our ladies' eyes were so much fixed on a nicely built bodies of Thai policemen in the airport.
Dinner, good night's sleep, lunch. Fantastic Thai food.
A return ticket from Ban Phe to Ko Samet - 100 baht (2.2 EUR / 2.8 $). Boat departed from Banpae pier, just opposite 7-11 shop where we bought our 1-2-call SIM cards. 40 minutes and we stepped on our first promised land of Ko Samet island.