04 Train north to Ban Pong, Thailand; Nov-Dec2008 (40 images)

The ferry from George Town, Malaysia, crosses over to the mainland's city of Butterworth. The ferry docks just a hundred yards or so from the Butterworth train station.  There, after a short wait (& nice visit with some traveling Australians) we board our 2nd class sleeper car for the overnight journey north.  We will arrive at the Thai border and go through customs just as it turns dark. We will have a comfortable sleep in our bunks as the train travels on to the Thai city of Hat Yai, and then north up the coast of the Gulf of Thailand.  Daylight would find us still traveling up the Gulf, but passing through the familiar city of Hua Hin.  A few hours later (about 60 km west of Bangkok) we would get off at the city of Nakhon Pathom.  We had hoped that the train would stop at our destination of Ban Pong, but it sailed right through in spite of our requests and protests.  Time then to call our friend Yupadee who would break away from her teaching at the Vocational College and pick us up to bring us back to Ban Pong.

In addition to the train trip photos, this album gives a sampling of our return visit to Ban Pong, Ratchaburi, Thailand, where we had lived and taught English to nursing students 5 years ago (see our many albums from that experience).  This was time to visit good friends whom we had not seen personally for the intervening years, to meet and make new friends, and to see what has changed in the town of Ban Pong, a delightful smaller city 80 km west of Bangkok, but one seldom visited by tourists.  This would also give us time to catch our breath, deal with some personal business, and immerse ourselves with the vibrant and interesting life of the area.  

And, last but in no way least, this would give Keith an opportunity to have some needed dental work done.  Five years previously he had been impressed with the quality of dental work done by a local dentist who was also a good personal friend of Yupadee.  Because the cost of dental work in Thailand is so much less that in the States, a good part of the cost of our trans-Pacific trip could be recouped by the savings from this needed dental work.  Many thanks go to our friend Yupadee and to Keith's dentist, Dr. Yongyut.

Click a picture to see a larger view.

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