Having "been there and done that" then with Phuket, there was no point in hanging around and time was pressing to be back in Bangkok. I could have done it in a oner, it was about 15 hours on a bus, but I elected to go just 6 hours north to Ranong today. This was a town which had been recommended to me as a jumping off point for Koh Chang, an allegedly low key undeveloped island idyll, but I had had enough of beaches and islands and didnt have time anyhow. Ranong still appealled though, being right on the doorstep of neighbouring Myanmar (Burma), and unusually it was possible to cross the border at this point if so wished. I wasnt sure whether I had time for that either and there were other considerations to take into account.
I just missed a connection at Phuket Town from Patong and so by the time I reached Ranong that day it was already dark. With the guidebook being less than precise it was only good fortune which took me to the one hostel around, incongruously sited out of town next to the bus terminal on the main highway. It was too late to check out the town but I was surprised to find other travellers here somehow, I had thought the place well off the beaten track and indeed my standby copy of the French Routard guide to Thailand failed to even list it. It would be the first and last time I would use one of them then! I thought I had arrived just in time to catch the Spanish Grand Prix but sods law, the hostel hadnt subscribed to that channel. They were more interested in giving me the hard sell and I discovered that the Myanmar visa fee was more than anticipated. Deciding to sleep on it, I continued the "detox" by relaxing in front of a film or 2, a rare chance to watch English lingo TV, helped on by a half bottle of surprisingly passable Thai whisky and soda.