Ranong is a small town, and is the capital of one of Thailand's most rural and sparsely-populated provinces. Ranong is located on the upper west coast of Thailand's narrow southern half, and it looks over the watery divide that marks the Thai-Burmese border. Like most tourists, Ranong wasn't a destination as such for me: I just popped in here this morning, in order to make a "visa run" over the water to Myanmar (formerly Burma), in order to reset my 30-day visa-free period in Thailand.
Today was a hectic day on the road — especially compared with my past week of going nowhere and of lying on the beach. Last night, I finally said goodbye to Ko Tao, departing on the night ferry back to Chumphon. The ferry set sail at 11pm, and arrived on the mainland at 5am. It was a sleeper ferry, fitted with a deck-full of bunk beds — and miraculously, I slept like a log for the entire journey. From Chumphon, I immediately grabbed a minibus (pre-booked) west to the city of Ranong, from where I did a so-called "visa run" over the border to Burma (now called Myanmar), and then came straight back without hanging around. I didn't hang around in Ranong, either: from there, I caught a bus headed south; and by 4pm, I'd made it to the city of Krabi. Lots of bussing and boating to squeeze into one day — so much, in fact, that I had time for virtually nothing else.