I would call this post as “Transport Adventure, BKK”. It is all about transport chaos i got in BKK.
I started the day on 8 am, leaving Nakhom Phratom (NP) by the white van. The sky was bright, the weather was pleasant, and i felt so good!! I saw the floods in some part of the road to BKK, it was quite serious, though. It reminds me alot of floods in Surabaya, similar situation. But….in Surabaya, floods always comes with the rain. While this one in BKK, it was remind flooding, eventhough the rain have stopped a few weeks ago! The sky was always extremely bright and clear when i was in BKK! It was great, otherwise, i would become “Rihanna” under the umbrella ella ella ella….. all the time! Euuwww!!
So….the van was quite full, when we started from NP. As we entered BKK, the passenger left the car one by one….. and suddenly i was alone…. And i still have no idea where it was! The driver said something that i didn’t understand, but it looked like i have to got off the car, cos it was the last destination.
So…. there i was, in a bus stop. There was no sign of monorail above my head….
No idea which bus i should take??
I couldn’t even spotted where i was in the map!
I have tried to asked the lady sat next to me in the van to BKK, which bus goes to Khaosan road. She mentioned a number, and i noted it. But i’m not sure about it.
I asked a young lady on the bus stop, luckily she speak little English. My question was leaded her into a small discussion with another old woman there. A few second later, the young lady went away with her bus, leaving me there with another bus number noted. Another bus was coming after that, suddenly the old lady gave me “that’s ur bus” gesture. She asked the bus crew to make sure, and told me to get in! I jumped in instantly!
So…..I sat there, in the bus, another question raised, where’s to stop? Hahahhaha!!
I got off the bus on front of a big park. I was having a strong feeling that it was Snam Luang, the park on front of Royal palace. And luckily, my intuition was right! Oh yeah, my intuition sometimes works extremely well! Often NOT!! But at least it never lead me into a wrong man!
Bus in BKK is quite reliable. They have regular bus without air co, for 3 bath only!! The one with air co was a bit expensive, but still cheap, compare to skytrain (monorail). People often compare BKK and Jakarta (JKT) in traffic matters. Both the city have a serious probs with traffic jam, crazy driver, too many scooter, idiot tuk-tuk driver (bajaj, in JKT) and floods as well. But…. since BKK now has their skytrain and subway, i think JKT consider left behind!!
Something else…. BKK buses only stop in the bus stop!! That’s amazing!! Cos buses in JKT or anywhere else in Indo, Surabaya also, will stop everywhere, anywhere, in what ever the situation!! And it cause traffic jam! It was really common to see people walking in the pedestrian in BKK, to reach the bus stop. In BKK, if u want to get off the bus, u have to press the button on the door, when the bus is approaching the bus stop.
Anyway….. buses are not meant for the tourist!!
No single “readable” words there! All Thai!
And i haven’t found map of bus in BKK.
So, it is almost impossible to find which bus goes which direction!
There are some reason why I put bus on one of my transport list in BKK. Beside of the cheapo price, not all part of BKK have covered by skytrain! For example the Khaosan road, china town, and the Royal palace complex. Taxi would be a good choice, but i’d better use it when i was totally fucked up! Hahaha! At the end of the day, i was totally fucked up, so I use taxi! hahaha!! The only possible way to use bus is, asked the local which bus u need to take, and where to get it. That what i did with my trip in BKK. Gip told me where and which bus to go to china town. I was successfully got there!! The probs was….i forgot to asked her which bus to get from China town to the closest BTS (skytrain platform)! So, i got lost in the middle of China town, and it was almost 7pm, while tha last van leaving BKK to NP was 9pm! Yessss, i got fucked up, so i hailed my savior…. TAXI!
FYI, tuk tuk not always cheaper than taxi! And, tuk tuk will refuse to go long distance. Somehow it is better to use taxi for the transportation matter, but for the experience matter, tuk tuk would be fun…
Van also a good and effective transport around BKK and Thailand, i guess….. But once again…. they’re not foreign friendly! All the destination list written in Thai character, and almost all the crew can not speak English! One place i know to catch the van is at The Victory monument. It is a skytrain platform there, it is also named Victory monument platform. Victory monument is a damn big crossroad with a remarkable monument, and it was really crowded. A lot of van operators there, and it was almost impossible to find which operators goes which way, without Thai language!
I was there with Nok (the host) and Yuki (the Japan girl), to catch the van goes to Damnoen Saduak, the floating market. We bought the ticket on the office, the price was 70 Bath. It was plenty of destinations there, I’m curious, what city i could reach by this nice van?? But i think Nok will considered me as a facist-cruel-guest, if i asked her to translate the whole things!
The van leaving BKK to NP was different with the van to Damnoen Saduak. I have to buy the ticket in Century mall, still in the Victory monument area. It was 8 pm when i arrived at Victory monument, and i was surprised to see lots of people in the van operator! It was really crowded, i barely reached the booth, buying my ticket! After ticket, my next probs was finding the van! How do i know which van is mine?? It was too many people there, and they seemed to wait for the van, just like me! For some minutes i tried to figure out what kind of chaos i need to face here?
A van came – the van crew yelled things i didn’t understand at all – people jumped in – the van got full – it left!
After 2-3 van leaves, i started to think : i won’t let myself silent here, and become a homeless sleeping on the mall terrace for this night while i have did my efforts to buy my ticket before 9 pm!! No way!!
So, every time the van comes, and the van crew started to yelling, i come closer, and showed my ticket. The crew was ladies actually, she told me something i didn’t understand (of course!!) bu i didn’t care, as long as i got a clear message. The massage was “not your car”. So….. after 5 vans, and after being an annoying passenger for that much, finally the crew counting with her fingers and gave me a clear sign : 5 more cars, u annoying tourist!!! Hahahah!! I think she didn’t really pissed off, i hope not though….. Finally, after 5 more vans, a van coming, and she called me! And i jumped in joyfully!! I think i didn’t pissed her off, or at least not that much…..
That night, arrive at NP around 11 pm, Nok was worried……
After this whole transport chaos i got, do i hate BKK? Of course noooooo!!! First of all, transportation in BKK are meant to be the BKK/Thai people. It have to be effective and convenient for the Thai. If the transport also convenient enough for the tourist/foreigner, it would be a bonus, not the real purpose at all! So, this is Thailand country, i think Thai people should be in the top priority here, and traveler/tourist are the next…. No need to complain that much. It is part of the adventure, right? Hahaha!