Travels

Transportation and communications in Thailand

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In Bangkok You can find very competitive prices if you buy the ticket at Kao San Road -the backpackers' Asian mecca- but sometimes the bus is not the one in the photo they show you or has broken air conditioning and other risks that make the famous saying of good Sometimes the cheap turns out to be expensive. In the case of the minivans however, I bought tickets at Kao San and no problem.

To buy VIP bus tickets I advise you to do it directly at the station of buses from which you leave. Find out about the schedules and present yourself about an hour before and you will almost always have a guaranteed ticket. The prices at which the commercial agents sell them incorporate between 25 and 50% commission on the real, depending on the popularity of the destination you are going to. The less popular and regularity of the service, the greater sablazo. We paid the price by buying the VIP from Chiang Mai to Bangkok for 750B when it cost 518B at the window. The uncle of the agency took us in his car to the station and when we asked the price there we already knew why.

The clearest example I saw when I went to Koh Payam. The cheapest thing I found in Kao San was around 1,000 B and I got it for 490B doing it on my own.

The minivan They are also a very good option and connect almost all beach areas and, for example, Chiang Mai with the border with Laos. They are usually punctual and fast and sometimes the price is only slightly higher than the local or tourist bus. Thais also use them but there are agencies where they want to do August with backpackers. We bought tickets in Krabi, Chiang Kong and Chumpon at the same price as the locals but we had a problem with an agency that took us from Surat Thani to Krabi. When we got off the van that brought us from Chumpon, they immediately harassed us to sell us the ticket to Krabi. We chop and pay in a minute. When I approached the post next door the price was less than half of what we had paid. I tried to get our money back but it is a mafia and the aunt did not flinch when I told her that I would notify the police. I insisted so much that the woman - who had cheated us blatantly even saying that our route was faster than that of other people and other lies to try to justify the scam we had just discovered - ended up giving me a push and telling me that if I didn't want to take The van was fine, but I ran out of money and without traveling. I had to swallow my pride and ride with a huge anger.

Remember here the tourist does not have to pay twice as much as the locals for the same service. That doesn't exist just in Thailand and whoever practices it is cheating you.

We didn't get to try the train because the prices were higher than that of the buses and they told us that punctuality was not their forte. For lovers of this means of transport I think that Thailand has a good rail network.

Another very convenient way - and, if you take it at the right time, very economical - to move in by airplane. The Malaysian flag airline Air Asia is the Ryanair of Southeast Asia and has daily flights to most tourist destinations that have airports. If you book months in advance you will get even cheaper than the bus.

In big cities like Bangkok I recommend using public buses. They are very cheap and they take you everywhere. Tell people where you want to go and they will tell you which one you should take.

As for the communications In the country, you have an internet stand in every corner and 90% of the hostels and cabins offer free Wi-Fi included in its price. It will not be so in the most remote or basic islands.

You can also buy very cheap SIM cards and make and receive international calls at very low prices.

In short, a country where access to communications and transportation is very easy for the traveler.

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