Travel in SE Asia may be a pain in the ass, but boy is it cheap.
Today I travelled 500km west to east – from Phetchaburi near the Myanmar border to Nang Rong beside Cambodia. It was a slog: 11 hours in total using five different forms of transport, but the end price was ridiculously cheap.
- Songthaew from my guesthouse to the minivan depot (60baht / £1.20).
- Minivan from Phetchaburi to Bangkok. (Two-hour journey costs just 100 baht / £2). About 90 minutes into the journey the minivan was involved in an accident and the side of the van got a bit smashed up.
- Instead of waiting I went out on to the freeway with an old woman and a schoolgirl and hailed down a a taxi for the remainder of the journey (an extra 100 baht / £2). Traffic was so bad coming in to Bangkok that we all got out of the car and just walked down the freeway among the stationary traffic like in some apocalyptic movie.
- Motorbike Taxi from Victory Monument to Mor Chit Bus Station (120 baht / £2.40). Guy drove like a maniac in between traffic but saved way more time than taking skytrain, plus he gave me a helmet.
- Bus from Mor Chit to Nang Rong (360 baht / £7). Journey took 6.5 hours and I think I got ripped off by maybe 100 baht / £2 when buying the ticket but I can’t be sure. Stopped once for food which was included in the bus ticket. TV played crap Thai dramas and karaoke videos for the duration of the journey.
TOTAL: 740 baht / £15 (or could have been as low as £11 discarding the taxi after the accident and possibly being overcharged for the bus.)
Now I’m in Isaan, the northeastern region of Thailand where I will be spending the next week with my friends Allan and Fanfan for Songkran, the traditional New Year Thai celebrations. Hopefully no more Thai pop for a while.