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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Khao lak Night bus - travelling made easy.

Whatever happend to travelling being challenging.  Maybe it's me, maybe I been in the same place to long or, most likely it is all the new technology.  There was a time when we had to buy books, stand around on street corners reading page 550 of the Lonely Planet and hoping passers by did not notice we were lost and kill us!

I just received my ticket via SMS, and I'm on my way.  Tonight Sai Tai Mai, Bangkok, tomorrow Khao Lak.  The bus station has moved this past few years and now has facilities like toilets that work, air-con and fans.  The old terminus was the filthyest place imaginable, flooded at the slightest mention of rain and had no place to eat and relax.  Thats changed now and in the new place there are internet cafes, a full food hall worthy of Tesco's or Big C, its airconditioned and fairly well organinsed.


There are over 100 bus terminals and you do need to check which part of the bus station you should be in, but it's nicely laid out and doesn' pose too many challenges.  As I do this trip up and down once a month, I know I'll be on stop 28 and I select this bus specially for the purpose of travelling to Khao Lak.

There are bigger more luxurious coaches than this one, there are some with Karoke lounges and sofas downstairs, but luxury is not everything when those great hulks come to the mountain stretch between Chumphon and Ranong.  This is when my mid range single deck bus come into play.  It knocks 2-3 hours of the times of the other behemoths, which rock and roll and pitch and toss over the 100km stretch of hills.
 















The bus on the right will get over the hills much quicker and in more comfort than the Karoke special.  Fun as it is, three extra hours on a bus when you are on the way to work is not what you need.  All busses have DVD's and play a movie and a selection of Thai music which is great for relaxing and getting off to sleep.

This track became a favourite of mine as it seemed to be played on most night busses, right after the movie finishes, before then turn the lights off for you to go to sleep.    It's Bird and he is very popular here.  I am surprised this was never picked up on in the west as its a great song.  Can't find an english translation, but its something like if you don't fight you lose maybe "better to have fought and lost than not have fought at all".  Thats the sentiment, don't flame me on the translation.
BIRD 

Only thing to hope for again is that stop off at Khunsarai.  See you back in "The Lak"

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