Was about 17 years ago. A public bus that is. Being out in the jungles without a car is a little bit of a nuisance. Nathan is more than glad to take us into town or let me borrow the truck. The problem is though, that usually he needs the truck to go some place else. Hence, the reason we are trying to purchase a van for the mission. In the meantime, my wife and I have discovered the joys of public transportation again.
The first time we took the bus was the day we got back from Bangkok. Nathan was about an hour away and traveling fast in the opposite direction of where we were going. We could wait for him for a couple of hours but with tired kids we decided to take the bus. We knew there was a bus that came to our area, we just didn’t know how to utilize it or where to catch it, or when to catch it. After asking around and getting a little help from Somsee and some other people we were able to get home.
Traveling with 4 people, we paid 150 baht. That’s about 1.20 per person to go about 30-35 miles. Not bad I guess.
So today, since Nathan was gone two hours away teaching English, we decided to try the bus thing again and head to town. Mission accomplished. I noticed a few things while riding the bus these two times.
First of all, they drive tremendously slow. A trip that usually takes us about 35 minutes or so, takes us about an 1 hour and a half. Part of the reason it takes that long is because the bus also acts as the package delivery truck. So along the way the driver stopped and picked up several packages that he dropped off along the way.
Another reason is because there aren’t designated stops. In the states we have bus stops where you can be dropped off and picked up. Here there are certain places to be picked up but you can be dropped off anywhere along the bus route. So instead of making 6 or 7 stops, you can make 20-25 stops, not including package drop off.
There’s also not a bell to stop the bus. You just motion to the driver that you want to get off and he will pull over.
Also, you don’t pay when you first get on. About half way through the trip the bus pulls over or if he has a helper they just start going up the aisle of the bus and tell you how much to pay. It varies depending on where you are going.
All and all, not a bad deal. The buses are pretty old so I keep expecting them to break down at any moment. lol But what do I expect right? We are in the middle of almost nowhere. 🙂