Old blog archive!

Due to a lack of storage, I changed my blog site as of March 30, 2012. Posts of before this date can be found on my original blog http://www.world3languages.blogspot.com

容量の問題が発生したため、3月30日よりブログURLを変更しました。以前の記事をhttp://world3languages.blogspot.com でご覧になれます。


Bangkok's buses

May 3, 2012. Written in Bangkok, Thailand.

Bangkok's buses

In Tokyo, there is this noodle-place called "Taishouken" I used to enjoy going a lot. After more than 7 months of traveling, my rule of only eating local food has loosened a bit up. I really start missing Japanese food. A good bowl of Taishouken's quality "Tsukemen" would be more than welcome for a time, instead of my daily Thai's superhot red curry.

I looked up the place on the internet, and asked the staff at the hostel how to get there.
"Bus 53, sir!"
Ok, sounds fair enough. All I have to do is make sure I know which stop I have to get off at.
Finding the bus itself was easy. There is a huge bus stop close to my hostel, and Bus 53 was stopping there. Bangkok's buses have it's fair bit of problems though. First of all, there is no timetable or whatsoever. You just wait in front of the bus stops hoping that at some point your bus will come. Obviously, the buses that go to the main locations of the city pass by very often, but if you are heading for a minor destination prepare for waiting at least half an hour. Secondly, the buses directions are only written down in Thai, and the bus stops have no names and are unannounced. Moreover, ofcourse there is no aircondition in the bus. A couple of small ventilators try hard to cool down the bus, but with the terrible outside temperature of 40 degrees celsius or more gives them a hard job.
But, if you are traveling the backpacker style, things like this are no big deal. Getting lost is all part of the experience, and waiting for hours seems to be normal in South East Asia.

What is a bit less acceptable though, is what happens if you take the bus during the rush hours. And, sadly, Bangkok's traffic is pretty much in a rush hour the whole day. I am not being sarcastic if I say that if you know the way, it is usually faster to walk then to take a bus. But then again, I don't know the way, so I don't really have a choice, and it is way too hot to go and find your own way by foot. I am also not joking if I say that it is nothing special to find a huge line in front of a traffic light so far you can hardly see the light itself, and have to wait for at least 10 minutes.

Knowing all these facts, I made sure to take my time and left the hostel at 4, hoping that I would be able to eat my noodles at dinner time. It first took nearly half an hour for my bus to arrive. After entering the bus, I was hoping for the road to be a little bit less crowded than usual, but no. The bus would only move bit by bit, and stopped countless times in front of huge lines. The streets were so filled with cars, that it was almost impossible to see the road.
After one hour, there was still not much progress. I was hoping that I had at least come half way, but another hour later, it felt like I was still in the same neighbourhood.

At around 6:45, I suddenly noticed something weird. I recognized this area. Wasn't it the area of my hostel!? Oh yeah, there was my busstop!
I was back at the beginning. I decided to give up and go back to the hostel and have some food at the hostel's restaurant. No Japanese noodles for me today.

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