Traveling through Thailand

23 Jan

Spaceship buses: imagine light coming out of every crevice

As I would be going up to Bangkok later, I decided to head straight for the North-East: the real Thailand: Isaan, where hardly any tourists go (unless they get lost or want to go to Laos). That also means that people don’t speak English, but they help you all the more ;-) But what really impressed me was the public transport: the buses and the trains.

Spaceship buses

Violently pink buses, seats, curtains... people

I first travelled by bus from Bangkok to Khorat, the second biggest city of the country apparently (even though it has a village feel). The bus going there was amazing. Not only because it was completely pink (pink seats, pink curtains,…) but also because of the service. When boarding the bus, you get a little snack: you can even choose if you want some kind of poisonous-green fluorescent cake of something else unidentifiable, but even more unmistakenly Thai (so I admit, i chickened out for that one). The bus takes off and the lady in the miniskirt comes around with drinks. That’s a challenge to be drinking a full glass of coke in a shaky bus.

Is it a disco, a toy store or a Thai bus? Same same...

The buses in Thailand are really up to notch. The real fancy ones look like space ships with enhanced lighting, which even illuminates the motor which you can see roar through the ventilation grids. In the inside, if it weren’t for the pink interior, a gadget freak would feel in heaven. There are flat screen TVs more modern than I’ll probably ever possess (un-fortunately running surrealistic Thai movies). The sound system was definitely of great quality, because there was no way on earth that my mp3-player could beat it without causing permanent damage to my ears. So I went for Thai damage instead. In one of the buses, I even saw a mixing table! (see pic) Hit the road, DJ!

Train to Si Saket is now ready for take-off

Higher heels, shorter skirts, skinnier legs? Not possible

From Khorat I took a train to Si Saket, the closest hop of point to make my way to the Cambodian border. Both the ticket inspector (in more than tight uniform = you could almost see through it what he had for breakfast) and the hostess (in a mini-skirt shorter than any of my underwear and heels higher than any of my socks) both gave the passengers a military salute when boarding the train. When the train was about to leave, the ticket inspector started bidding the guests welcome (I suppose) and informing us about about the speed and altitude we would be making our way to the destination. The only thing that was missing is that the train would actually lift off…

And this is only 2nd class!

My air-plane déjà-vu got even bigger when the high-heeled short-skirted hostess started wheeling a trolley through the train and actually started serving us a tray of food and drinks from the bar (only water, but still). Well, that’s service I say. (tough luck that I just had stuffed my face before boarding the train as I thought I would be foodless during the 3 hour journey). Maybe Belgian rail could visit Thailand to get some inspiration to improve their service.

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Guards keeping people from the tracks

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