August 06, 2003

Bangkok - Chiang Mai

VIP bus, inclinable seats first-class type, foods, drinks, air-con. That sounds appealing when doing a 12h bus ride between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The pictures are also there to give you an idea of how pleasant this night trip might be. For B550 compared to B300 for the simple air-con bus, well such luxury is affordable. And this is booked directly from the guesthouse that has been nice all week. So all is well, really, risks are at a theory. I however start to have some doubts when a grand-ma is picking me up at the guesthouse and bring me to a dual-business shop, it does both a travel agency and ... a barber shop. An alarm bell is ringing in my mind as I switch to DEFCON3: 'scam ! scam ! scam !'. After all, a travel agency and a barber work in the same business, they do shave the client like a sheep.

We are 3 idiots waiting outside this shop, in a busy street. Nice way to enjoy the Bangkok pollution, by the way. I switch to DEFCON2 when I see a woman bringing 3 tickets in motorbike, 2 being for my canadian mates next to me. All this looks like a pretty professional organization...

All is over when I see the bus coming and stopping by.

It's packed.

How lucky ! There are 3 'seats' remaining at the back of the bus that looks everything but a normal bus (it could have been worse).

Sh* ! what happened to the inclinable seats ?!

We are all laughing (nervously) like crazy having be so stupid to jump in this scam like newbies. I ask the other people in the bus where they got in the bus: 'Khao San, at the round-about'. I just can't believe it, we were 300m from there waiting during an hour on the street while they were all boarding the bus.

That smell bad. There is probably more things hiding under the Thai carpet.
- 'Hey guys out of curiosity how much did you pay ?'
- '420'
- 'really ? I paid 300'
- 'S* !, where did you get it ?'
- 'A shop in Khao San'
- 'I paid 125'
- 'what ?'
- [choir] SH**************T !!!!'
I'm the winner at the back of the bus with a lucky ticket at B550.

I'm definitely in EMERGCON and ready to kill.

The bus ride was miserable, I did not sleep, I have just arrived in Chiang Mai 2 hours ago and for the sake of fixing my mistake I'm staying in a room at B80 a night to kick my butt for being so stupid to trust the guesthouse.

All is well, I'm coming back there in a couple of days anyway, that will be fun to explain to them what I think about their business to these thieves !

After popping up my head to the Chiang Mai tourism office it appears that there are 2 types of buses. A VIP service leaving from the bus terminal and including breakfast, etc...(B450) and a 'tourism' (should I say - scam ?) one (B250) leaving from Khao San. The prices are an average, your mileage may vary.

They are not able to tell me if there is really a seat difference (cool) but my research believe it so. Anyway, there is a price difference. It is crystal clear that these bastards from guesthouse/travel agency/barber though it would be a good idea to take the difference between the VIP and tourism fare and put it in their pocket.

Sneaky bastards. That's a matter of $6 but that makes me hate Bangkok people.

Mere satisfaction. The attitude and atmosphere is way more better in Chiang Mai, really. Pfeeew.

Posted by stephane at August 6, 2003 03:31 AM

Wow - the diving pics at Pescador Island are amazing. I never knew such creatures existed. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing them.

Posted by: Cath on August 6, 2003 08:39 PM