Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Public Transportation in Thailand

In April 2008, it will be almost 2 years since we arrived in Thailand.

In the last 1 year 9 months, I have returned to Malaysia, 3 times. Each time it feels different. Our condominium in Malaysia is currently being rented out and our cars sold. As a result, we have to stay at various places, similar to a Nomad, whenever we return to Malaysia.

My Mom will generously lend us her car up to a week at times. And the last trip, my brother & sister-in-law was kind enough to lend us their car too.

Its difficult to move around without a car, especially when we have children. By myself, I have no problem but when the children is concerned, it can be a little tricky. When they are tired, napping on the train or bus is cumbersome. Malaysia's public transportation can be improved too.

In Thailand, taxi services are very convenient and cheap, e.g.

  • Meter starts from THB35 (RM3.50 / USD1.00)
  • 99% of taxi driver uses meter. You will have the occasional ones who refuse. Just hop to the next taxi. There are heaps available.
  • A 45 mins ride will cost you an average of THB240 (RM24 / USD7)
  • If you want to use the highway, its separate. Just give the taxi driver whatever the toll charges.

Whilst in Malaysia, I took the taxi to and from the train station at Subang Jaya to Sunway Lagoon. I was quoted the price THB150 (RM15 / USD4.30), when in actual fact its about THB70 (RM7 / USD2.00). Unfortunately, I did not come across one which used meter.

When I initially arrived in Thailand,
I thought that comparatively Malaysia is better at tourism. Since most of us speak English, cheaper hotels, beautiful beaches and islands. But after staying here for the last 2 years, I have discovered that the Thais are very well organized, friendly and equipped for mass tourism. No wonder we can see so many Caucasian tourist. Other than certain “activities” which is not so obviously and readily available in Malaysia, they have outdone us in shopping, luxury hotel, food, warm and friendly welcome and many other areas.

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