Ban Phe to Bangkok by Bus

Ban Phe to Bangkok by Bus
Wednesday November 23, 2005, 7:25 AM

I will leave Ban Phe and go to Bangkok this morning, there is nothing to do that takes more than two days on Koh Samet so I will return to Bangkok. I think I will go to Pattaya next time to see if there is a place there to stay which is more for backpackers and outside the BAR world of Thailand. I am thinking maybe there is a fringe area where I could stay. Otherwise my only quick way of going to a Island in Thailand quickly is to fly to Phuket or Koh Samui, and they are almost the same as Pattaya. Pattaya is easier to visit because I do not need an airplane. My gut says the answer is to fly to Koh Samui and take the boat to Koh Phan Ngan, but I am back to needing to plan.

Planning is a fight for me, I hate to plan where or what I am doing the next day, it remove the fun of wandering the planet. I suppose it is impossible to not plan a little, however if I knew for sure what I was doing for the next week, I would go home and forget traveling. The fun of travel is to not know what I am doing and to be spontaneous, able to see what is happening around me as it happens, and to not plan for what is to happen.

The bus will take about 5 hours to go from Ban Phe to Bangkok or Khao San Road. IF I did only jumped in a car and went it would take 2-3 hours, however by the time you factor in the getting to the bus in Ban Phe, waiting for bus, travel time, getting to the bus stop in Mohship and then taking a taxi to Khao San Road, it will be five hours.

I really wish I had a word or knew a term for this time. I could call it the travel setup time. Like my mother setting a machine up in the factory, she or the set up person needed time between jobs to set the machine up for the next job.

Well, when you leave the hotel and go to the plane, bus, train, or whatnot, you need to include the set up time into the travel time. A plane is about two hours for set-up time and is really the worst, to arrive late for plane is not a good idea unless you really just do not have manners or care about money.

A plane takes about 2.5 hours setup time.
A bus takes about ½ hour setup time or less. If you miss one, you can get the next in some places.

A train takes about 1 hour, because you need to buy the ticket, unless you are lucky.

Therefore a bus is the fastest way to travel unless you are going over 200 Kilometers and then the plane is faster. I am not sure, the train is only very good in some parts of Europe and then it is a question mark because it cost more than the Plane.

“Travel Setup Time”
“Transportation Setup”
“Leaving and arrival time”

Word need to be self-explanatory, even if I say this, or try to explain this time it takes to go to the plane or come from the plane or train, or bus, it is not going to be clear to people.

A persons brain for some reason cannot factor into the travel equation the proper amount of time needed to allot for travel time. I used to have five appointments per day in Indiana. I would need to drive between places. I would be very annoyed when a person that was meeting me would say,
“I am only five minutes away.”

Yes, the actual drive time was only five minutes, however they must hang up the phone, not answer another telephone call, not put on their jacket, not close or lock the door, and only put down the telephone, do nothing and walk out the door for it to be five minutes. IF they did anything, then the drive time is more.

Here I am, a very experienced traveler, I can get in and out of a place with extreme speed. What is funny as I was trying to leave the Island of Koh Samet and go to the mainland yesterday morning. I thought, we can hop a boat, get a room in Ban Phe, walk around and get one of them Ice Coffees I like, look at stores. However because the Thai girl needed set-up time, it took us 5 hours to do a 1 hour transfer, she speaks Thai and all this did is cause problems as she listened to all the idiots around the dock give use bad advice and to be considerate I need to listen or try to see if the advice was good. We ended up taking a small truck to the next city 1 hour away, to show there was no small hotels along the way. Plus what was just a walk away was really one half hours walk away.

I have no clean explanation, however traveling with a local makes traveling more complicated for me, the translation skills does not help, it make it more complicated. The translator does not know what to ask and get hooked into all the stupid conversations I have learned to avoid. Plus Thai people cannot speak English.

Outside the hotel her on the outskirts of Ban Phe is many waterside food stands. The man at one of them asked.
“What do you want?
I said,
“I want something to eat.”

He did not understand the answer… hehehe, he knew four words, I gave him a simple answer he wanted and he could not say.
“Good, I have a restaurant, come look at the menu.”

I avoided him by just honestly answering the question. Because he is not willing to shame himself and prove himself stupid, he stops. Sometimes a culture is wonderful if you know how to use it.


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Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's very informative. I love to read it and do hope to read your next story.

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