Living in a foreign land, even the smallest trips can turn into epic journeys and adventures, there is always something interesting to see, and so it was today when I had to take the twenty-mile trip downtown and back for work using public transport.
Normally I'd have done the first leg to the outskirts and Mo Chit BTS station, where I usually park up on the scooter before catching the BTS downtown but today, the wife needed the scooter so its public transport all the way!
I totally respect everyone who makes this journey daily. It's a two-hour commute in the horrendous Bangkok traffic which is the main reason I won't buy a car here. At least on the scooter, I can whizz in and out of the traffic!
The Number 29
On the way home, it was fourish, the BTS was busy and I'd had to stand all the way and so I wasn't about to stand a further thirty minutes on the bus, aircon or not.
The first empty bus that came by Mo Chit to take me to Laksi, was an old Number twenty-nine. Amazingly it was almost empty so I jumped on. No aircon, but opening windows, proper wooden floorboards and an old diesel engine which is probably single-handedly responsible for the ice-caps melting!
and here she is....
The trip to Laksi is about 8 miles and cost the princely sum of 6.5 baht, about $0.20USD, half the price of the aircon bus. Of course, the downside is that the fumes from the traffic are awful and it's hot, despite all the windows being open!
A nice view of Chutuchak Park!
As we trundled onwards, we picked up many more passengers and the traffic got worse and worse. I was the only one wearing a suit and a shirt and tie. Not my usual my everyday wear, but this particular employer for whom I occasionally work for requires it.
Finally reaching Laksi after thirty minutes or so, I got off. The bus driver was in the wrong lane as usual and so stopped one lane out for us to walk to the footpath dodging the busy traffic. This is a common occurrence in Thailand. It is, after all, the land that health and safety forgot!
After getting off the bus, it's across the road on the footbridge and a 5 minute walk to the motorcycle taxi drivers...
Let's have a look at the roads at Laksi!
So this is the view from the footbridge looking north on route 1. We have 6 lanes of traffic to the left, 2 lanes in the middle which are 'faster' and not for motorcycles. I have had a number of 200baht 'cash' fines for sneaking up there!
Also to the left up in the air on the concrete piers is the new BTS extension, below that which you can't see is the railway. Up in the air to the right is the Express Tollway, another 3 lanes each way, so despite there being a total of 11 lanes each way at this point, the traffic is still stuffed!
The other thing which always amuses me in Thailand is the wiring! Cables carrying electric and telephone services bunched together hanging between straining concrete posts. As you can see in this picture, straining to the point of bending!! ISO standards it ain't! However they sort all those cables out is beyond my comprehension.
Sorry, but here's another. I could bore you all to death with the all pictures I take of the wires!
So, a five-minute walk later and I'm at the motorcycle taxi driver starting grid. All lined up as ready for a race, these guys and their scooters are simply the best form of public transport, whizzing you through the traffic and back paths, using shortcuts to get you to your destination as quickly and as cheaply as possible! I won't add safely to that as helmets are not available, but to be fair, I have never seen a motorcycle taxi driver in an accident.
Tomorrow I'm going to try and upload a video of the motorcycle trip!
It's actually really easy getting around Thailand whether it be by bus, train, boat or plane, you just have to know where you want to go!
The number 29 runs from Hua Lampong railway station all the way to AIT, just north of Rangsit.
Despite you having wasted 5 minutes of your life looking at my boring pics of traffic and buses, there is a point. Which is, sometimes, even the most mundane things in life, like the daily commute can be made into an epic journey and if we all just look around a little, we suddenly realise that ordinary, can be absolutely extraordinary!
It's still travel, so enjoy the experiences!
Please watch for the video tomorrow, and the exact location of these pics is now added to the Steemit World Map.