The Six Stages of a South East Asian Bus Journey

Anyone who has travelled in South East Asia will have probably experienced one of the infamous bus journey’s to get from A to B. We are currently travelling in Thailand and our most recent bus journey got me thinking of these very common occurrences:

1. PLEASE LET THERE BE AIR-CON

This stage usually happens not long after you have taken your seat. You quickly begin to realise that it’s ridiculously warm on the bus and then proceed to check the air-conditioning unit above your seat many, many times. Once you realise that the air-con is already set to the maximum, you will then question if you can actually survive the impending journey.

aircon_bus_facilities_light_button_ceiling

You will probably stare at something like this in frustration

2. TIME FOR ENTERTAINMENT

After you stop sweating thanks to the air-con finally kicking in, you may fancy reading your book or watching a film to try and pass the time. Ten minutes in and you realise it’s physically impossible to concentrate on anything other than trying not to throw up due to the bumpy and windy roads. You also realise that your bus driver has only a passable understanding of how to operate the vehicle and again you question if you will survive the journey.

road to pai.jpg

The windy road to Pai in Thailand may make you a bit car sick

3. THE HALFWAY STOP

Yes, finally the driver is stopping. For the past 30 minutes you have had cravings for all of your favourite items of food from back home. But upon getting off the bus you are greeted by shelves and shelves of the driest food possible. The oddest flavoured crisps, chocolate you would never choose and unidentifiable pieces of fried food. Still, you load up on crap thinking some kind of apocalypse is nigh.

thai-snack-collage

Common Thai snacks you will probably find wherever the bus stops

4. THERE IS NO CHANCE YOU’RE ARRIVING ON TIME

The suggested arrival time passes. But, they said the journey would take 5 hours? Where are we? We must be there soon? You quickly begin to realise that you are in the middle of nowhere and not even close to your final destination. Brilliant. It’s happened again.

bus-4

This bus that we took in Malaysia was never arriving on time

5. FREEZING

By this time, you now wish the bus no longer had air-conditioning. You proceed to wrap yourself up in that sarong you have bought for 100 Thai Baht thinking that this will help in anyway. It doesn’t and you proceed to slowly freeze for the remainder of the journey.

6. ARRIVAL

Unrivalled happiness sets in as you see your bus pulling into your destination. It only took double the suggested time. You will say to yourself that you’re never doing that again and next time you will catch a plane even if its a bit more expensive……….A few days pass and the above cycle is repeated.

bus-3

Another bus journey awaits 🙂

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