Was I ripped off? How can we avoid paying too much or more than we should? Getting the tickets from the public terminal is stupid??? I'm definitely taking the trains for my next trip.
Recently in Southern Thailand, Hatyai-Krabi-Surattani, I skipped Samui island and the Phi Phi, coz I just want get as far away as possible from Southern Thailand (The people drove me away). Besides, I just spent 2 weeks in Bali and I loved it.
I just found out in agencies in Khao San, that tickets to Krabi and Surattani cost 350 Baht... The rates I got from Krabi for Bangkok, were, 500/550 for VIP, from AONANG. Assuming that I could save more money, if I got regular buses from the BUS STATION, I spend some more baht on transport to the bus station. Then I had to ask people at ticketing office, HOW MUCH IS THE TICKET TO BANGKOK. You are at their mercy! They can tell you it's 5,000 USD and you can't argue. Why can't they post the rates on a wall or a screen??? Why can't they print the rates on your TICKET??? They just write it down with a pen and we are suppose to just trust them, because they are THAI?
Anyway, the tickets were 650 government bus and 900 VIP +++, and something in between. The 650 was a rate offered to me by a woman seating on the terminal lika a passenger, but was referred by someone, officially selling tickets. Why must they have this system? Thai tourism is global, and not everyone, who comes to Thailand hail from the EU or some 1st world nation, where 50 baht can be earned in 5 minutes. Yeah, Southern Thailand may be beatiful, but so are the thousands of other islands just a few hours away in neighboring states. People need to be REEDUCATED about how their beaches became popular. Before the retired senior citizens started booking 5 star accommodations, people came because it was beautiful and CHEAP! If going to the beaches of Australia will cost the same amount of money than going to Samui or Phuket, then no one would ever visit those island. People need to realize that Those islands are for some people not worth being RIPPED OFF. Sure they are beautiful, but I bet Sihanoukville and Southern Vietnam has at least 10 islands each that can make those places looked like over priced hookers.
Here is an example: Internet, 10 Baht in some places in Hatyai. Krabi, it is an average of 40/hour or 60 Baht. The part that is most irritating is that most shops do not have the rates on their wall. So when you ask in English, even if you hail from Mozambique or Malawi, they will charge you as if you are a retired fat German sex tourist, who would have more spending power. A meal would cost 45 Baht in Krabi, what can be 25-30 in Bangkok.
I guess, I was just expecting Thailand to be cheap... But telling me that the internet is 50 BAHT, makes me think that everyone is a thief. It makes you skeptical about everyone else. Then you just realize, you don't feel like socializing with anyone that looks local, in the same, for the same reason, you use a mosquito repellent.
You need to get off the Gringo Trail and catch your breath.
The best prices with perfect service (on time, clean, busses and boats with aircon etc) is definitley Lomprayah.
My experience (2012: 1 month thailand) was: the more friendly and kind you are to the people (means as a girl be very girlylike) the cheaper rates you get.
We choosed lomprayah from koh tao to koh samui and from koh samui to surat thani and didnt have any problems at all. they offert a pick up service from our hostel and in fact we were the only one who the driver had to pick up at half past 6 in the morning. Rate for this service was cheaper than a taxi.
We meet a lot of locals and spended a nice time with them. In my opinion you should never forget the differences between the cultures.
Too late now. When you buy a bus ticket in Thailand do it from a real bus terminal. Avoid any lurkers or touts hanging around bus terminals or even train stations. There are travel agencies in the Khao San Road area that seem to have low prices but it is these same buses that have most of the problems. Problems with break downs, problems with theft on buses and even armed hold ups. Not to mention accidents.
Anytime you use a bus in Asia keep your valuables with you at your seat or within sight. Keep money, passport, jewelry on your person. Don't keep valuables in your checked in bag.
I have never had a problem with a bus booked at a bus station. I have taken hundreds of them. I always knew the price ahead of time. Most of the time even the seat number was even on the ticket. There are different classes of buses going to the same destination that charge different rates. Google up bus scams Thailand.
There are train rides you can use between some places. I like trains, more comfortable and you can get up every now and then to move around unlike buses. But they are limited.
Don't foreigners pay a little more for things in your own country? Isn't there a "wink and a nod" when a tourist is given a higher price compared to what a local would pay?
Now you are the rich foreigner in a different country!
Yes, you can get ripped off anywhere. But I expect Thailand to have system that would lessen this culture. I also believe that countries that get so much tourist or none at all, are less likely to be a scammer's paradise.
Anyway, I was hoping to be wrong and the longer I stay in Bangkok, which I visited several times, I regaining my faith in Thai tourism. But the south after 2 visits, Uhm, they need to know that Phuket or Samui are not the only islands in Asia. Sure they are beautiful, but my hometown has PINK SAND islands and violet waters at half the price.
But yes, I'll take the train. I was going to take the train from SURA TTHANI, which is called the Suratthani station. I think the lady prime minister should rename it as Pluto station, because it so far away from Surattani, you'll need an airplane to get there. So ended up in a bus station, which is also galactic miles away from the town.
Now you are the rich foreigner in a different country!
If I was wearing grey or hazel contact lenses, I'll excuse them for thinking that I would pay a million dollars for a bowl of noodles.
No need to start a new topic:
I want to save money on transport expenses... which would be wise?
a. BKK to Udonrachattani exit to Southern Laos by (TRAIN or Bus). I've asked people in the hostel and they don't know (other travelers). It's raining, so I am lazy to go to the train station to find out.
b. BKK to Nongkai, is cheap, but I've done a few times, I need an alternative.
c. BKK to Siem Reap is 300 Baht... I saw something for 250 in Khaosan.
What about Trat to Cambodia, would that be practical? I want to go to a city, I have yet to visit. I mean train to Trat and bus to Cambodia. Sihanoukville to BKK is 20 USD by bus. So I am hoping for something cheaper.
"If I was wearing grey or hazel contact lenses, I'll excuse them for thinking that I would pay a million dollars for a bowl of noodles."
Just being a foreigner in Thailand you are rich!
In your country, Mongolia, I don't want to spend more than you but I will have to!
Meh. It's just people trying to make a living. Get used to being treated like a walking bank machine. It's one of the downsides of travel.
Also keep in mind, it doesn't matter if you're dirt poor by Western standards. The mere fact that you can afford to travel, means that by local standards you are wealthy.
As for southern Thailand, yes, it's definitely more expensive there than in other parts of the country. Mostly because that's where tourists go for short vacations and the Thais know that these people have no clue what the normal prices of things are. When I was there when they quoted a silly price, I would just respond with a smile and say, "No, no. I want Thai price."
They would laugh and the bargaining would begin. Buying anything in barter societies is about the process, not the end result. Sometimes you'll overpay, sometimes you'll get a great deal. Either way, if you go into it with the right attitude, you'll have a pleasant exchange with a local.