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PROVINCIAL BUS

There are many buses going everywhere in Thailand. In almost all Thai towns there is a terminal bus station.

In Bangkok there are four main terminal bus stations (South, West, Northeast and North). The biggest one is called "MOR CHIT" (หมอชีต). The buses are leaving this terminal to go to Northeast area or "ISAN" (อีสาน).
Bangkok-province bus
Bangkok-province bus

The old "MOR CHIT" was well known for the permanent disorder. There were traffic jams inside the bus terminal due to the buses congestion. While passengers were waiting at a pier, the buses arrived but it was impossible to know which bus it was due to the delay. Only a man was shouting in a speaker in Thai language trying to help passengers.

Bangkok-province bus
In year 1999 a new "MOR CHIT" has been built. It was built at the same place but it is more modern. It is a two-storey building with air conditioning. It is bigger and cleaner.
Bangkok-province bus

Tickets for "ISAN" departures (อีสาน - northeastern part of Thailand) are at the second storey. Tickets for children are at the same price as adults. During the week, no need to book in advance but before feasts like "SONGKRAN" reservation is mandatory.

A real new "MOR CHIT" plot should have begun in august 1996 but the project has been delayed. The "MOR CHIT" project was designed as a central terminal linking the skytrain, subway, provincial bus terminal, Bangkok public buses, tollway, expressway and airport check-in facilities.
Provincial bus
Provincial bus

Sometimes, the bus luggage receiver might ask for a 20 Baht fee to "take care" of them. It doesn't seem to be an official practise. Anyway it guarantees that your luggages are safe. The receiver and the driver might use this sum to buy cigarettes or alcohol.

Bus accidents happen because bus drivers drive a lot and not always rest. Some of them use drugs like amphetamines. Sometimes the police stops the bus and check it. If only one driver is present, the bus is not authorised to continue to travel.

Provincial bus
Ordinary buses, which go between provincial towns do not have air conditioning. Ceiling fans function only when the bus is running. Each time the bus leaves a town then it drives slowly and honks to call for customers. Those buses are really cheap but slow.
Provincial bus

From Bangkok to provincial towns there are VIP, Super VIP, Super VIP Deluxe autobus. There are several kind of buses : air conditioning , non air conditioning, private companies and also public companies. Buses always drive fast especially upcountry. They often overtake slow cars and motorcycles. Even if the vehicle is on the right lane, it better goes on the back-side of the road. Here the bigger car has the priority. Sometimes there are even courses between bus drivers from public and private companies.

In Super VIP deluxe only three seats per row and seats can be tiltable like beds. Sometimes the driver does not hesitate to cut a film during a projection when he considers it is time to sleep or listen music very loudly.
Provincial bus
Provincial bus

In ordinary buses there are the driver and the conductor who keeps the money. In buses with air conditioning an hostess gives food and cold drinks when the buses left Bangkok. In the morning she gives a paper towel to refresh one's face.

Provincial bus
An astonishing experience is to take a bus during "SONGKRAN" (สงกรานต์) feast. This feast is also called "water festival". Thai people splash each other. As the weather is very hot in April, it is almost impossible to close the windows in ordinary buses, so they are favorite targets.
Provincial bus

Some provincial buses still have a floor made of wood and seats are really narrow. For foreigners with long legs it is really inconvenient for a long trip. When the bus stops in town center, food sellers climb into the bus to offer their products. This buses are slow and can stop everywhere. It happens that in exchange of a tip the driver accepts to stop at a shop. A man buys a few rice bags and bargains the price. The bus (and all passengers!) waits until he has finished.

The bus color depends on the journey. For budget travellers, travelling in ordinary buses is a cheap solution.
Provincial bus
Provincial bus

In old Thai buses, which go between provincial towns, the motor is under the seat of the conductor. When bus stops and starts up again, the conductor makes a husky shout to indicate to the driver that everything is OK.

provincial bus
In such buses, having a seat is never sure. Then the only way to travel is to held firmly the bar in the back.
Provincial bus

For night trip, a blanket is given to passengers. Buses also stop in specific bus stations where passengers can have a rest and a short meal. The meal is free for people having booked tickets. The stop time is about 20 minutes.

In each town, there is a bus terminal (สถานีขนส่ง). There is also a left luggage office. For long trip, the receiver puts a sticker indicating the destination. It allows the receiver to keep luggages in the bus chest depending on the destination. But there is no luggage / owner check when reaching destination.
Bus terminal
Bus terminal

In case of full second class ("PO 2" - .2) bus, stools are set in the middle row. When travelling during national holidays (New Year or Songkran period), it is recommended to book tickets in advance. If not, passengers might have to sit on the stools or even stand up in case of many travellers.



PRIVATE BUS

Private bus
Private buses are often decorated with colorful images.
Private bus
At the beginning or at the end of the Buddhist lent period, during events such as candle offering (ถวายเทียนพรรณษา) or clothes offering (ทอดกฐิน), laypeople rent several private buses in order to tour and support financially poor and remote Buddhist temples.
Private bus
Private bus

Buses often display complex fantasy themes often incorporating Korean, Thai, Japanese manga and Disney characters.

Private bus
Talented airbrush artists are blinging tourist coaches.
Private bus

Designs can cost an owner between 40 000 and 70 000 baht.

This Thai tourist coach is blinged to the maximum and has all the trimmings including rows of floodlights and shiny reflectors.
Private bus
Private bus
Private bus
In year 2011 the Thai Government was concerned regarding painted and colorful buses as they could be dangerous for other drivers.
Private bus
The Thai Transportation Department issued a warning to bus companies to avoid too coloful buses as it could distract other drivers and cause accidents.
Private bus
Private bus
Private bus
If buses are too colorful or include too many logos, it could generate visibility reduction and distraction for other drivers.
Private bus
Nowadays many private buses and coaches look like amazing colorful mobile cartoons!
Private bus
Private bus
Private bus
Such painted and colorful buses are not allowed in public sector.
Private bus



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