Mini review of Bangkok Bus Lines from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

2016-02-28 at 13:12

Mini review of Bangkok Bus Lines down from Chiang Mai to Bangkok Mo Chit 2 or the Northeastern Bus Terminal. Did book this trip online for 759 Bath at the end of February 2016. The bus leaves Chiang Mai at 20:30 and was in Bangkok at 6 in the morning. Most passengers got off at the Bangkok Bus Lines office but the bus continues to Mo Chit since that is what you paid for! They might tell you that it does not so you have to insist on it.
They have a counter at the bus station in Chiang Mai if you want to get your ticket there.

Bangkok Bus Lines
This is a 32 seater bus with a 1 – 2 configuration. So if you want to sit together wit your friend or sit alone you better book online a few days before. This way you can choose your seat.
The toilet is in the back of the bus. So you want to sit in the front or middle of the bus. The toilet door makes some noise. And it might smell from time to time

Bangkok Bus Lines seat
The seats do recline quite a bit and have a nice foot rest. That only works when you are small. If you over 190 cm you might look for a 24 seater VIP bus. You get a blanket and a travel pillow that goes round your neck. Never had one of these in a bus so that is better than a pillow alone.

Entertainment System

Bangkok Bus Lines entertainment system
Great entertainment system. You can even charge your USB device. Lots of movies to choose from. Even a few in English. The headphone is from the bus as well but you can use your personal one if you like.

Free Snacks

Bangkok Bus Lines stewardess
The stewardess – she hands out the snacks

Bangkok Bus Lines food
You get a small bottle of water and this box – I did eat the chips. The rest I gave to a guy that sleeps on the streets here in Bangkok. He did look happy.

Bangkok Bus Lines
Than you get tea and soy milk and another strange thing that went to the guy as well

Free Midnight Dinner

Bangkok Bus Lines snack stop
Since that is a VIP bus you can eat in the VIP dining area of the food stop midway to Bangkok. That means more options and buffet – you can eat as much as you like.

Bangkok Bus Lines
There was even some for me – vegetarian that is!

 
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Update from Chiang Mai and a few more Pictures from Pai

2014-02-07 at 07:10

I am back in Chiang Mai since last night. Had another great time in Pai and i am kind of sad to leave so many friends behind. But i will see some of them in summer and some next winter. That should help to get me going.
Did meet Johnny Vagabond last night for a beer. Now i know one of the Travel Bloggers out there.
Right now i sit in Jiangs living room in Chiang Mai. It is in a quite neighborhood so the only thing you hear is the Haier fridge and some birds in the garden. From time to time a motor bike in the small soi. Will stay here till 17.00 and than move to the bus station. Have a VIP to Bangkok this night and should be there at 5.30 in the morning. Hope to catch another bus to Phnom Penh from there a few hours later. My Thai visa expires tomorrow so i need to leave. The plan is one night Phnom Penh and than down to Kampet to visit Maya.
Will not have to much time as my flight to the Phillipines leaves at the 20th of February from Bangkok. And i need at last one day to get some shopping done in China Town and Pratunam. I hope the protests will cool down a bit and they do not block the airport again like they did last time.

Live of Pai
These birds come all the time and check on you – they even come into the bungalow

Live of Pai
Ita is confused – What?

Live of Pai
Movie afternoon with cats

Live of Pai
Which i later managed to get to the hammock

Live of Pai
Jean does operate a fruit – concentration is king

Live of Pai

Live of Pai
A few pictures from Ita in the Sun – find the rest of them here!

Live of Pai

Live of Pai

Live of Pai
Another sun set from my bungalow.

Live of Pai
Fabri does enjoy the sun set as well

Live of Pai
Mini photo shooting with the twins from Twin Hut

Live of Pai

Live of Pai

Live of Pai

Live of Pai
Concert at Silhouette in Pai

From Nakhon Sawan to Chiang Mai

2013-12-21 at 10:15

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel

Birthday Eli
Meet the queen of Norway

Than we did walk a bit in the park in Nakhon Sawan and had lunch at a small place.

Bird House
Coconut shell as bird house – good idea!

In the evening we had Eli’s birthday dinner in the hotel.

Dinner Nakhon Sawan

Poor band – they did play the whole evening and we where the only guys in the place.

Band Nakhon Sawan

After dinner we got a bottle of 100 Piper and some ice – off to the room we went.

Next morning after breakfast Eli & Ivan walked me to the bus station and waved me off.

Eli & Ivan

Chiang Mai

Had a 1st class bus to Chiang Mai and it was half empty – good for me as i had 2 seats. Not sure what is better – the night bus or the day bus. I think now the day bus as you see a bit more and only one day is fucked up. When you take the night bus and can not sleep than the night and the next day are fucked up.
Mr. 譚翼翔 and his friend Mr. Faruk did pick me up from the Suan Prung Gate in Chiang Mai and walked me to Jiang’s house. There where a lot of friend sitting in the living room and i went for dinner with a few of them.

Dinner CHX

Dinner CHX

Dinner CHX

Dinner CHX
Funny seating arrangement but it does work

On the way back to the house i got a few bottles of LEO and talked to the guys a bit. An no way – what a small world!

New friends CHX

The guy was the night time manager and the girl the day time manager of the Crazy Monkey in Dhali. I was drinking in that place when i visited Monika and Alex a few years ago. And sure enough they where friends as well. How many times did that happen to me now – I still love it 🙂

Room CHX

My wonderful room – thank you a lot Jiang!!

How to get easy from Bangkok or Chiang Mai to Pakse in Laos and than to Don Det or Don Khong

2013-03-27 at 13:37

How to get from Thailand to Don Det or Don Khong in Laos if you do not want to take a tourist bus all the way from Khao San Road or you are somewhere else in Thailand and do not want to go to Bangkok before heading to Laos. I did meet so many travellers that did it very complicated or paid way to much. Taking one or two Minibuses to the border and another one to Pakse, got ripped off by taxi drivers and so on. So I decided to write down the easy way! There is for sure a cheaper one but this is the right mix of comfort and price.

Laos 2013
This is the ticket counter

How to get fast and cheap from Thailand to Don Det or Don Khong in Laos

From Bangkok or Chiang Mai take a Night Bus to Ubon Ratchathani that get you to the bus station before 08.50 in the morning! From Bangkok you can also take the night train if you like.
At the bus station in Ubon Ratchathani you buy a ticket for the International Bus to Pakse for 200 bath. There are mini buses that go to the border as well but then you have to find another one on the other site and you never know how much they charge you and how long it takes for them to leave. Usually they wait till they are full!
The first bus leaves at 9 in the morning. So it does not really make sense to be there very early. The counter opens at 8.30 – before they do not sell you a ticket anyway!

The bus stops at the border and you go to the Thai immigration. After your stamping is done leave the building and you see an under pass – on the other site keep walking straight till you see the Laos immigration. If you have your visa you fill out the form that is given to you in the bus and give it with the passport to a hand that reaches for it from inside the immigration office.

Visa on Arrival

If you want to do a Visa on Arrival bring a passport picture and check the internet how much you have to pay!!! It is not the same for all countries! You want to bring US $ to do that (there is a 1 US $ stamp fee on top of the visa fee!!). If you pay in Thai Bath be prepared to pay 100-200 bath more than the guy in front of you that paid in US $. Now you turn right and go 4 meters to the end of the building. Turn left and wait till your passport gets handed out of another window by another hand. It might be the same that took it but that is hard to tell.

On the other site of the Immigration Office are a few shops, Duty Free and a bank with a working ATM!! They charge you 20.000 Kip fee so you should get a large sum at a time. Hey – when was the last time you where a millionaire? Here you are right after you get your cash from the ATM!! And it is a better rate than all the money changer on Don Det will give you. I saw a ATM on Don Khong – there is none (at the time of writing) on Don Det. There is also a Bank with ATM and a Money Changer at the market in Pakse if you go there. But why not get cash right here as you have to wait for the other passengers that get the visa anyhow??

Once in Pakse the bus will usually not stop at the Bus Terminal – it stops at the office of the company somewhere in Pakse. You should ask the bus driver if they continue to the Bus Terminal to save yourself another trip in a shared taxi. If not than you take one from the street. It was 10.000 Kip in 2013 and of course they tell you it is 20.000 or even more. Do not pay more or get another one that drives down the street. There are motorcycle taxis for up to 2 people Pick-Ups and small busses converted into taxis. The Pick-Ups and busses are called Songthaew in Thailand and Laos.

If you are hungry and want the best food – take a shared transportation to the market in the city centre – it should be 10.000 Kip. Inside the market there is an area with food. All the long-term farangs i talked to told me that this is the best place to get food in Pakse if you are on a budget or want “real” food! Than take another shared transportation to the bus station. Should be 10.000 Kip again.

Ask at the Bus Station for transportation to Don Det or Don Khong – 30.000 to 40.000 Kip to the ferry that brings you over to the island. You should get the bus from Thailand at 9 in the morning as you need almost a full day to get to Don Det from there!
Make sure that the bus driver confirms the right island. I ended up on the “wrong” one which was also nice as I could take a boat to the other on the next morning and the view from the restaurant on the river bank was great!

Laos 2013
Ubon bus station

Laos 2013
I was way to early so I had to wait and wait and wait and the coffee shop did not open….

Laos 2013
Songthaew to the bus station

Bus to Don Khong
The first Beerlao after the border at the market: 10.000 Kip

Don Det
A bus at the station

Laos 2013
I went to Don Khong for one night – guess the bus driver did not really understand or he simply lied to me. We did reach the ferry quite late and the only transport that night would have been a motorcycle that would have been 50.000 to the Don Det ferry. If there would be ferry service at that time in the night? I do not think so!!

Laos 2013
The “engine” of the ferry

Laos 2013
The next morning I did meet Hélène. She read on Facebook that I was on the “wrong” island and came to visit me before I had the boat down to Don Det

Laos 2013
Finally on Don Det. After a few days I wanted to be back on Don Khong again. Well well

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