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  1. #1
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    Why do the Buses to Cha Am Suck So?

    I take the bus from Korat to Cha Am a few times a year to visit an old from who has a condo there.

    The buses from Bangkok to Cha Am really suck: the air con is no good, the shocks went bad a decade ago, there's no leg room, all they serve is a bottle of water and, other than your fellow passengers there is no entertainment whatsoever. This is sad because the shocks are so bad that you can't really read or even enjoy the outdoor scenery.

    On the other hand, the buses from Korat to Bangkok are pretty good: decent air con, shocks that actually work, snacks, water, Pepsi, entertainment (well, Luk Thung music videos) and a whole lot more leg room. They even give you one of those little packaged towels when the trip is over.

    I find this ironic because the Cha Am area is a big tourist destination and there are always other farang on the bus suffering with me as I make the dreaded three hour trip.

    I know about the mini-van and I may take it back to Bangkok, but I've heard so many horror stories about it (bad driving, lots of accidents) that I'm not really sure it's an option.

    Anyway, the main question is: why do the buses to Cha Am suck so bad?

  2. #2
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    MeMock's Avatar
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    Stuffed if I know! Why not take the train?

  3. #3
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    ^
    I love the train. Sadly, it takes twice as long and leaves very infrequently.

    Anyway, I wasn't asking for alternatives, I was just wondering why the service on this particular route is so awful.

    For that matter, why don't I just drive my car?

  4. #4
    Tonguin for a beer
    Bung's Avatar
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    You've got a car, yet you take the bus?

  5. #5
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    Dougal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buadhai
    why do the buses to Cha Am suck so bad
    I suppose I could be cynical and say that the city fathers of Cha Am want to discourage anyone who is too poor to have their transport - but I won't

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bung
    You've got a car, yet you take the bus?
    Well, yeah. I don't much like driving. The bus is about half the cost of fuel for the car and Ms. B is working nights this week so I like for her to have the car when going home late....

  7. #7
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    I think it really depends upon whose bus you choose. Google "Dusit Sprinter" this bus option would certainly impress you. All things considered, too me, the price is very reasonable...

  8. #8
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    Yes, the Dusit Sprinter looks wonderful. But, so do the buses that go to Hua Hin. They're actually nice. But, they don't stop in Cha Am. And, the taxi fare from Hua Hin to the condo at which I stay is 250 baht. That would make for an expensive trip.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by buadhai
    he taxi fare from Hua Hin to the condo at which I stay is 250 baht
    Sometimes you guys make me smile...

    maybe we lose sight of reality when we stay here too long...

    250 baht is about $6.00...which doesn't seem that expensive for the haul from HuaHin to ChaAm

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster
    250 baht is about $6.00...which doesn't seem that expensive for the haul from HuaHin to ChaAm
    Well, I'm a fixed income retired geezer and 250 baht is a significant sum for me.

    I don't much like being poor, but I'm getting used to it.

  11. #11
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    Mr Earl's Avatar
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    It's only 3 three hours of discomfort. Pack some water and some snacks or just pop a sleeper for the trip.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Earl View Post
    or just pop a sleeper for the trip.
    now that is a sensible option...

  13. #13
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    I'm happy to report that my bus back to Bangkok from Cha Am sucked less than usual. The air con seemed to work, although it was a cool, overcast day, so not a real test. The bus had working shock absorbers, so reading was actually possible. Unfortunately, the toilet stank like cesspit; exacerbated by the fact that a platoon of Thai soldiers was rapidly consuming MaeKhong Rum and pissing it away with great frequency.

    Oddly, the bus was 20 minutes late. Usually it's actually on time. As I was about to board the bus the ticket seller called me over and changed the time on the ticket from 9:30 to 9:50. So, actually the bus was on time.

    What sucks even more is that the taxi fare from Baan Gwai (where I stay) to Cha Am, a ride of about 5 kilometers, has increased from 100 baht to 200 baht.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    I've read this thread and an interesting one it is....but I'm curious......did you actually expect someone to answer the question, maybe a detailed report of the bus companies finances, maybe a plan for future bus acquisitions, or are you just having an almighty whinge?......Nowt wrong with that, but why ask the question?

  15. #15
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    Almighty whinge....

    Nah, it just baffles me a bit that the service from Isaan (definitely not the land of high rollers) is so good compared to the service to Cha Am and Hua Hin (where, presumably, incomes and disposable cash are higher).

    I suppose it's because in Isaan the first class tour bus is about the best you can get for transportation while out of Bangkok the highway bus is at the bottom of the heap.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    fair enough.....whinging does help...believe me I know....

  17. #17
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    What about the mini-bus from Victory Monument??. Sure, the drivers are insane but you get there pretty quickly (2 & 1/2. - 3 hrs). Pleasant enough if you get one of the newer mini-buses, tough ride on the older ones.

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