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  1. #1
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    What's the worst traffic you've ever been in?

    Last night the traffic was completely mental, a normal trip of 1-1.5 hours turned into a 6 hour door to door trip (~4.5 hours of driving). This was with a pregnant woman and 3 children aged 10 and under after a full day at Seaworld, Ancol. So North Jakarta to South Jakarta via East Jakarta.

    It was stop, start all the way, I was hoping getting onto the toll would improve things. It didn't. This is traffic so bad that enterprising folk walk up and down the road between cars selling water and snacks. (And usually walk faster than the gridlocked cars).

    A few hours later when the petrol gauge warning light came on, things where not looking good. No petrol stations on these city tolls either.

    MrsKW is 7 months pregnant, an interesting fact about pregnancy is that the bladder becomes squashed to about 1/4 of the usual size. So petrol gauge flashing, kids screaming and wife in pain we exit the toll and brave the gridlock below. It was dark, it was rainy. There was no stations, nor even a tiny convenience store (which would have a toilet in it. Somehow we managed to get back onto an on ramp for another toll. Some gentle reminding of the driver that being on the correct route home was slightly secondary to our need of a toilet stop and petrol ensured before we found a U turn and traveled in delightful traffic free speed the feeling only slightly marred by the fact that it was in the wrong direction.

    We saw a large hotel (Park Hotel). A god send, over a concrete divider, into a bank carpark, and a rush to use their bathrooms and have a food and drink break. The singer in the cafe/lounge was horrendous, or perhaps she was merely slightly bad but my tolerance level was much lower.

    Imagine MrsKW's delighted surprise when the bill arrived and it was approx $50 for a few snacks and a few (non-alcoholic) drinks.

    After almost an hour's break you'd think the traffic at 10pm would be improved? You'd be wrong. Well, actually driving in the wrong direction it was still pretty good, so we drove on and found a petrol station. Next problem solved. Then drove a bit further and found another U-turn and ... Stopped. Back into it. Sigh. But at least we were refreshed and empty bladders. After perhaps 30 minutes of it my son noticed a hotel across the road and said "Dad, wasn't that the hotel we stopped at before?".

    Yep, it was, we are still not at the toll exit we originally took! (Not that any of them are a great distance from each other).

    And then, as miraculously as the traffic appeared it seemed to clear, an underpass that had been completed blocked earlier was almost clear, we didn't say anything for fear of causing it to get worse in a karmic fashion but we managed to get up to 60 and even 80km/hr.

    Another hour and we got home uneventfully.

    Finally walked in our door after dropping of my mate's daughter who'd been with us first, at 11.30pm.

    I'm sure there's some other horror stories out there, but is anything worse than that?

  2. #2
    loob lor geezer
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    Easy. Jacknifed tanker on the M25 somewhere in front of me. 5 hours completely stationary on a hot sunny day with nobody coming around to sell drinks.

  3. #3
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    Last Friday was pretty bad. 3 hours to go 15km to work with the last 45 mins being the worst as I could see my building about 200m away but I just couldn't get there. In light to no traffic I can normally do the trip in 20min, with a max heavy traffic of 1h30mins.

    Traffic in the other direction was gridlocked too but was caused by probably the most gruesome accident I've ever seen. A pickup truck that had been over stacked with metal pipes had rear ended a Fortuner. The pipes had shot forward and skewered the whole car through the back window and whatever passengers were inside. Not the way I want to go.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Any day on Petkasem?

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Any day on Sukhumvit.

  6. #6
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    Fleeing Bangkok in the flood a year and a half ago. 9 hours down the sukumvit highway to Pattaya. The motorway was so jammed you could not move, so got off and slowly crawled to Pattaya.

  7. #7
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    back in the eighties, evening rush hour snowstorm in london. roads not salted, snow ploughs not sent out.

    from golders green lights to henleys corner took 7 hours. its about a mile and a half. got home about 1am.

    sukhumvit road is a race track compared to that.

  8. #8
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    Sydney the day they shut half the roads down for the fat catholic drag queen...

  9. #9
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    Try Manila, RP at 4 p.m. on - going home traffic. You will love it.

  10. #10
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Landed our little C12 at the Manila domestic terminal in 1991 in a blinding storm - slid down the runway in a foot of water/ Loaded into three big, SUV's and headed for the hotel on Roxas Blvd - about 45 minutes away. Passing taxis bobbing like corks in the water, which was up past the SUV windows. Made it in nine hours.......

  11. #11
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    Okay, okay, I'll stop whining.

    Though, you reminded me AO, one time I had the dutch in laws visiting (first wife) and I took them to Royal Varuna for their last few days. Normally pattaya-bangkok takes 1.5-2 hours, that day it took 6-8 hours (I cannot quite remember) - ended up going straight to the airport - Don Mueng in those days. (fortunately they'd packed everything with them, only just made their flights back to Europe. )

    I tried the motorway, the highway and sukhumvit (in desperation).

  12. #12
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    On Friday night of Songkran weekend made the mistake of leaving Bangkok around 6PM headed for a friends in Khao Yai. Arrived his place at 11:30AM next morning.

  13. #13
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Manila again - I was sitting on EDSA on a Friday night - traffic hadn't budged an inch in over an hour. A normal one hour trip - well, maybe 2 on Friday - was already stretching into the fourth hour. Then, a chirpy voice on the radio. "Bringing to all of Manila's motorists the Friday traffic report". "IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!" Horns blaring approval for miles. Gal probably got fired, but it was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal evening.

  14. #14
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    Absolutely nothing worse than Cairo traffic during Ramadan.

  15. #15
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    Probably Jakarta actually, although old Manila ran pretty close.

  16. #16
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    Manila and Bangkok are pretty gruesome but on a day to day basis Jakarta probably got the worst traffic - at least of the places I know. Mind you - Beijing is up there as well.

    Personally, the worst I was in was 20 years ago on a French motorway between Lyon and the Spanish border - more that 150 km of rock solid traffic jam. Took us more than 6 hours.

  17. #17
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    To be fair Jakarta traffic during Ramadan is great, provided you leave after buka puasa which is normally around 6.00pm, everyone is off the road by then breaking their fast, you can honestly have races up and down the empty main drags!

    (Don't be on the road an hour earlier though, deadly with brain affected dehydrated morons trying to get home as quick as they can before the break fast, come hell or high water)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    On Friday night of Songkran weekend made the mistake of leaving Bangkok around 6PM headed for a friends in Khao Yai. Arrived his place at 11:30AM next morning.
    Holy heck, was that all on the road or did you stop overnight?

  19. #19
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    First time in Manila, in a taxi to Angeles. As we traversed the city, we overtook a couple of girls walking on the pavement.

    An hour later, they overtook us again.

  20. #20
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    was that all on the road or did you stop overnight?
    All on the road. Needless to say was not in a party mood after arrival.

  21. #21
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    Nothing to rival any of these stories, but congratulations on the expected arrival of the new chimp.

  22. #22
    Neo
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    Any day in a third world shithole called Jakarta.

    I got held up for 3.5 minutes yesterday on the off ramp at junction 8 M27.
    Luckily I had airco.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    On Friday night of Songkran weekend made the mistake of leaving Bangkok around 6PM headed for a friends in Khao Yai. Arrived his place at 11:30AM next morning.
    I did this trip at the same time of year. It struck me that the stream of traffic out of Bangkok resembled refugees from some war zone or natural disaster. The contents of the pickups made for interesting viewing, however, as people transported fridges, motorcycles, furniture and even a kitchen sink unit back home to their families.
    I see fish. They are everywhere. They don't know they are fish.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    On Friday night of Songkran weekend made the mistake of leaving Bangkok around 6PM headed for a friends in Khao Yai. Arrived his place at 11:30AM next morning.
    Holy heck, was that all on the road or did you stop overnight?
    I've done this trip and it is a sight to behold. The whole of Bangkok empties out as the good folk from Isaan all return home at the same time. It isn't just a few thousand people....it is hundreds of thousands. The few pickups that don't have something to take home to the folks will have a dozen people in the back. It looks like a refugee trail.

    ...and, yes, vehicles overheat and run out of gas.

  25. #25
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    For me?

    12 hours driving from Bangkok to Phuket, with the final two hours in blinding rain and darkness, accompanied by two Thai women arguing constantly that the GPS is sending us the wrong way and that the map is wrong. Never ever again. This trip is now held up as evidence that I never listen to a word a certain person says. It is also being held up as an example of why I don't.

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