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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pre Bangkok: Getting trained to Bang Kok

Finally it is time to write about my adventures to Bangkok
last December....
It has been so delayed that
I am currently in the process of planning my next excursion to that area

All in the name of being different,
instead of taking the airplane like most Malaysians,
I relished in the idea of the experience of travelling by land
I decided to go via train,
as it also has the option of overnight with beds made available...
 so there is comfort whilst travelling
I really liked how the beds were stored above the seating area,
(which also converts to a bed)
with it's own curtains for privacy
the ride pretty comfortable, clean and scenic...
but before I get to that...

let me talk about my adventure before the ride...
Maybe I don't have enough drama in my life,
or travelling and drama go hand in hand in my life...
but which ever the case is...
this time, the adventure came in  the form of buying the train ticket

The train from Malaysia to Bangkok can be caught from many stations,
starting from Butterworth in Penang onwards...
I decided to grab my ride from Padang Besar in Malaysia
mainly because I was familiar with the area and it meant 2 hours less in the train

When I arrived at the Padang Besar train station,
even the sun hadn't arrived yet...
but the place was still well lit..

so like any good Malaysian,
I went to grab some food while waiting for the ticketing counter to open
According to the signs,
the ticketing counter opens at 9 a.m.
(notice the short working hours!...
4 hours in the morning... 2 & a half in the evening!)
The reason I included my phone with the photo is to show
the fact that I was present after the opening time
despite having patiently arrived an hour prior to the photo

now take a look at the ticketing counter a minute later of the photo
(tutup = closed)
doesn't it make one so proud of Malaysian efficiency?
(take no notice of my sarcastic tone)

What made it worse was a worker opened the curtains 
and casually mentioned to give them 5 minutes while they set up...
Little did I realise that the 5 minutes in government talk means
20 minutes in lay man terms...
so eventually after half an hour of waiting
(thanks to the courteous Malaysian who don't understand lining up)
I paid the RM93 to get my ticket....
you'd have thought that'd be the end of my adventures...
but noooo... :)

arriving at the station early I decided to grab dinner,
and nearly an hour b4 the stated time,
I thought I'd go through immigration...
and after I passed through I exited to find a train waiting for me already
after a few inquiries (due to the lack of announcement and signs)
I managed to find my seat in the train...
just before it departed... half an hour early!
Imagine what would have happened if I only arrived on time..
or ran a little late...  I'd miss the train... like I did in Bangkok...
but that's another story for another time


Anyhow, my first experience on an overnight train
was such an experience in itself.
First of all I was fascinated by the booths
It has seats facing each other,
and a foldable table for meals

All in all, I must say that travelling by train to Bangkok is a must try at least once
especially for lovers of the culture and land...
It is worth taking the 20 hours ride if you can spare the time..
rather than take the 1 hour plus flight and miss out on the sights...
after all, you'd never know what u might find....
check out the next post to see what that is all about...

1 comment:

  1. Hi!
    My name is Paulo, i'm Portuguese, and i plan to travel to Padang Besar, in August 2014, by train, arriving at 9h30am (Malaysian time), and go from there, asap, to Wang Kelian border crossing.
    I would much appreciate if you could tell me if it is easy to find a taxi at Padang Besar train station to take me to Wang Kelian.
    Hope to hear from you!
    Thank you!
    Best regards.
    Paulo Santos (paulojcps@iol.pt)

    ReplyDelete

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