Monkey Shit Fight!!! A.K.A. Thai transport sucks!!

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
1
20
173
Trip End Dec 01, 2011


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, January 2, 2011

Well, as we hinted in the last entry getting to Malaysia was
ROUGH, to say the least!


First we slept in and missed our transfer to our ferry that
morning but woke up just after and got a cab. We didn't know what pier
we were suppose to go to or much about anything we were suppose to be
doing so our villa we stayed at tried to call the people we booked with
before we left and some old man speaking jibberish answered and they
couldn't get any info. So our cabbie took us to the main pier (costing us the 500 baht we managed to avoid the first day there) where we
were left on our own.

There were three docks there and we checked the
first, they made me (Jackie) stand in line which ended up being for the wrong
company and they pointed to a line on our receipt that said Holiday and
told me that was our company, but they didn't know where it was and yelled at me to get out of the line. So we
checked at the next two docks and they weren't right either. The last
one phoned the number on our receipt again (at which point it was
exactly the time our ferry was to leave) and finally she told us the
name of a travel agent we were to go to back near the first dock. James
ran back to find it and they told us we missed our ferry but could wait
for the next in an hour and a half. Then they transferred us to a pier
about 15 min. away where we got on the ferry finally. (Thats just the
beginning!!)


There was a bus there and it took us to a hole in the wall shop that
had a million people it seemed sitting around waiting for buses to
various places in Thailand and Malaysia....this was the Holiday company office. It
was INSANE, just a complete caotic mess!

We were given stickers with the name Holiday and their number on it and
one with our detinsation on it then were left with no directtion at all about what was to happen after
that. So we tried asking a guy walking around that was on and off a phone trying
to organize buses and such and he would look at us then wave us away
and walk off.

Then a minibus pulled up and he called for James to come
and we asked the driver if it was taking us to Butterworth/Penang (our city)
and he gave us a funny look and said yes so we started to put our bags
in the back. Then the guy with the phone came back and just said no and
took our bags out, THEN they started putting another couples bags in
when the guy looked back again and told him to stop, THEN he got our
bags back in and we finally got in.

That minibus just took us about two blocks to the public bus station and
told us to get on a bus, which didn't quite go to Malaysia; so I made
sure to ask him what we do at the final stop, if there would be a bus
there for us, he tried to shrug me off and told me yeah, that he was phoning
ahead and got on the phone, so I thought we were good....but was still
nervous.


On the bus the bus guy wouldn't let us sit near the front and made all
the foreigners get to the back and sit near the toilet (which stunk
like piss pretty much the whole way, and of course I got the seat with
a broken chair in front of me that fell back a bit into my legs!).

Anyway, the actual bus wasn't to bad (besides the smell) but it
started to get late and instead of getting to our destination in
Malaysia at 7:30 (like the lady we booked with told us) we got to the
place in Thailand that was the buses final destination at 7:30pm.....we figured this meant we wouldn't be to
our destination in Malaysia till close to midnight.


Well when we got off the bus there were a couple guys there asking the
foreigners about where in Malaysia they were going and one guy got the
people with Holiday and told us to follow him, he was taking us to the
Holiday office; this is what usually happens when we get off buses,
there is a guy that picks us up and transfers us. So, we followed and
turns out he was taking us in a tuk tuk truk (truk with bench seats in
the back) and we had to pay for the ride there. We all made a huge fuss
about it cz we had already paid for our trip and were pissed off to
here that. So he got on the phone for a while and we figured he was
talking to the Holiday people. He came back and told us no we had to
pay but it was only a buck or so per person and we were worried we
would miss our bus so we went.


When we go to the agency it turned out they were a completely different
company just with the same name and we were not suppose to be taken
there...it became clear to us this guy just saw our stickers and knew
where holiday was so he took us there....we ran back where some people
were still paying him and I told them to stop and got mad at him for
taking us there and he went to the agency to talk to them cz he was
confused (he thought he knew what he was doing). Then we got him to
phone the number on our sticker and he seemed to not be able to talk to
them or something, so THEN he gave me the phone and I called and talked
to an english speaking girl and explained what happened, then all of a
sudden she put a guy on the phone and all he would say was hi...pretty
sure he didn't speak english. SO I passed the phone back and the driver
talked to him, seemed like he was getting somewhere. When he got off he
said we had to wait and we would be picked up in ten minutes. He tried
to get the rest of his pay and leave but I told him like hell he was
going anywhere; he was gonna wait with us and make sure someone came. So with all of
us telling him he wasn't going anywhere he said fine and stayed.

At
this point we still thought they we getting a bus to Malaysia for us.
Turns out they got a minibus to take us to a hotel for the night instead
cz our public bus was way late and we missed anything going to
Malaysia!!!! We all got really pissed off AGAIN, but we checked the
hotel and it seemed OK for the night and was only about $10/room and they
said we would be picked up from there and taken to the bus in the
morning. WHAT A DAY!!

We checked in and walked around town and got some food cz we hadn't eaten all day!


Then in the morning (Jan 3) we got picked up at the time they said and then
dropped the people that were going to Kuala Lumpur off at one agency to
get on a big bus and dropped us others at another agency to wait, for
what we also thought would be a big bus, nope another mini bus came and
that's what finally took us to Malaysia. We got there at 2:00pm, a
HORRIBLE 32 hours after we started what was supposed to be a 12 hour
journey!! Unbelievable. Luckily we did the trip with a guy that has
been to Penang (where we are now in Malaysia) and when we got dropped
off at a mall he knew where we were and we got a place to stay with
him.


Not done the nightmare yet, here's the worst part!

Mark, the guy we were sharing a room with the first night, was going through his bag and getting stuff sorted for his travels when he realized his traveller's cheques had all been stolen. We felt
so bad...then when I went through my stuff to get everything sorted I
pulled out my folder thing with my US money and someone stole $600 of
it!!! They left one $100 bill, which I still don't understand, so I had
for a while hoped the rest had fallen into my bag or something, but no,
it's gone!!


The best we can guess is either someone went into our rooms at the place we
had to stay by the border in Thailand while we were out for supper or when we crossed the border and left the van the driver went through our bags. The
funny thing is though that none of James' money was touched so it still
seems so strange. Our bags were in the storage under the bus or in the
back of the vans for the rest of the trip so we don't know how they
woulda got it then. Just soooo frustrating cz there is absolutely
nothing we can do about it here. At least Mark could cancel his cheques
and report them stolen and hasn't lost any money but mine is just gone!

 

Oh, haha, one more thing! Because we weren't taken to Malaysia and had
to stay one more day James and I went over our 15 day stay in Thailand
and had to pay another almost $20 each when we left!! Thailand has
helped itself to WAY to much of our money!!!! We're pretty happy to be
out of there and Malaysia is beautiful and so I think that's what is
keeping me sane right now after finding my money gone.

Well thats our story of the two days it took us to get to Malaysia; we're glad it's over but still feel sour towards Thailand, they've managed to damage our whole view of Thailand and it makes us sad, but we really hope anyone else travelling there manages to keep free of this.

(The irony in all this is when we booked the trip the lady just decided to book us with Holiday. When I asked why it was expensive she said we could book with Songserm and it would be cheaper but she wouldn't want to do that to us because she has had many complaints about them and has heard nothing about Holiday. The thing is though we thought about booking with Songserm because that's who we had been travelling with since Chiang Mai and although it wasn't super comfy they at least had there own buses and there was some order in their chaos....go with your gut I guess.)

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