living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chaiang Mai – Songtaew fares slashed in HALF!

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

Suriya Prasartbandit announced at the local government’s weekly press meeting that after the recent re-organisation of public transport around the city, he now plans to REDUCE the cost of songthaews to 10 baht per journey and five baht for students. The current price for a journey is 20-30 baht. 
The re-organisation has solved some problems regarding public transport in Chiang Mai, but according to the Chiang Mai Transport Cooperative Limited – which represents songthaew drivers – many problems still need to be addressed.
Chiang Mai currently has 2,700 registered songthaews, with 550 of these organised into 11 specific routes around the city.
The announcement has been made following complaints by drivers that not only is there a lack of customers but that the newly assigned routes are hardly used. Drivers also highlighted the price difference between songthaews that drive on specific routes and those that can take passengers anywhere.
The governor hopes that by reducing the cost and making every songthaew charge the same price, people will be encouraged to use public transport more often. Prices will be lowered and price placards changed from September 1.
However, the response by the public and drivers has been mostly negative, with many people saying that 20 baht is still very good value for money and that they would worry about the overall loss of income for the drivers.
One songthaew driver commenting on CM108’s website said the daily cost of rent and petrol is around 850 baht a day. Under current pricing, drivers receive on average around 1,200 baht per day, leaving around 400 baht to take home. Under the new plans, the driver said, he would have to have more than 200 customers per day to match his current income – which he suggests would be impossible.
Personal thought:
I think the people who rely on their car/motor-bike, will continue to rely on their car/motor-bike.
Reducing the songtaew drivers revenue by half, will greatly the numbers of songtaews on the road.
I will continue to pay 20-baht.
Because I can.

August 30, 2014 Posted by | transportation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pattaya – Ferry Disaster – 6-Dead, OVER 100 MISSING


Via: Pattaya Daily News

At 4.40pm. The large passenger ferry was returning to Cape Bali Hai Port in South Pattaya when it started leaking badly and sank approximately 500-metres of nearby Koh Larn Island There were HUNDREDS of tourists FLOATING in the SEA with a few swimming to the shore by themselves, but fears are held for the large number of injured, who will be difficult to locate during the night.. Rescuers from other boats rushed to assist all the victims, and initially there are more than 10-children and adults dead and around one hundred tourists have been injured. Rescuers from all available units went to assist the victims and waiting for a ship from Sattahip Naval Base to search the sinking ship for the bodies of passengers, but darkness is a big obstacle.

Journalists reported that the police of Pattaya City Police Station, in SE Thailand’s Chonburi Province were notified that there was the sinking of a passenger ferry operating between Pattaya City and Koh Larn that takes tourists on mainly day trips. The name of the ship was “Koh Larn Travel 1”and it had two decks, but the ship leaked and sank in the sea quite a distance off Koh Larn, on its return trip to South It was carrying 150-200 Thai and foreign passengers back to the port in South Pattaya Bay under Bali Hai Cape. Most of the tourists were families that consisted of children and adults, which are Thai, Russian, Korean, Chinese plus many other nationalities, totalling 150-200 people. The ship sank when it was approximately 500-metres off Koh Larn Island and other passengers ship that were nearby assisted in rescuing the tourists that were floating in the sea. They immediately informed the sea rescue organisations in Pattaya City to launch their rescue boats to assist the victims so at this time things were very chaotic.


Thailand – Ferries sink, trains de-rail, planes run off the runway, busses crash – hell, you know what? I think I’ll stay home today.




November 4, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – 22 dead in bus crash

Via: Chiang Mai – City


On 23rd October around 7 p.m. a hired ‘Veerapan’ tour bus went over the edge of a cliff near Pan Thong Waterfall on Wang Nue – Doi Saket Road, resulting in 22 dead and 19 injured.

It’s reported that the bus was hired by a group from Saraphi so that they could make merit at a temple in Lampang. On their way back to Chiang Mai they wanted to stop at Pan Thong Waterfall.

Police say that in heavy rains the bus skidded off the road and fell into a ravine 100 METRES below.
When police arrived at the scene they found five bodies in the bus. Police say the operation to save the rest of the passengers was difficult in the darkness.


I guess it comes down to a case of ‘Pick your Poison’ – bus or train?

For me, I’s rather spend the money, and fly.


October 24, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fu*king Hell! – Air China to Commence Beijing-Chiang Mai Service on November 7



Air China Limited, or Air China in short, will introduce a Beijing – Chiang Mai service on November 7. Want to have first-hand experiences of the charming streets depicted in “Lost in Thailand,” a 2013 Chinese box-office hit? Fly to Thailand on Air China.

The Beijing – Chiang Mai flights, CA823/4, are operated three times a week on Monday/Thursday/Saturday with the B737-800. The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 18:30 Beijing time and arrives in Chiang Mai at 22:40 local time. The return flight leaves Chiang Mai at 23:45 local time and arrives in Beijing at 05:00 Beijing time



Related post:

‘Don’t Piss in the Pool, or Pick your Nose: Chinese Ordered to Adhere to the Behaviour Manifesto’


October 10, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Crackdown on Dangerous and Illegal Foreign Drivers


Via: Chiang Mai – City News

It was reported in the Bangkok Post today that foreign drivers in Chiang Mai have come under scrutiny for causing accidents, and so a centre has been set-up to teach foreign drivers about local traffic laws.

The centre aims to bring the number of accidents involving foreigners down. Police, tourist police, the transport office, and immigration will all work together in keeping the centre running.

Chanchai Kilapaeng of the Chiang Mai transport office told the press that he hoped the centre would reduce traffic problems caused by tourists who were not familiar with local driving laws.  (They have driving laws here? I actually didn’t know that.)

He added that foreigners will be targeted by police for not adhearing to local traffic laws and will also be fined if they are found driving without a license.



“foreigners will be targeted by the police”

Wilie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, and he reported said, “That’s where the money is”.

‘Same-same, NO difference’



October 8, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Thailand – Chiang Mai Rail Service CLOSED For Maintenance


Governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Prapat Chongsanguan disclosed that a 300-kilometer rail line from Sila-art station in Uttaradit to Chiang Mai will be closed for repair after a recent derailment in Phrae. He revealed that SINCE the BEGINNING of THIS YEAR, there have been 13 derailments so far.

According to him, the maintenance will cost around 2.8 billion baht ($87,500,000 USD) which will be spent on new sleepers and tracks as well as the replacement of soil with stone under the track along the route.

The governor also expressed his confidence that there would be no more derailments after the maintenance, adding that suspension of the rail service will help speed up the maintenance as the operation is expected to be complete by December 31st.

Let’s see if I have this right.

They say they will repair 300km of rail, by spending $87.5 million USD, in LESS than 4-MONTHS.

HORSE-SHIT! – EVEN ‘they’, can’t spend/waste that much money, in that short of period.

What I believe is a better approach:

Junk the idea of high-speed rail, and instead spend the money on NEW dual track from Bangkok to Chiang Mai which can handle BOTH passenger and frieght.

Yeah, yeah, I KNOW it’s not as glamorous as high-speed rail, but . . .


September 7, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Train Derails for the ELEVENTH time this YEAR! (see gif)


City News – Chiang Mai

At 9 p.m. on 1st September 2013, the second carriage of the train leaving Chiang Mai and heading to Bangkok derailed in Mae Moh District, Lampang. From initial reports, there were no injuries and it was found that the two front wheels had derailed from the track. Most of the passengers were foreigners (morons!). The repairs were made by 2.30 a.m. on 2nd September and is now running as normal.

– Between April and May this year the train derailed 4 times.

– Between June and July it derailed 3 times.

– In August it derailed 3 times.

– In September it has derailed only once, but it’s still fairly early.

Thailand – We’re Number One! – We’re Number One! – We’re Number One!


September 3, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – ANOTHER Chiang Mai train bound for Bangkok derails


Somchai Kongchuensin, a senior official of the State Railway of Thailand, said there were 80 passengers on the train at the time of the accident.

He said the derailment happened at 6.35am in Lampang’s Hang Chat district. More than 50 officials and engineers rushed to the scene to put the diesel locomotive back on its tracks. More than three hours passed before the locomotive and its 10 carriages were ready to resume operations.

A new locomotive was coupled at the next station to bring the 10 carriages to Bangkok.

Somchai said relevant officials would investigate the derailment further to determine the exact cause.

NOTE: The incident is the FOURTH derailment on the northern line since July 13


the TENTH for the the State Railway of Thailand THIS YEAR.

TWO reasons why the Thai Rail system is the BEST in the WORLD:

REASON 1: The trains travel soooooooooooooooo incredibly slooooooooooow, that IF they have a derailment, they simply put the locomotive/carriages back on the track.

Think about it, a derailment ONLY took three-hours to make right. Man, are they good, or what?



August 24, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Thailand – 26 Russian Tourists Involved in Tour Bus Crash, and Putin is Pissed! (SEE PHOTO)

Via: Pattaya Daily News


Sai Yok Police were informed that a tour bus was involved in an accident. It was reported that the tour bus consisted of 26 Russian tourists, the injured tourists were sent to a local hospital, no deaths reported.

The tour bus had significant damages throughout the bus, its front, sides and windows were all smashed.

The 43 year-old driver (dead man, walking) who wasn’t injured was taken to Sai Yok police station for a questioning session.




August 11, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – ANOTHER Chiang Mai-bound train derails in tunnel


Via: Thai Visa

The train left Bangkok on Friday night with 415 passengers, many of whom were foreign tourists. It derailed at around 3am yesterday in the (over 100-year old) 382-metre-long Khao Pleung tunnel, located between Ban Pang Ton Phueng in Uttaradit and Huai Rai Station in Den Chai, Phrae.

The six carriages ended up leaning against the tunnel wall (hey if you were as old as these Thai carriages, you’d be tired too!); however, its five leading carriages were undamaged and able to resume their journey to Den Chai. The affected passengers were transported by rail trolleys to Sila-at Station, where 15 buses took them to Chiang Mai and other destinations. The derailment caused Bangkok- and Chiang Mai-bound train services to be suspended for hours (hours? yeah right) to allow for track repairs.


personal opinion:

I think the Thai rail system has been very lucky in dodging deaths with all their wreaks. But, ‘one of these days’ . . .




August 5, 2013 Posted by | transportation | , , , , | Leave a comment