After Myanmar, Thailand was a bit more like home, except that they drive on the wrong side of the road (the left side, for those who don’t know right and wrong). All manner of transport was on offer:
Boats, on the Chao Phraya in Bangkok (racing up and down the canals):
Bangkok has its famous tuk-tuks:
Buses, including nice intercity buses:
Trains (of course):
Bicycles (students in Sukhothai):
Cars & Taxis: Phuket’s Not-so-free Transportation market deserves special discussion. So far on our trip we haven’t found much to complain about: things have generally been what we’ve expected, in some ways even easier (lots of wall outlets can handle our electronics without adapters, for example). However, Phuket taxi market is really infuriating. Admittedly, our expectations were set by Bangkok, where every other car is a cab. There we traveled an hour to the school visit without running up more than $10 either way, and across town trips, even with traffic, cost $3-4. The “market” here is very different. Cabs don’t have meters, but use a pre-set fare schedule set up last year by the local industry group (with presumably some rubber stamp government “oversight”).
As a result, the fares are really exorbitant. With really high fares, what do you think the effects are? 1) car and motorbike rental is very popular, and supply often comes from locals (the car we rented belonged to the father of the two guys working a tourist services booth);
and 2) artificially high prices create a mismatch of supply and demand, wherein most taxi services are about this busy:
It’s good to see some laws are unchangeable, despite collusion.