Travel to Nang Rong
Most tourists to Thailand wind up in the tourist areas. These are certain parts of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and probably parts of some of the other major cities where many people will speak at least some English. In other areas the language is Thai. Most people you must interact with at the airports (considered major tourist areas) will speak English, just like nearly anywhere else in the world. In other places, such as the main bus terminals and train stations, the language is Thai and you may have difficulty finding an English speaker to help you.
Some people, such as taxi drivers, will know a few English words so that saying “Market Mo Chit” will get you to the huge outdoor market at Mo Chit in Bangkok. Hotel desk people are the most likely to be English speakers. They can give you phrases for what you want to do in Thai on note cards. The person you show the card may only speak Thai, but we have yet to run into an illiterate person who is in any way connected with the tourist business in Thailand.
Even with these limitations, if you just know the name of the city or town to where you are going, you can almost certainly reach your destination with a minimum of trouble.
The instructions in this section should make it easy for you to get from Bangkok or its airport to Nang Rong and back by bus.
With proper preparation of just a few things, travel in Thailand can be easy.
- Know where you are going, be able to say the name. For example "Bus station, Mo Chit."
- When you get to your hotel, grab several of its cards at the front desk. These will be helpful when you need to get back at the end of the day. Pack a few away if you plan to use this hotel again when you return to that city.
- For every place you wish to go to, make up a note card with the help of a Thai who speaks English. Put down the place name using English characters at the top so you can pronounce it to cab drivers and bus terminal clerks. The full address and contact information should be in Thai. Don't forget phone numbers. Hotel desk clerks can often help with this.
- Use a cell phone. They don't do contracts here like in the U.S. Buy a cheap used cell phone and a sim card in Bangkok. If you get stuck in a cab, you can dial the number of your destination and hand your phone to the driver. If you are a volunteer with O.F. you can call us when you get to the Nang Rong bus station. If there is a place in Thailand without cell phone access, we have yet to see it. If you have the number of a friend in Thailand, say, a fellow volunteer here at O.F., you can always call if you have a problem anywhere in the country.
- If you need it, bring toilet paper. Except in nicer shopping centers in Bangkok, most restrooms do not have it. Hint: sometimes the handicapped restroom may have some.
- Avoid the scammers. Click here for more information.
- When you arrive at an airport or bus station there will be people waiting for you as you get off offering taxis and rides. Ignore them and ask for the "taxi line". The line is usually short and fast. You are directed to a taxi that will use the meter. The others will not, asking for a price up front which is always higher. The taxis in the line will be legitimate. There is a possibility, although remote, that the others might not be.
- I keep a two to three foot bungee in my carryon. All Bangkok taxis are propane powered, with a tank taking up part of the trunk behind the back seat. They will not have room for big suitcases unless the trunk lid is open a bit. Why so many cab drivers have no rope or cord to tie down the trunk lid is beyond me.
- If you are two people with maximum luggage, four large pieces plus carryons, a standard cab is tight. The best layout seems carryons and one large in the trunk, two large in the front seat and one large with the two of you in the back seat. The other variation is one large in the front seat and two large with you in the back seat. That one is a bit tight but usually possible. They also have van type cabs which because of the propane tank have just a little more room. If you have to ask for one of these the driver may not use the meter. Agree on a price before you go.