Myles Harrington

Posts Tagged ‘buses’

Our Day With The Tran Family

In Vietnam on September 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Hue was our next stop over on the long coast road down to Saigon. We attacked the trip in one long haul from Sapa with an overnight bus to Hanoi, arriving at 4.30am and then an ongoing 10am train to Hue, arriving at 2.30am the following day. A total of 30 hours travelling.

The Vegas bus

As always with these long trips there are highs and lows. A 5am roadside beer in Hanoi was a particular highlight that starved off the imminent tiredness and the 16 hour train journey where we shared cigarettes and the Top Gear Vietnam episode with the conductors was a great memory.

Timer shot for the 5am beers in Hanoi, 12 hour bus ride done and not even half way to Hue

Because we wanted to save as much money as possible we went third class on the train in the wooden hard seat section. Sitting there it’s as if they’re trying to punish you for being cheap, the seats are constructed with slatted boards with a bolt upright back. So we chose to sleep on the dusty floor instead, which was comfortable until we woke up with necks feeling like we’d been in a severe head on collision.

Ready for a rough ride

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Bangkok Bastards

In Thailand on August 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

On the morning of our last day in Ko Phangan we managed to get a cracking price on a combined taxi-boat-bus ticket from to Bangkok. We’d leave the hotel, picked up by a taxi at midday and arrive at Khao San Road in Bangkok the next day at 6am. It was perfect. All we had to do was check out of the Family House where we’d stayed in Haad Rin and wait for the taxi. Checking out wasn’t as easy as it normally is. I knew something was up when they said they wanted to check the rooms and the smearky owner sent off his minion with a walkie-talkie to scan for damage. Unfortunately for us the special shakes hadn’t gone down too well with the girls, so their sheets were rather heavily sick stained. This was the perfect excuse for Mr Smerk to extort the farang. He demanded 1000 Baht for two sheets and a towel, about 20 quid. We tried to negotiate but he wouldn’t budge and threatened to call the police if we didn’t oblige. Eventually Emma gave in and gave him the money. He said the sheets were destroyed so he’d have to throw them away. To our annoyance after being conned he started to hose them down. I went back to claim what we’d paid for to make sure they were properly disposed off and he grabbed the nearest weapon to hand, which happened to be a shovel. I managed to grab the bin liners with the laundry and backed off from him while he was swinging and smiling. He followed us down the path pretending to call the old bill. That was the first Bastard of the day. We didn’t know the biggest drama was still to come.

John's wheelchair couldn't get up the stairs so we had a party in the car hold

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Heeelllllllllooooooo Miiissstttteeeeerrrrrrrr

In Indonesia on July 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I think I jinxed us in KL. I said to Claire I missed the feeling of being like a minor celebrity in India. The attention you got was incredible purely because of the colour of your skin. It was great fun having kids running after you, or away from you and friendly locals inviting you for tea. In Sumatra the celeb status has been stepped up a level. literally everyone calls down the street when they see you, or as they swish past on their mopeds and every one of them without fail calls out “Heeelllllllllooooooo Miiissstttteeeeerrrrrrrr”. If I hear it one more time I think I might have to start hitting them, or perhaps just start to ignore them. It gets boring waving constantly and my throat has started to hurt from just saying hello. I don’t know how everyone learned this was what to say to tourists but it soon starts to grate.

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On To KL

In Malaysia on July 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

After India, I’m used to spending very long periods of time in very uncomfortable positions. So a five-hour bus ride from Penang to KL I could do it blindfolded in the hold. So long as the price was right. The only bus that was available by every travel agent in town was an AC option for RM35 (£7). I begrudged paying that much for only five hours but when we got to the coach I could see why it cost that much. The seats were humongous, the air was freezing cold (I never understand why Asians like to be icy cold) and best of all, the seats had massage functionality. How ridiculous.

The new Robin Hood film was shown on board. Better than BA

The ironic thing was, given all of the shitty government buses I have been on over the last three months. The only one that broke down was the AC deluxe, rockstar coach. We were sat for an hour while it was repaired just outside of Penang.

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A Change of Scenery But No Change of Pace

In Malaysia on July 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm

It was a great flight to Malaysia, only about a quarter full, so for once I had four hours of luxury travel, spreading myself over three seats. Claire was there to meet me as arranged and we headed in to Georgetown, Penang to start the celebrations of two months travel together. By pure co-incidence the Georgetown Festival was in full swing that afternoon so we joined in the festivities.

Georgetown's Dragons

Claire told me the tales of her previous night. She was snogged by a sixty-something Indian fortune-teller, so it was only natural we would head to the same bar. He was there again and we had a few discussions about Indian culture but no kisses. Read the rest of this entry »

One Night in Bangalore With The Bond Girls

In India on July 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm

My solo adventures with the Bond girls (Florence and Harriet Bond) began when David left us in Hospet, the transit town from Hampi. We arrived there stupidly early for the night bus so had to spend six hours coffee shop hopping.

Time to burn in a luxurious restaurant

We also made a crucial error by booking the last three seats on the 10.30pm bus. They were the ones at the back, the ones that don’t lean back.

The government bus back row

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