How travelling in Thailand compares to rip-off Britain
We've been in Thailand for five days now. We're nicely acclimatised and have been let loose round downtown Bangkok a few times. It's a mad place but one you can get around easily. Our plans are to head north out of here and that requires a journey to Chiang Mai so it's either an overnight bus at Â£13 or the sleeper train at Â£17.
Armed with our passports, we took a taxi to Hua Lamphong railway station to book our tickets. There are two ways to get there, the slow way or the express way. Our driver asked if we would pay the toll (£1), we did and we were off.
I thought he was giving us a running commentary but he was continuously talking into his phone. I thought the bar staff in the York were never off their phones but the Thais are the world’s experts!
From the raised expressway you have great views of the city where the traditional lives cheek and jowl with the modern shiny hi-rise. It’s definitely a city on the up as glass, steel and cranes dominate the landscape with the incessant sound of construction filling the air. What is also surreal is a giant hoarding of Mata, Rooney and Schwiensteiger looking down at you, Man Utd - they get everywhere.
At the station we joined a queue to book our ticket.
It was all done efficiently as we duly paid our money for the top and bottom bunk of an overnight sleeper compartment, second class, with air con - not bad for £17 each.
Now let’s talk about rip-off Britain where a standard ticket on the London to Fort William overnight sleeper out of Euston would cost an eye watering £155 per person.
We negotiated the self-service ticket machine and our journey from National Stadium to Saphan Taksin cost us 73p each for six stops on the Skytrain. The trains are immaculate. They are so clean, air conditioned and everyone is polite to each other.
So for a day’s jaunt around a capital city it’s cost us a mere £5.50 between us, looks like my pension will last out at this rate.