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Public vans up country from Bangkok: Time tables etc.
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    Public vans up country from Bangkok: Time tables etc.

    The other option
    If you think buses are annoying and lack punctuality, well... there are public vans

    Published: 7/10/2010 at 12:00 AM
    Newspaper section: Horizons

    The number of public vans commuting between Bangkok and upcountry has grown significantly in recent years and they provide tourists with a convenient alternative option of travel around Thailand.

    These vans, available virtually from any point in the capital, now connect not just neighbouring Ayutthaya and Ratchaburi but provinces further afar, Trat, Phitsanulok and Uthai Thai - all in all some 25 destinations nationwide and, with their timely departure and arrival, have won the hearts of a wide cross-section of the commuting public and weekend travellers.

    One advantage with public vans is that they save you the trouble of having to travel to outskirts of the city, where the inter-provincial bus terminals are located, before you can catch a bus or air-con coaches to take you wherever you are going.

    There are several points - Victory Monument, Tesco Lotus, Central and Pata department stores in the Pin Klao area, Chatuchak weekend market and others - where you can conveniently hop onto a van and be on your way upcountry in quick time. They depart every 30 minutes.

    Chakkit Prasartsit, a driver who plies daily between the Victory Monument and Damnoen Saduak floating market in Ratchaburi, said Fridays are very busy.

    If you stand on the overpass that connects to the BTS Skytrain station and watch the road below, you will see long queues of vans in sois underneath and across waiting for their turn to ferry passengers to their destinations.

    You can literally travel anywhere.

    One van terminal popular among commuters is actually a lane between Chatuchak weekend market and Chatuchak Park, another is in front of Rattanakosin Hotel on Ratchadamnoen Road.

    "I used to travel by public bus but they always stop on the way to drop off or pick up passengers, which is quite irritating. Vans don't stop mid-way and they deliver me faster. I save travel time," said Porchai, who's been commuting daily between Bangkok and his hometown, Suphan Buri, for more than a decade.

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    Last edited by Khun Don; 10-10-10 at 03:12 AM.

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