The ladies at the front desk at our hotel told us that the bus to Sulat Thani departed every hour, on the hour, until 4pm. They said it was a two-hour drive.
The taxi driver said that there were no more buses to Sulat Thani. We would have to try again in the morning.
The woman who sold bus tickets at the bus stop wrote the number 16.40 on her hand, indicating that the bus would arrive at 4:40 pm.
It was 2:20 pm.
“Come across the highway,” a second woman at the bus stop said. “I have good food for you.” She pointed to her restaurant.
A man at the bus stop, holding pre-sliced mangos and quail eggs, said through his toothless smile. “Mango.”
We debated whether we should go eat across the street. (We did not debate about eating his pre-sliced mango or quail eggs.) At 2:30 pm we were still deciding if we should eat, when all of a sudden the bus arrived. We boarded. (It turned out it was a four-hour ride.)
Moral: Be careful about advice. Everyone is wrong. (E-mail me if you require any advice, by the way. Or just read Travel Tips.)
To some of you, you probably think a four-hour bus ride sounds miserable. (I’ve probably been on over 300 buses that have traveled four hours or more. If you want miserable, try taking multiple thirty-plus-hour bus rides in a row. Those are miserable. Try a 9-hour night boat voyage, where you’re piled in a row of shared mattresses alongside sixty-three other people like canned fish. This, by the way, was the very reason my wife and I went to Sulat Thani. More on that story in the future.) But, no. A four-hour bus ride through Thailand is actually quite wonderful and you should make it a part of your travels. Why? What good could come from a four-hour bus ride? Tune in to the next post, when I reveal all of the highlights of that ride…
(Why the pig? you ask. It is a metaphor for travelers seeking out the bus schedule.)
What bad advice have you received in your travels?