After my short island getaway on Ko Pha Ngan, I arranged for transportation to Krabi. This involved a ferry back to the mainland, and then a bus ride to the outskirts of the city. From here, it was necessary to make an extra payment to hitch a ride in a minivan that dropped me off at my accommodation.
Ordinarily, this situation would raise alarm bells in my mind. But, I think I’ve adjusted quickly to how things are done in this part of the world, and the sudden changes in plans, delays and other unexpected occurrences don’t faze me as much as they did before.
When traveling in Thailand, there’s often a lack of communication throughout your journey. Part of the problem is a language barrier, but the business practices in Thailand are also challenging. The system tries to wring as much money out of tourists as possible so that locals can get a piece of the tourist pie. One example of this is terminating my transportation outside the city (instead of in the city center) so that local tuk-tuk, songthaew and minivan drivers can earn some money taking us into town.
This method is inconvenient because it means everything takes longer than necessary, but if you’re traveling independently and on a tight budget, what’s a few more hours of time? If you’re ready for this type of system, it’s easier to accept things. You stop trying to fight it or compare it to what is probably a more efficient method that you’re used to back home.
Being able to adjust to the local customs is important when you’re traveling because it definitely decreases your stress and anxiety. You stop trying to change the system and finally accept how it works. Sometimes, in the process, you learn that it’s actually a well-oiled machine that is perfect for the situation.