I’ve just back from my getaway holiday to Southern-Thailand, where beautiful beaches and (wild) parties take places. Even it’s in the south-east Asia, I didn’t see a lot of Asian over there, but European faces. So yeah, it’s a total getaway for me, when I don’t have to see Indonesian people arguing about which souvenir stalls offer the cheapest price.
It was my fist time in Thailand, and my first impression about Thai-people were.. they have a funny accent. So, for them who speaks English, they speak very fast (with their funny accent), I hardly understand every word they said.
Anyway, my first stop was Patong Beach, Phuket. Since Patong Beach was nothing but the famous street of the devil, Bangla Road, I spent the day to find information about how to get a Phang Nga Bay daily tour. Fortunately, I stopped by at Tour & Travel stalls owned by a beautiful lady called Vi. She speaks English very well and calmly, without the funny accent. She managed my Phang Nga Bay daily tour and turned out very nice. A minivan sent to my hotel to pick me up and drop me at the pier where the tour started. After the trip at the Ao Phang Nga National Park finished, the minivan sent me back to my hotel.
So, with that nice experience, I came back to Vi to book another trip. This time, I need an arrangement to get me to Phangan Island. Since it is my last destination, I booked a round trip from Patong-Phangan and Phangan-Phuket Airport for 1700 Bath. This time, the trip was handled by “P.P. Transfer & Services”.
They picked me up early, around 7, with a minivan and scheduled to arrived at Phangan Island around 4 in the afternoon. Then, around 12 if I’m not mistaken, the minivan driver drop us off at the P.P. Transfer & Services office. There, they gave us the joint ticket (boat ticket) to get to Phangan Island. But, after that, they said we have to wait for about an hour to go to pier. In fact, we have to wait about 2 hours at that office, and wait for another hours at the pier. That’s when I realized if Thai-people have a different time-measurement with most people. But at least with that much delayed time, I arrived at Phangan Island.
Phangan Island was extremely nice. You can’t just spent days, you need at least a week to enjoy the whole island. Hopping through beaches, waterfalls, and of course parties. But, every journey has to meet its end, so did mine.
Monday, 26 April 2015, I packed my things and went to the Thong Sala Pier, Phangan to catch the 12.30 boat to Donsak Pier, Surat Thani. After experienced a ridiculous delayed time in my previous trip, this time I got an extremely ridiculous experience on my way back to Airport. This time, I have to change bus for 3 times to get into the P.P. Transfer & Services office. There, the old man in charge checking our destination and he already knew if I’m going to the Airport. Yet, we have to wait for another hours til a minivan came and take us to Phuket.
Unfortunately, on our way to Phuket, the minivan broke down in the middle of nowhere and we have to stop. So, there we are, 2 Indonesian; a Russian; an American; 5 Germans and a local (Thai); stuck in a small store near (or maybe inside?) a forest. After an hour of waiting for nothing, the driver told us to wait for another 2 hours til another minivan from Phuket came.
Like I said, Thai people have a different time-measurement with most people. In fact, we have to wait for 3 hours (instead of 2) before another minivan shows up. But none of us knew if that minivan is not our help, it’s our nightmare.
So, after sat down and take a deep breath, the new driver gave us an attitude. I didn’t know what’s the Germans discussing about, probably about their stay for the night, but the driver shouted at us, “SHUT UP OR I’LL BE ANGRY!”.
Then, he started complaining about his duty to drove us that night because he has to drive to Surat Thani from Patong in the morning. Sounds like he didn’t like it but he has to do it because his boss told him so. But we didn’t care, it’s his duty anyway, we paid for the trip, and it’s not our fault the minivan broke down.
Suddenly, the local got a phone-call and I think her phone blinked and the driver angry again and shouted at us “WHO’S TAKING PICTURE? NO PICTURES!”. The Germans, who’s tired of being accused for silly things, answered “None taking pictures! The phone is blinking!”
After numerous tense-situation like that, the driver still gave us more attitude. He stopped and RIPPING US OFF! First, he asked for an extra 200 Bath/person to the Germans to drove them to Patong Beach. He said he won’t drive until all Germans pay the extra. He also accused them of liars. If they don’t pay him right away, they gonna run and will not pay the extra at Patong. Can you believe it? Tsk!
Then he’s trying to rip me off for 200 Bath extra because he said I didn’t bring an Airport Sticker. In his defense, I should got it from the P.P Transfer & Services office. Hell, they didn’t give me that shit over there. I was angry and said “I won’t pay any extra. I already paid for the round-trip from Patong to Phangan and Phangan to Airport. I don’t know about stickers and they didn’t give me any”. Then he called his boss and moved on to ripped another passenger off.
The American should pay for an extra 400 Bath (or maybe more?) to get to Baan Chyna. Then he try to rip the Russian off, who needs to get to the Phuket bus station. He said, the bus station is closed, so the Russian have to pay 200 Bath extra to get to Patong Beach.
The Russian, who’s the most calm person in our group, just smiling and said “I don’t understand what you said” to the driver. If it’s not a high-tense situation, I might be laughing out loud. Yes, the driver has the funny accent and speak so fast. No wonder the Russian didn’t get what he said. So, one of the Germans who speaks Russian, explain the condition to him. Still, he needs to go to the bus station. And still, the driver threatened about the bus station is closed and it’s a solitude place. No taxi or bus at midnight like that, and blablabla. But still, the Russian needs to go to the bus station because his friend will get him there. So, no extra from the Russian and he has to drive him to bus station. I bet he didn’t like it at all.
I didn’t know what happened next. I fell asleep and woke up at the Phuket Airport. Apparently, the airport is the first stop, so I don’t know is there any other tense-situation between them in that fucking minivan after my stop. I hope the American, Russian, and Germans are okay.
For your note, if we’re a bunch of evil, we wouldn’t think of run to avoid the extra. We could just tie the driver and leave him in that empty street. The Russian and I have a Google Maps and internet connection, enough to give us direction to get to our destination as well. It’s midnight anyway, so we can leave no trail that could lead back to us. Or if so, we already miles away in our hometown to get caught.
Anyway, my message to all of you is DON’T TAKE A MINIVAN TRIP FROM PATONG TO SURAT THANI. Especially, if it’s from P.P. Transfer & Service. Because that fucking asshole driver is their driver for Patong-Surat Thani Route. Check your trip receipt, make sure there’s no “P.P. Transfer & Service” written on it.
PS: I’ve just Google them and found someone from TripAdvisor who’s experiencing the same as me. Hope there’s more people writing about them so none will take them and they’re going bankrupt.