After staying for a couple days in Ao Nang I started look how I can get back to Bangkok on time of my international flight. I realized in is not so easy task as I expected because it was very busy season in Thailand. All flights are booked out, so only alternative was 12 hours trip by bus (train would be last resort).
Trip is very long so at least I wanted to take it in comfort but tickets to the most comfy bus – Super VIP with only 24 seats on it – were already sold out. What about VIP bus then? Agent made a call and an answer the same – tickets sold out..But then she made another call and said there are seat on other (VIP) bus. Perfect. Now I can relax.
Next day in afternoon guy picked me up from guest house and dropped in some coffee shop on edge of Ao Nang. There another mini bus should pick up me and transfer to Krabi from there bus goes to Bangkok. Never travelled with bus in Thailand before, so didn’t have any expectation how it works and wasn’t worrying much about it, as after 20 minutes mini bus came and dropped all passengers including me somewhere in Krabi. Place doesn’t look like bus station at all. But bus was were and a lot of other people also were waiting for it. No worries. Only after talking with another guy I met there I understood it is fake (not government run Transport Company) VIP bus. What I can do now? I must in Bangkok tomorrow. Bus wasn’t full and I had two seats available. Not bad, as usually in such private buses they have more seats then in real VIP bus. Which means less leg space. So far so good, except driver was smoking and all bus was full of smoke. At night when we stopped for a break a could look at real VIP buses. Not much difference from outside, except serial numbers and company title on it. But inside it was much cleaner, had working TV and probably could find other cons, but I will check it next time I come to Thailand.
This time I arrived safe and sound to Bangkok and actually it stopped near Khao San Road there a lot of hostels are, so no need to take taxi from bus station.
My experience with fake VIP bus in Thailand was not such bad, but want to know everybody about it. Next time I at least will know about it’s existence and will think should I take it or not. Price I paid for ticket was higher then real VIP bus, don’t know what insurance they have in case of accident and most unpleasant thing happened – at night somebody checked bags left in bus storage unit and even didn’t bother properly to close bags after they opened them. Nothing was stolen, but it is not very nice feeling when you know somebody went through your stuff. So don’t ignore warning: “KEEP YOUR VALUABLES WITH YOU”.