On the buses in Bangkok, arrrrgh
Armed with all the bus numbers I could want, and information on where exactly the bus picks up, I'm quite optimistic that today's mission will succeed. It's attempt number two to get to the Thai air force museum at the old Don Muang airport, made famous late last year for news footage of a plane stranded by flood water. Bus 3 arrives and duly heads through the suburbs north towards Don Muang, 15p and I let the staff know my destination albeit amidst blank looks.
An hour later, bus pulls into a depot, full of, buses. Everyone gets off here, it's the end of the line. No airport around here, no signs or anything indicating aviation activity. Asking around, I'm directed to a chap with a motorbike - £4.40 gets me to my destination, this isn't going at all well. Reluctant to pay the obvious price hike, I see an information desk, and ask there. After some deliberation they say I need bus 145 back to the sky train station at Mo Chit, where I've just been, and get on bus 29 to Don Muang. Another 15p for the 10 minute ride back.
Bus 29 arrives and again heads out through the Northern suburbs and 16p this time, but the staff look even more puzzled at my destination, and mutter something in Thai. The picture looks better as there are frequent airport signs now. Another 50 minutes of stop, start and the airport terminals appear, almost flush with the highway in parts - quite surreal to see such a big place redundant. According to a website, the museum is part of the air force, but there isn't any obvious sign that a museum exists - not in English anyway. The bus passes opposite the Air base gate, no stopping. This isn't going at all well. 10 more minutes, still insight of the airport, but no evidence of any museum!.
Bus pulls into a garage, everyone gets off whilst fuel is pumped. It's clear at this point that I'm not going to get to the museum, and as its nearly 3, time to give up and go back! Not on this bus though. It's not going back to Bangkok, I'll need to get a taxi. Oh no I won't, insisting I get back on that bus. They drop me off further along, opposite the Thai Royal Mint building. From there I can get a bus back to Bangkok. It's an air conditioned bus back to the Mo Chit sky train station, about 55p then bus number 3 back to Khao San road, in the rush hour, and 30p.
£1.30, 5 hours on buses getting nowhere - mission failed! The locals don't know much about their bus routes, the bus staff seem to know even less Arrrrrrgh!