I have travelled to quite a few different countries now but Thailand and Pattaya take the cake when it comes to tour busses. Never have I seen so many in such a small city before, regardless if it is a tourist trap of a town or not.
Air Quality Sucks
Lately, all you see on the news is alerts about the quality of air in Thailand. Bangkok and Pattaya have both seen pollution rates that require people to stay indoors to avoid becoming sick. Seems to me that if you got rid of 50% of the busses that would be a giant step in the right direction.
Not Every Soi Is “Bus Friendly”
In addition to the pollution problem, there are several other issues that these giant monstrosities create around town. For instance, have you noticed that Pattaya seems to have a traffic problem? Chances are, if you look at the front of the traffic, you will find a bus causing congestion.
There is absolutely no street in town that the bus will not try to squeeze down. There are really no limits to where they are able to go or even where they are able to park for that matter.
Slip N Slides Are Fun, On A Motorbike Not So Much
Pratumnak Hill is the most terrible place of all. These busses, who’s engines are not meant to climb hills that are as steep as Pratumnak, dump litres of oil in slicks on the hill daily. If you are riding around and see a patch of water on the hill, probably best to not hit it, because it’s probably not water at all.
I have personally fallen going up and coming down Pratumnak 4 times in the oil from the busses. Thankfully all 4 times I was riding slowly and the falls were only sliding as opposed to me dying. I truly feel for some of the others that come hauling ass down the hill in the night though.
There Are Options To Fix It
If you think about it, it makes absolutely no sense to even allow the busses on the hill. There is no need for it when you have an entire overpass near the Bali Hai pier that they can park under.
Forcing the busses to park there instead of on the hill gets rid of the constant oil slicks and also frees up congestion on the hill itself. It would also be good business for baht busses who would then have to run the tourists from the busses at the base of the hill up to the top.
Who do these tour busses really help anyways besides the tourists and the tour company owners? They don’t stop anywhere random in their tour, everything is pre-planned and pre-destined. Certain shops, certain entertainment venues and certain restaurants are the only people that see any business from the tour busses, so why cater to them?
Cleaner air, safer roads, reduced traffic and freeing up the sides of the roads are major issues that could all be cleared up by reducing or ridding yourself of the non-essential tour busses in the city, but it doesn’t ever seem to be looked at as an option by anyone with authority.
None of this is to count the number of traffic incidents involving busses that the Pattaya police must deal with on the daily. These days common sense is an uncommon virtue, so it’s unlikely the bus problem will get anything but worse before it gets better.