Pattaya Daily News

27 February 2010 :: 16:02:44 pm 14314

Transportation & Medical Experiences In Thailand

My experience on Thai transportation and with the medical system utterly amazed me to the point of astonishment. Perhaps others have had similar experiences, but here is my story.
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Generally a Songtaew, we have been told is 10 baht from Jomtien into Pattaya. Well, I have always given 10 baht from any place on Jomtien Beach Road to the first traffic lights at the Thappraya, Threppasit Road. Past this point I always give 20 baht or more if we are taken down to the Dolphin roundabout in Naklua. After 11.00pm we usually paid a bit more due to the lateness and if I go for a big shop at the supermarket, then of course we book the transport to take us straight home. The prices for a private booking to and from the same destinations have always to be argued about as it is never the same on any two days.

I have found most of the drivers very polite especially the ones with families and even some of the younger drivers can be rather helpful.  The older male drivers, I have found to be very aggressive when giving them their 20 baht. I have had verbal abuse from them with some actually chasing me down the road in their vehicle demanding 100 baht from Royal Plaza on the Beach Road side to the beginning of Walking Street. They may give the impression they don’t understand English, but they can swear very well in our language.  I have at times even had to threaten them with the police before they will leave me alone.

Another thing and this has happened a lot, they have taken a full load from their pick up destination only to stop and turf the remaining few off with no explanations. When we have refused to exit the vehicle they start shouting.

An incident yesterday with my son who is here on holiday, we were on the bus to Bangkok and paid 300 baht for the two of us. A third of the way there, the bus was evacuated. We were told to get off without any explanation and no return of the fare we paid. We had to look around then for alternative transport to continue our journey costing us another 300 baht. I know full well that this is a very small amount to pay for such a long journey, but this is supposed to be a standard charge so it is the principle of the matter.

My son, who is in his early twenties, wanted his earlobes repaired as he very stupidly had his ears pierced when he was in his early teens then following his friends like sheep that they were, he had some huge ugly looking things inserted which has enlarged the ear lobe. Now he wants to join the army so wants his lobes repaired.

I asked about, and eventually spoke to a nurse at the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital who informed me that the cost would be around 5-6,000 bahts depending on the amount of work to be done. We went to the hospital the following morning, saw the Surgeon who agreed it was a simple job and could be done immediately. We were sent to pay at the admin office, but after signing forms etc, we were then asked for 35,000 baht.

Cosmetic surgery for the skin around the eyes was under 2,000 baht and it is only around 50,000 for a boob job. So we argued the point but was told that the nurse gave us the wrong information…..  Yeah right, more like the admin was trying to fill their pockets.

Patty Brown

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