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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

TRAVELER'S TIPS - TRANSPORTATION

On travel within the country.



RESEARCH AND PLANNING

Carefully research what holidays are on or around your vacation. Sometimes, the effects of holidays include over crowding of public transportation and can be felt for a week before and a week after the holidays. Avoid travel at these times. Travel to a very out of the way area may only occur weekly, bi-monthly and so on. Get the scoop ahead of time. Remember, especially in the more 'rustic' parts of the world that the internet is not always a reliable source of information.

Trains are usually advisable over buses when they are going where you wish to go because they have a smoother ride and you can get up and move around. Check on travel times before you automatically take the train however. A ten hour train ride might only be a four hour bus trip, depending on where you are.

For every four hours of a bus trip, add one hour to the actual time it will take over what you've been told. Add more if you have connecting transportation. Add more if that is a flight.



TRAVEL AGENTS

Some people like pre-arranging tickets through travel agents. They talk about the convenience and not needing to worry about it. If you are happy paying a travel agent extra money for this, it can work. For very short term duration (less than two weeks) vacations you might wish to. Longer term vacations it is probably in your best interest to purchase the tickets as you need them. Many travelers have been found making their way reluctantly back to where they had entered a country because their ticket flying out from that country had already been bought and paid for. You might end up wanting to leave from an entirely different country. Keep it open. If that causes some panic, try leaving various bits of your trip completely open. That allows for spontaneity and discovery.

After you gain confidence with purchasing your own tickets while in the country you are visiting, you will never need to use a travel agent again.



TRAINS AND BUSES

Before you take either a train or a bus, I suggest a 'pre-game dump'. Light fasting doesn't hurt either. Whether they have bathrooms on the vehicle or stop along the way, the toilets are usually disgusting.

Compulsively show up very early for travel. This is to combat the unexpected. Wait around for an hour or more. Double the that for border crossings.

As mentioned in the article 'Traveler's Tips - Luggage', carry a 'travel bindle'. This is a cheap bag that should have - at a minimum - a roll of toilet paper and a big bottle of water.

In many countries, trains and buses are 'rusted out shit boxes'. They have a myriad of problems. The window won't stay open. The window won't stay closed. Air leaks in through the holes. You've got to get creative with stuff like this. You can prop open windows with soda bottles and other things you won't mind accidentally flying from the window never to be seen again. If you carry duct tape, you may be able to use it to discretely patch up the train. Sadly, these problems sometimes exist regardless of what class you are riding. Going first class in 'third world countries' is highly advisable. You may still be packed in like sardines but you'll be in with a higher (economic) class of people and less livestock.



TAXIS

Much of the time, you are forced to get up at some ungodly hour to be somewhere. The street is usually absent of taxis. Those that are around will charge you more because they're the only game in town. Trying to get a taxi to actually show up on a schedule simply doesn't happen. Be prepared to walk.

Anything you are told by any drivers of taxis or tuk tuks is suspect information. Check it with other people out of sight of the taxi drivers.

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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