Eleven hours of Thai songs will drive any man insane

I don’t normally lose my temper, but I came very close yesterday. If I could have rationally directed my frustration towards somebody then I might have done so, but as it was, I was unsure why I was so angry.

I had grossly misjudged how long a van ride from Penang to Phuket would take. Even though I made the trip less than three months ago, for some reason I was convinced it would only be a seven-hour ride. It turned out to be 11 hours of hell.

Bus and van rides across Thailand don’t normally faze me, and if I have enough time I will always take a bus rather than fly, but this journey was a nightmare thanks to Thai song after Thai song after Thai song.

I have nothing against Thai music, but on this particular occasion all the songs fused into one maddening stream of clinking bells, electric guitars, love songs, Carabao singing about poor people… and on it went. If it wasn’t Thai songs it was Thai karaoke VCDs or a concert held in Surat Thani that we watched twice because the CD skipped during the first showing.

All I wanted to do was sleep, but it was made impossible by all the blaring Thai music coming at me from all angles. This, coupled with the fact that Thailand’s roads aren’t flat, made me feel like I wanted to scream. I don’t understand why people in Thailand can’t make a journey on a bus (or in a van) without having to watch karaoke VCDs. It was 8 in the freaking morning, for goodness sake.

It got to me so much that when I went to bed after getting home yesterday, the soundtrack to my dreams was an endless chorus of more Thai songs.

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7 thoughts on “Eleven hours of Thai songs will drive any man insane

  1. no ipod? I am very sensitive to having other people's noises imposed on me, so I've considered purchasing one of those Bose noise reduction headsets.

  2. Haha, stupidly i took a bus ride from Bangkok to Singapore. i was had and it cost 1650 baht – almost the same as a plane (i thought the bus would be cheaper without even bothering to look at plane prices). anyway, 22 hrs of VCD's to the Thai border. On about 8 hrs I asked the driver if it would be ok if he could turn it down – he did! But then the other driver woke up half way through the journey and the volume went straight back up again. i asked if he could turn it down after an hour of extreme abuse of my tolerance and he just waved away my protests inferring that if i would like to drive, i could turn down the music and he would go back to sleep. after finally arriving at the border i remember thinking that as i was in the south of thailand i would try to find an ak-47 and do some cosmic cleansing…

  3. Trips like that can make the travel experience hell. If in the eastern half of Thailand that is why I use Nakorn Chai Air. They are failrly conscientious about turning off lights and music during the body of the trip. If you can't read, sleep or listen to your own music quietly it can cause someone to go "postal"/

  4. Vietnamese Bus trips are even worse as the bus drivers there dont't seem to have any taste. I spent 19 hours on the Bus to the north listening to "Modern Talking".

  5. For me 11 hours would be Ok if it was all Mor-Lum music, but if it was Thai pop I would really struggle.

    Do those bus drivers still spend as much time on the wrong side of the road as they do on the correct side?
    (or is that only on the overnight bus trips?)

  6. "All I wanted to do was sleep, but it was made impossible by all the blaring Thai music … "

    the same goes for your bus driver. it keeps him awake. i would be more concerned if it's quiet. lucky you that the stereo was not broken.

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