Bangkok public bus condemned by Singaporean tourist

A Singaporean tourist condemned Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) public buses after the driver of a bus in the capital closed its door and drove off as she was about to climb onboard.

A Singaporean woman posted a video on her TikTok account, njwah, complaining about the service of a public bus in Bangkok. She wrote captions in Thai and English and asked TikTokers to explain why the bus driver closed the door in her face and drove off. She said…

“I don’t speak Thai, but this is translated from Google Translation. What just happened? It is shocking! My first trip to Bangkok after three years of lockdown and it was also my first time trying to take a public bus in Bangkok, and this happened. Can somebody please tell me what she said and why the bus driver just drove off?”

In the video, the woman is seen with some other passengers who got on the bus. A female ticket conductor shouted at her in Thai…

“Do you want to get on the bus? Platinum and Pratunam (where the bus would pass).”

The tourist responded…

“I don’t understand.”

She stood at the door and was about to step onto the bus but the door closed before she could get on and the bus drove away.

The video revealed the vehicle was the No. 23 red-beige MBTA bus. The same bus that grew mushrooms from a seat last year.

Many Thai netizens commented on her video, saying speed is the first requirement to take a public bus in Thailand, adding that she must be quicker to catch a Thai bus.

The woman explained in her next video that she loves Bangkok even though the buses scare her. She did not give up and tried again. She later posted another video of a successful bus-riding mission and informed her followers…

“Bus 23, I did it!”

Some netizens found the video fun, while others thought Bangkok should improve its transportation service.

The driver of the Bangkok bus at the centre of a viral video received widespread criticism for his service but was reportedly stressed by the situation.

According to the bus driver, he believed the tourist in question had finished her conversation with the ticket conductor and chose not to board. He was unaware that the tourist didn’t understand and drove off.

The station master spoke out, explaining that the loud door noise was due to the bus being old, and the driver didn’t intend to scare the tourist. The station master urged the public to consider both sides and understand it was simply a language barrier miscommunication.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.