Thursday, March 17, 2016

Daewoo Rawalpindi / Islamabad to Karachi Review

A review of travel by Sammi Daewoo Express Bus Service from Islamabad to Karachi and back.
Daewoo Islamabad to Karachi Trip
Date published: 03/22/2016
4 / 5 stars

Recently I traveled from Rawalpindi to Karachi and back via Sammi Daewoo Bus Service. This is a review of my journey through Daewoo.
The Company
There are many companies nowadays which use the name Daewoo. However, their service is not up to the mark and the original Korean Daewoo company is Sammi Daewoo Express Bus Service.
Schedule Check and Booking Through Website and Phone
Daewoo updates its schedules 5 days before the departure date. Their schedule as well as fares can be checked on their website as well as phone number i.e. 111-007-008. I booked my ticket through phone and the operator told me that I can purchase the booked ticket till 30 minutes before bus departure.
            Tip # 1
Book the ticket over phone without the hassle of going to Daewoo Office and              purchasing the ticket from there.
Cancellation and Rescheduling of Ticket
After a day, I had to reschedule my ticket to another time. The operator then asked me to purchase booked ticket within 10 hours or else it would be cancelled. I argued with him and he annoyingly kept saying that company has asked you to purchase the ticket within 10 hours. It was like company are operators are different entities. So I learned my 1st lesson of Daewoo Travel
            TIP # 2 
If you cancel your ticket over phone and book a new one, then don’t mention             previously booked ticket and you will get the standard time to buy the ticket               i.e. 30 minutes before bus departure.
Daewoo Terminal Rawalpindi
Daewoo Terminal Rawalpindi is located at Rawalpindi-Peshawar GT Road near EME College of NUST University. The terminal is a bit out of way as most of intercity bus addas are at Faizabad and Pirwadhai. However, Daewoo shuttle service runs from G-7 Khadda Market, Islamabad to Daewoo Terminal Rawalpindi 1:15 hours before each bus departure time. Fare for shuttle service was Rs. 30 only. Shuttle services left on time and didn’t wait for any customer. Daewoo Terminal Rawalpindi is a large terminal with system like airports, however, much smaller than an airport.

Expensive Food Items at Terminals 
            TIP # 3 
Food items at all terminals are 3x the retail price. I had to buy very expensive             drinks and peanuts from the terminal. So it would be better to buy snacks and           other eatables before entering the terminal.
Daewoo Bus Itself
Daewoo bus was huge as shown in the picture.

It was an AC bus with 4 seats in each row with an aisle in between 2 seats. Seats were clean and somewhat above average comfortable. Each seat had a unique number as number, 1 arm rest and a panel for connecting headphones. Travel was started with recitation from Holy Quran and dua. All the passengers were provided with headphones that were obviously taken back at the end of journey. Passengers can use the headphones in 2 forms using the audio panel with each seat. Headphones can be used to either listen to music or listen to large LCD Screen that is attached just before driver seat. There is also a net bag and glass holder in from of each seat. Seats could be reclined a bit for rest.

Arm Rest With Headphone Panel


Luggage was placed in especially built luggage area before passengers are seated. It is possible to carry small handbag with yourself. Small luggage can also be placed above the seats. There was no mobile charging facility in the bus.

Luggage Area Door
Hand Bags Luggage Area Above the Seats
            TIP # 4
Carry a power bank portable mobile charger or at least regular mobile charger             with you as the journey is long. You can also charge mobile phones in                       different Daewoo Terminal stops where the bus stops for 15 minutes.
The Journey
The journey took 26 hours. Bus made a 15 minute stop at different Daewoo Terminals after every2-3 hours. Passengers used the washrooms at those terminal stops. Daewoo bus made no other stop except at its terminals. A passenger asked for Namaz stop on Motorway, however, his request was denied. Drivers and bus hostesses were changed after every 8 hours travel.
There is a lady bus hostess whose responsibility is to serve the passengers. Airhostess can be called by pressing red button near the AC vents on roof. The bus hostess served water and cold drinks to all passengers after each stop. Passengers were also served with snack boxes after the start of journey. The snack box contained
  • Double sandwich
  • Muffin
  • Small packet of biscuit
Passengers were provided with snack boxes a total of 3 times during the 26 hour journey to Karachi.

Lunch Box By Daewoo
Bus Hostesses

Daewoo Terminal Washroom Conditions:
The bus stopped at 8 terminals during the journey. There were washrooms in each Daewoo Terminal. However, small cities terminals had limited number of washrooms that were not adequate for the number of passengers. Big city terminals had a number of washrooms that were adequate enough for bus passengers. Stations with adequate number of washrooms were:
  • Sial Service Area, Motorway
  • Multan Daewoo Terminal
  • Rahim Yar Khan Daewoo Terminal
  • Hyderabad Daewoo Terminal
  • Daewoo Hyderrabad Terminal Washroom
Daewoo Terminals With Nearby Outside Shops
Some Daewoo terminals are large and walled. It is not possible to visit shops outside those terminals during 15 minute Daewoo stay. Other terminals are small and not walled and it is possible to visit outside shops and buy snacks etc. on market prices, as I have already mentioned that snack prices at terminals are 3x the market prices. Those terminals where outside shops were available nearby were:
  • Sial Service Area, Motorway
  • Jhang Daewoo Termianl, a good shop just across the road
  • Moro Daewoo Terminal, only Rs. 150 priced Biryani was available at Moro
  • Hyderabad, a petrol pump shop near Daewoo Terminal
  • Sukkur, a small general store near Daewoo Terminal gate
Destination Karachi
Daewoo Terminal Karachi is located near Sohrab Goth at Karachi Hyderabad Motorway. A shuttle service took the passengers from there to Taj Complex, Sadar. However, the shuttle service was late and I had to wait for an hour for it.

Overall the journey was OK, Daewoo service was good for such a long trip.

Further Readings:

Pakwheels Forum: Karachi to ISB by bus

Virtual Toursit: By Road Karachi

Daewoo Fares

Daewoo Fares

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