Bus travel in Thailand
Travelling distances in low cost and in a comfortable way is no easy job in thailand. Buses provide you exactly that. With many private operators as government approved the services is plenty. But still road safety should be considered buy individual on the basis of the journey. Overnight trips should be planned accordingly. Nobody would like to get down in the middle of nowhere at 2am.
There are many types of buses plying in thailand. There are local buses which are useful for local journey but are generally non air conditioned. The main classes of buses are VIP, first class and second class. The air conditioned vehicles under government approved. The first class buses are blue and white and the second class buses are orange and white.
The facilities hindi include reclining seats , hostess service, meals / drinks , movies, toilet facilities and akshay leg room. You will have a pillow and blanket. Your luggage will be checked and tagged and you will get a baggage claim receipt.
Getting tickets is also very easy. They are up for sale at the place where bus starts its journey. Since there are limited vip service seats, early booking is advised. During thai holidays advance booking is a must. Tickets are available in advance at the bus station or at the local highway ticket office. There are hundreds of ticket windows to all over north thailand. The written language might be thai , so being able to read a little thai helps. Online booking of a bus ticket is also possible but there is that linguistic problem. The main terminals like Mo Chit in bangkok requires lots of patients.
The side of the vehicle and the board in the window show the bus destination. It is usually written in thai and english. But the drop off points in between are not shown. Though the bus staff have intermediary english speaking skills and would be helpful.
Using your common sense and a little travel science, fair deal is always available.
A few examples of the rate can be as follows:
- Bangkok to Yala is near about 1281 Baht for VIP
- Bangkok to Phuket is near about 974 Baht for VIP
- Bangkok to Surat Thani in Koh Samui is near about 542 Baht for 1st class
- Bangkok to Kanchanaburi is near about 95 Baht for 2nd class
- Bangkok to Chiang Mai is near about 806 Baht for VIP or 1st class
A tip: if you have long legs booking in advance of the seats right beside the driver would be great. There is lot of leg space there. Booking your bus travel can be done through 12goasia.com which is the english language website. Do check it.