Stations & Buses in Bangkok

travelling by bus in bangkok, thailand Traveling by local bus around Bangkok is possible, but you are faced with two challenges.

  • Language will bo your first because all signs on the buses, including the one in front saying where it is going, are in Thai. Your only alternative is to try to find out the number of the bus that you need. That isn’t so easy to do sometimes either. Knowing where to get off the bus can also be an issue.
  • Physicality is another major challenge. The degree of the physical challenge depends on the type of bus. One challenge they all share is that they stop as briefly as they possibly can. Thus getting on can be dangerous.

Interprovincal Bus Stations

Northern & Northeastern Bus Terminal

Located on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, not far from Chatuchak Market. Destinations are for all places in the North and Northeast of Thailand.

This includes. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, Korat, Khon Kaen, Udorn Thani, Si Saket and Ubon Rachathani. Telephone: 02 936 2852-66, 02 936 3666.

Bangkok's Eastern Bus Terminal

Located on Sukhumvit Road at Soi 40 opposite Soi 63 (Ekamai). Destinations in the East include Pattaya and Rayong. Telephone: 02 391 2504, 02 391 8097.

Southern Bus Terminal

Known as Sai Tai Taling Chan in northern Thonburi, serves all points west and south from an inconvenient location on the "wrong" side of the river. Note: Be especially careful when taking a taxi as the newest "new" Southern Bus Terminal is now located on Phutthamonthon Soi 1 in Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, northern Thonburi. (Sai Tai Taling Chan tel. +66-2894 6122)

Interprovincal Buses in Thailand

There are three main types of buses leaving from and returning to Bangkok. Think of them as color coded .. sort of.

Orange Buses

Cheapest and slowest are the orange colored government buses with no air-conditioning. They stop at every village as well as pick up and drop off people anywhere they would like. This is a great way to see some local color but it is neither speedy nor comfortable.

Blue Buses

Are run by private companies as well as the government. They are air-conditioned, don’t stop as often and are more comfortable. They go to bigger cities. First class blue buses have toilets while the others don’t.

VIP Buses

Recommended for longer trips, especially Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Krabi or Phuket. They are air-conditioned and have more legroom.

The prices are quite reasonable by western standards. Very roughly, you can figure it is about 1 baht per kilometer for a one-way ticket on a VIP bus and about half that for a standard air-conditioned bus.

Most recently, Nakhon Chai Air is being touted as the safest bus service in Thailand. However, advanced reservations are usually required. And NCA is a bit more expensive.