Buses in Thailand – Details, Nuances, Tips
Bus service in Thailand is quite comfortable. In all cities and provinces there are bus stations where you can buy tickets to another city or even the country. When buying, pay attention to the company, specify the buse type, select the most convenient way to get from point A to point B.
In most places you will meet an unusual urban transport – SongTEO, which is literally translated "Two benches". So called open wooden buses without air conditioning or converted pickups with two benches. The streets of Pattaya also drive SongTEO, but they are called Tuk Tuki. In other cities and provinces of Tuk-Tuk – this is private transport working as a taxi. On local SongTEO and public tuk-tuki do not take a ticket. You pay for the passage to the driver or the conductor. There are no hard schedule for such buses, they are sent as filling. Watch routes on Phuket.
City bus on Phuket
Bus classes between cities
Explresses rush extensions between private stories of provinces and cities. They have a clear schedule to which drivers follow. Arrival time may differ for half an hour from the stated due to races at different train stations and stops on the way. As a rule, buses come on time.
In Thailand there are several classes of long-distance buses:
- VIP class – air-conditioned buses, toilet, 24 or 32 seats are convenient for night crossings.
- Grade 1 – Air-conditioned buses, toilet, 40 or 50 chairs.
- Grade 2 – air-conditioned buses, but no toilet, number of places 46-55,
- Grade 3 – without air conditioning and toilet.
- Minivans or minibuses.
Bus VIP or 1 class
VIP buses are equipped with comfortable seats that are 120 degrees, plaids, pillows and toilets. In a number of only 3 chairs instead of standard 4. Steward gives cookies and water, sometimes free Wi-Fi and USB charging. Such buses are convenient for night crossings if you want to save. In the way, VIP BASI stops 1-2 times in places where there is a cafe, shop and toilet. In some cases, a bus ticket is a voucher for lunch or dinner in a roadside cafe.
Class 1 buses are suitable for a comfortable long distance trip. In a number of 4 chairs, places for legs enough, steward gives water, in the tail or on the first floor there is a toilet. Ticket for class 1 class cheaper than in VIP-bass. On the way 1-2 long stops depending on the route. Class 1 buses travel to destination longer than VIP.
2 and 3 class often similar. Salon is not the first freshness, the place for the legs is not enough, there is no toilet, and sometimes air conditioning. Stops on the way more than the previous ones, but the cost of the ticket is cheaper. Typically drivers include all volume TV with Thai music Lukeung. Such buses are quite suitable for a trip to 5-6 hours.
Tickets for such buses need to buy in advance. Especially if you choose a better class. There is a chance to leave without prior booking. The air-conditioned buses are quite cold, take socks and sweat.
Minibuses are convenient if you have a little baggage. It is better to use them for short trips 3-5 hours. In a minibus of 9-10 chairs and a separate place for baggage.
Minibuses in the South Provinces
Combined tourist buses
Such routes are sharpened under foreign tourists. Buses travel along the most popular routes. The seller is agency that makes a combined route from different companies in itself or with the participation of other private companies. Stops are in places of cluster of tourists, for example, on Kao San Street in Bangkok.
Large disadvantage of such routes: during the way you change a few buses, and the ticket costs more than on the direct route. Buying a ticket to the agency, you need to clarify whether one big bus will be throughout the trip or several. This is a very important point, since one and the same route can walk the state bus and several private. The first one is sent at a fixed time and follows a certain number of hours. Predict the route of private companies little real. Happen they do stops, transplant passengers, collect for a very long time, distributed on buses.
A large bus with an additional transfer to the bus station with Cao Sana Domcks you to Phuket faster than a few minibas with transfers. In the latter case, waiting is sometimes more time than the movement itself. So a trip from Bangkok to Phuket with transfers is more than 20 hours instead of 11-12.
Combo with ferry or aircraft
Many companies are ready to offer a very profitable combo: bus + steam, bus + plane, bus + aircraft + ferry. The most famous firms – Airasia, Nok Air, Lomprayah, Seatran. All transportation costs they take on themselves, you just pay a combo ticket. Keep your tickets or vouchers all the trip. Such combo routes are good for traveling on Samui, Phangan, Tao and other islands.
Buses between countries
Bangkok and border points in Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia run international buses. All logistics completely captured. You drive up to the border of Thailand, pass it into the bus, and then go to the second border point and the nearest bus station. Here is the main thing – remember the number of your bus. Sometimes drivers give stickers to lose you. Luggage can stay on the bus, or will be asked to take with you to check.
Bus tickets 99 and 999 on Phuket
Where to buy a bus ticket?
Tickets can be bought at the ticket office of the bus station – the best way, you will pass the intermediaries who take their commission. Be sure to recognize the ticket which company you offer you. Give preference to large brands: Sombat Tour, Nakhonchai Air, Rung Rueng, Green Bus, Phantip, Lomprayah, 99 and 999.
Another thing is that the cash desks are not always located next to your hotel. In any travel agency, and sometimes in Guesthouses you can organize bus tickets to another city. Often, they can also order a transfer to the bus station or there, from where the bus will be sent. In this case, a similar transfer, for example, for two will cost you cheaper than just a taxi on the bus station.
Now I have an excellent opportunity to buy a bus ticket online. On the 12GO website.Asia details the details of the route, bus and its convenience. Commission minimal, about 30-50 baht. You can buy a ticket without leaving the hotel, and already on the bus station exchange a voucher, picking up the original. Nothing needs to be printed, just show the book on the phone.
Useful tips of travelers
Bus service in Thailand differs from our and European. Transfer 15 years ago – this will be the current situation. Gathered useful tips for you to help travel.
- Change money in advance or remove them from the card. In a rare ticket office take bank cards. Usually somewhere near the box office you can find an ATM, but the exchanger with a good course may not be.
- If you travel air-conditioned buses, take socks and sweat. Air conditioning will not be fully closed, but it is impossible to turn it off. The bus is very cold, especially at night.
- It is usually not difficult to buy a ticket for a day or two. Exceptions – Thai and European New Year.
- When traveling around mountain roads, it is better to choose minibuses, they are more maneuvenes than large, especially two-story, buses.
- Important moment while traveling is the safety of baggage. Never leave money, documents and valuable things in baggage. Especially in the pockets of suitcases. People’s unclean on hand, it happens, wool passengers.
- In the long road, take something to eat something. Thai food at stops, cookies and other snacks are not all suitable.
If you prefer not to depend on airplanes and plan your route by mood, you will come up by buses. It is easy to understand: For foreign tourists, all important details are written in English. Have a nice trip!