Bus Travel in Thailand
Boarding Bus at Rest
The bus is the way most people get around within the country. It is convenient, with many buses per day going to most destinations, and fairly comfortable. Some long term volunteers who own a car still prefer the bus when going from Nang Rong to Bangkok. The time taken is about the same if you include a lunch stop, and you can read a book instead of concentrating on the road. It is also a great deal less expensive than other forms of travel. Tickets are under $10 for the five hour trip from Nang Rong to Bangkok, and just a bit over from Nang Rong to the other end of the country at Chiang Rai. Two people traveling by private car will pay more for their gas, not to mention other costs for the car, than the price of two bus tickets.
Second Floor, Mo Chit
Bangkok Bus Terminal
The one thing that may put tourists to Thailand off about using the bus to travel between cities is that, unlike airports, few if any people speak English at the bus terminals, even the big ones in Bangkok. If you just know and can say the name of your destination you should have little problem, however. The people at the bus terminal are friendly and helpful. At the big terminal in Bankok, just walk up near the ticket booths and call out your destination's name. Probably at least three employees will descend on you and escort you to the proper booth. Whenever you are on a bus and confused about its reaching an intermediate or smaller destination just say its name to the bus attendant (stewardess?) and she will tell you when to get off.