Bus Travel in Thailand

January 21, 2013 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do, Travel Tips

For a country in Southeast Asia, Thailand has some of the best infrastructure around when it comes to public transportation. One of the most popular ways to get around the country, bus travel in Thailand is a great option, especially for those that cannot afford to book flights on a frequent basis, and luckily, there are more than enough options to get you to where you need to go.

In Bangkok, one can maneuver throughout the city for next to nothing by taking one of the inner-city buses. With stations all around the city, the bus system has drivers that are usually pretty friendly and will tell you when to get off and where connections are. They are also a much safer alternative to tuk-tuks and motorbikes that are known for scamming tourists. Just note that Bangkok is a very big place and traffic can be quite hectic, so if time is your priority, you may be better off taking the train if possible.

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City bus in Bangkok. Photo courtesy of nist6dh via Flickr.

Otherwise, there are various kinds of buses you can take that may save some time, including the express, second class and first class buses, which skip some stops and take direct routes to the more popular stops. The schedules for these are usually posted at the stations.

On a national level, the government-run BKS, better known as the Transport Company, has terminals in each and every province, no matter how big or small. For longer rides, it is best to allow your hotel to arrange the tickets for you and just show up at the station. These buses usually include lots of air conditioning—perhaps too much–so bring a sweater.

Also, it is important to know that if you are leaving from Bangkok, different bus terminals leave for different destinations in the country. Those terminals are as follows: For destinations to the east, go to Ekkamai Station, for central, northeast and northern destinations, go to Mo Chit Station and for southern destinations, use Sai Tai Mai Station.

- Contributed by John Reality

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