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From BKK to Southern bus station

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
    29th April, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Hello all
    We are planning to be in Thailand from May 20-June 20, and we need to get from the main airport to the Southern bus station when we get there (to go to Amphawa). What is the safest and quickest way to do this?
    Thanks in advance!
    Anne

    #1 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 20:34

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  • Tilapia

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    I'll post this again. You asked this question earlier ...

    =====================

    You could just take a taxi to the southern bus terminal from the airport, and then a bus to Amphawa. Unless the protests and blockades spread out far and wide, you should be fine.

    But you might also consider taking a taxi straight there just to save you time. It will take about 2 hours to get there from the airport depending on when you arrive. If you're lucky, maybe 90 minutes.

    #2 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 21:36

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
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    Thanks Tilapia. Sorry about that. I did not realize I could take a taxi directly to Amphawa. Do you know how much it would cost approximately?

    #3 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 21:45

  • Tilapia

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    This might be something that you could negotiate either with a driver, or at the airport's taxi stand. I'd guess that you could get there for about B1000, or so. Keep in mind that the driver would probably have to make an empty trip back to Bangkok.

    If you went by bus, you're probably looking at around B350-B400 for the cab from the airport to the southern bus terminal, and then another B50, or less, for the bus.

    If you want a real adventure, you could get there by taking the single-line Mahachai railway from Thonburi (Wong Wian Yai Station) to Mahachai (Samut Sakhon), then take the pedestrian ferry to Tha Chin where you can take another train to Samut Songkhram, and then a 5 minute cab ride to Amphawa. It would be a bit longer, but it would be a lot more fun and interesting.

    Maybe not something you would want to tackle after a long flight, though.

    #4 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 22:07

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
    29th April, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Thanks so much again, Tilapia. Does your estimate of 1000B include the round trip fare for the driver, or would we have to double that?

    We did look into the train ride, but it looked complicated because none of us speak any Thai, and we were afraid to tackle it. Have you done it? We would be arriving in BKK at about 10-11 am on a Saturday - not sure whether we can get to Amphawa in time to enjoy the night market.
    Thanks!
    Anne

    #5 Posted: 30/4/2010 - 22:27

  • Tilapia

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    Hi Anne,

    No, you would not pay "directly" for the return trip, but you can count on some of it being factored into the price. And just so you know, I'm only making a rough estimate based on hour-long cab rides.

    If there is a small group of you, you should know that the small taxis do not hold much luggage in their trunks. If there are two or three of you, and you're not carrying a lot of stuff, then you should be fine. But if there are more of you and/or you have a lot of stuff, you might want to hire a minivan to take you there.

    The train ride is fantastic. Yes, I've done it, and you don't need to speak Thai. Here are the times for the Mae Khlong Railway in Tha Chin, as well as some other info ...

    Trains to Samut Songkram run four times a day in each direction: Departure times are 07.30, 10.10,13.30, and 16.40. Return trains leave Samut Songkram at 06.20, 09.00, 11.30 and 15.30. The journey takes about 60 minutes. Phone No. for Mae Khlong station (Samut Songkram) is 03-471-1906.

    If you miss your train, there are also frequent bus services between Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkram, and between Samut Songkram (in front of the central market) and Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal.


    So, like I said before, you could just go to the Southern Bus Terminal and get a cheap bus to take you there if money and time are of concern.

    If you're talking about the floating market at Amphawa, you will have more than enough time to see it as it goes until 8:00 pm. Or, so they say.

    You might want to consider taking the train back to Bangkok, if that's the direction you're going in. It's a lot of fun, and Mahachai is worth stopping in for a massive seafood lunch.

    Cheers.

    #6 Posted: 1/5/2010 - 01:17

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
    29th April, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Thanks again, Tilapia. I am still a bit unclear about the train ride. I've read in Lonely Planet Thailand that you have to take a train from Bangkok's Wong Wian Yai station in Thonburi to Samut Sakhon. Then you have to walk to a ferry terminal and catch a ferry to Ban Laem. Once there, you go to Tha Chalong station to take the train to Samut Songhkram. This seems pretty complicated, and if we get lost, I don't know how we will be able to communicate with the local people.

    Is there a direct train from Bangkok to Samut Songhkram or a train route that is not so complicated?

    Thanks

    #7 Posted: 1/5/2010 - 02:22

  • Tilapia

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    Hi Anne,

    Sorry for the confusion. I'll see if I can make it a little more clear and easy.

    Zoom into the Mahachai area with Google Maps. You'll see that the railway stations and ferry terminal are all very close to each other. Also, on Google Maps the train station in Ban Laem is called Ban Laem Railway Station, not Tha Chalong Station. It is the same place, though.

    Even so, I understand that it seems complicated. But it really isn't. The issue is that there is no railway bridge across the Chin River, so you have to disembark, cross the river by ferry, then go to the other station.

    "I've read in Lonely Planet Thailand that you have to take a train from Bangkok's Wong Wian Yai station in Thonburi to Samut Sakhon."

    Yes. Any taxi driver in Bangkok should be able to take you to Wong Wian Yai from the airport. The station is more like an open market with a Station Master's office and a ticket window. It doesn't look like a typical railway station. There is only 1 set of tracks and only 1 train, so there is no way that anyone could get lost, miss the train, or get on a train to any place other than Mahachai. The cost is 10 baht, and it takes about 1 hour to get there. It's a fantastic way to get out of Bangkok. If you have to wait for a train, there are lots of places to get food, coffee, whatever.

    "Then you have to walk to a ferry terminal and catch a ferry to Ban Laem."

    Yes. You will arrive in Mahachai and then walk through the tiny station and out to the main street (Thanon Sukhaphiban). The area outside of the station is not large enough for cars or buses, so you will likely only see bikes and tuk-tuks and cycle rickshaws out front (Mahachai is one of the few places in the country where you'll see these still being used). It's really quite special. The street is busy, but mostly with pedestrian traffic, motorbikes, pick-ups, cars, tuk-tuks and rickshaws. It most definitely cannot compare with anything in Bangkok. It's fairly narrow and is lined with fresh and dried seafood markets, as well as Chinese pharmacies.

    The distance from the station to the main street is about 20 metres. You will turn right and walk for about 200 metres along the main street. On your left you will see the water, as well as the arched Ferry Terminal. You cannot miss it. There will be loads of people coming and going from it on foot, and on motorbikes.

    Beside the terminal is a two or three story building that houses a couple of superb seafood restaurants. If you are hungry and have time, this would be an excellent place for lunch. From the second floor you can sit and watch the boats coming and going, and being unloaded, and have an excellent, fresh seafood lunch.

    You pay 3 baht (or 2 baht ... I was on my bike and might have paid a little extra) for the ferry, and the crossing takes about 2 or 3 minutes.

    "Once there, you go to Tha Chalong station to take the train to Samut Songhkram."

    Yes. You will arrive at Tha Chin (Tha = pier, Chin = the river you are crossing) which is in the village of Ban Laem, and will walk up to street and turn right. The other station is about 400-500 metres away. Again, you can see it clearly on Google Maps. Both stations are clearly labeled.

    "This seems pretty complicated, and if we get lost, I don't know how we will be able to communicate with the local people."

    You will likely be the only foreigners around, and almost every single person in Ban Laem will know where you are going. And don't be shy about asking, even if you don't speak Thai. There is almost always a kid around who speaks a bit of English who will be able to help if you need it. But I really don't think that you will.

    "Is there a direct train from Bangkok to Samut Songhkram or a train route that is not so complicated?"

    Nope. The closest you can get is Phetchaburi.

    Hope that makes it a bit more clear, and that seeing it on the map illustrates that the distances you need to go are walkable, even with luggage. It really is a super and interesting little trip that is rarely taken by many foreigners. But I can understand that it might seem like a bit much upon arrival. If you don't go that way, you might consider coming back this way.

    Either way, have fun.

    #8 Posted: 1/5/2010 - 20:12

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
    29th April, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Wow Tilapia! I did not expect this much information and help. We really appreciate it! We wanted to take the train trip initially, but we gave up on it. We will definitely try it now. It will certainly make our trip more interesting. Thanks so much!

    By the way, do you have any suggestions for a homestay in Amphawa? We found several online, but we're not sure which one is good. Have you had personal experiences with any?

    Thanks again!
    Anne

    #9 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 02:21

  • mikethediver

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    hi,
    If you still want to go to the Southern bus station, there is a free airport bus to the airport bus station and from there frequent bus run to the Southern bus terminal for around 50/60 Baht. (In fact buses run to most places in Bangkok from there).

    I don't think the demos have stopped the public buses running.

    #10 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 06:23

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  • mikethediver

    Click here to learn more about mikethediver
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    hi,
    If you still want to go to the Southern bus station, there is a free airport bus to the airport bus station and from there frequent bus run to the Southern bus terminal for around 50/60 Baht. (In fact buses run to most places in Bangkok from there).

    I don't think the demos have stopped the public buses running.

    #11 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 06:23

  • mikethediver

    Click here to learn more about mikethediver
    Joined Travelfish
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    hi,
    If you still want to go to the Southern bus station, there is a free airport bus to the airport bus station and from there frequent bus run to the Southern bus terminal for around 50/60 Baht. (In fact buses run to most places in Bangkok from there).

    I don't think the demos have stopped the public buses running.

    #12 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 06:23

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
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    "By the way, do you have any suggestions for a homestay in Amphawa?"

    No, I don't. I've never stayed there before. I do plan on visiting this place in January, though. Always thought it looked comfy, and pretty old school. Great location, as well. But it's not in Amphawa. It's about 5 km south in Damnoen Saduak, so it could get noisy in the mornings.

    Namkeangruen Homestay

    #13 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 21:33

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
    29th April, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Thanks for your help, Mike
    We thought of taking the taxi just to save time. We will keep an eye on the situation in Bangkok - hopefully it will get better by the time we leave.
    Thanks
    Anne

    #14 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 21:36

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
    29th April, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Thanks Tilapia. We went to Damnoen Saduak on our way to Kanchanaburi a few years ago. We enjoyed the floating market so much, we decided to overnight at one this time, and Amphawa seems o be the most authentic one. We're really looking forward to this!
    Thanks
    Anne

    #15 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 21:43

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
    29th April, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Thanks Tilapia. We went to Damnoen Saduak on our way to Kanchanaburi a few years ago. We enjoyed the floating market so much, we decided to overnight at one this time, and Amphawa seems o be the most authentic one. We're really looking forward to this!
    Thanks
    Anne

    #16 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 21:56

  • travbug

    Joined Travelfish
    29th April, 2010
    Posts: 34

    Thanks Tilapia. We went to Damnoen Saduak on our way to Kanchanaburi a few years ago. We enjoyed the floating market so much, we decided to overnight at one this time, and Amphawa seems o be the most authentic one. We're really looking forward to this!
    Thanks
    Anne

    #17 Posted: 2/5/2010 - 21:56

  • husqvarna

    Joined Travelfish
    7th September, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Hi Travbug: I would like to echo the other posters' comments about not speaking Thai. Most of the people at the train and bus stations speak some if not good english. They also are very willing to help you to get to where you want to go. In addition, you will frequently run into a non-Thai person who knows about where you want to go and they can be very helpful.

    Remember, it is an adventure.

    Enjoy!!

    #18 Posted: 3/5/2010 - 00:03

  • husqvarna

    Joined Travelfish
    7th September, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Hi Travbug: I would like to echo the other posters' comments about not speaking Thai. Most of the people at the train and bus stations speak some if not good english. They also are very willing to help you to get to where you want to go. In addition, you will frequently run into a non-Thai person who knows about where you want to go and they can be very helpful.

    Remember, it is an adventure.

    Enjoy!!

    #19 Posted: 3/5/2010 - 00:03

  • husqvarna

    Joined Travelfish
    7th September, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Hi Travbug: I would like to echo the other posters' comments about not speaking Thai. Most of the people at the train and bus stations speak some if not good english. They also are very willing to help you to get to where you want to go. In addition, you will frequently run into a non-Thai person who knows about where you want to go and they can be very helpful.

    Remember, it is an adventure.

    Enjoy!!

    #20 Posted: 3/5/2010 - 00:04

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