Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Nakhon Ratchasima.
Slower than buses, but more scenic, trains depart and arrive in Khorat from all over Thailand via the North-eastern Line. Twelve trains depart for Bangkok with both night and day options available. Fares can run anywhere from 115B to 700B depending on class, and the trip takes about six hours. For a comprehensive schedule of all destinations reachable from Khorat visit http://www.railway.co.th.
Many ordinary trains are not listed on the schedule. They run more frequently and are a lot cheaper. But offer no seat reservations, sit wherever you like.
For example: on 20.11. at 14:30 to Ubon Ratchathani for 62 baht, 6 hours (even faster than the bus in this case)
Bus Terminal 1, though more centrally located than its successor, only provides service to Bangkok and the immediate area.
First class and regular buses to Bangkok's Mochit Terminal leave every hour and cost 198B. Frequent buses also leave this terminal for Pak Thong Chai for 25B and Pak Chong for 74B.
If you're headed elsewhere, you'll need to get to Terminal 2 which is easily accessible by tuk tuk or songtheaw #'s 7 or 4197. From there, buses run to major destinations throughout northeast, north, and central Thailand, with several companies offering different types of buses, along with the always reliable government bus service. Several buses depart every hour for most destinations from 6:00 to 17:00.
Bus Terminal 2
Sample fares include:
Bangkok Air-con (2nd class) costs 198B and air-con (1st class -- with bathroom) costs 220B. Both services take three hours.
Buriram: ordinary 75B, air-con 110B. takes three hours.
Chaiyaphum: air-con 101B. takes two hours.
Chiang Mai: ordinary 560, air-con 653B, takes 11 hours.
Hua Hin: air-con 369B, takes 7 to 8 hours.
Khon Kaen: ordinary 138B, air-con 170B, takes three hours.
Loei: air-con (2nd class) 190B, air-con (1st class) 263B, takes six hours.
Nakhon Phanom: air-con (1st class) 390B, takes seven hours.
Nong Khai: ordinary 210B, air-con 363 B, takes six hours. (buses to Nong Khai are often full; another option is to bus to Udon Thani and catch one of the many to Nong Khai from there.)
Pak Chong: ordinary 59B, air-con 74B, takes one hour.
Pattaya: air-con 300B, VIP 357B, takes five hours.
Phimai: ordinary 39 B, air-con (1st class) 50B, takes 1.5 hours.
Surin: ordinary 98B, air-con 157B, takes four hours.
Ubon Ratchathani: ordinary 195B, air-con 260B, takes seven hours.
Udon Thani: air-con (2nd class) 205B, air-con (1st class) 300B, takes four and a half hours.
Vientiane: air-con 320B (takes seven hours)
Tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis are at present the most widely used form of private transportation in Khorat. They can be flagged down on the street or hired at any of the numerous stands conveniently located at shopping centres, bus stations and other popular destinations. The drivers, identifiable by their numbered and colour-coded vests, are on the whole friendly and helpful. Still, they often quote foreigners higher fares (standard fares are posted only in Thai) so be prepared to bargain. A trip all the way across town may run you 100 baht. Most destinations are cheaper.
Sharing the roads are samlors, reminders that Khorat has not abandoned its past. Though most commonly used by an older generation and their groceries, these pedicabs are an eco-friendly option for anyone who cares to explore the sites at a more leisurely pace.
Taxis may represent the future of transportation in Khorat. Their numbers are growing but are still a rare sight. You could spend a long time on the side of the road waiting to hail one. Better to call the dispatch at Taxi-Meter (T:(044) 342 255) or Taxi 2004 (T:(08) 3930 5152) and have them send a cab to pick you up, though there is a small charge for this service. Their fare structure is the same as in Bangkok with the metre starting at 35 baht. This initial charge covers the first two km. Each subsequent kilometre costs five baht.
Songtheaws are a cheap (10 baht) and reliable option for getting around Khorat. However, with dozens of different numbers and no posted routes, they can be daunting to the uninitiated. A good place to start is with the #1 or #6. They are clearly marked, come about every five minutes and run loops that are arguably the most useful in the city. Together, they provide access to the vast majority of hotels, restaurants and attractions reviewed here.
The #1 songtheaw route starts across from the Dusit Princess. It runs south into the city on Suranari, entering the gates at Prachak Rd. before turning east onto Yommarat. It turns south on Ku Dan then east on Mahat Thai. When it hits downtown, it heads north on Ratchadamnoen for two blocks then east again on Suranari. The route continues east, with one small turn after bus station 1, eventually joining Mukkhamontri. After stopping at the train station, it turns south on Suep Siri, passing within a block of Turquoise House.
The #6 songtheaw starts near Joho. It also passes the Princess on Suranari but takes a different road through town, Chakkri. After driving around the plaza and by the monument, it turns east onto Mittraphap. The #6 stays on this highway for the rest of its route, passing the Mall, Tesco/Lotus and Sav-one market.
Songtheaws can be flagged down anywhere along their routes. They start running before 6:00 and stop their routes around 20:30.