Hey, I am trying to land in bangkok a little after 4 and make it to the southern bus station in time for a bus south to krabi, trang, phuket etc. which at the latest leave at 7. So first, I am wondering if we will have enough time to make it to the bus station and second if these buses are so incredibly popular that their will be no seats left by the time we get there. We will be going on a saturday night. Any advice anyone has for this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
#1 charterboy22 has been a member since 31/12/2006. Posts: 5
I'd say it's real tight.
The southern bus terminal, from Bangkok central itself, is already something like an hour away. Moreover with the interminable traffic of the evenings (not just weekend evenings — any evening) in Bangkok, you can imagine what Sat night would be like.
Just to second skinny, very very very tight. You won't be out of the airport before 5, which leaves you two hours to cover about 50km across Bangkok -- a city not known for it's free flowing traffic! Look into a budget flight down to Krabi with Nok Air or AirAsia, once you factor in the cost of the trans-city cab it won't cost you much more for the airfare...
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,755
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Hey, thanks for the help. Since it seems like the bus is not the best option we are looking at others. We are in total 6 people, we are trying to keep costs down and would like to make that trip during the night. We are looking at the trains but if we are not able to do that is it possible or affordable to hire a private minivan to make the trip south during the night?
In previous travels I have often found there will usually be private drivers hanging around bus stops and train stations and with a group its relatively inexpensive to hire them for the day. Is this also the situation in Bangkok?
#4 charterboy22 has been a member since 31/12/2006. Posts: 5
I don't believe you will be able to easily find someone hanging around to take you to the southern bus station, even if you were coming from bangkok central instead of the airport. If you've ever been to Bangkok central in the evenings, you'd know how HORRID the traffic is. I haven't seen anything quite like it (Even the worst metropolis cities in India don't compare).
As somtam says, you'd be out of the airport around 5. I'd be surprised if you can even get towards the city proper in an hour and a half. Do look into nokair.com, airasia.com, 1-2-Go airlines for cheap flights to Krabi if you need to get there the same day (1-2-Go has flights at approx 1700B incl. taxes). Otherwise I imagine you'd have to stay a night in Bangkok.
Maybe you can think about taking a train. There's a train leaving Bangkok's Hualamphong at 10.50pm. It doesn't get you to Krabi, but you'd be in Surat Thani by 8am. From Surat Thani you can either go to Koh Phangan/Samui, or take a bus to connect you to Krabi from Surat Thani (this takes 3 hours). At least you'd definitely catch the train, have a place to sleep for 10 hours (rather than bus-sing it), and reach Krabi just a few hours later than taking the Bangkok-Krabi bus would.
I didn't want to comment earlier because I haven't flown into the new airport yet so I don't have a good idea how long getting through the airport takes and what the specific traffic in that area might look like. The others are spot on however that traffic in the city that time of night will make it very difficult to get to the southern bus terminal in any reasonable amount of time.
I also know that I really don't like the overnight buses and recommend that people avoid them. I've seen too many of them by the side of the road or worse. Skinny and Somtam are also spot on by recommending that you either make it a quick and easy trip by flying (and not too expensive either) or an adventure by taking the overnight train out of Hualamphong. Have a good trip. Cheers.