Im leaving for a 3 month backpacking trip from Thailand to Cambodia to Laos to Vietnam. I am stuck on the train/bus situation. Basicially we want to travel from Bangkok to Phuket by land. How long does this take and is it worth it? Is a boat better? Should we fly?
But wait, there's more: From Phulket we want to get to Chiang Mai. Again, we would prefer to go by land. How and where do we get a bus? Again, how long does it take? And is it really worth it, are we mush better off flying.
Any help would be much appreciated. Also, can you fly direct from Chiang Mai into Sihanoukville?
#1 emmajanegraham has been a member since 19/7/2007. Posts: 2
Your best bet is a bus from Bangkok to Phuket. The train only goes as far as Surat Thani. There is no boat from Bangkok to Phuket.
The buses usually run overnight, take around 12 hours adn you can get a ticket from any travel agent on Khao San.
To go to Chiang Mai, you'd have to bus back to BKK and then get a train from BKK to CM. (Or get a bus from Phuket to Surat Thani and train to BKK and then to CM). Bangkok to CM is also around 10 - 12 hours and has overnight trains too.
CM to S'ville direct is not possible. Only PMT Air flies into S'ville at the moment from Siem Reap. They had a crash in June this year, killing all on board, and the cause has not been fully reported. (Search on the BBC News site for info).
I'd suggest you get a cheapie AirAsia flight to Phnom Penh from Bangkok and then get the bus from PP down to S'Ville - it's only around 3 hours and the roads are very good.
That's all good advice from TravelHippy, though if you're planning going by bus, I'd suggest going out to the Sai Tai Mai bus station and getting a government bus south to Surat Thani/Phuket and to Morchit bus station for the trip north to Chiang Mai. The government buses get far fewer theft reports than the private services from Khao San Rd.
If you're not planning on stopping at all between Bangkok and Phuket and Bangkok and Chiang Mai, then look into budget flights -- Nok Air and Thai Air Asia both do those at very competitive rates.
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,643
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Agree with somtam2000 about SaiTaiMai.
3 years ago I booked "cheap bus" in KhaoSan road. As a result, I was traveled from Bangkok to Phuket via Krabi, changing bus/minibus several times :)
So, government bus is better :)
Hey, Its all been covered here well but I would like to add my opinion. :)
Get the government bus. - Cheaper/Better service/Safer!
I wouldn't using a bus that goes from Ko San Rd area. Altho Im sure there are some good ones I have experienced bad trips from here myself and few friends have too. There are lots of travel agents in Bangkok but I would go to the bus station myself.
Bangkok to Phuket:
Bus or Fly. Google Air Aisa. I can recommend them.
Phuket to Chiang Mai:
If I was going from Phuket to chaing mai by land I would get the bus to Bangkok then get the train to Chiang Mai. (1st class sleeper train if I could)
In January we are flying from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, then back to Bangkok and 4 hours later straight out to Krabi. All booked with Air Asia. We are flying because time is limited otherwise we would of got the Train to Bangkok and the Bus Down to Krabi.
Good luck with your trip. Prepare yourself for Thailand!
Thanks so much for all of the advise. It seems as though I really should just fly most places hey!
Cheers for that.
#6 emmajanegraham has been a member since 19/7/2007. Posts: 2