Chanthaburi is around 250km from Bangkok, 60km from Trat, and is connected to both by frequent government and private bus and minibus services. It is also a popular spot from where to head to Cambodia via the Ban Pakard / Phsa Prum border crossing, with the closest Cambodian centre being Pailin, just under 60km away.
Chanthaburi is a primary stop for most buses heading between Bangkok and Trat. From Bangkok, buses and minibuses depart frequently from Ekkamai (Eastern) terminal, and you’ll also find several options from Morchit (Northern) terminal. From Chanthaburi, fares include:
Aranyaprathet / Sa Kaeo: Minibuses depart for Sa Kaeo every 45 minutes from 05:30 to 17:30 and take three hours. Some of these stop in Aranyaprathet, near the Cambodia border crossing closest to Siem Reap. If not you could transfer to an Aranyaprathet-bound local bus in Sa Kaeo.
Bangkok (Ekkamai): Buses depart hourly from 05:00 to 24:00 for 135 to 184 baht and take around five hours.
Bangkok (Morchit): First-class buses depart at 07:30, 09:00, 10:00, 11:45 and 16:00. Minibuses depart every half-hour from 05:00 to 20:00 for 200 baht.
Bang Saen: Minibuses depart every 1.5 hours from 06:00 to 18:00 for 170 baht and take three hours.
Mae Sot: First-class buses depart at 08:00 and 17:30 for 650 baht and take around 13 hours, with stops in Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Phet and Tak.
Nakhon Ratchasima: First-class buses depart at 03:00, 06:00, 08:00, 10:00 and 12:00 for 250 baht and take seven hours, with a stop in Sa Kaeo.
Nong Khai: A first-class bus departs at 18:00 for 590 baht and takes around 12 hours, with stops in Khon Kaen and Udon Thani.
Pattaya: Minibuses depart hourly from 06:00 to 18:00 for 200 baht and take three hours.
Phitsanulok: A first-class bus departs at 04:00 for 506 baht and takes around 10 hours.
Rayong: Minibuses depart hourly from 04:30 to 20:00 for 120 baht and take two hours. Here you can transfer to a songthaew to reach the Ko Samet ferry piers.
Trat: First-class buses coming from Bangkok stop here at least once per hour from 09:00 to 02:00 and continue on to Trat, arriving in just over an hour. Minibuses depart twice per hour from 06:00 to 18:00 for 70 baht. Make a transfer in Trat if heading to Ko Chang, Ko Mak, Ko Kut or the Cambodia border crossing at Had Lek.
In addition, minibuses depart for the Ban Pakard / Phsa Prum border crossing with Cambodia from at least a couple of spots in town. Across the river from The River Guest House minivans charge 200 baht per person and depart at 10:00 and 12:00, returning from Ban Pakard to Chanthaburi at 14:30 and 18:30. We’ve also been advised that behind Robinson there is a minivan that goes direct to the border for 150 baht, leaving at 09.00, 10.30 and 12.00, taking around 90 minutes. The River Guest House can also call the drivers to pick travellers up.
The ride to the border takes 1.5 hours, and while we were told in Chanthaburi that only motorbike taxis are available for the ride to Pailin on the Cambodian side, your mileage may vary—a Travelfish reader has reported recently paying US$5 for a seat in a share take to Pailin (as we have in the past). Ask around.
The areas of Chanthaburi town that are generally most interesting to travellers—from the old town to Gem Market to Thetsaban Market area—can be covered on foot with relative ease.
Motorbike taxis and small blue-and-yellow songthaews that function as private taxis await passengers at the bus station and the traffic circle in front of Thetsaban Market. Fares within town should be 20-50 baht for a motorbike taxi, while songthaew drivers usually request a negotiable 40-100 baht per person. Expect to pay around 400 baht for a round trip to Nam Tok Phlio, 600 baht to Laem Singh, and 800 to 1,000 baht to Chao Lao or Khao Kitchakut. Songthaews can also be arranged through hotels and guesthouses.
Motorbikes can be rented and delivered for 230 to 400 baht by Supamas Scooter Rental (T: 085 964 5758; https://www.supamas-scooterrental.com/). Traveller Hostel near the south end of Benchamarachutit Road also rents motorbikes and regular pushbikes, and motorbike rental is available at many resorts in Chao Lao.