For a small town Pua has good transport connections, with direct buses on offer to Bangkok. You can of course head down to Nan for more choice but the government company 999 offers direct departures daily at 17:30 and 17:40. The former is a standard at 545 baht and latter a VIP at 801 baht but be warned: it takes 12 hours.Their office and departure point are close to the tourist information centre on Route 101.
Green Bus run services to Nan, Phrae, Lampang and Chiang Mai with regular departures throughout the day and a VIP night bus leaving at 21:00. The six-hour run to Chiang Mai costs 320 or 500 vaht VIP; Lampang 250 or 390 baht; Phrae 170 or 260 baht and Nan 77 and 120 baht. Their office is also on Route 101 in the town centre.
Minibuses run several times per day between Huay Kon on the Lao border and Den Chai railway station stopping at Pua, Nan and Phrae. (See our Ban Huay Kon section for details.)
Heading west songthaews run over the mountain to Bo Kluea three times per day – at least that’s what they claim – passing the entrance to Doi Phuka National Park. Taking 90 minutes and costing 80 baht per person they are scheduled to depart at 07:30, 09:30 and 14:30 though the latter is "busy days only". Occasional songthaews make the short run down to Santisuk as well and departing from the market area.
Finally, and if all else fails, rickety old fan-cooled red buses ply Route 101 connecting Nan with Pua and north to Thung Chang, with occasional ones continuing as far as Chaloem Prakhiat, which we assume are on market days. For Nan count on it taking two hours and costing 50 baht. Any south-bound songthaew you see on Route 1081 (though they are a bit few and far between) will drop you at the start of the side tracks for Silaphetor Tad Leuang waterfalls, while any transport heading south on 101 can deposit you at the Riverside Art Gallery or Tham Pha Tub Forest Park. For Nong Bua you’ll need to alight at the turn off on 101 and hope there’s a motorbike taxi around.