Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport is located 12 kilometres north of the train station and serviced by daily flights to/from Bangkok with Air Asia and Nok Air. Meter taxis are available at the airport. Coming from town, you could arrange a taxi through your hotel or take any northbound minibus and ask to be dropped at the airport.
The train station is located downtown at the west end of Neramit Road and a block west of Rajdamnern Road.
Trains depart for Bangkok at 13:00 and 15:00, with fares ranging from 245 baht for a hard third class seat, up to 420 baht for a decent cushioned seat in second class, and 500 to 800 baht for a sleeper. Bangkok-bound trains also service Surat Thani, Chumphon and Hua Hin. In Bangkok, trains depart for Nakhon at 17:30 and 19:30. The ride takes around 16 hours.
Trains run south from Nakhon at 06:00 and 10:00. Both stop at Phatthalung and Yala, but only the early train continues on to the Malaysia border at Sungai Kolok, arriving at 15:00.
The inter-provincial bus terminal (“Bor Kor Sor” in Thai) is located a couple of kilometres west of town in a tangle of side streets off the north side of Route 4016. Motorbike taxis can take you here for around 50 baht, or you can jump in one of the sky-blue or white songthaews that pick up near the Thai Hotel on Rajdamnern Road -- not all go to the bus station so make sure to ask before getting on. Plenty of motorbike taxis plus a few meter taxis are available at the station, while songthaews tend to park on the southeast side of the minibus terminal.
The confusing days when minibuses (vans) to different Southern Thai destinations picked up at a number of different locations around town are thankfully over. As of late 2015, all minibuses park at a dedicated terminal that shares a car park with the regular bus terminal, which mainly services buses to Bangkok.
Minibus ticket windows are located at the centre of the larger terminal building and many are marked in English. Tickets to Bangkok are sold at the smaller and quieter building with round roofs. Tell any motorbike taxi driver where you’re going and they’ll point you to the right ticket window. Fares include:
Bangkok: We were told that all buses from Nakhon run to both the Sai Tai Mai (Southern) and Morchit (Northern) terminals in Bangkok, but double check if you’re heading to Morchit. A second-class bus with no toilet departs at 17:00 for 430 baht; first-class buses depart at 08:00, 09:00, 16:30 and 17:00 for 560 baht; and VIP buses depart at 18:00 and 18:30 for 875 baht. The ride takes around 12 hours. Some of these buses also service Surat Thani, Chumphon, Hua Hin and Phetburi.
Sichon: Minibuses depart every half-hour from 07:00 to 17:00 for 60 baht and takes about an hour. These drop off at the market, where motorbike taxis are available.
Khanom: Minibuses depart every 40 minutes from 05:00 to 16:00 for 80 baht and take about 1.5 hours. These drop off on the main drag, where motorbike taxis can take you to the beaches.
Don Sak (Pier for Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao): Minibuses depart at least once per hour from 07:00 to 16:30 for 120 baht and take around two hours. Once in Don Sak you can purchase ferry tickets to your island of choice.
Surat Thani: Minibuses depart every 30 minutes from 06:00 to 18:00 for 120 baht and take around two hours.
Krabi: Minibuses depart at least once per hour from 08:00 to 16:30 for 200 baht and takes around three hours.
Ko Lanta: A minibus departs at 15:30 for 300 baht and takes around five hours, including the duel car ferry hops. You could also take a minibus to Krabi and transfer to one of the hourly Lanta-bound minibuses departing from there.
Phuket: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 16:00 for 350 baht and take over five hours. These also service Phang Nga.
Trang: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 17:00 for 130 baht and take over two hours.
Phatthalung: Minibuses depart every 40 minutes from 08:00 to 17:00 for 100 baht and take around two hours.
Hat Yai: Minibuses depart at least once per hour from 04:00 to 17:30 for 140 baht and take around three hours. One of the companies that runs to Hat Yai also services Songkhla for 120 baht.
Dark-blue songthaews to other towns within Nakhon Si Thammarat province pick up on a side street between Yommarat and Klongtha roads, less than a kilometre south of the train station. Destinations include Tha Sala, Baan Khiri Wong, Lan Saka (for Karom Waterfall) and Phrom Khiri (for Phrom Lok and Ai Khiao waterfalls). These generally depart at least once per hour from early morning to late afternoon and cost 20 to 50 baht per person. Songthaews to Baan Khiri Wong depart every 30 minutes until 17:00 for 25 baht.
Sky-blue city songthaews run up and down Rajdamanern Road, parking to pick up passengers near the Bovorn Bazaar and Thai Hotel in the heart of town. These can bring you all the way south to the National Museum. Some run way up north to Thalad Park while others cut west to the bus station. It’s a standard 10 baht per person fare. The trucks can also be flagged down anywhere as they pass.
Crimson-vested motorbike taxis hang around key places, like the train station, Big C and Wat Phra Mahathat. There are also a handful of old-style pedal-powered samlors still hanging on. Meter taxis can be arranged through hotels or directly by calling (075) 357 888.
Motorbike rental can be arranged through Teeny House for 300 baht per day; they’ll call a local shop and have the bike delivered. Alternately, try NST Rental (083 555 7525 ; www.facebook.com/nstrental). Cars can be rented through a few different companies with booths at the airport.