Bangkok bus guide 2022


Taking a bus to visit another province is a cheap way to travel in Thailand and also a good way to save on your travel expenses. We as Thais often travel by bus to visit our hometown and family.

Anyway, we are aware that many tourists who have visited Bangkok many times, might not have taken bus rides to other provinces before or perhaps are less familiar as to where the bus stations are in the city.

We’ve gathered some helpful information to help guide you in case you’d like to consider taking a bus to go on a trip in the near future.

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Bus stations in Bangkok & how to get there


First up, let’s figure out how to locate bus stations in Bangkok. While you’re in Bangkok, you can access four bus stations in the city: Ekkamai, Mochit, Sai Tai Mai (Thonburi), and Suvarnabhumi Airport. Each station will offer you many different routes and bus operator options. If you want to travel to northern Thailand, you’ll have to go to the bus station in Mo Chit, but if the south is your destination, Sai Tai Mai’s station will be your destination.

Do note that some routes might not be offered at all the stations. For example, if you’re going to Pattaya City, you can visit any of these stations for a route to Pattaya, which will take about two hours from Bangkok and cost anywhere from ฿120 (~USD3) to ฿300 (~USD9), varying by operators.

Here are all the stations that you can visit to snag a bus ticket for your trip outside Bangkok.


Bangkok Bus Terminal Chatuchak (Mo Chit 2)


Image credit: mthai

Bus Terminal Chatuchak (Mo Chit) is the largest bus terminal in Bangkok. Here, public buses serve routes to the north and the north-east. So, if you plan to visit Chiang Mai, you can come and buy a ticket here from ฿529 (~USD15)

Image credit: dailynews

Once you enter the terminal, you will see rows of ticket offices with bus route information shown in both Thai and English on the windows. You can take your time to walk around and find an operator that offers routes to your destination. If you can’t find one, or need some help with translations, do lookout for the helpful reception booth near the entrance of the terminal.

Image credit: mthai

Apart from bus services, they also offer minivan services in a small terminal on the other side of the street for those who prefer a faster ride. You can consider this as another option for your trip, but prices can vary by bus companies. We suggest that you ask the assistant behind the counter for more deets, once you’re decided on a destination.

As for getting here, we’d recommend that you take the MRT to Kamphaeng Phet Station and leave via Exit 1.  Then you’re supposed to see some motorcycle taxis waiting around for passengers. You can hail one to get to the station from ฿60 (~USD2).

Bangkok Bus Terminal Chatuchak
Address: 2 Kamphaeng Phet Rd, Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Nearest Train Station: MRT Kamphaeng Phet
Google Maps


Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai)


Image credit: @supsupjjang

Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) is a bus terminal located in central Bangkok, a stone’s throw away from BTS Ekkamai Station. This bus station is a hub for eastern routes, such as those heading towards Bang Saen, Pattaya City, and Trat province.

And just like Mo Chit’s terminal, commuters will spot van routes for those who may feel that a regular bus ride could be a tad too slow for them.

Image credit: talontuathai

When you enter the terminal, you’ll spot many ticketing offices, with price and route deets printed on signs atop the windows. Do note that it might mostly be in Thai so it’ll be a good idea to approach the seller to get more precise info.

To purchase tickets for van services, you’ll find that on the right side of the station, next to the bus ticket offices. Keep your eyes peeled as the van ticket zone is smaller in comparison and doesn’t have offices like the bus zone.

Image credit: @ordinary_frame_

After buying a ticket, you can walk straight to the platform that’s sited behind the ticket zone. A good way to know you’re in the right place for boarding is to lookout for the area where many buses are parked and waiting to depart.

Just to be doubly sure, do remember to check the bus number and the bus stops prior to getting on. If you can’t find your bus, feel free to ask for assistance from the drivers, who’ll be dressed in light-blue T-shirts. Once you locate your bus, you’ll have to wait at the platform until the driver allows passengers to get on, normally about 10-15 minutes before the stated departure time. During the wait, you can shop for some snacks at the stores nearby to fight your hunger on the road.

For those who are regular BTS commuters, you can also take the BTS to Ekkamai Station and walk for three minutes to reach this terminal. We find this pretty convenient as it’s on the BTS line, and you won’t need to transfer to another vehicle.

Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai)
Address: 928 Sukhumvit Rd, Phra Khanong, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110
Nearest Train Station: BTS Ekkamai
Google Maps


Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai)


Image credit: สัตหีบเพชรรุ่งเรือง

If Krabi and Phuket are your go-to destinations for every summer vacation, we’d recommmend heading to Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal Sai Tai Mai – a terminal that offer routes to the south of Thailand. The terminal is situated in Taling Chan, Western Bangkok. We’d suggest taking the STR (Red Line) to Taling Chan and then hailing a taxi to reach the terminal.

Within the station, besides bus schedule boards and ticket offices, you’ll spot many restaurants to dine at while waiting to board your preferred bus.

Image credit: @honami.saito

As for minibus services, lookout for these ticketing stalls directly at the platform. The stalls are usually in the vicinity where the buses are parked upfront; Thus, after you buy a ticket, feel free to wait to board the minibus at the designated spots.

Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai)
Address: Chim Phli, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170
Nearest Train Station: STR (Red Line) Taling Chan 
Google Maps


Bangkok Bus Terminal Suvarnabhumi Airport


Image credit: @patom.kong

If you land in Suvarnabhumi Airport and want to enter the inner city of Bangkok, the airport could offer you a ride to a bus terminal outside the airport with reasonable prices starting from ฿35 (~USD1). Even though the bus depot is home to buses that ply routes to inner Bangkok, you can still find some routes towards other provinces like Pattaya, Koh Chang, Udon Thani and more.

To illustrate this, we’ll give an example below.

Let’s say you’re going to Hua Hin. You’ll be looking to book a ticket from Roong Reuang Coach from ฿395 (~USD12).

Image credit: blog.ynotfly

FYI, as the distance between the airport and the bus terminal is quite far; we’d suggest taking a shuttle bus at Entrance 5 which can be found at the second floor outside the airport.

If you wish to visit this bus station from the city centre, hop on the Airport Link and get off at Suvarnabhumi Airport, before taking a final shuttle bus to get here.

Bangkok Bus Terminal Suvarnabhumi Airport
Address: 999 Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan 10540
Nearest Train Station: Airport Link Suvarnabhumi Airport 
Google Maps


How to book & pay: a step-by-step guide


Now that we’ve covered what bus terminals to lookout for in Bangkok, we’ll jump straight into how we can get our tickets. Thankfully, there are many ways to purchase a bus ticket these days, and it’s quite easy and convenient to book one without having to head directly to the station.

In this article, we will show you four methods that you can opt for to book your bus ticket in advance for your trips outside Bangkok.


1. Website booking


Screenshot: easybook.com

The first way – AKA the easiest way – is to go straight to a bus operator’s website if you have one in mind. However for bus ticket booking websites we recommend these two websites as they have English translations, and are rather easy to navigate: EasyBook and BusOnlineTicket.

Once you’ve entered the website, make sure to switch the language settings to English, if it’s originally Thai by clicking ‘Language‘ at the top of the browser and selecting ‘English‘.

On its homepage, you will see a search tool to add your travel information: including your destination, departure date, and a number of pax. After you’ve added everything, you can click ‘Search for Bus‘.

Screenshot: easybook.com

Afterwards, the site will show you a schedule of available tickets with operators’ names, times, seat numbers, and prices. Here, you can take your time to pick a ticket and then click ‘Select‘. At this point, you can then expect a pop-up that’ll require you to select your seat.

Screenshot: easybook.com

On this page, you will be required to fill in your personal information. You can also register for an account, so you can save time on entering your info, the next time you reserve a ticket on this platform.

On the right side of the form, do double-check on your info before making payment.

Screenshot: easybook.com

When you’re ready to pay for your tickets, scroll down and you’ll see the methods of payment that the website offers. Simply choose the one you feel that’s the most convenient for you.

After making payment, you can print out the E-ticket and bring it with you to board the bus at the station. For some operators, you can also claim a ticket at the counter at the station, as long as you bring along your receipt from the website.


2. Application booking


Image credit: apps.apple.com

It goes without saying that nowadays, we can do almost everything conveniently on our smartphones. For booking a bus ticket, there are some applications that allow us to do so. Nevertheless, some apps don’t feature the English language, so they can be difficult for tourists to navigate. We’d recommend downloading ‘BusX‘ and ‘BusOnlineTicket‘, which will meet your needs.

Screenshot from: BusX

Once you have installed your app, say BusX, the app will let you choose what type of transportation you will be using. In this case, you can select ‘Bus & Van‘ and it will lead to the search page, where you will be entering your trip info. When you’re done, continue the process by tapping the ‘Search‘ button.

Screenshot from: BusX

Now you can look for a ticket you want. Each ticket will show you time, price, terminal, and if you can refund or rebook it or not. On top displays date options that you can tab to see if there are any available tickets on other dates apart from the date you’ve filled.

Screenshot from: BusX

Once you’ve selected your ticket, you must fill in your personal info as well as contact info, before clicking ‘Continue‘ for the final step.

Screenshot from: BusX

After you’ve settled payment and made your purchase, a pro-tip is to head to the ‘Bookings‘ tab, to double check on the deets. You can also show your e-ticket to employees at the station, before boarding the bus.


3. 7-11 booking


Image credit: thansettakij

If technology is not your thing, you can visit a 7-11 store nearby and tell the employee that you’d like to book a bus ticket. Please note that this is limited to some bus operators and routes only.

Image credit: prachachat

The employee will ask you to fill out your travel and personal information, before footing the bill. After that, you’ll get a receipt that you have to keep as proof to present to the staff at the station. Bus operators will hand you the bus ticket to board upon seeing the proof, but do ask them for help if you need extra assistance.


4. In-person booking


Image credit: barefootpattaya

For those who prefer to go with the flow and making their bookings in-person, feel free to the visit ticket office at the station and buy a ticket on the days that you’re travelling.

When you get to the station, there’ll be many ticket offices (bus operators) for you browse for options – whether it’s departure times, prices, and destinations. Once you find the place you’re keen on heading to, walk right in and tell the seller that you wish to purchase a ticket to a particular place.

Image credit: prbangkok

With a ticket in hand, head to the designated platform to find your bus by looking at the number and bus stops on the vehicle. Once you find your bus, you know the drill. Look for the driver’s cue to board the bus, typically 10-15 minutes before your departure time.

Image credit: sanook

When you hop on the bus, do sit at your designated seat numbers. They are usually located along the edge of the luggage rack or behind the bus chair – the final step you’ll have to take before you can sit back, relax and fully enjoy your ride.


What to bring with you to the station


Image credit: @mrtnhvl

As for what to bring with you to a bus terminal, we are glad to tell you that you don’t have to bring a lot of things – e.g. Covid-19 test results or proof of vaccinations. They aren’t compulsory, but you can bring them along if do you have them.

Here’s a small checklist of the things you SHOULD bring instead:

  • Ticket/E-Ticket
  • Mask
  • Personal belongings
  • Food/Water

When you’re on the bus, current regulations – at the time of writing – require that passengers have their masks on at all times. If you’re expecting a long ride, we’d suggest that you bring along some food to satiate your hunger during the ride.

Finally, a very important practice is to arrive at the station at least 20 minutes before your departure time, given that you might need to check-in your luggage prior to boarding.

After you’ve completed all these steps, feel free to kick back on your comfy bus chairs, and look forward to arriving safely at your destination.


Hop on the bus and travel around Thailand


While many people usually travel by plane or train due to its convenience, a bus ride is another option if you’re traveling on a budget. That’s because ticket prices are pretty affordable, and you’ll also get a chance to truly experience cross-provincial travel like a local.

For those who’re living in the heart of the city or using Bangkok as a base for your holiday, feel free to visit the four bus terminals we’ve covered above, and enjoy the plethora of routes and service options, so you can pick the one that’s most suited to your needs.


Cover images adapted from (Clockwise from Top Left): @ordinary_frame_, @mrtnhvl, sanook

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