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Travel in Thailand – From Bangkok To Other Major Cities by Flight, Bus, and Train

bangkok travel in thailand

When traveling within Thailand from Bangkok, you usually have two options:

The Fast Way (Flying)

The Slow Way (Bus and Train)

Obviously, flying will be the more expensive route.  However, depending on your time, budget, and social skills, it may not always be the best option.

This post is going to go over the ways we recommend to travel from Bangkok to other major cities in Thailand.  Flying is almost the always the best option due to the time, however if you are a social person and traveling alone, taking the train and bus puts you around many other tourists which is a great way to make new friends.

How To Travel in Thailand From Bangkok

Bangkok To Chiang Mai:

Fast Option: Fly
– Book Through: Bangkok Air, Thai Airways, Nok Air, Air Asia, or One-Two-Go Airways
– Price: Starting from 1000 (30usd) each way
– Time: About 1 hour

Slow Option: Train or Bus
– Book Through: Any travel agency in Thailand
– Price: 300 – 800 baht (9 – 25usd) each way
– Time: 12 to 16 hours

Bangkok To Pattaya:

Fast Option: Taxi
– Book Through: Your hotel, a travel agency, or find asking random taxis in Bangkok.
– Price: Between 1,000 to 3,000 baht (30 – 90usd)
– Time: Usually around 2 hours depending on traffic

Medium Option: Fly
The reason why flying is not the fast option is because the Pattaya airport is located around 45 minutes from the main area of Pattaya.  So between the waiting at the airport, the flight time, and taxi from the airport to your hotels – Flying is often not the quickest route to go.

– Book Through: Any major Thai airline.
– Price: Starting at 1000 baht (30usd)
– Time: (See above.  Usually around 2 – 3 hours in total)

Slow Option: Bus
– Book Through: Any travel agency in Thailand or book it yourself near the Victory Monument BTS station.
– Price: Starting at 200 baht
– Time: Usually 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic

Bangkok To Phuket:

Fast Option: Fly
– Book Through: Any major Thai airline.  Usually Bangkok Air, Thai Airways, Air Asia, and One Two Go.
– Price: On special you can find this for 1000 baht (30usd).  However the average price will be around 2,000 baht (60usd)
– Time: About an hour

Slow Option: Bus
– Book Through: Any Thai travel agency
– Price: 800 baht (25usd)
– Time: 12 hours

Bangkok To Koh Samui:

Fast Option: Fly
– Book Through: Bangkok Air
– Price: 4,500 baht (150usd) – one way
– Time: 55 – 90 minutes depending on the airplane

Note: Any flight to Koh Samui will be the most expensive out of any flights within Thailand.  This is because Bangkok airways on the airport and has a monopoly on air travel to and from Samui.  So this is one of the only times that the cost-per-time benefit may make taking the bus / boat the better option.

Medium Option: Fly and Boat
– Book Through: Nok Air
– Price: Starting at 2,000 baht (60usd)
– Time: 5 – 6 hours

Note: This is a new service that Nok Air recently started to offer.  You fly from Bangkok to the Surat Thani airport.  Then take a 45 minute shuttle from the airport to the pier.  Then you will take a Hi-speed Catamaran to Nathan on Koh Samui.  From here, you need to take a taxi or minibus to Chawang.

Slow Option: Bus / Boat
– Book Through: Any Thai travel agency
– Price: 1,000 – 1,400 baht (30 – 45usd)
– Time: 10 – 14 hours

Note: We recommend that if you use this option, use the company Lomprayah.  Every travel agency sells their tickets and this tends to be the most comfortable option if you do take the bus.  The route take is: Bangkok – Chompan – Koh Tao – Koh Phangan – Koh Samui.  So you can easily stop for a few days at Koh Tao and / Koh Phangan before visiting Samui.

Bangkok To Krabi / Phi Phi Islands

Fast Options: Fly
– Book Through: Bangkok Air, Air Asia, Thai Airways, Nok Air, and One Two Go
– Time: About 90 minutes
– Price: Ranging from 2,500 to 4500 baht (75 to 150usd)

Note: If you are going directly to Phi Phi from the Krabi airport, you can book a boat ticket inside the Krabi airport.  The pier is a 20 minute taxi drive and the boat is around 2 hours.  It costs about 100 baht to do a mini bus to the pier and 300 baht for the boat to Phi Phi.

You can also take a boat from Phuket to Phi Phi.  However, with Phuket being such a large island, often you can spend over an hour in a taxi just trying to get to the pier.  So you if you trying to go directly from Bangkok to Phi Phi, I recommend you take the Krabi route.

Slow Option: Bus
– Book Through: Any Thai travel agency
– Time: 12+ hours
– Price: Around 1,000 baht (30usd)

Note: If you take the bus and want to go directly to Phi Phi, book the entire trip at the travel agency, don’t break it down in the different legs of the journey.  You will save the most amount of money by booking the entire trip together.

Bangkok To Koh Chang

Fast Option: Fly
– Book Through: Bangkok Air (Fly to Trat – TDX)
– Price: 2,000 – 4,000 baht (60 – 120usd) each way
– Time: 1 hour

A Few Helpful Tips:

1- The Bus Prices
There are two different types of buses in Thailand, the cheap Thai option, and the more expensive foreigner buses.  In all the above prices, I used the more expensive bus route.  Why?  All these buses that cost more will have air-conditioning, reclining chairs, and not stop every 5 minutes to pick up and drop off passengers which drastically adds additional time to the journey.

Also, if you want the best prices from the travel agencies, simply ask 3 different travel agencies what their best price is.  You’ll be surprised at how much negotiation room there is.

2- Links To The 5 Major Airlines in Thailand
Bangkok Air:

Thai Airways:

Air Asia:

Nok Air:

One Two Go (Orient Thai):

FYI: You will get cheaper prices by booking your flight on these websites.  A travel agency will rarely save you any money for flights within Thailand.

3- Train
I rarely recommend taking the train in Thailand.  The train system always tend to be hours behind schedule, random break downs, and simply not comfortable.  If you decide to take the train anywhere, try the Bangkok to Chiang Mai route and make sure you get a sleeping bed.

Two great websites for Thailand train routes and schedules are:

Posted on Gods of Thailand July 3, 2013 in , ,


We are men who live and travel southeast Asia that share our experiences. You can find more at Gods of Thailand and Kings of Bali which are websites dedicated to teaching men how to have the best time in Asia without the bullshit. We also created the most extensive Thailand VIP Membership Program to do just this.

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