The best way to get around Thailand cheaply is to travel on Thailand’s inexpensive public transport services such as bus – train – ferry – mini van, and utilize local transport such as songthaews and tuk tuks. It’s possible to explore virtually every corner of Thailand using cheap transport, so if you’re a backpacker or just a traveler or tourist travelling around Thailand on a tight budget it is actually a very easy way to see and do Thailand on the cheap.
What are the problems getting around Thailand for tourists
It’s easy enough to say “getting around Thailand is cheap” and “it’s easy to get around Thailand” but if it’s your first time in Thailand it’s obviously not that easy, and you are bound to have many questions about getting around Thailand. You need answers to the obvious questions like what time do the buses run – where’s the bus terminal – which bus to take – how to book tickets for the Bangkok to Chiang Mai overnight train – or how to plan a route from A to B in Thailand.
Not being able to speak and read Thai is the biggest stumbling block for foreign tourists using public transport in Thailand. Outside the major tourist destinations like Bangkok – Pattaya – Phuket and Chiang Mai, your question “what time is the next bus to Bangkok” is very unlikely to be understood.
How you can make it easy to get around Thailand
Don’t worry, I’ve had to deal with the problems of traveling around Thailand as a foreigner myself. The answer to the problem is simple. Use an online travel booking agent which speaks your language.
Let’s say you want to travel from Bangkok to Phuket cheaply by bus, you enter your travel dates – search – and the results return several options including a direct bus from Bangkok to Phuket for 600+ baht. When you book your ticket you receive clear instructions about the bus terminal location and how to get there, and what to do with your booking voucher when you arrive at the terminal.
Direct routes from A to B in Thailand are not always available. Example, if you want to go from Chiang Mai to Pattaya by bus, the results only show flights from Chaing Mai to Pattaya. The solution is to first search for options from Chiang Mai to Bangkok which shows results for plane – bus and train. You then search Bangkok to Pattaya which will give you results for bus to Pattaya from Bangkok.
Bangkok is very much the central hub for bus and rail routes to every corner of Thailand, so if you don’t find a direct route from your location to your desired destination, head to Bangkok first.
Alternative routes and combination tickets
Not only is it an effective Thailand route planner, it’s a good way to find cheaper alternative routes and modes of transport. If you wanted to go from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui you could fly direct for 10,000+ baht. You could fly from Chiang Mai to Surat Thani then take the ferry to Koh Samui for 5000+ baht. Or you could take the bus to Bangkok – take a taxi to southern bus terminal or another departure point, then a bus and ferry combination to Samui for less than 2000 baht.
You won’t find every bus route or transport company in Thailand, but there’s more than enough bus routes and alternatives such as train – plane and mini van to make getting around Thailand easy and cheap. Click on the link below to get started with 12go.asia.
Try your luck with Klook
Klook are better known for discounted Thailand day trips – tours and entry tickets, but if you happen to be in a popular tourist spot like Bangkok – Pattaya – Chaing Mai – Koh Chang – Samui or Phuket, it’s worth taking a look what transfer and transport options they have. Quite often you will find you can book transfer services such as Pattaya to Koh Samet and Koh Chang, and a bus and ferry combination ticket from Bangkok to Koh Chang. If you’re going to be spending some time traveling around Bangkok you might be interested in their BTS and Airport Rail Link tickets.
More getting around Thailand travel guides
Thanks for reading. Enjoy your journey.