Bus fare in Bangkok proliferated in a few years time. I took 5:30pm bus from Hatyai to Bangkok. There are buses to Bangkok every hour but the fare before 5:30 and after 5:30pm are different. After 5:30pm bus will be in VIP type and more expensive.
The type I took has toilet on the bus and cost 624B. The good thing for thailand bus is the ticket include a meal on the way. Given the receipt, you are entitled for a dinner or 2 bottles of water at the stop-over.
I took the dinner with a group of Thai, normal dinner, rice with a few dish and tea. Nothing special but local experience.
The bus will stop at both southern terminal and Morchit(Nothern terminal). The lady on the bus who serves will ask you beforehand which stop you would like to stop.
There's once where my friends and I wanted to take an express bus to Pattaya from Bangkok at the bus terminal. The usual price is around 100 baht and the journey takes 2 hours. While we were at the terminal, a bus driver approach us to take his express bus to Pattaya at a cost of 70 baht. We took that. However it took us 4 hours to get there as the bus made a lot of stops along the way and he didnt drive along the highway. It was almost evening when we reach and we couldn't find any budget accommodation and have to settle for a middle range one.
All package tour buses from the south (KL and Singapore) arrive at the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. This is FAR from the center of Bangkok and Khao San areas. Most buses, because of the length of the trip, arrive at some ungodly hour of the night. It is best to find a taxi quickly and just go. The entire area is filled with people you won't be inviting home any time soon.
Northern Bus Terminal - The Naresuan Station (Ayuthaya)
Northern Bus Terminal (5:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.)
1. Ordinary Bus Fare - THB 30
2. Aircon Bus - THB 47
Travel time: about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
Leaves every 15 minutes from the station.
Ordinary buses run between Northern Bus
(took bus last Jan. 1, 2004)
For travellers who want to visit Cambodia
Morchit Bus Station - Aranyaprathet
Window 30 & 31
Depart from Stall 121
Bus fare - THB 164.00
Departure Time - 7:00 am
Arrival Time - 11:10 am
(with 2 to 3 stop-over)
There are daily buses from Khao San Road directly to Laos (Vientiane) leaving in the evening, and arriving in the early morning. They are modern 2 storey buses with video, music, WC... For about 6 USD you get the transportation, border crossing guide with the group, and the dinner included.
You can book it at any guesthouse or travel agency, Nat Guest House is one of the classic ones.
The cheapest way to get to Angkor Wat temples (Cambodia) from Bangkok is to take a bus from Khao San Road. There are many travel agencies running minibuses there. Nat Guest House (by the middle of the street) is a good one.
It may cost you about 2-3 USD, but will take you almost the whole day. The bus leaves early in the morning (no night bus, the border is closed), gets to the border around 1 pm, then it takes about 1-2 hours for the whole group to pass the customs. Another 4 hours to Siem Reap.
When you get there, the bus will take you directly to the guesthouse they recommend. You may either just stay there, or go down, take a taxi and go to your own.
If you decide to go on your own to Cambodia by bus, you will have to leave from Morchit Bus Station, in the north part of the city, near the Chatuchak Market.
There you catch a bus that takes youto the Cambodian border in 4 hours (164 Bahts).
There is no direct bus to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat). You have to reach Aranyaprathet, then a moto to take you to the border and after crossing the border take a private taxi (you can share it with other travelers) to Siem Reap.
You can find detailed info on this trip at the website "Tales of Asia" (see link below).
Traveling by bus is the cheapest way to get around Thailand. You have many options of bus travel from Bangkok. VIP tourist busses are the most expencive and the most comfortable. 3rd class government red busses are the cheapest and least comfortable. 1st class government busses are preferable for distances under 8 hours, take the VIP bus if you can aford it if you are travelinig overnight. VIP busses can be booked from the New Joe travel canter on KSR, their website is: http://www.newjoe.de/tourframe.htm . The publis bus system is very well developed and you can take a bus to just about everywhere in Thailand, and even to Malaysia, Laos, the Cambodian and Myanmar border, and Singapore.
Buses are the most popular mode of public transport in Thailand because of their flexibilty and convenience. They go to every province and they leave Bkk often.
There are 3 major A/C bus stations in Bangkok. The southern terminal is called 'sai tai mai', and takes you to anyplace west and south of Kanchanaburi, down to the Malay border provinces. The station is across the river and not hard to get to from Khao San Road.
The next is Morchit (Dr. Close, for you Thai speakers). Takes you to anywhere in the central, north and northeastern part of the country, sort of anything east and north of Ayuthaya including all those central provinces like Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok, not to mention the whole of Esan (the northeast). Morchit is in the Chatuchak part of town, near the weekend market and it's very big (and quite new - built in 97). There is one section of it for northern buses and one section for northeastern buses, but you can figure that out when you get there. English help is available.
Then there is Ekamai - the eastern bus station. It is way out on Sukhumvit Road around soi 63 - or close to it. Hard to miss. You can take the skytrain to the Ekamai stop. Buses from here take you to all destinations like Chonburi (home of Pattaya), Rayong, Trat (drop off for Koh Chang) and Chanthaburi (home of the best durian and other yummy fruit) and other provinces down there, east and southeast of Bangkok.
Some companies have buses leaving from Khao San or the Indra Hotel or their own little headquarters in the city, but all government buses and most private ones leave from these three locations. If you are hoping to travel overnight on a VIP bus on a Friday or Sunday night, you might want to get to the bus station a day ahead and buy your ticket in advance to ensure you get a spot.
All bus trips over 4 hours have a stop somewhere in the middle at a designated location where you can use the facilities (all first class and VIP buses have toilets on them) and get food. A VIP ticket often includes food at the rest stop.
(last date took the bus - Feb. 7, 2004
Eastern Bus Terminal (Soi Sukhumvit 42) near Ekkamai Station - Pattaya Bus Terminal
Bus fare - THB 90
(leaves every 20 minutes)
Getting to Ayutthaya. This is the airconditioned coach from Bangkok to Ayutthaya. Trust me, take the one with the airconditioning. It's only 45 baht (US$1) for a 1 1/2 hour ride!