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It used to be quite difficult to find the right bus in Bangkok (read about it later on), but thanks to the invention of the smartphone, it got easy. You just need an Internet connection in Bangkok and then an application will tell you the right bus to take, from your location (see later on).
If you don’t have a smartphone, you are in real troubles. It means that you are not in the right planet. In that case maybe you should not waste your time with buses in Bangkok and just use taxis (at least if your stay in Bangkok is short).
There are different types of buses in Bangkok (different colors, age) but they mainly differ in the air-condition issue : The buses which have air-condition cost 15 baht and the non air-conditioned bus cost 7 baht (you can not really predict which kind of bus will arrive to the bus stop).
You pay in cash to a controller, there are still no ticket machines.
To get information about the bus lines in Bangkok :
- Use the free application for smartphones : Google Maps. It’s easy, you type the name of your destination. Google shows you the place on the map. Then you see the option “how to arrive”. You choose the way of transport (walking, driving or public transport). If you choose “public transport”, it will show you the buses available from your location.
- Use the (free) application for smartphones : Moovit. It is similar to Google Maps but it has a different interface. It shows you the bus lines and the bus stops on a the map. Very useful.
- There is a local bus application called ViaBus. It is excellent. It shows you in real time the buses around you. If you type a destination, it shows you which buses arrive there. You can download freely from the Google Play store or Apple store.
- Use the site Transit Bangkok. It has information about the Bus routes in Bangkok.
- Some buses operate at night, bus number 2 and 59 for example.
- If you are living in the backpackers area of the Khaosan, see how to get to and from the Khaosan.
Location of the Central Bus Stations
There are several central stations, depending on the destination. They are for long distances and the suburbs of Bangkok :
- Ekkamai Bus Station, for eastern destinations like Pattaya and Ko-Chang. You can arrive to this station with the Skytrain.
- Mochit Bus Station, for northern destinations like Chiang-Mai. You can arrive to this station with the Skytrain.
- Sai Tai Bus Station, for southern destinations like Phuket. It is difficult to reach this station at the west side of the river, there is no Skytrain station, you need to take a bus or taxi.
Buying a Ticket for Thai National Buses (and Trains)
You can buy Bus tickets in :
- The bus central stations.
- Travel agencies in Thailand.
- Online, with the site 12Go Asia.
There are also private bus companies picking-up passengers from the hotels, to different destinations in Thailand, tickets are sold in the travel agencies.
- For Reservations of Buses (and Trains and Flights) in Thailand, see the page about the Reservations.
See the Page of Transport for information about all the ways of Transport in Bangkok.
Getting on the Bus in Bangkok
Look at the bus sign and guess which lines are stopping here. It used to be like that in Bangkok :
But now, things have considerably improved :
There is even an electronic board, at some bus stops, but the data is not always accurate…).
And for those who are complaining that there is no place to sit at the bus stops in Bangkok, well this photo proves the opposite…
That’s right, it’s not always easy to take the bus in Bangkok, here are some possible difficulties.
- Getting Information : Many local people don’t speak English and so can not help you.
- Strangely, in many cases, the real bus stop is not where the sign is located. I mean that people are waiting 20 meters from the bus sign (if it exists at all) and the driver stops where the people are standing, let’s say that it’s some kind of knowledge that is passing from generation to generation. So you better wait where the people are standing and not where the sign is.
- If there are several buses arriving at once, you may need to chase the bus in the road, between the cars.
After a little bit of experience, it all goes well, I even saw people from Switzerland getting along with Bangkok buses.
On the good side, when there are no traffic jams, the buses of Bangkok are fast and they have reserved lanes that Taxis can not use.
Use the Smartphone applications, as explained before, to find the right bus to take in Bangkok.
More on Bangkok and Thailand :
- Where to Stay in Bangkok – Potential Zones for the Hotel
- How to book Trains, Buses, Flights, Hotels for Thailand
- What to Visit in Bangkok ? – The Tourist Attractions
- Bangkok Transport – Airport, Metro, Buses, Boats…
- To the Islands – Which Island to visit + Stay + Arrive
- To Chiang-Mai – What to Visit, Stay, Transport
- To Pattaya city – What to Visit, Stay, Transport
- The Cost to Visit Bangkok – Common Prices
- The Nightlife of Bangkok – The animated zones
- Visa for Thailand- Basic rules and how to extend
- Internet in Thailand – Buying a local SIM
- Useful Products for the Trip to Thailand
- Maps of Bangkok – With places of interest and Transport
- Bangkok FAQ – Weather, Distances etc…
- Bangkok Shopping – The big Malls and the Markets
- The Khaosan Road Survival Guide – The famous Backpackers
- A Tour of Bangkok – An overview
- Taxi Scams in Bangkok – Common Scams of Taxi and Tuk-Tuks
- Go-Go Bar Scams in Bangkok – What to expect
- Vegetarian in Bangkok
Other Stuff :
- Info about 2 more cool cities: Barcelona and Tel-Aviv
- What to Pack ? the visual list that will help you prepare the suitcase.
- Visit my Vegetarian Page. Why be Vegetarian ? What to eat ?
- Visit my Salsa Dance Page. Salsa main Styles. Why Dance Salsa ?
- Listen to nice Songs with translation in French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew.
- Listen to basic Words In Spanish, French, Hebrew
If you find incorrect data on this page, like a restaurant that has closed or a big river that has moved or you want to tell me something, please write me to contact.