Mini Review of Bangkok Bus Lines from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Bangkok Bus Line

Mini-review of Bangkok Bus Lines from Chiang Mai to Bangkok Mo Chit 2 or Bangkok Northeastern Bus Terminal

I booked this trip online for 759 Bath at the end of February 2016. The ticket includes a voucher for food at the stop about half of the trip.
You find a few pictures of the food below. The bus leaves Chiang Mai at 20:30 and was in Bangkok at 6 in the morning.
Most passengers got off at the Bangkok Bus Lines office but the bus continues to Mo Chit since that is what you paid for! They might tell you that it does not so you have to insist on it. They will drop you there.

How to get a Ticket for Bangkok Bus Lines

Bangkok Bus Lines have a counter at the bus station in Chiang Mai if you want to get your ticket there. You can come to the station a few hours before to get it. This usually works off-season but if you want to travel in high season you better get a ticket in advance.
I usually book with From Chiang Mai Bus Terminal to Bangkok Mo Chit Bus Terminal
(Affiliate link that does not cost you more but might get me a beer eventually!)
The same goes for the bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. You can get a ticket at Mo Chit Bus Terminal. Sometimes it is also called Northern Bus station or Chatuchak Bus station or Terminal. Quite confusing but all the same.

The Bangkok Bus Lines Bus

Bangkok Bus Lines
This is a 32 seat bus with a 1 – 2 configuration. 1 seat on one side of the bus and a double seat on the other. Since there are only 3 seats in a row you have more space. The seats are wider and there are fewer seats in the bus. If you want to sit together with your friend or sit alone you better book online a few days before. This way you can choose your seat.
The toilet is in the back of the bus. So you want to sit in the front or middle of the bus. The toilet door makes some noise. And it might smell from time to time. But this is the same as in all the busses that come with a toilet in Asia.

Bangkok Bus Lines seat
The seats do recline quite a bit and have a nice footrest. The footrest is only useful when you are not too tall. If you over 190 cm you might look for a 24 seat VIP bus to use the footrest. I am 203 cm and had no problem in this bus apart from the footrest that I can not use.
You get a blanket and a travel pillow that goes around your neck. Never had one of those on a bus. They are better than a pillow alone but I am not sure if they wash them all the time so I did not use it. But you could use your T-Shirt or towel if you want to use them.

Entertainment System

Bangkok Bus Lines entertainment system
Great entertainment system. You can even charge your USB device. Lots of movies to choose from. Even a few in English. The headphone is from the bus as well but you can use your personal one if you like.

Free Snacks

Bangkok Bus Lines stewardess
The stewardess – she hands out the snacks

Bangkok Bus Lines food
You get a small bottle of water and this box – I only eat the chips. The rest I gave to a homeless guy that slept close to my hotel on the streets in Bangkok after we arrived. He looked happy.

Bangkok Bus Lines
Then you get tea and soy milk and another strange Euro Cake thing that went to the guy on the streets of Bangkok as well

Free Midnight Dinner

Bangkok Bus Lines snack stop
Since that is a VIP bus you can eat in the VIP dining area of the food stop midway to Bangkok or Chiang Mai if you go the other direction. That means more options and buffet – you can eat as much as you like. Usually, the vast majority of the buses stop at a rest stop where you have a very limited option of meals. In any case, keep your ticket – it has the voucher for the food on it.

Bangkok Bus Lines
There was even some for me – vegetarian food that is!

Here are the buses 12go sells online. Be aware that there are other bus companies as well that do not sell online tickets. If you need to go to Bangkok from Chiang Mai or Chiang Mai from Bangkok you will find a bus easy if it is not high season. It might not be a VIP bus but you should get to Bangkok or Chiang Mai.


Bus Chiang Mai - Bangkok $ 17.60–29.25 10h – 10h 55m
  •   Express 08:30, 10:00, 18:35, 20:00
  •   VIP27 20:30, 21:50
  •   VIP31 19:45, 21:00
  •   VIP 19:15, 19:30, 20:00
  •   VIP24 20:00
  •   Express 06:00, 06:30, 09:15, 16:00, 18:50, 19:00, 20:35, 21:00
  •   VIP31 19:00, 21:10
  •   VIP20 21:19
  •   VIP 15:00, 16:00, 20:02, 20:15, 20:20, 20:40
  •   VIP24 20:00, 20:20, 20:30


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Update from Chiang Mai and a few more Pictures from Pai

I am back in Chiang Mai since last night. Had another great time in Pai and i am kind of sad to leave so many friends behind. But i will see some of them in summer and some next winter. That should help to get me going.
Did meet Johnny Vagabond last night for a beer. Now i know one of the Travel Bloggers out there.
Right now i sit in Jiangs living room in Chiang Mai. It is in a quite neighborhood so the only thing you hear is the Haier fridge and some birds in the garden. From time to time a motor bike in the small soi. Will stay here till 17.00 and than move to the bus station. Have a VIP to Bangkok this night and should be there at 5.30 in the morning. Hope to catch another bus to Phnom Penh from there a few hours later. My Thai visa expires tomorrow so i need to leave. The plan is one night Phnom Penh and than down to Kampet to visit Maya.
Will not have to much time as my flight to the Phillipines leaves at the 20th of February from Bangkok. And i need at last one day to get some shopping done in China Town and Pratunam. I hope the protests will cool down a bit and they do not block the airport again like they did last time.

Live of Pai
These birds come all the time and check on you – they even come into the bungalow

Live of Pai
Ita is confused – What?

Live of Pai
Movie afternoon with cats

Live of Pai
Which i later managed to get to the hammock

Live of Pai
Jean does operate a fruit – concentration is king

Live of Pai

Live of Pai
A few pictures from Ita in the Sun – find the rest of them here!

Live of Pai

Live of Pai

Live of Pai
Another sun set from my bungalow.

Live of Pai
Fabri does enjoy the sun set as well

Live of Pai
Mini photo shooting with the twins from Twin Hut

Live of Pai

Live of Pai

Live of Pai

Live of Pai
Concert at Silhouette in Pai

How to get easy from Bangkok or Chiang Mai to Pakse in Laos and than to Don Det or Don Khong

Ticket for the International Bus Thailand Laos

How to get from Thailand to Don Det or Don Khong in Laos if you do not want to take a tourist bus all the way from Khao San Road or you are somewhere else in Thailand and do not want to go to Bangkok before heading to Laos. I did meet so many travelers that did it very complicated or paid way too much. Taking one or two Minibuses to the border and another one to Pakse, got ripped off by taxi drivers and so on. So I decided to write down the easy way! There is for sure a cheaper one but this is the right mix of comfort and price.


Since I wrote that post things changed! Now you can get a joint ticket Bus/Bus or Van/Bus from Bangkok to Pakse as well. It makes it more easy for you. Unfortunate I could not find a way to book it online. So you have to book with a travel agent or go to the Chatuchak bus terminal and get a ticket there. The last information was that you should get it 3 days in advance to ensure a seat on the bus!

Get the ticket at the windows 22 – 25. This is, of course, a night bus that leaves at around 19:00. Be sure to have your passport, cash and the pictures for the visa on you. Usually, the hold stays closed till after the border. Be aware that this bus stops 8 km outside of Pakse and you have to fork more cash to get a Tuk Tuk into town.

Or you do the trip like me:
I have the times from 12go down in the box. You can also book your ticket there! (Affiliate link – you might contribute towards a beer for me if you book here!)

Bus Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani $ 13.90–23.23 8h 50m – 11h 45m
  •   Express 07:00, 08:00, 14:30, 16:15, 19:10, 19:30, 20:00, 21:00, 21:10, 21:30, 21:40, 21:45
  •   VIP 18:00, 19:15, 19:50, 19:55, 20:00, 20:05, 20:25, 20:30, 20:50, 21:10, 21:30, 21:35
  •   VIP24 06:50, 18:00, 20:00, 20:30, 21:15
Train Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani $ 19.14–56.53 10h 20m – 12h 15m
  •   2nd Class AC seats only 21:30
  •   1st Class Sleeper 20:30, 21:30
  •   2nd Class Sleeper AC 18:55, 20:30, 21:30
  •   Class II Ladies Only 20:30
  •   2nd Class Fan seats only 15:20
Flight Don Mueang Airport - Ubon Ratchathani $ 55.34–166.65 1h – 1h 15m
  •   Economy 06:10, 07:45, 07:50, 09:30, 10:10, 11:00, 12:05, 12:30, 13:20, 15:20, 15:30, 18:00, 18:50, 19:15, 19:30

Laos 2013
This is the ticket counter

How to get fast and cheap from Thailand to Don Det or Don Khong in Laos

From Bangkok or Chiang Mai take a Night Bus to Ubon Ratchathani that get you to the bus station before 08.50 in the morning! From Bangkok you can also take the night train if you like.
At the bus station in Ubon Ratchathani you buy a ticket for the International Bus to Pakse for 200 bath. There are minibusses that go to the border as well but then you have to find another one on the other side and you never know how much they charge you and how long it takes for them to leave. Usually, they wait till they are full!
The first bus leaves at 9 in the morning. So it does not really make sense to be there very early. The counter opens at 8.30 – before they do not sell you a ticket anyway!

The bus stops at the border and you go to Thai immigration. After your stamping is done leave the building and you see an underpass – on the other site keep walking straight till you see the Laos immigration. If you have your visa you fill out the form that is given to you on the bus and give it with the passport to a hand that reaches for it from inside the immigration office.

Visa on Arrival

If you want to do a Visa on Arrival bring a passport picture and check the internet how much you have to pay!!! It is not the same for all countries! You want to bring US $ to do that (there is a 1 US $ stamp fee on top of the visa fee!!). If you pay in Thai Bath be ready to pay 100-200 bath more than the guy in front of you that paid in US $. Now you turn right and go 4 meters to the end of the building. Turn left and wait till your passport gets handed out of another window by another hand. It might be the same that took it but that is hard to tell.
Do not be stupid!
If you have a new passport it looks just the same as the other one. Especially the European ones. I saw a post in a Facebook forum once where one girl got her passport only to find out it was the passport of a French guy that was long gone. They do not really look who is outside of the window all the time. So you better put a sticker at the front and back of your passport. This way you see if somebody gets your passport or you know which one is yours if the wrong one comes out of that window. (If they still do the window thing nowadays)

On the other side of the Immigration Office are a few shops, Duty-Free and a bank with a working ATM!! They charge you 20.000 Kip fee so you should get a large sum at a time. Hey – when was the last time you were a millionaire? Here you are right after you get your cash from the ATM!! And it is a better rate than all the money changers on Don Det will give you. I saw an ATM on Don Khong – there is none (at the time of writing) on Don Det. There is also a Bank with ATM and a Money Changer at the market in Pakse if you go there. But why not get cash right here as you have to wait for the other passengers that get the visa anyhow??

Once in Pakse the bus will usually not stop at the Bus Terminal – it stops at the office of the company somewhere in Pakse. You should ask the bus driver if they continue to the Bus Terminal to save yourself another trip in a shared taxi. If not then you take one from the street. It was 10.000 Kip in 2013 and of course, they tell you it is 20.000 or even more. Do not pay more or get another one that drives down the street. There are motorcycle taxis for up to 2 people Pick-Ups and small busses converted into taxis. The Pick-Ups and busses are called Songthaew in Thailand and Laos.

If you are hungry and want the best food – take a shared transportation to the market in the city center – it should be 10.000 Kip. Inside the market, there is an area of food. All the long-term farangs I talked to told me that this is the best place to get food in Pakse if you are on a budget or want “real” food! Then take another shared transportation to the bus station. It should be 10.000 Kip again.

Ask at the Bus Station for transportation to Don Det or Don Khong – 30.000 to 40.000 Kip to the ferry that brings you over to the island. You should get the bus from Thailand at 9 in the morning as you need almost a full day to get to Don Det from there!
Make sure that the bus driver confirms the right island. I ended up on the “wrong” one which was also nice as I could take a boat to the other on the next morning and the view from the restaurant on the river bank was great!

Laos 2013
Ubon bus station

Laos 2013
I was way to early so I had to wait and wait and wait and the coffee shop did not open….

Laos 2013
Songthaew to the bus station

Bus to Don Khong
The first Beerlao after the border at the market: 10.000 Kip

Don Det
A bus at the station

Laos 2013
I went to Don Khong for one night – guess the bus driver did not really understand or he simply lied to me. We did reach the ferry quite late and the only transport that night would have been a motorcycle that would have been 50.000 to the Don Det ferry. If there would be ferry service at that time in the night? I do not think so!!

Laos 2013
The “engine” of the ferry

Laos 2013
The next morning I did meet Hélène. She read on Facebook that I was on the “wrong” island and came to visit me before I had the boat down to Don Det

Laos 2013
Finally on Don Det. After a few days, I wanted to be back on Don Khong again. Well well

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