Mini Review of Bangkok Bus Lines from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

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 halfway 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 12go.asia: 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 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 sleept 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 $ 17.35–28.84 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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Winter 17/18 – From Rayong over Bangkok to Pai

Ban Hua Khod Mangrove Forest in Rayong

Dee’s brother was in town with his girlfriend and we went all together to the Ban Hua Khod Mangrove Forest near Prasae. When we arrived there was almost nobody there. We took a boat out to the open water and back into a pier that leads to elevated walks in the mangrove forest.

From the Golden Meadow (Tung Prong Thong) we took a boat out of the mangrove forest
From the Golden Meadow (Tung Prong Thong) we took a boat out of the mangrove forest

Saw some birds on the way
Saw some birds on the way

The ocean is coming into view
The ocean is coming into view

Open water ahead
Open water ahead

To protect the marsh from the open sea they build a wall
To protect the marsh from the open sea they build a wall

Once outside we turned back
Once outside we turned back

And they let you out at a pier. From where you can walk to Prasae the Estuary Viewpoint (จุดชมวิว ปากน้ำประแสร์) and back to your car again.
And they let you out at a pier. From where you can walk to Prasae the Estuary Viewpoint (จุดชมวิว ปากน้ำประแสร์) and back to your car again.

And from there back to the car again

Rayong

We stayed in a small place downtown close to the market. Went with Gerben and the Monkey to a big playground and after the little one was tired we circled back to the hotel again.

Walk in Rayon
Walk in Rayon

Found a little place with food and beers
Found a little place with food and beers

And full of collectibles
And full of collectibles it was

And the former king of course
And the former king of course

Dee took us to a meeting with her former class mates. I catched the biggest cold in centuries there
Dee took us to a meeting with her former class mates. I catched the biggest cold in centuries there

Finally a place that understands customer needs
Finally a place that understands customer needs. We had dinner at the night market.

Bangkok

Spend most of my time in Bangkok in bed fighting my cold. A few shitty days and worst of all X-Mas approaching and all the busses out of Bangkok are full. Everybody leaves the city for a few days.

Former food places
They been here for 30 years or what? And now they had to go. A government crackdown on the small people. My favorite Fruit Shake place – Gone. My favorite daytime snack/lunch place – gone. Great Job!

They killed the old wood house as well. And instead of cleaning the place up they left all the rubbish there...
They killed the old wood house as well. And instead of cleaning the place up they left all the rubbish there…

This is good news. Now one can see where the bus goes. For the 1st time :-)
This is good news. Now one can see where the bus goes. For the 1st time 🙂 Well I use here since years and it tells me which bus goes where and where to change etc. A great app if you travel and it does work offline as well!

Merry X-Mas!
Merry X-Mas! Due to my cold, I almost went back from the bus stop. to bed. But the bus came round the corner when I started to walk back to the hotel. So I want and we had a bit of an X-Mas party and Hello Hello at Scotts place.

My favourite hideaway bar - gone. Replaced by the stupid shutter shops
My favourite hideaway bar – gone. Replaced by the stupid shutter shops. There was a little mom and pop shop and behind a hidden bar / restaurant. Great place in the center of it all but nobody knew about it. So usually only a few locals at the place. Well, that was it…

At last these guys are still here. For more than 40 years and still the best Tom Yum Goong in Bangkok
At last these guys are still here. For more than 40 years and still the best Tom Yum Goong in Bangkok. Since I do not eat animals for quite a while now it is not really useful for me but if you are in town. Go and try!

Breakfast for Champions
Breakfast for Champions

Since the portion is small and cheap...
Since the portion is small and cheap…

... I might as well have two of them
… I might as well have two of them

Off to the North

If you ever been to Bangkok a few days before X-Mas you know how fast the city gets empty as soon as X-Mas is here. Everybody gets out of town for a few days. By cold was better and I wanted to be in Pai for New Year’s Eve.
My usual choice – Bangkok Bus Lines (Read my review here) was booked solid. Now what? Could not even choose anything – was happy I got a VIP bus in the end.
It was chaos at the bus station! So many people and all slots full with busses. A lot of busses had no slot so they loaded customers in between. After more than an hour, our bus finally arrived – one guy came to our ramp and hushed us out in the rain. The bus was waiting somewhere far from the ramps. And there where many busses. Big confusion who goes where since 5 or 6 busses were parked next to each other. In the end, I had my seat and was happy.
And what is it with that rain? In the good old times, there was no rain in the dry season! Global warming eh?

On the bus to Chang Mai
On the bus to Chang Mai – OK seat in the front.

Not my usual one but still ok
Not my usual company but still OK. Note the rain – it is still raining.

My seat on the window
My seat on the window

Chiang Mai

The bus arrives at the new terminal. It still rains so you get a bit wet on the way to the old terminal. Got my ticket to Pai and all the mini busses where full for the next 2 hours. Which leaves me some time to get breakfast at my usual place. The restaurant at the right corner when you walk from the old to the new bus station. It is there since forever and one day and I stop there every time I have to wait for a connection.

I see egg but no pork - where is it?
I see egg but no pork – where is it? Never mind – I take the same as usually.

If I have time before the minibus to Pai I go here for years. At the corner between the two bus stations. And have the same two dishes usually.
If I have time before the minibus to Pai I go here for years. At the corner between the two bus stations. And have the same two dishes usually.

On the Way to Pai

After breakfast, I had a coffee from the coffee place next to the restaurant and wheeled my bag back to the minibus stop. Still raining – how wired!

At the stop on the way to Pai. They do roast their own coffee
At the stop on the way to Pai. They do roast their own coffee

Cat-Car
Cat-Car

Still raining - the mini bus to Pai
Still raining – the mini bus to Pai

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A visit at Ho Chi Minh Historical Park and back to Bangkok

Ho Chi Minh Historical Park

The Ho Chi Minh Historical Park is about 10km west of the Udon Thani in Nong Pracham a bit away from the main road. It first opened it’s doors to the public in 2001.

Ho Chi Minh spent about 3 years in Thailand from the beginning of 1927 when he first arrived in Bangkok. For 3 months he lived in Nong Pracham. Most of the time he taught English, Thai and Vietnamese to local children. Also he connected to the local Vietnamese traders that had migrated from Vietnam to find support for his fight against the French colonialists.

Shrine in the entrance hall of the museum
Shrine in the entrance hall of the museum

Recreated houses at the complex
Recreated houses at the complex

Some tools
Some tools

Uncle Ho's room
Uncle Ho's room

Recreation of the sleeping room
Recreation of the sleeping room

Some personal exhibits
Some personal exhibits

Of course the famous Vietnamese thuốc lào
Of course the famous Vietnamese Thuốc Lào

Kitchen stuff
Kitchen stuff

Mangoes are one of the  fruits in the garden
Mangoes are one of the fruits in the garden

A map where Ho Chi Minh traveled from 1911 to 1941
A map where Ho Chi Minh traveled from 1911 to 1941 at the 1st floor of the museum.

Back to Bangkok

Had a bus from Budsarakam Tours. Departing Udon at 20:45 which was changed to 21:15. 470 Bath for a seat in a 1-2 configured VIP bus. Great!

Small people are more happy in a bus!
Small people are more happy in a bus!

If you do not speak Thai and do not dig their shows the TV is not for you
If you do not speak Thai and do not dig their shows the TV is not for you

Snack Pack included in the fare
Snack Pack included in the fare

Enough space for me
Enough space for me

Bangkok

On the way back to Europe I like to take a AC room. In April it gets so hot in Bangkok – and this April it was even hotter than the last few years. Went to my usual place at Soi Samsen 2. It is close to my water hole and all the places where I do the last-minute shopping. Dee and Gerben are in town and even Nadtharin was here to pay respect to the last king of Thailand.

My room in Soi Samsen 2
My room. Super quiet and in the middle of “my” neighborhood.

My room in Soi Samsen 2

Thank you for the coffee!
Big meeting at the coffee shop of Nadtharin’s friend

Nadtharin and her friend
Nadtharin and her friend

BKK skyline from the parking deck of a shopping center
BKK skyline from the parking deck of a shopping center

Friendly Farang
Friendly Farang – we could help a woman starting her car again. She left the light on and went shopping.

Quick pit stop
Quick pit stop

Bike trip on Bang Krachao

Bang Krachao is an artificial island in a bend of the Chao Phraya River and a canal. It is at the southern tip of Bangkok and still quite green. Some refer to it as the “green lung” of Bangkok. A lot of paths are elevated since the ground is close to the water-level is too wet to build paths. Of course the flooding does not help as well. There is a lake and some places to view birds as well. If you have nothing to do and like biking – go and have a look!

Pay attention to details - look at the lower left!
Pay attention to details – look at the lower left!

The gang at the start of our bike trip
The gang at the start of our bike trip

Taken with the back camera of the iPhone with a Selfi app. While riding the bike - worked quite good
Taken with the back camera of the iPhone with a Selfi app. While riding the bike – worked quite good

Bikes make happy people
Bikes make happy people

Mr. Cool
Mr. Cool

Big ships going towards BKK
Big ships going towards BKK

Mostly paths like this one round the island
Mostly paths like this one round the island

And not the best bikes
Not the best bikes

Temple on the Island
Temple on the Island

Since we are here - lets take the opportunity
Since we are here – lets take the opportunity

The fastest taxi in Bangkok
The fastest taxi in Bangkok

Back in the City

Now what?
Now what?

The Democracy Monument
The Democracy Monument

Art in The Queen's Gallery
Art in The Queen's Gallery

The temple of the Golden Mount from the museum window
The temple of the Golden Mount from the museum window

Big Boy
Big Boy

He has to touch everything!
He has to touch everything!

Best place in town!
Best place in town: นม ตั้ง เหล้า (Nom Tung Loaw)! And the Austrians where here as well!

Pad Thai
Pad Thai – 1 €

Wat Chanasongkhram Ratchaworamahawihan
Wat Chanasongkhram Ratchaworamahawihan – what a name!

Vegetables with tofu
Vegetables with tofu

Birds on a wire
Birds on a wire on the way back from the small vegetarian place. Now back to the hotel and off to the airport. Good Bye Bangkok – see you again in the winter!

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