Air Aran Patthana is a private bus company that primarily connects Bangkok with the provinces in the east of the country as well as the border with Cambodia. The majority of the routes are relatively short so the vehicles used on these services are standard buses as opposed to VIP buses but, of course, all vehicles are air conditioned.
Routes served by Air Aran
There are eight buses each day heading from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet, a town very close to the border with Cambodia and an ideal crossing point for those looking to visit Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, which lie a few hours across the border. Buses depart Bangkok between 03.30 and 14.00, with the journey lasting around five hours (priced at THB245). The earlier departure times are ideal for crossing the border into Cambodia, but the border may be closed by the time you arrive on the 14.00 bus.
The return journey from Aranyaprathet to Bangkok runs later, with the final bus leaving at 17.45, which is useful if you have crossed into Thailand from Cambodia. There are actually more departures in this direction, with nine buses per day starting from 05.30. The journey in either direction will also stop at Watthana Nakhon (almost five hours from Bangkok) as well as Sa Kaeo (four hours from Bangkok).
Other destinations from Bangkok
Air Aran Patthana provides seven daily buses making the short 30-minute journey from Bangkok to Pathumthani for just THB70, whilst eight services per day stop in the province from Aranyaprathet on the route to the capital.
On the route from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet, it is also possible to depart the bus in the provinces of Nakhon Nayok and Prachinburi. There are eight buses that leave the capital for Nakhon Nayok each day, seven of these services terminate in Aranyaprathet. Nakhon Nayok is only two hours drive from Bangkok and tickets are priced at THB133.
Prachinburi can be found almost right in the middle of the drive between Bangkok and Aranyaprathet, with tickets available from around THB145 from either starting point.
The biggest advantage with travelling with Air Aran Patthana is the very low cost of the fares. This is ideal for anyone looking to visit Cambodia as you will have to pay for a visa to enter the country as well as to actually travel from the border to Siem Reap, the closest major destination. This bus service makes border visits far easier and there is also plenty of choice between services which will arrive at a reasonable time to ensure you pass through immigration.
Many visitors find Air Aran Patthana is a much better option that taking the train from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet as it offers the far greater flexibility and comfort. There is only one train each day that will arrive in Aranyaprathet and allow you to cross the border in the same day, unfortunately, this leaves Bangkok very early in the morning.
The buses on this route are often not the most comfortable or of the highest quality so this is unlikely to be your favourite journey during your travels. If you are heading further on to Siem Reap, add the fact that you will have to spend a further three hours on a minibus from the border to Siem Reap, so get ready for a longish trip.
Keep in mind
Air Aran Patthana is based in Mo Chit Bus Terminal in the north of Bangkok and this is where all services begin and terminate. However, the buses usually travel via the city’s Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) so it is also possible to board the service here which may be very useful if you are staying in the east of the city. This station is very near to the popular Sukhumvit area and can be found closer to the main train station than Mo Chit.
Overall, travellers are happy with the service they receive from Air Aran Patthana. There is a wide range of departure times from Bangkok headed to Aranyaprathet and the Cambodian border so is a flexible option for those who do not have solid plans or schedules.
The low cost of tickets is another bonus, especially as you are likely to be several costs to pay when crossing the border and then travelling on to Siem Reap. These services are quicker, cheaper and more frequent than train services so are a far more popular option.
The quality of the buses on these routes is often not up to the standard that you might expect or that you have experienced elsewhere in Thailand but the same will be true of the buses used by other operators on this route. Despite these issues, many still consider Air Aran Patthana to offer good value for money considering the flexibility of the generous departure schedules and the very low cost of tickets.