A bus company based in Chiang Mai that connects the famous former capital of Northern Thailand with the popular tourist destinations Pai and Mae Hong Son.
Prem Pacha has around 40 years of experience within Mae Hong Son province and the company determined to become leading transport operator in the region.
Routes served by Prem Pracha
There are 12 daily departures from Chiang Mai to Pai each day between 06.30 and 17.30. The journey takes around four hours in total and costs around THB195. The return trip from Pai back to Chiang Mai is slightly quicker as a large part of the journey will be downhill. The cost remains the same and there are 11 daily departures.
On their route to Pai, Prem Pracha vans pass through Soppong, the prime destination for caving. Tickets to Soppong will cost THB150.
Chiang Mai–Mae Hong Son
From Chiang Mai you can also visit Mae Hong Son a bit further afield. There are nine buses per day heading to Mae Hong Son, between 06.30-14.30, which cost THB395 for the six hour journey.
The return journey also runs throughout the day, with departures until 17.00.
The buses that connect Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son also stop at Pai and Soppong on the journey. In addition to the services throughout the day, there is also one overnight bus heading in both directions at 21.00 each day and is the same price. The trip also takes around six hours so you should arrive at 03.00.
Chiang Mai–Mae Sariang
Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang is another popular route offered by Prem Pacha, with seven services per day making the four-hour trip. Tickets for the journey will cost THB245 in either direction. The alternative for getting to Mae Sariang is hopping onto a cheaper local bus equipped with fan ceilings only. If choosing between these two options, we highly recommend you to consider Prem Pracha vans.
The company also connects Chiang Mai with Khun Yuam with four daily services, costing THB 345.
The biggest advantage with Prem Pracha is the decades of experience the company boasts, this has led to an excellent reputation which has established the operator has one of the most reliable and popular options for travel in the northern regions of Thailand. This reputation is particularly welcome as many of the trips will tackle the challenging mountain roads in the northern provinces so safety and reliability will be key concerns.
There are plenty of departure times to choose from on all of the routes offered by Prem Pracha so there is bound to be a service that will suit your schedule. The option of an overnight service from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai can be very useful if you have an early morning flight back Chiang Mai airport as this will save you the cost of overnight accommodation. This option is a rarity on these routes so it is a real bonus that Prem Pacha offers this departure time.
If you suffer from travel sickness then come prepared with tablets to combat this as a lot of the journey will be on winding mountain roads and the hour or so before you reach Pai is particularly bad. If you have ever experienced travel sickness before, then chances are you’ll have a reoccurrence on this trip! Of course, this is more of an issue with the terrain and the quality of the road than with the operator.
All the vehicles on these routes are minibuses which will be fine for a shorter journey but may get a little cramped if you are making the longer trips between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son.
Also, it can be a little annoying having to change vehicles at Pai when you are travelling to Mae Hong Son from Chiang Mai, or in the opposite direction, but the wait is never too long and it is a handy opportunity to stretch your legs and use the bathroom before the next leg of the journey.
Keep in mind
Not all visitors head further north than Chiang Mai on their travels, but the journey is well worth the effort to discover the northern region. Mae Hong Son is the most mountainous province in Thailand and a great place to explore the mountains and enjoy the stunning scenery. Pai is a very relaxed town that is popular with backpackers and an ideal base to head out into the local countryside.
The level of service and the quality of the minibuses is superior with Prem Pacha compared to many other operators on these routes. It is a very popular option for both locals and visitors who wish to travel between Chiang Mai and towns such as Pai and Mae Hong Son.
Prem Pacha can boast loads of experience so visitors will feel safe on these services, something that is very important on a potentially dangerous route.
The biggest complaint is usually the fact that many passengers find the journey very sick-making but this is down to the mountain roads rather than the minibuses. Prem Pacha drivers tend to drive more cautiously than the drivers employed by some other companies on these routes so the operator has probably done all it can to make the journey as comfortable as possible.
Prem Pracha Photos
Prem Pracha Company Reviews
At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:
Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them!
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains)
Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand)
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)
Make your choice! Please remember that while we are closely monitoring the services, we are still an agency marketplace. That means we focus on ticketing services and route availability & coverage rather than on the factual seat reclining angle you will get on the bus today.