Travellers heading from Bangkok towards Laos often choose Sahaphan for this trip. The company is based at Bangkok's Morchit station and offers routes to towns in the northeast of the country including Roi Et, Mukdahan and Ubon Ratchathani.
Routes served by Sahaphan Bus Company
On all the company's routes, travellers have a choice of premium, VIP or first class buses, all of which are air-conditioned.
For anyone staying in Bangkok and looking to make the 500km journey to Roi Et, there are plenty of options with Sahaphan.
Roi Et is the capital of the province of the same name and there are 19 departures each day between 06.30 and 22.40 (which would arrive at 14.30 and 06.40 respectively). The eight-hour journey costs between THB364-566, depending on which class you wish to travel. There are also 15 buses heading in the opposite direction throughout the day (leaving Roi Et between 08.00 and 22.20 and arriving in Bangkok at 16.00 and 06.00). The prices remain the same regardless of which direction you're heading.
Sahaphan also offer buses to Mukdahan, from where you can then easily cross the Mekong River into Laos by travelling to Savannakhet, just across the border.
There are seven buses per day running between Bangkok and Mukdahan in both directions, with fares priced between THB472-734 based on the quality of the bus you choose. The first bus leaves Morchit in Bangkok at 07.45, arriving in Mukdahan at 18.30, with the last departure of the day at 21.30, travelling through the night until 07.30.
Buses making the 10-hour journey back to Bangkok depart between 09.15 and 20.45 (arriving at 19.30 and 06.45 respectively).
There are two buses each day connecting Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani, leaving Morchit at 19.20 (arriving at 07.20) and 20.50 (getting to Ubon Ratchathani at 08.50). Both departures take around 12 hours and cost THB477.
Anyone heading in the opposite direction can jump on a bus to Bangkok from Ubon ratchathani for THB515 at either 17.00 or 19.30, which will arrive in the capital at 05.00 or 07.30 respectively.
On the Bangkok-Roi Et route, especially, there are many buses travelling in both directions throughout the day. Although Morchit can be reached easily using public transport, it can sometimes be difficult to arrive in time to catch a bus in the early hours, especially if you are staying on the other side of the city and have to pay for a taxi. Fortunately, Sahaphan's services are all at convenient times for traveling to Morchit.
All the buses used on Sahaphan’s routes are high quality so you should be as comfortable as possible during your journey, something which is very important when on an overnight bus. There is also a good amount of legroom onboard, even by western standards, which will no doubt help you relax throughout the trip.
The biggest issues are delays to the services which, sadly, are not uncommon. Unfortunately, this is the case with many forms of transport across the country. The departures are scheduled so you will miss the worst of Bangkok's traffic-ridden streets during rush hour but there can often be several unplanned stops during the journey so it's best to give yourself some additional time if you are planning on catching another service either across the border or elsewhere in Isan.
Also, Morchit can be a very confusing station so it's always best to allow plenty of time before your bus leaves, it's pretty unlikely that they'll wait for you!
Keep in mind
Ubon Ratchathani, often shorted to just ‘Ubon’, is one of the main cities in the Isan region which borders Laos. Many tourists pass through the town on the way to the border and it is very easy to reach Pakse in Laos. The bus to Ubon Ratchathani from Bangkok is one of the most affordable ways of travelling from Thailand’s capital to Laos.
Passengers are complimentary of the level of service they receive when they book a bus journey with Sahaphan, with the staff often being very friendly and helpful throughout the trip and giving advice if you're not sure where to go after you've arrived at your destination.
Unfortunately, there are complaints that some of the buses used on these services are outdated and can be a little uncomfortable if you're onboard for 12 hours or more. If you're concerned about the quality or comfort of these buses then you should consider paying a little more for a first class service to ensure maximum comfort during your trip.