Sueksa Tour is one of the main operators connecting the northern cities with the Isan region in Thailand. The company is based in the major city in Isan, Udon Thani, with plenty of routes up to north-eastern Thailand and towards the borders with Cambodia and Laos.
Routes served by Sueksa Tour
All the buses on routes operated by Sueksa Tour are VIP buses so you know you'll be travelling in comfort.
Udon Thani to Lampang & Lamphun
From the operator’s base in Udon Thani, you can travel to both Lampang and Lamphun. There is one departure each day from Udon Thani to both destinations (leaving at 20.30 and costing THB840). It takes around 10 ¼ hours to reach Lampang, so you are due to arrive at 06.40, and it’s an 11 ½ hour trip to Lamphun, arriving just before 08.00.
Udon Thani–Chiang Mai
You can also catch services from Sueksa Tour in Chiang Mai. There are daily departures from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani and Nong Bua Lamphu (both leaving Chiang Mai at 20.30 and priced at THB 840). It takes approximately 12 hours to reach Udon Thani from Chiang Mai, so you'd be due to reach your destination at 08.20. Nong Bua Lamphu is slightly closer to Chiang Mai, taking 10 ¾ hours and arriving just after 07.00.
Chiang Mai–Nong Khai
A very useful route for those heading from Chiang Mai to Vientiane in Laos. There is one night bus leaving Chiang Mai at 20.30 and arriving to the border town of Nong Khai before 9.00 the next morning, in time in case you are planning to get to the Thai consulate the same day. Tickets cost under THB900.
In the opposite direction from Nong Khai to Chiang Mai the bus leaves at 19.00 and takes just under 12 hours to get to the destination.
One of the best things about picking Sueksa Tour is the complimentary food and drink you receive when you arrive at the bus. You'll be given a snack and a bottle of water but then you'll also receive a hot meal later on. This is usually a meal purchased from a street food stall so could be pad thai or something similar. Unfortunately, they don't really cater to different diets, so it might be worth bringing something extra if you have specific dietary requirements.
As all the vehicles used on routes by Sueksa Tour are the newer, roomier VIP buses, these trips tend to be much more comfortable than a journey on a regular bus. There are fewer passengers aboard so it's quieter and you're far more likely to get some rest during the night. Also, there is a good deal more legroom than on other buses so you can really stretch out and have a nap.
Unfortunately, there are no charging ports on board these buses, this can be annoying when you have a long, overnight journey. It's always best to make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave, in case you need to use it once you reach your destination or if you need to contact someone in case of an emergency.
Most of these VIP buses have a shared TV at the front of the bus and not the individual monitors that you might get on other vehicles. It can be a little aggravating having to listen to the television if you want to read, relax or sleep but it is switched off at around 22.00, along with the lights so it isn't too much of a hassle. Make use of the quiet during the night to get some rest as the lights do come on at around 06.00 and it can often be fairly noisy in the morning as passengers get on and off the bus.
Keep in mind
It can get a bit chilly on buses during the evening, especially as the air conditioning is usually kept on throughout the night. The good news is that Sueksa Tour offers you blankets at the beginning of the journey so you should be fine.
Passengers can sometimes find the shared TV onboard a bit disruptive, especially if you find yourself sitting underneath a speaker. But this usually only lasts a couple of hours at the start and end of the journey so you can still get some much-needed rest during the trip.
There are plenty of positive reviews about the comfort onboard these services and it really is worth paying a little extra to travel by VIP bus as you'll have more legroom and a much comfier seat!