Quick company intro:
Suwannatee Tour is a bus company that provides spacious 24 and 32 seat passenger double decker VIP and Express buses. With its headquarters in Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) on Borommaratchachonnani Road the company offers both online and real time booking.
Routes serviced by Suwannatee Tour
Suwannatee Tour offers the route between Bangkok and Chumphon, one of the most important transportation hubs in southern Thailand. Chumphon is the main starting point for your sea journey to neighbouring Koh Tao with further travel to other islands of the Gulf, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.
There are at least five departures a day from Bangkok to Chumphon: one in the morning (9am), one in the afternoon (12pm) and three in the late evening (8pm, 9pm and 10pm). Travel time from Bangkok to Chumphon with Suwannatee Tour is under 7 hours. Expect to pay THB400 for an express bus and THB450 for a VIP which is normally the last bus of the day.
Schedule-wise the two most convenient buses are the morning bus which brings you to Chumphon by 3.30pm what leaves you with enough time to make an afternoon tour of the city and catch the slow (and cheap) night ferry to Koh Tao, or the last bus at 10pm which arrives early the next morning leaving you with the whole day ahead of you and plenty of choices on which ferry to catch.
Similarly heading back to Bangkok you have the same choice of morning, afternoon and evening departures with Suwannatee Tour. In Chumphon, all the buses leave from the company’s office just southwest of the train station in Nawamin Ruan Jai Road.
Suwannatee Tour provides a solid value. The onboard service is good and includes water and snacks with a meal at the stop already included into your ticket price.
Seats are soft and reclining and there is reasonable leg space even in the cheaper express buses, though Westerners may want to choose an aisle seating.
Blankets are provided for night trips and air-conditioning is normally not excessive.
Suwannatee Tour has a good safety record.
Suwannatee Tour bus tour company is by far one of the cheapest and therefore you get what you pay for so as long as you don’t expect too much from a budget friendly service you will be more than happy with your journey. The buses are reliable, convenient and take the fastest routes possible.
Do not expect bus attendants to speak much English. It can be an issue if you need to get off not at the terminus. Do let them know where you are heading at the very beginning of the trip.
There have been reports of double booking with passengers having to settle for a different class of the bus. Though if you are changed from VIP to express, the difference is normally reimbursed but the level of comfort will be different.
Some of the buses from Suwannatee Tour bus fleet are aged so do not expect charging ports and there may be issues with broken TVs but it can hardly be considered as a minus as you are saved from too loud entertainment programs in this case.
What travellers say
Generally, the majority of the reviews about Suwannatee Tour are good with most people satisfied with the cleanliness of the buses and on board toilets. The staff are welcoming and accommodating, and you can expect an easy and safe travel. Keep in mind, though, that it still be confusing at arrival both in Chumphon and Bangkok, if you are dropped off in random locations – either closer to the train station in Chumphon or at one of the BTS stations en route in Bangkok.