How to get to Ranong from Bangkok

What about

For the majority of Thai expats, especially those who reside in Phuket, Ranong used to be an easy visa run destination to neighbouring Burma. Since the 2014 coup, after a series of crackdowns on visa runners, Ranong visa run agencies are seeing much fewer clients. Though at first sight Ranong is nothing more than a usual border town, it manages somehow to preserve a character of its own. Mind-blowingly tasty food bears pronounced Burmese and Chinese influence, and Ranong definitely benefits from the changes which are underway in Myanmar. The main draw of the wettest province in Thailand is live-abroad diving tours which bring you to majestic Surin Islands or Burma Banks, rightfully listed among the world’s prime diving destinations. Charming Koh Phayam and Koh Chang (not to be mixed up with the Koh Chang in Trat Province!) are an ideal choice to get out of it all and indulge in that idyllic ethereal atmosphere of a far-far-away place.

How to get from Bangkok to Ranong

There is no railway line passing through Ranong, the nearest station located in Chumphon on the Gulf coast. Technically you can first go from Bangkok to Chumphon by train (from seven to 9 hours) and then switch onto a bus from Chumphon to Ranong (two hours), but it is only worth doing if you by some reason plan a stopover in Chumphon or are going to Koh Tao first.

From Bangkok to Ranong by bus

The main bus terminal in Bangkok for all southbound trips is the Southern Bus Terminal, also known as Sai Tai Mai. It is located on the Western banks of Chao Phraya River and is best reached by taxi. Travel time from Bangkok to Ranong is from eight to 9 hours which makes a night bus the most convenient option as it saves your daytime and some baht otherwise spent on a hotel room.

Niomit Tour operates Express, VIP and VIP24 buses from Bangkok to Ranong, all departing at 9pm and reaching the destination between 4.50am and 5.30am. VIP and VIP24 tickets include a light meal during the journey, while with an Express you have only snacks which is actually of minor importance – unless you are a night-eating type. Tickets costs THB460/550/710 for an Express, VIP and VIP24 bus correspondingly. If you have an extra baht, it is always wise to opt for a VIP24 to have more leg and elbow space. Besides, there have been reports that express buses make too many stops on their way to Ranong, picking up passengers and cargo with cabin lights going on every time the bus stops. If you do not mind your journey last longer than expected, than an express is also ok.

Tip: As with all long haul buses in Thailand, air-conditioning in Niomit Tour buses is an issue: it may get freezing cold on board, so have some warm clothes at hand – the blanket you will be given is not always enough!

From Bangkok to Ranong by air

Even if you are the most determined overland traveller, it sometimes pays to consider a flight, too. Several low-cost airlines in Thailand offer tickets at discounted prices during certain periods, so check if you can catch a great deal.

Nok Air operates two direct flights to Ranong from Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok. There is a morning flight at 6am and an afternoon one at 5.05pm. The flight lasts 1 hour and 25 minutes and ticket prices start from THB1150 (lower during promotional periods). Note though, that Ranong airport lies some 22km south, so you will need at least 40 minutes to get to the city from there.

Ranong Connections

Rung Kit company operates Express buses from Ranong to Phuket. They reach the island in 5½ hours and cost about THB300. There are departures at 6.30am, 9.30am and 4pm. Please note that with the last departure you reach Phuket bus terminal by 9.30pm, so it is advisable to book your accommodation in Phuket in advance or opt for any guesthouse in Phuket Town rather than heading immediately to the beaches.

Other destinations from Ranong include Suratthani, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Hat Yai. Tickets are easily bought right on the spot at Ranong bus terminal which is just one km from the city centre and is reachable by blue songthaews.

Koh Phayam

All those stereotypes related to a paradise island are true for Koh Phayam. This little gem of an island has long sandy beaches, crystal clear blue seas, old-school bungalows and an air of a perfect island hideaway which becomes a rare bird nowadays. Though Koh Phayam is the main tourist destination in Ranong province, the island never feels overcrowded and chances that you will find a fair stretch of the beach just for yourself are high. Narrow island roads are car free, and electricity round the clock is a privilege of a couple of bigger resorts. That said, many accommodations offer Internet, so you will not feel too isolated from the rest of the world if you need it in your smartphone.

Unspoiled beaches are undoubtedly the main attraction of Koh Phayam, but do not underestimate its hilly interior covered with jungle where a variety of short route for hiking attract those who get tired with a postcard-perfect sea picture of Koh Phayam. Koh Phayam lies 35km from the mainland, so estimate that your trip there will take from ¾ hrs by speedboat to two hours by ordinary ferry. Boat service is offered all year round, but the majority of smaller bungalows close for the low season from April to October.

Bangkok to Ranong @ bus, flight Jul 27, 2017

4 trips (THB 515 — 3,170)

From Southern Terminal to Ranong by bus

Southern Terminal, Bangkok
Ranong bus station
10h 25m
฿ 515
× 2 = ฿ 1,030
? seats available
Southern Terminal, Bangkok
Ranong bus station
10h 25m
฿ 687
× 2 = ฿ 1,374
? seats available

From Don Mueang Airport to Ranong by flight

Don Mueang Airport
Ranong Airport
1h 25m
Instant 15kg
฿ 2,165
× 2 = ฿ 4,330
Don Mueang Airport
Ranong Airport
1h 25m
Instant 15kg
฿ 3,170
× 2 = ฿ 6,340

Passenger reviews out of total 1,335 passengers traveled with us on this route

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 though we are closely monitoring services, we are still an agency marketplace - meaning we focus on ticketing service and route availability / coverage rather than on factual seat recline angle you got today ^_^

★★★★★ Jul 10, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
Nice ????
★★★★★ Jun 27, 2017 (bus VIP, Niomit Tour) :
Bus and seat were much better than expected. Even found a snack and a drink. Bus arrived more then an hour early, which lead to more waiting for our ferry, but otherwise nice ride!
★★★★☆ May 17, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
Punctual service, good seats and decent price
★★★★☆ May 14, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
I really enjoyed the service from start to finish. From the baggage check to the stop off midway and final destination, the staff was superb! Polite and kind and very caring. The driver was an obvious professional with a big smile and a very safe driver. I cannot say enough about his professionalism. The seats are comfortable with a lot of room. The overhead storage was a little tight but our larger carry-ons fit nicely at our feet. The "meal" is a snack and would be better presented as such. A box juice and a bun stuffed with taro or bean paste, but not a deal breaker by any means. The only reason I do not give five stars, and for me a very important factor was that several times on the journey starting right out of the gate, the hostess, in an obvious effort to keep a pleasant smell on board so not at all her wrong, used an air freshener that had a very strong chemical odor and left me several times unable to breath. It filled the cabin and lingered a long while. I have a strong sensitivity, bordering on allergy to these types of products. Something a bit more natural would be appreciated. But otherwise, everything was great.
★★★★★ Apr 10, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour)
★★★★★ Apr 8, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
Clean Bus, safe Trip. A lot of Space to sleep and nice Service with water&food. We would recommend it for a longer Trip.
★★★★★ Apr 2, 2017 (bus VIP, Niomit Tour)
★★★★☆ Mar 18, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
Very confortable seats. A/C not too cold at all. Only the thai meal at midnight was really not delicious but if you're really hungry it's OK. Anyway I can recommend Niomit VIP 24.
★★★★☆ Mar 13, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour)
★★★★★ Mar 12, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
Hi ! Great trip ! But i forgot my blue towel in my seat, the one right next to the stairs on the upper deck. Could you please let me.know where I can get it back ? Thanks a lot
★★★★☆ Feb 17, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
Confussing with chec in. 3 busses for Ranong, was not seated in the same as ouer luggages so a bit stessed when we arv. to Ranong
★★★★☆ Feb 14, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
Trip scheduled to leave at 9pm and arrive at 7:30am. Actually left at 10pm and arrived at 7am - no complaints with a shorter ride! Bus was comfortable enough. Loads of legroom and elbow room. Staff were polite, quiet and kept lights off. No music or other noise overnight. Can't say I would ever choose an night bus over a sleeper train. But this VIP24 service is a good option to get somewhere off the rail network.
★★★☆☆ Feb 3, 2017 (bus VIP, Niomit Tour) :
The sit was ok, the bus too. asked to tell me as soon as we in Ranong. Nobody told me and I almost missed it. :) As a vegetarian it was no food for me or may be I did not understood right. I would make a sign for vegetarian food if it is there. :) The bus driver and the assistent have been a little bit annoyed. Could be more friendly and have more understanding for foreigners. :)
★★★★☆ Jan 27, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour) :
bus was very comfortable, but dirty
★★★★☆ Jan 21, 2017 (bus VIP24, Niomit Tour)
★★★☆☆ Jan 17, 2017 (bus VIP, Niomit Tour)

News @ Ranong

02 December 2016

Tomorrow marks the start of a long three-day weekend in Thailand. Monday is a national holiday and was the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The auspicious date on Thailand’s annual calendar is also Father's Day.

07 September 2016

Myanmar has extended its e-visa options to cover a trio of key land border checkpoints with neighbouring Thailand. Tourists and business travellers who pre-apply online for visas can now enter the country via gateways at Kawthaung, Myawaddy and Tachileik.

10 November 2015

An offshore earthquake rocked Phuket, Krabi, Ranong and other locations along Thailand’s Andaman Sea shoreline at midnight on Sunday. The epicentre of the 6.2 magnitude quake was the Indian Ocean’s Nicobar island archipelago.