Sitting on the Thai side of the Myanmar–Thailand border is a little town of Mae Sot. Many travellers rush to leave Myawaddy in Myanmar and then hop onto the first bus or plane from Mae Sot to Bangkok. However both Mae Sot and its Myanmar counterpart of Myawaddy make for an interesting stop to take a short break before your onward travel.
Flights from Mae Sot to Bangkok
To travel from Mae Sot to Bangkok the quickest option is to fly. Mae Sot has a small airport 1km outside of the town. The airport can easily be reached by tuk-tuk (THB100) or even on foot.
Nok Air have 4 flights to Bangkok each day. They depart at 9.40am, 11.00am, 2.30pm and 4.10pm. The journey takes 1 hour and 10 minutes. The flight is usually performed by a small propeller powered aircraft and advanced ticket fare starts at THB1,125 approximately and goes up to THB2500 if you buy just a couple of days prior to your flight. In Bangkok, you will arrive to Don Mueang airport.
From Mae Sot to Bangkok by bus
There are direct daily buses between Mae Sot and Bangkok. Buses leave from the large bus station in the outskirts of town. The bus station can be reached by tuk-tuk and the ride will cost you no more than THB100.
Buses depart for Bangkok in the morning between 6.00am and 10.00am and in the evening between 6.00pm and 10.00pm with a gap in between. The travel time is between 8 and 9 hours, and the night buses obviously do a better job allowing you to save on accommodation. There are both express and VIP services available – the former are cheaper (from THB400), the latter are more comfortable (THB700).
In Bangkok you will arrive at the Morchit Bus Terminal in the north of the city. It is the largest hub for all travels north and northeast, so if Bangkok is not your final destination and you are heading either to Isaan or to the North, it comes quite handy.
If you need to reach the city centre, take a taxi (from THB150) or a public bus leaving from the adjoining local bus station – they are considerably cheaper (THB10) but you will need to figure out your route. The BTS Morchit station somewhat confusingly is located a 10-minute walk from the bus terminal – it is easier to take a taxi to get there.
Note If you are crossing the border from Myanmar to Thailand, check visa requirements for your passport in advance. The majority of nationalities – not all, though! – now get a 30-day free stamp on arrival when crossing land borders into Thailand – it is a relatively recent change welcomed by many European and American travellers who earlier had been given only a 14-day permission to stay in the country. If you want to stay in Thailand longer than your free stamp lasts, apply for your visa in advance or extend your free stamp at the immigration office within the country – depending on your passport, you can get a 7-day or a 30-day extension, both costing THB1900.
From Mae Sot to Bangkok via Sukhothai
Sitting on Route 12, 150 km east of Mae Sot, Sukhothai makes for a great destination to split your journey to Bangkok. It is a bearable 3-hour bus or van ride from the border with transport from Mae Sot departing frequently from the same bus station which you will use if traveling to Bangkok directly. Vans usually leave when full but anyway you won’t need to wait too long. Tickets cost THB130 and services run between 6.00am and 6.00pm.
The main attraction in Sukhothai is the namesake historical park, one of the 10 in Thailand. The ancient city is considered the first capital of Siam and the historical park provides you with an opportunity to have a glimpse of what the Thai capital looked like 8 hundred years back. Many ruins are astonishingly intact and the whole territory of the park is kept very well.
For other things to see and to do, as well as accommodation options and restaurants in Sukhothai read our Sukhothai Travel Guide articles.
Tip There are two more historical parks to visit from Sukhothai: Kamphaeng Phet historical park and Si Satchanalai historical park, both within 60-100 km distance from Sukhothai. Both are much less visited than Sukhothai, and if you are after off-the-beaten-track destinations, do not miss these ones.
From Sukhothai, it is easy to reach Bangkok by plane or bus. Bangkok Airways have 3 daily flight to Bangkok departing at 8.45am, 3.00pm and 6.45pm. Tickets start at THB1,690 and the flight time is 1 hour 15 minutes. Flights arrive to Suvarnabhumi airport which has easy bus, rail and taxi links to the centre of the city as well as direct buses and vans to other destinations throughout Thailand with Pattaya, Koh Chang, Koh Samet and Hua Hin among others.
Buses between the new town of Sukhothai and Bangkok travel regularly during the day with majority of buses leaving in the morning between 6.00am and 10.am and in the evening between 5.00pm and 10.00pm. The journey takes approximately 7–8 hours. There are many bus companies offering services on this route and prices do vary. You can expect to pay THB350 for an express bus and THB650 for a VIP bus. In Bangkok buses bring you to Morchit Bus Terminal in the north of the capital.
Onward travel from Bangkok
From Bangkok Morchit Bus Terminal you can catch a bus to all major cities and towns in Northern and Northeastern Thailand. The most popular destinations include Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the north or Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen or Nong Khai in the Isaan.
A couple of private companies operate buses from Morchit to Phuket, too, but for a wider choice of buses to southern destinations including Krabi or Suratthani check the Southern Bus Terminal, Sai Tai Mai, located on the Western bank of the Chao Phraya River.
Some of the above mentioned destinations can be reached from Bangkok by train – and we definitely recommend you to experience the rail travel at least once while in Thailand. The train station in Bangkok is conveniently located in the centre of the city and is reachable via MRT.
Finally, the two Bangkok airports, the principal Suvarnabhumi airport and Don Mueang airport, where the majority of the regional low-cost airlines are based, are a gateway to many international destinations, as well as all the provincial centres in Thailand and many important regional cities including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia, Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia and much more.