After a nice holiday in Patong Beach we had to go to Bangkok and so we decided to use the direct bus between Phuket Town and Bangkok. It is a cheap, comfortable and effortless way of getting to Bangkok, plus it means one less hotel night which definitely budget friendly.
How to Get to the Bus Terminal 2 in Phuket
There are three bus terminals in Phuket. First one is old bus terminal off Phang Nga Road which provides minibuses linking Phuket to other major destinations in Thailand. Second one is the new bus terminal on Thepkasattri Road which provides big buses linking Phuket to other major destinations in Thailand and the last one is on Ranong Road (Old Town) which is the local bus station linking Phuket Town to all beaches. Our bus was departing from Bus Terminal 2.
First of all, we needed to reach Phuket Town from Patong. According to your budget you can prefer either the blue songthaews which can be described as big tuk tuks or the easy but expensive taxis. We prefered the songthaew due to our budget and we paid only 50 Baht per person. First we took the blue songthaew (30 Baht) from Patong to Phuket town, and once we were in Phuket Town the driver stopped another songthaew (20 Baht) for us which is going to the bus station. Blue songthaews run every 30 minutes all the way on the beach road in Patong, you can easily catch them but mainly they collect passengers from in front of the police box at northern end of Patong Beach Road. Pink Songthaews, on the other hand, assure transfers between three bus stations but please remember that songthaews work until around 6 pm.
Bus Terminal 2 in Phuket
We arrived at the second bus terminal after a 1 hour trip by two songthaews. When you go inside the terminal there are two short corridors on the left and right hand sides of the entrance which you can buy your tickets or get approvals for your internet reservations and obtain the hard copy of your bus ticket. The terminal has a mini market and some kiosks where you can have something to eat or drink. If you don’t like these options you can try the small local restaurants which are located in the terminal’s garden. We tried Coffee House at the end of the restaurants. They serve a good variation of coffees and snacks. Plus, the only air-conditioned place with a decent wi-fi is this place. You should use the toilet in the terminal for just 3 Bahts since the toilets in the buses are not in very good condition. (Just 3 bahts)
We kept our luggage with us until the departure time because we were warned about not to let our luggage unattended in the bus’ trunk. Before getting on the bus, we registered our bags on the small white desk near our platform and then gave them to the trunk. Of course, we watched them until they were put in properly. They attached a tag to our bags on the desk but then never asked us to confirm when we were getting off.
There are mainly two storey buses in Thailand, besides the driver compartment, they have a small number of seats at the lower deck. Most of the seats are on the upper floor. You can get VIP bus tickets or cheaper bus tickets. The difference between a VIP and a normal bus is the number seats. The VIP has around 30 seats whereas the cheaper bus has more than 40. So it means a VIP bus has wider seats with very wide leg space. We bought our tickets 7 hours before the trip on 12go.asia from Phuket Travel Company for 18:30 VIP bus.
Bus departed 2 min early according to universal Iphone time but 6 minutes late according to bus’ time. Anyway, since you should be at the terminal 30 minutes before departure it won’t be a great matter. There was a packaged blanket and a bottle of water placed neatly on every seat. Also, the air conditioner was working before the departure. The blue seats were very big and comfortable with a wide leg space. With this space they are able to recline almost to become a bed. Also there was an adjustable part for the legs which provides a comfortable journey. There are lights and air conditioning at the top of every seat. You can close your air conditioning but the lights weren't working.
Ten minutes after the departure the formally dressed hostess stopped in every seat and asked us where we were going to note them down on her folder. Once this is finished, she brought a basket of snacks from downstairs and gave us a complimentary set of two cakes and a fruit/vegetable juice. There were two types of cakes boxed and stamped in a transparent box, one with banana flavor, the other with some colorful candies on it. We liked them both. The trash of these goodies however, were never collected. After these snacks, the lights are turned off until the break which is odd because it’s just 7 pm. Also there were two flat screens on our deck but they weren't turned on once and there were no electric plugs or USB ports to charge electronic devices.
The trip went smooth but the air conditioning was very cold. First I thought why they gave us wool blankets on 35 degree weather but then I understood. The blankets were freshly washed and felt very clean when the package was removed. They also keep you warm.
After 6 hours road, we took a break for a complimentary meal at 00:30 am in Chumphon. The break was just 20 minutes and the food is traditional Thai food. If you are not fond of Thai cuisine, you can find some other things to eat in the night bazaar at this stop. You should be cautious in that crowded place. The buses are alike, you should memorize or take a picture of the plate of the bus in order not to misplace the bus. Also you should be in a hurry since the break is short for dinner and toilet.
The complimentary meal is served in the dining saloon where you are seated at a table with people you don’t know according to your bus company. They serve traditional Thai plates with chicken, fish and vegetables on every table. They also give you a cup of rice and you turn the table as you wish to take some food from the middle to your plate. The toilets are not very clean, they lack toilet paper so be sure to take your own.
The toilet on the bus was frequently used by the passengers however every time the door was opened a bad smell was upon us. Also the toilet itself didn't seem very appealing to me, I just took a photo.
We arrived in Bangkok after 12 hours and the hostess woke us up – You! Bangkok! We took our bags and hit the road again. According to the ticket we should be on the southern bus terminal in Bangkok so we had made a plan to get to our hotel but then we realized that they dropped us on northern bus terminal Mochit. We don’t know if they are going to also southern station but she never asked us which station we were going to. But then again, she didn’t speak English. Maybe you should approve in advance which terminal the bus is going.
Bangkok North Bus Terminal
It was better for us to be dropped in Mochit as it is closer to our hotel, however be aware that people speak very little English, so come prepared to take the necessary public bus to your destination or have your hotel’s address written in Thai. If you are Western, taxi drivers are most likely going to try scamming you by asking a lot of Money. Insist on turning on the taxi meter. Otherwise, you can take a public bus for 15 Bahts to Chatuchak Station and take the sky train from there. Also there are small buffets and Seven Elevens in the terminal where you can get something for breakfast.
Over all, this was a comfortable and smooth journey. It is highly preferable fort his route.