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Travel in southeast Asia Guide / ASEAN
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Southeast Asia is an ideal travel holiday and vacation destination offering all what people like for their most precious time of the year regardless of age and gender. Most countries which are clustered along the equator are tuned for the tourists and have the right spots to make everyone happy. What needs you to do? Not much just do as locals do which means such simple things keep in mind that east meets west but with different traditions and rules. Hotels and resorts are plenty beaches and island too and just think positive there is no need to be negative because everything is not the way you are used at home. ​​

Bus Travel in ​southeast Asia ASEAN

Road Travel in Southeast Asia

Transportation by sea air bus car tuk-tuk and motorbike
In Thailand Malaysia and Singapore the roads are quite good although having the usual maintenance problem but an extensive network to make travel easy low priced and comfortable.

E.g. bus Bangkok to Phuket is about $ 20,- and it takes 12 hours. Airfare is between $ 60 and $ 80,- for the same sector flights and buses leave almost hourly during the daytime to Hat Yai it's 7 hours and $ 12,- means it's very affordable. If you are "roaming" the whole region check prices out of Singapore first since the airfare from there is often cheaper as from Bangkok (e.g. to Phuket) although the distance is about double.


​​Types of Buses

The big ones (including double decker) are used for long distances over about 6 hours travel below that
also van (12 pax) and minibusses (up to 30 pax) are used in general don't use van's since the cause a lot
of fatal accidents with them because the drivers are very inexperienced and aggressive on top of it they
are packed to the brim and have no emergency exit. Imagine what happens in a case of an accident.
Keep in mind that in countries such as Thailand parents even buy cars and bikes for 12-year kids.

Bangkok Transportation and Travel
Long Distance Road Travel
Bus Travel to the north, east and west from Mo Chit
Hit the road to Cambodia either Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Koh Kong
Coach to the south

Long Distance Southern Bus Destinations travel time from Sai Tai Mai Terminal in Bangkok Reachable via BTS

Tel: (02) 422 4400-1, 984 6122

Betong 16 Hours

Hat Yai 13

Koh Phangan 13

Ko Samui 13

Krabi 12

Langsuang 9

Nakon Sri Thammarat 12

Naratiwat 15

Ranong 8

Phang-Nga 12

Phuket 12

Satun 13

Songkla 14

Surat Thani 12

Sungai-Kolok 15

Trang 12

Tours around ASEAN and Southeast Asia



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  • ​​Bus travel from Thailand to Malaysia

  1. The two main routes are from Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur and Penang the first is an 8-hour trip and the second takes around 4 hours.
Bus travel photos in Thailand

Travel with the coach in Thailand

I am always amazed to see how on time the buses are considering the usual relation Thai people have to time and the total carelessness resulting out of this.

Travel with the coach proves the opposite. Leaving any major bus terminal in he country regardless of the location is almost always on time no air travel can match that. Also most coach travel is comfortable and very professional managed if you ever travel within Thailand and to the neighboring countries the bus is definatly the first choice for distances of up to about 500 km.

Even for the long run its worth to consider the bus althoug  it sometime it needs to change the coach e.g. from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Hat Yai is the break point. Currently 7/2017 they are discussing connections from Bangkok to Yangon / Myanmar which will still need some time since Myanmar has almost no good roads nothing was done since the British left.  
  1. South Bangkok Bus Terminal
  2. The Phuket Bus Station
  3. Bus Travel (8)
  4. Bus travel in Cambodia
Phang Nga Bay Tour
South Thailand Photos
Phang Nga is the hinterland of Phuket with great views.

This is the province north and east of Phuket one of the most interesting parts of south Thailand. It can be acssest via the
Phuket Bus Terminal

Here are countless of beaches, islands, caves, raw nature and secluded island resorts. Also the premier day trip destination from Phuket, notably "James Bond Island", kayaking, Khao Lak and scuba diving at Similan Islands . One of the best day trips from Phuket is kayaking in the Phang Nga Bay. 

There are several destinations easily reachable from Phuket with . Best is Phang Nga Bay's Waterworld consisting of limestone islands clustered in the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea  with incredible rock formations, caves, and beaches.
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  2. James Bond Island
  3. similan islands
  4. phang nga bay islands
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  6. Phang Nga Bay during Monsoon
  7. khao sok national park
  8. khao lak beach

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And let the fun begin

Traveling in south Thailand 

Drawing a virtual line from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi means here more or less starts South Thailand.

That is the peninsula until the Malaysian border squeezed in between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand which again is part of the South China Sea. In this waters are hundreds of islands in archipelagos almost made for the sun-seekers from Europe and elsewhere on the globe.

South Thailand has some important advantages compared to other countries in Southeast Asia / ASEAN. Among other are the good road network and the hotel infrastructure to offer the traveler a more or less smooth vacation. A very important part of it is the extensive bus and ship network. On the south Thailand map it is the region from here to the Malaysian border and other parts of ASEAN.
Although the best means of road travel is a scooter/motorbike there are some problems in Bangkok they won't allow to use the motorways especially the elevated with a two wheeler but once you get off this motorways you get lost immediately so the best is use the BTS & underground plus motorbike-taxi don't use car taxi and tuk-tuk since there are always problems with it and just forget buses. 

To the east is Kanchanaburi province bordering Myanmar but it is not possible to cross into Burma actually their government is not able to handle anything even during English colonial times it was more easy to travel in Burma although the Myanmar side of the Andaman Sea would be an ideal travel environment but their visa regulation and a total absent of even basic infrastructure make it impossible.

A good example is beyond Hua Hin in Prachuap Kiri Khan province in Thailand is a border crossing into Myanmar since about 10 years (today is 2017) this is the Sinkhorn Pass which is an idyllic piece of land remembers to Italies Tuscany but at the border is no way to go through. It also goes like this at the cross-border Kawthaung Myanmar and Ranong Thailand further south close to the
Isthmus of Kra which is the shortest land connection between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.
Phuket bus termina
There are two possibility for this drive one is via Ranong along the cost and the other is via Phangnga City in the interior of south Thailand the difference is 15 hours travel time for the first and 12 hours for the second. At left is the bus stop at Chumphon.
krabi to phuket
From Phuket to Krabi is no air travel available but there are several possibilties with the ship. Either speedboat or a larger ferry to Phi-Phi Island and after to Ao Nang in Krabi province.
Phuket bus terminal
The new Phuket bus terminal

This is a bit north of the city center on the way to the airport and that works quite well. On long distance travel its airtravel in Southeast Asia.

The amazing thing is that the buses are always on time which is contrary to aircraft which are almost always delayed, read more. In general if there is enough time use the bus, the airlines are expensive and do not a good job .

On top of it is the problem to get there and also to leave. E.g. the whole airport transport (far away from the city center) is a mafia structure with no real public transport and extremly high taxi and limousine fare. They say there are vans but they never drive, they just let you wait until you are fed up and take a limousine which cost a multiple.

Road travel by bus in south Thailand

Photos of coach travel
Road travel from Phuket to Krabi

You can rent a car from below $ 30,- and a 125 cc scooter for 5,- / day upwards, they also have bigger ones and full grown motorbikes.


If you intend to do that take a good travel accident insurance since on the roads is anarchy, there are no rules and everyone does what he or she just wants. E.g. common with women is they mount a small TV above the steering wheel and watch video during driving. Kids are driving cars and scooters and cause horrible accidents. This is also visible in other southeast Asian contries often it needs a guide.
  1. start at the Phuket Bus terminal
  2. New Phuket Coach Terminal
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  5. from Phuket to Krabi
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  7. Leaving Phuket Island for Krabi
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Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Bus

Travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be by train, bus, aircraft and car. On the road is a good and low priced option I paid Baht 500,- in a bus similar to the above for the 7 hour ride.


For more bus destinations check here:


Rest stop on the highway
Rest stop on the highway
Rest stops on the highway between the south and the capital have plenty of good food and actually rather appear like a supermarket with some facilities for travelers. But they are run very good, work quick and serve what the people want including "Halal Food". There many Muslim women employed to make sure it is according to the standard, read more.


From Tak to Mae Sot
From Tak to Mae Sot
Driving from Tak to Mae Sot is a tour into the "Blue Mountains" which make the border to Myanmar. On the other side of the "Friendship Bridge" a low intensity war between the central government and some Karen Armed Groups is still going on even in 2015. On the Thai side the road is amazingly good with a few short exceptions, read more.



Riding the motorbike and scooter.

On the road with the motorbike and get some fresh air

Rent a motorbike or scooter could be a good option for transportation during you holiday travel in Thailand. They are easy to get around $ 7,- per day and you can drive anywhere with up to around 100 km/h. According to what I see with my own eyes they carry up to 6 people and are very robust, read more.

One of the first rule is, stay away from tuk-tuks.

That is a especially true on the "pearl of the Andaman Sea" where the whole island is under control of some gangs who managed since decades to block any public transport to get people into the tuk-tuk's which the own, the same manipulations are at the airport. The other day (2014) the military tried to get hold of the former Major of Patong / Katu which is the main tourist area in Phuket since the guy and his son run the place in mafia style. He went into hiding but in October 2014 someone killed this gang-leader finally.


The trip from Ranong to Kawthaung
The visa run trip from Ranong to Kawthaung


travel in the bus
I wonder how they might feelpoor coconut monkey

the working monkey
The working monkey
A pick-up truck carries pigs, pork is the second most popular meat to eat, after chicken. Coconuts have a wide use and monkeys get them down.

Using the strong cord fixed around the neck they send the animal up the palm tree, the little thing is trained to turn the fruit until the stem brakes and it falls down.


If you want to see whats happening on Thai roads and you won't believe that unless you see it look here. Don't think this is unique, that's standard procedure, more.

On water mainly longtail boats are used.

since the are better to handle than outboard machines, also much cheaper.

Travel to Myanmar by boat
Over the sea with a longtail boat
Long-tail boats
Long-tail boats shuttle between the two cities, local people and foreigner on the so called "visa run".


Here is the sea border marker between Thailand and Myanmar and in this case between Ranong and
Kawthaung.
This is Kawthaung the southern most town in Burma

A wet Kawthaung trip since it is June
A wet Kawthaung trip since it is June

longtail boats for sea and lake travel
Sea and lake travel picture
Here is a small pagoda and monastery at the entrance to the harbor of Kawthaung during the British times this was Victoria Point named after the Queen.