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Is it better to buy bus tickets in advance or at the spot ?

Travel Forums Asia Is it better to buy bus tickets in advance or at the spot ?

1. Posted by winterghost (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

winterghost has indicated that this thread is about Asia

Hi guys,

I'm traveling to South East Asia this August, the first destination will be Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City.

Is it better for me to buy bus tickets online, or is just much better to buy them in the spot ?

I'm traveling alone at the moment, and this is my first time backpacking. I usually travels with my family and all the tickets and stuff are ready. So yes this is my first experience.

Please give me a tips, should I buy them online ? or dont.

Thanks! :)

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1653 posts) 1y

I buy bus tickets as I need them. It might depend on the country you visit if you require a confirmed itinerary when getting your visa. Buying bus tickets as I need them I can remain flexible and go at my own pace. Some places I may want to stay longer and some places I may want to leave quickly. My preference would be a real bus station and not some travel agency that might front for a transportation company with dodgy vehicles or even worse perhaps unreliable staff. For bus travel never leave money, valuables, computers, passport in any checked in bag. Have bags you can lock too. I keep passport, money, computer and important stuff with me at my seat and not out of sight!

(Do Google search for scams or problems involving buses for each country.)

Looks like 4 different countries. Each country has their own visa requirements. Entry depends on the passport you present. Also you must have sufficient funds to support yourself. Some countries may require "proof of onward travel" which usually means a plane ticket. But do some research on YOUR visa requirements so you are not turned back at the airport leaving home. Visit or pull up the various country embassies in your country and read the visa requirements.

If your time is short you might want to consider some cheap airlines.

Have fun.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Jun-2015, at 05:15 by karazyal ]

3. Posted by winterghost (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

Quoting karazyal

I buy bus tickets as I need them. It might depend on the country you visit if you require a confirmed itinerary when getting your visa. Buying bus tickets as I need them I can remain flexible and go at my own pace. Some places I may want to stay longer and some places I may want to leave quickly. My preference would be a real bus station and not some travel agency that might front for a transportation company with dodgy vehicles or even worse perhaps unreliable staff. For bus travel never leave money, valuables, computers, passport in any checked in bag. Have bags you can lock too. I keep passport, money, computer and important stuff with me at my seat and not out of sight!

(Do Google search for scams or problems involving buses for each country.)

Looks like 4 different countries. Each country has their own visa requirements. Entry depends on the passport you present. Also you must have sufficient funds to support yourself. Some countries may require "proof of onward travel" which usually means a plane ticket. But do some research on YOUR visa requirements so you are not turned back at the airport leaving home. Visit or pull up the various country embassies in your country and read the visa requirements.

If your time is short you might want to consider some cheap airlines.

Have fun.

Thank you for your response!! :)

Yes, I am aware about the "proof of onward travel", luckily I do not need VISA for the 4 countries that I will be visiting, because I'm Indonesian so I dont need Malaysian/Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam VISA, Free visa :)

I think I'm going to buy the tickets online because I got my date fixed (I book my hotels from Agoda, so I must be arrive and leave on the exact date).

Do you happens to have any experiences about buying bus tickets online ? I see one website that is pretty legitimate and I think I'm going to buy the bus ticket from KL to Phuket and Phuket - Bangkok via that website. And for the Bangkok-Siem Reap, I googled, there's a lot of buses to go there, but the trusted one is the one that operated by the goverments, it helped the travelers get scammed in the border. I might buy the ticket right away at the bus station in Bangkok.

Thanks! I can't wait for my backpacking experience! :)

4. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1653 posts) 1y

I don't buy bus tickets online. With my credit cards there would be an additional charge for using foreign cards boosting the cost of the tickets. I am very careful exposing my credit card numbers. (Of course I do buy my plane tickets with them but from known and trusted airline websites.)

You could check with a bus station when you first visit a city. Buy then if allowed and return later to use the ticket.

There is train travel from KL to Penang (Butterworth) and from there to Hat Yai Thailand. There is ground transportation connecting Hat Yai with Phuket. Penang is cheaper than KL. Phuket is more expensive than Bangkok.

There is a train that leaves Hat Yai goes to Hua Hin and on to Bangkok.
(Seat 61 has info on trains.)

Have fun.

5. Posted by winterghost (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

Quoting karazyal

I don't buy bus tickets online. With my credit cards there would be an additional charge for using foreign cards boosting the cost of the tickets. I am very careful exposing my credit card numbers. (Of course I do buy my plane tickets with them but from known and trusted airline websites.)

You could check with a bus station when you first visit a city. Buy then if allowed and return later to use the ticket.

There is train travel from KL to Penang (Butterworth) and from there to Hat Yai Thailand. There is ground transportation connecting Hat Yai with Phuket. Penang is cheaper than KL. Phuket is more expensive than Bangkok.

There is a train that leaves Hat Yai goes to Hua Hin and on to Bangkok.
(Seat 61 has info on trains.)

Have fun.

Thank you again! :)
I'll be traveling from KL to Hat yai via bus and get on the next bus to Phuket, so I'll be arriving in Phuket in the morning, That's the plan.
I think I'm going to buy the ticket first thing when I arrive in KL. :)

Thanks for the suggestions and ideas!! ;);)

6. Posted by AnnieWhisker (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

If your plan is fix than there is no problem in buying bus tickets in advance, as you are traveling all alone so its better, that you should do your planning in advance and do all the arrangements prior.
From that you will feel relaxed and enjoy your trip much.