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Bus stations or Agency??? Thailand and beyond

Travel Forums Asia Bus stations or Agency??? Thailand and beyond

1. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

hi guys,

I am getting the imptression that the Agencies are cheaper.

some travellers go to the bus stations...

My Udon thani to Bangkok was a so called VIP bus, well I didn't want that. But that was the only thing they were selling in that bus station full of "i want your money" people. I was going to stay overight at udon thani, but I really hate parasites and so I decided to take the bus off to Bangkok after being harassed by so many ticket sellers and people who pretend not speak English to sell tickets at a higher price.

I should just bought a ticket through my hotel in Viatiane. I didn't have to deal with the people in that bus station.

well I also noticed that BKK TO CHIANG MAI is 500 plus. Its only 350 via the agencies in Khaosan road.

Maybe I just dont know where and how to get the cheap tickets?
or am i right the agencies or the hostel sellers give us the best rates???

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 8y

I think my lonely planet warned me on four separate locations in the book against taking a bus booked through an agency - especially those at khao san road! They apparently get mountains of emails from people who went with those and ended up being scammed, being transferred from cramped minibus to cramped minibus half a dozen times to arrive many hours later than they should've (or even being abandoned halfway there), having their luggage rifled through, etc, etc.
Yes, the total amount of baht you will have spent might be lower - but at least for me it didn't sound like it was worth it, and so I always went with the official busses leaving from the bus stations. (You should also be quite able to get a 1st or 2nd class bus at the bus station. Yes, they default to trying to sell the most expensive version to foreigners, but just insist on 1st or 2nd class. (Personally I wouldn't take 2nd class on the loooong ride to Chiang Mai; 1st class comes with toilet, 2nd class doesn't. (Not certain if that always holds; ask to be certain.)))

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

You have been in Thailand long enough now to ignore the touts. Just keep walking to the official ticket seller behind the window. I am 6' tall and American, an obvious farang. But, I ignore the touts, don't get into discussion with them and head for the window. My last trip in Thailand was in May. Had to deal with the touts in Trat, Chantaburi & Rayong. Don't talk to them and head for the window. Most are marked in Thai & English.

Private versus gov't buses. Perhaps you may pay a bit less for the private bus system used by the travel shops, but it is not worth it, IMO. All the scams and thefts are on the private bus sysytem. The Thais ride the gov't buses, so should you. There are at least 2 classes on most routes, 3 on long routes. Take the air con bus if the quote for VIP is more than you want to pay. Or save even more on the fan bus. Not a bad ride on a overnite trip. It will be an experience you won't forget anytime soon.

4. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

Quoting vegasmike6

Private versus gov't buses. Perhaps you may pay a bit less for the private bus system used by the travel shops, but it is not worth it, IMO. All the scams and thefts are on the private bus sysytem. The Thais ride the gov't buses, so should you. There are at least 2 classes on most routes, 3 on long routes. Take the air con bus if the quote for VIP is more than you want to pay. Or save even more on the fan bus. Not a bad ride on a overnite trip. It will be an experience you won't forget anytime soon.

In other words, I should go to the station and do as the locals. Chiang Mai should not be more than 400 baht?
I'll hit an agency early in the morning and check the rates again. Maybe they won't have tickets for me, since I want to buy in the morning and leave at night. I really want to go cheap, I never had anything uncomfortable in Thailand. I do HARD SEATS in China for 28 hour train rides. I am tough cookie.