Van Travel in Thailand
How to get around Thailand by Minivan & Minibus
Van Travel in Thailand
Van travel in Thailand is the quickest way to get to short-haul destinations. Minivan travel from Bangkok to nearby provinces is popular with Thai’s and vans are usually fully booked. Minivan/Minibus services are not used that much by foreign tourists mainly due to a lack of information online in English. Destinations serviced are usually no more than 5 hours’ journey time. The furthest they go from Bangkok is Prachuap Khiri Khan (from Sai Tai Mai) to the south, Kanchanaburi to the west, Aranyaprathet/Trat to the east and Khao Yai to the north. Fares are slightly more expensive than buses. Click on the highlighted links below to see schedules and buy tickets.
Van Travel in Thailand – Popular Routes
If you are interested in getting around Thailand by minivan, here is a list of the most popular van/minibus routes for tourists from Bangkok with prices. Click on the link for schedules & to buy tickets online.
- Minivan/bus from Bangkok to Ayutthaya (from 130 baht)
- Minivan/bus from Bangkok to Pattaya (from 200 baht)
- Minivan from Bangkok to Hua Hin (from 230 baht)
- Minivan from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet (Cambodian Border) (from 329 baht)
- Minivan+Ferry from Bangkok to Ko Chang (from 450 baht).
- Minivan Bangkok to Mae Khlong Railway Market (from 150 baht)
- Minivan Bangkok to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (from 170 baht)
- Minivan+Ferry Bangkok to Koh Samet (from 520 baht)
- Minivan+Ferry+Taxi Bangkok to Koh Mak (from 800 baht)
- Minivan+Ferry+Taxi Bangkok to Koh Kood (from 900 baht)
- Minivan Bangkok to Kanchanaburi (from 150 baht)
- Minivan Bangkok to Erawan National Park (from 210 baht)
- Minivan Bangkok to Lopburi (from 170 baht)
Van Travel in Thailand – Where to buy Tickets?
You can buy tickets at the van terminals or online in advance through 12go Asia. Tickets can be downloaded to your phone, you can pay with debit or credit card.
The vans have 13 seats & are air-conditioned but don’t have much space for luggage. If you have an oversized suitcase or backpack you could be charged for an extra seat. If you have excessive luggage it is better to take the big bus instead. Van services run from 05.00-20.00. The vans are slowly being replaced by new 20 seater mini-buses which have more legroom & plenty of space for luggage.
Is travel by Minivan in Thailand Dangerous?
Some people will tell you that minivans are dangerous. This has been an issue in the past with speeding drivers in poorly maintained vans. However, in the last few years, new regulations such as speed limits, tachographs, tougher licensing & inspection of vans have made minivan travel in Thailand much safer. The truth is minivan travel in Thailand is no more dangerous than taking a big bus. The majority of accidents these days involve poor-quality illegal unregulated vans bringing migrants to Bangkok from Myanmar & Cambodia by drivers who have exceeded the limit of daily driving hours.
Minivan Travel Tips
Don’t hang around outside the van until it leaves, get in early and claim a good seat as some seats at the back are not so comfortable and they tend to fill up last. Locals reserve their seat by placing their bags on it. Vans usually make a toilet stop at a gas station en-route. You should get out of the van as it is dangerous to stay in a vehicle while it is being filled with gas. This usually takes about 10 minutes, time enough to visit the toilet and the 7-11.
On a safety note, seat belts are now compulsory. so don’t forget to wear it. You will notice that most of the locals don’t wear seatbelts, but that doesn’t mean that you should follow them. This is due to travel safety unawareness among the local population. Many road accident deaths or injuries in Thailand are a result of non-seatbelt use. Remember to always wear your seatbelt.
Bangkok Minivan Terminals
The hubs for Bangkok’s mini-vans are the new Chatuchak Minivan Terminal, Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), Ekkamai Bus Terminal & Sai Tai Kao Terminal in Pinklao (nearest to Khao San Road). Vans no longer depart from Victory Monument. There are also private van services from Khao San Road & Makkasan Airport Rail Link Station.
Mochit New Van Terminal
The Mochit New Van Terminal is opposite Mochit 2 Bus Station. It has replaced the old mini-van terminal within the bus station. There are 4 ticket offices labeled from A-D as well as an information center. The ticket booths inside each office have destinations displayed in English above the counter.
You can take a van from here to Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Saraburi, Nakon Sawan, Nakon Ratchasima, Chok Chai Farm, Pak Chong, Chainat, Phra Phutthabat, Uthai Thani, Ang Thong, Nakhon Nayok, Si Racha, Pattaya, Chonburi, Rayong, Aranyaprathet, Chantaburi, Trat, Kanchanaburi, Erawan National Park, Phetchaburi, Hua Hin, Cha-Am, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nakhon Pathom, Damnoen Saduak & more. There is often more than one company serving a route.
There are five terminal buildings, which house ticket offices & an information center. There are also toilets, a 7-11, a coffee shop & a small restaurant. There are no ATM’s at the terminal, the nearest is across the road at the big bus station. The toilets are a bit nasty with no running water to wash your hands and no toilet tissue.
The terminal buildings are
- Terminal Information Building (in the center)
- Terminal Building A, for services to the north & north-east including Pak Chong, Nakhon Sawan, Chock Chai & Nakon Ratchasima.
- Terminal Building B, for services to central destinations including Chainat, Lopburi, Phra Phutthabat, Saraburi, Ayutthaya, Nakon Nayok, Ang-Thong, Suphanburi, Uthai Thani & Singburi.
- Terminal Building C, for services to the east including Siracha, Pattaya, Rayong, Chonburi, Aranyaprathet, Ban Phe, Koh Chang & Chantaburi.
- Terminal Building D, for services to the south including Hua Hin, Cha-Am, Phetchaburi, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Samut Songkhram (for Amphawa, Maeklong Railway Market, Damnoen Saduak), Pranburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, & Nakhon Pathom.
Where to eat at Morchit New Van Terminal
There is a basic food court at the far end of the terminal. Also, a small coffee/bakery shop serving decent coffee and a 7-11 for stocking up on water and cheap snacks for the journey. Alcohol & smoking are banned in the terminal and on the vans.
Where to buy Tickets
The ticket counters at Mochit new van terminal have the destinations displayed in English above the counter. Most ticket sellers speak and understand some English. Once you’ve paid you will be given a ticket and told which van to get in, the departure bay number or where to wait for your van. You give your ticket to the driver when entering the van or when onboard.
E-Tickets are available from 12go in advance for these routes. Click on the link to make bookings.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Pattaya from 200 baht. Departures at 06.00, 10.30, 12.00, 13.30, 16.00, 18.00. The journey time is 3 hours.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Ayutthaya at 130 baht. Departures at 06.30, 07.00, 10.30, 12.30, 15.00, 17.30. The journey time is 2 hours.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Hua Hin at 230 baht. Departures at 06.30, 10.00, 12.00, 14.00. The journey time is 4 hours.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Kanchanaburi at 160 baht. Departures at 06.00, 11.00, 17.00. The journey time is 3.2 hours.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Erawan National Park at 210 baht. Departures at 08.00, 10.00. The journey time is 6 hours.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Pak Chong at 250 baht. Departures at 07.00, 10.00, 15.00, 17.00. The journey time is 3 hours.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Rayong at 230 baht. Departures at 07.30, 10.30, 12.30, 14.30, 17.30. The journey time is 3.15 hours.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Koh Chang Pier from 450-490 Van+Ferry. Departures at 05.00, 09.00, 10.00, 12.00. The journey time is 7.5 hours.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Maeklong Railway Market at 150 baht. Departures at 06.00, 08.00, 10.00, 12.00. The journey time is 1 hour 40 minutes.
From Mochit New Van Terminal to Lopburi at 170/180 baht. Departures at 08.00, 10.00, 12.00, 14.00, 18.00. The journey time is 3 hours.
How to get to Mochit New Van Terminal
Location: Kamphaeng Phet Road. On the opposite side of the road from the bus station.
A taxi from central Bangkok or Khaosan Road costs 100-150 baht. If arriving at the Van Station, you can pick up a passing or a taxi that is dropping off at the central terminal entrance. Avoid the taxi drivers who hang around by the pedestrian bridge that leads to the Mo Chit Bus Station. They don’t use the meter and overcharge unwary tourists.
BTS to Mochit station then taxi, motorbike or bus to the terminal. Taxi 60 baht, Motorbike 80 baht, bus 8-15 baht. Bus numbers 26, 77, 96, 104, 134, 136, 145, 509 runs to the Mo Chit city bus terminal. Then cross the road from the bus station to the mini-van station.
MRT to Kamphaeng Phet station (exit1), then taxi or motorbike to the terminal. Taxi 45 baht, Motorbike 40 baht. You can also walk around the corner and take a bus to Mo Chit bus station from outside DD Mall. To get to the MRT from Van Station go to the bus station and take a city bus.
There is a city bus terminal at Mochit 2 bus station. Bus numbers 3, 16, 26, 49, 77, 96, 104, 134, 136, 145, 170, 509, 517, 529, 536 originate and end here. Then cross the road from the bus station to the mini-van station. Bus number 3 goes to and from Khaosan Road.
Van Travel in Thailand – Ekkamai Minivan Terminal
The Ekkamai Van Station is at the Ekkamai Bus Terminal. Minivans & Minibusses depart on the left of the platform and big buses on the right. There are departures to Koh Chang (including ferry), Pattaya, Bangsaen, Bali Hi (for Koh Larn), Jomtien, Chanthaburi, Koh Samet, Rayong, Chonburi, Aranyaprathet, Suphanburi, Si Racha (for Koh Si Chang), Hua Hin, Phetchaburi, Cha-Am, Trat, Ban Phe, & Maekhlong Railway Market.
Where to buy Tickets
Tickets can be bought at the terminal ticket offices for cash only. There are four rows of tickets windows selling tickets for both vans & buses. Three are facing the waiting area while a fourth is to the right of the waiting area next to the lockers.
You can buy an e-ticket for some services online using debit/credit card or PayPal from 12go Asia in advance. Tickets for the following services are available as e-tickets. Click on the link to buy tickets.
From Ekkamai to Koh Chang Van+Ferry from 450 baht. Departures at 05.00, 08.00, 10.00, 11.00 & 12.00. The journey time is 7.5 hours.
From Ekkamai to Hua Hin at 250 baht (Van Only) or 320 baht (van + taxi to your hotel). Departures at 05.00, 06.00, 10.00, 12.00, 15.00, 18.00. The journey time is 4 hours.
From Ekkamai to Trat at 390 baht. Departures at 08.00 & 10.00. The journey time is 5.5 hours.
From Ekkamai to Chanthaburi from 250 baht. Departures at 08.00, 10.00, 11.00, 13.00, & 18.00. The journey time is 4 hours.
There are left luggage lockers at the terminal & a 7-11 next door. Getting to the station is easy as Ekkamai bus station is next to Ekkamai BTS Station.
Van Travel in Thailand – Southern Minivan Terminal
The Southern Minivan terminal is part of the Bus Terminal South (Sai Tai Mai). Van services run to Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi, Samut Songkhram, Pattaya, Ratchaburi, Cha-Am, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Amphawa Floating Market, Maekhlong Railway Market, Nakhon Pathom, Suphanburi, & Si Racha. Tickets can be bought at the terminal or online from 12go Asia in advance.
The Van terminal is to the left of SC Plaza. Inside the plaza, you will find banks, coffee shops, an indoor market, a food court, and restaurants. There is a city bus station behind the Van Station. Take the 511 bus (not the expressway) if you are heading for Khaosan Road or Sukhumvit.
Where to buy tickets
You can buy tickets at the counter for cash only, or online with a debit/credit card.
You can buy e-tickets for the following services. Click on the links.
From Southern Terminal to Hua Hin at 230 baht. Departures at 06.10, 10.10, 12.10, 17.10. The journey time is 3hrs 45mins.
From Southern Terminal to Kanchanaburi at 150 baht. Departures at 07.00, 12.00, 18.00. The journey time is 3 hours.
Sai Tai Kao Minivan Terminal
Sai Tai Kao Minivan Terminal is in Pinklao on the site of the old bus terminal south. It is the nearest van terminal to Khaosan Road, just a 15-minute bus or taxi journey. The vans that depart from here are better & cheaper than the vans that run from Khaosan Road travel agents.
There are van services to Amphawa Floating Market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Maekhlong Railway Market, Kanchanaburi, Hua Hin, Cha-Am, Phetchaburi, Suphanburi, Nakhon Pathom, Ayutthaya, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Pattaya, & U Thong. There is more than one operator on some routes but they all charge the same price. The vans are a mixture of old-style 13 seaters & the new 20 seater minibusses. Note that the Amphawa Floating Market is only open on Saturday and Sunday.
Where to Buy Tickets
Tickets for all services are for sale at booths in the station. The ticket booths are all on the central platform. Destinations are displayed in English with the service number. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. If a van is full you will have to wait for the next one. Tickets are cash only.
If you prefer to book e-tickets in advance and pay by card or PayPal, some services can be booked online through 12go Asia. Click on the link below to make a booking.
From Sai Tai Kao Old Terminal South to Kanchanaburi at 190 baht. Departures at 07.00, 11.00, & 17.00. The journey time is 3 hours.
From Sai Tai Kao Pinklao to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market at 170 baht. Departures at 08.00, 10.00 & 12.00. It is recommended you take 08.00 departure if you want to visit the floating market. The journey time is 1.5 hours.
From Sai Tai Kao Pinklao to Amphawa Floating Market at 170 baht. Departures at 08.00, 10.00 & 12.00. The journey time is 1.5 hours.
How to get to Sai Tai Kao Van Terminal
If you are staying in the Khao San Road or old city area, Sai Tai Kao is a more convenient departure point than other van or bus stations. You can take a meter taxi there from Khao San for around 70 baht. There is a bus stop just before the station outside the Trust condo. Alight here and the station is 50 meters away on the left. Be sure to tell the Bus Conductor that you are going to Sai Tai Kao. Don’t mistake it for the Chinese Tour Bus terminal which is just before it. From Khao San, you need to take bus 511.
Bus Numbers: 19, 28, 30, 40, 56, 66, 123, 124, 146, 507, 511, 542.
Van Travel in Thailand – Khaosan Road
There are several van services that have departures from Khaosan Road. They tend to be slightly more expensive than other van options but you save on the cost of traveling to the city van terminals & are more convenient if you are staying in Khaosan. The routes are limited to destinations popular with backpackers.
Tickets can be bought online in advance. Click on the links below.
- Minivan from Khaosan Road to Pattaya (300 baht)
- Minivan from Khao San Road to Ayutthaya (300 baht)
- Minivan from Khao San Road to Hua Hin (400 baht)
- Minivan from Khao San Road to Kanchanaburi (290 baht)
- Minivan from Khao San Road to Koh Chang (van + ferry from 600 baht)
- Minivan from Khaosan Road to Koh Samet (van + ferry from 520 baht)
- Minivan from Khaosan Road to Koh Kood (van = ferry 900 baht)
- Minivan from Khao San Road to Koh Mak (van + ferry from 800 baht)
Van Travel in Thailand – 12Go Transport
12Go Transport runs 9 seater vans with extra luggage space departing from Makkasan Airport Rail Link Station to Pattaya, Hua Hin, Ayutthaya & Kanchanaburi. These vans are convenient if you are staying on the MRT line as MRT Phetchaburi Station is next to Makkasan Station. These vans drop you at tourist locations rather than at bus stations. You can also cancel before the departure date & receive a refund. Click the links below to check times & buy tickets. Online bookings only.
- Minivan from Makkasan Station to Pattaya (350 baht)
- Minivan from Makkasan Station to Hua Hin (390 baht)
- Minivan from Makkasan Station to Ayutthaya (300 baht)
- Minivan from Makkasan Station to Kanchanaburi (320 baht)
Suvarnabhumi Airport to Koh Chang – Van-Ferry-Taxi to Hotel
There are three daily departures to Koh Chang. The ticket is a joint van-ferry-taxi to any hotel except for those at Bailan & Bangbao beaches. Van departure times are 11.00 & 14.00. The ticket is 700 baht. There is also a 07.50 departure though this is a big bus rather than a van & slightly cheaper. Departures are from the terminal ground floor, gate 8. You can buy advance tickets online from 12go. Use the booking form below.
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