Minivan 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. 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.
The most popular routes for tourists are Bangkok to Ayutthaya, Bangkok to Pattaya, Bangkok to Hua Hin, Bangkok to Aranyaprathet (Cambodian Border), Bangkok to Trat (for Ko Chang), Bangkok to Rayong Bangkok to Mae Khlong (for the Railway Market), Bangkok to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. All of these services operate from Chatuchak Van Terminal.
From Sai Tai Kao Pinklao (old bus terminal south) you can take a van to Amphawa Floating Market. and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Amphawa is only open on Saturday and Sunday. Sai Tai Kao Pinklao is here.
There are private van services running from the Khaosan Road. Destinations include Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi, Koh Chang (van + ferry), Koh Samet (van + ferry), Koh Kood (van = ferry), Koh Mak (van + ferry).
Example fares are 100 baht to Pattaya,160 baht to Hua Hin but any fare is usually no more than 200 baht. They are very popular with Thai travelers but not used that much by foreign tourists. Vans are air-conditioned but don’t have much space for luggage. If you have an oversized suitcase 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.
The hubs for Bangkok’s mini-vans are the new Chatuchak Minivan Terminal, Sai Tai Mai and Ekkamai bus terminals. Vans no longer depart from Victory Monument. There is a Minivan terminal at Sai Tai Kao in Pinklao and a few private services from Khao San Road.
The new Mini-Van Station opposite Mochit 2 bus station 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. See photo below for a list of destinations and ticket booth locations.
The ticket counters have destinations 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 on board. You can also buy advance tickets online.
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 bag on it. Vans usually make a toilet stop at a gas station en-route.
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. Many road accident deaths or injuries in Thailand are a result of non-seatbelt use.
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.
BTS to Mochit station then taxi, motorbike or bus to the terminal. Taxi 60 baht, Motorbike 50 baht, bus 7-11 baht. Bus numbers 26, 77, 96, 104, 134, 136, 145, 509. Then cross the road from the bus station to the mini-van station.
MRT to Kamphaeng Phet station then taxi or motorbike to the terminal. Taxi 45 baht, Motorbike 40 baht.
There is a city bus terminal at Mochit 2. 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.