In the past, if you wanted to take a bus to southern Thailand then you would have to change buses in Bangkok. This usually meant taking a bus from Chiang Mai at the busy Mochit Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok then taking a taxi across the city to the Southern Bus Station. Then you would have to get on another bus to Phuket or other destinations in the south of Thailand. Now there is a very comfortable direct bus option from Chiang Mai to Phuket! This new service is run by Green Bus Thailand They have their own ticket offices at Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station in both the terminal 2 and 3 buildings. There is one departure a day at 16:00 but it is a gruelling 22 hour journey! The buses are new and modern, and are of the best 24 seat VIP class layout which means large comfortable seats which recline to a near horizontal position. From past experiences of travelling on Green Busses before (mainly from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai) I always remember the air-conditioning being icy cold!!! Be prepared for this especially at night and make sure you carry on a warm pullover or jacket! The bus seats are fitted with small TVs in the headrests (just like the TV’s you get on long haul flights). I do not know what type of programming is on offer and if any English language programming is available but it would be interesting to find out!
The bus will take in the following route and will have intermediate stops at Lampang, Tak, Nakhon Sawan, Petchaburi, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Chumpon, Surat Thani, Phangnga and then on to its final destination in Phuket. So if you are heading from Chiang Mai to the Islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao then Surat Thani or Chumpon is your jumping off point for the ferry.
Chiang Mai to Phuket Bus Time Table
Departs Chiang Mai 16:00 Arrives Phuket 14:00
Chiang Mai to Phuket Bus Price
The current one way ticket price is 1826 baht
Booking the Chiang Mai to Phuket bus
The ticket can be booked online on the Green Bus Thailand website. There is an English version of the website I just done a quick dry run through of the booking process and the booking function seems to be functioning as it should. You can choose to pay by credit card or there is a 7/11 counter service option. Alternatively pop down to Arcade bus Station and buy a ticket from the Green Bus ticket office there are Green bus ticket counters in both the treminal 2 and 3 buildings. (If you go through the online booking process you can also see seat availability which could be useful before making a trip to the bus station). Travel Hub are also appointed agents for Green Bus Thailand so if you are in Chiang Mai please drop by our office to book your tickets.
Green Bus Thailand runs plenty of routes around the north of Thailand and further afield all with online booking. You can find their route map here.