Budget Breakdown: Transport In Thailand/ Cambodia/ Laos

Kept track of my spendings when I was in Thailand/ Cambodia/ Laos recently and might as well put it up here for reference.

Most of the time I arranged for transport through the hostels because even though they might be pricier by a few dollars, at least you’ll get picked up from the hostel. I prefer the convenience.

All journey durations are a rough estimation. It depends on traffic and how lucky you are with your driver.

Exchange rate when I was travelling:
SGD1 = 24.5฿
SGD1 = 5,000kip (Taking the shittiest rate; best I got was 5,500kip)
SGD1 = USD0.70

Transport

  • Singapore to Chiang Mai (3hrs)
    Tiger Airways (One-way) – S$158
  • Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai (~3hrs)
    Green Bus from Arcade Bus Station (Terminal 3) – 280฿ (S$11.40)
    I bought the VIP pricing (V-Class) – there are cheaper options for less comfort – cause I wanted to travel in “style”. Word is that you can just show up at the bus station on the day itself to catch the bus but I like to play things safe and purchase my ticket in advance. That way I know I’ve secured my transport and I don’t end up waiting endlessly. Some people actually wait at least 2 – 3 hours before managing to get onto a bus with available seats.

    Purchased my ticket at the Arcade Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3.
    Purchased my ticket at the Arcade Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3.
  • Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai (~3hrs)
    Green Bus from (New) Bus Station – 169฿ (X-Class) (S$7)
    I walked to the bus station to purchase my ticket, two days prior to my departure.
  • Chiang Mai to Pai (3 – 4hrs, depending how crazy your driver is!)
    Mini-van from Hostel – 180฿ (S$7.30)
    I’ve heard that taking public buses from Arcade Station are way cheaper (I’m sure) and if you’re claustrophobic, squeezing in a packed speeding van on a 3-4 hour journey with 762 turns on the road probably wouldn’t work out well for you. I’ve taken the public bus from Pai to Chiang Mai in 2013, can’t recall the price for that.

    Timetable taken from the hostel. 180฿ for a trip.
    Timetable taken from the hostel. 180฿ for a trip.
  • Pai to Luang Prabang (2 Days 2 Nights)
    Slow Boat + 1N Stay in Chiang Khong, TH – 1,750฿ ($71.40)
    Ticket bought from Aya Service in the town
    Includes:
    Mini-van from Pai to Chiang Khong
    1 Night Stay in Chiang Khong
    Tuk tuk from Thailand borders to Laos borders
    Slow boat from Laos borders to Pak Beng
    1 Night Stay in Pak Beng (On your own expense; we booked this with the guide at Laos border – double room, 55,000kip/ pax)
    Slow boat from Pak Beng to Luang PrabangYou can read about my slow boat experience here.
  • Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng (7hrs)
    Mini-van (pick-up from hostel) – 115,000kip (S$23)

    Prices/ travel times taken from a guesthouse in Luang Prabang, Laos.
    Prices/ travel times taken from a guesthouse in Luang Prabang, Laos.
  • Vang Vieng to Vientiane (4 – 5hrs)
    Bus (pick-up from hostel) – 50,000kip (S$10)
  • Vientiane to Bangkok (~13hrs)
    Overnight sleeper train (lower bunk) – 1,000฿ (S$40.80)
    Ticket bought from a random guesthouse, cheaper than what my guesthouse was offering me.
    Includes:
    Tuk tuk ride from hostel to Thanaleng Train Station in Laos
    Train ride from Laos into Nong Khai, TH (15mins)
    Overnight sleeper train from Nong Khai to Bangkok (12hr 20mins)My previous post on my first sleeper train experience can be read here.

    Prices from a guesthouse in Vientiane, Laos. I went with the Second Class (Lower) for the Train ticket to Bangkok. Chose this arrangement cause I could pay in ฿; cheaper for my case.
    Prices from a guesthouse in Vientiane, Laos. I went with the Second Class (Lower) for the Train ticket to Bangkok. Chose this arrangement cause I could pay in ฿; cheaper for my case.
  • Bangkok to Chat Pa Wai, TH (~2hrs)
    Mini-van – 160฿ (S$6.50)
    Ticket bought from bus ‘stalls’ next to Century Movie Plaza.

    Sneaky stalls hiding right beside Century Movie Plaza! Took me awhile to find them.
    Sneaky stalls hiding right beside Century Movie Plaza! Took me awhile to find them. Bought my ticket at the very last counter. They refused to sell me a ticket in advance. ): I had to purchase it on the day itself.
  • Chat Pa Wai to Bangkok (~2hrs)
    Mini-van – 160฿ (S$6.50)
    Ticket bought from the bus station in town.
  • Chiang Mai to Pai (3 – 4hrs)
    Mini-van (pick-up from hostel) – 170฿ (S$6.90)
  • Pai to Siem Reap (24hrs…)
    Mini-van/ bus – 1,550฿ (S$63.30)
    Ticket bought from Aya Service in town.
    Includes:
    Mini-van from Pai to Chiang Mai (~4hrs)
    Overnight “sleeper” bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok (~10hrs)
    Mini-van from Bangkok to Thai borders (~4hrs)
    Bus from Cambodia borders to Siem Reap (~6hrs, including dinner stop)
  • Siem Reap to Sihanoukville (10 – 11hrs)
    Sleeper bus – USD13 (S$18.20)
    Booked from random travel agent along the streets – bus company: Virak Buntham

    Who knew you could modify buses to look like this?!? Double-storey 'bunkbeds', I find it pretty innovative and cool!
    Who knew you could modify buses to look like this?!? Double-storey ‘bunkbeds’, I find it pretty innovative and cool! Can barely catch any proper sleep though – pretty cramped and the bus stops frequently.
  • Sihanoukville to Bangkok (14hrs)
    Sleeper buses – USD27 (S$37.80)
    Booked from the guesthouse; bus company: Virak Buntham
    There’s a stopover at Siem Reap where you’ll need to get down and change to a slightly more comfortable bus to sleep in. Always lots of unnecessary time wasted at the borders.

    Yay, slightly more room! Plus you can totally lie down, unlike the previous bus where the seat is in a fixed reclining position.
    Yay, slightly more room! Plus you can totally lie down, unlike the previous bus where the seat is in a fixed reclining position.
  • Bangkok to Krabi (~1hr 20mins)
    Thai Lion Air – S$48
  • Krabi to Singapore (~2.5hrs)
    Air Asia – 1,844฿ (S$75.30)

Hope this will be useful to you if you’re going to Southeast Asia! Prices were as of May/ June/ July 2015.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions! I’d be happy to help out if I can.

Safe travels!


 

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