Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal

The Eastern Bus Terminal in Bangkok – located just off the Ekkamai BTS skytrain station – is one of the primary gateways to Thailand’s popular travel destinations on the eastern seaboard and the Cambodian border. Buses leave several times daily to Pattaya, Ban Phe (where the ferry leaves for Koh Samet), Trat and Laem Ngob pier (gateway to Koh Mak) and Arayaprtathet, the border crossing to Cambodia. The majority of buses leaving from Ekkamai are large buses although one company in particular also operates mini buses.

Buses come in two classes, 1st and 2nd with the differences being price and comfort. Keep in mind that the 2nd class buses also make several stops along the way to pick up additional passengers, which could add considerable length to the travel time for not substantial savings.

Buses are operated by the government as well as licensed operators, each with a ticket booth displaying the destination they service clearly marked in English on the ticketing windows as well as the next departure time. The government-run Transport Company Limited operate mainly second class buses, but the rest of booths at the station only sell tickets to the 1st class buses.

Here are example prices to different destinations as of April 2014:

> Pattaya (1st class): THB 124, large bus leaves every half hour starting from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
> Pattaya (2nd class): THB 102, government bus leaves every half hour from 4:40 a.m. to 9 p.m.
> Laem Ngob pier: THB 275, leaves 6.45 a.m., 7.45 a.m. and 9.45 a.m. with government bus.
> Trat: THB 265 with an additional THB 60 to Thammachart pier (for Koh Chang). This route is also operated by a mini bus company that charges THB 300 directly to the pier and between them the buses leave every hour from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The bus station is located just off exit 2 of the Ekkamai BTS skytrain station on the Sukhumvit line. At the end of the staircase you will have to turn 180 degrees and walk around 50 meters and the bus station is just there on the left hand side.

The bus station is located just off exit 2 of the Ekkamai BTS skytrain station on the Sukhumvit line. At the end of the staircase you will have to turn 180 degrees and walk around 50 meters and the bus station is just there on the left hand side.

Bangkok's Eastern Bus Terminal is the gateway to popular destinations such as Koh Samet, Koh Chang and Pattaya.

Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal is the gateway to popular destinations such as Koh Samet, Koh Chang and Pattaya.

Mini buses are privately operated and have three rows of seats for a total of 9-10 people depending how many the driver thinks he can fit in. Mini buses in Thailand are faster than buses, albeit sometimes too fast for comfort.

Mini buses are privately operated and have three rows of seats for a total of 9-10 people depending how many the driver thinks he can fit in. Mini buses in Thailand are faster than buses, albeit sometimes too fast for comfort.

Instant noodles may be the world's most transportable food. Available in a variety of flavors, these steaming cups are often found (and smelled) on the long bus journeys.

Instant noodles may be the world’s most transportable food. Available in a variety of flavors, these steaming cups are often found (and smelled) on the long bus journeys.

There are a few food vendors for last minute snacks, this one located in the middle of the waiting area between the rows of busses. The shop also sells drinks and sweets to take on the bus.

There are a few food vendors for last minute snacks, this one located in the middle of the waiting area between the rows of busses. The shop also sells drinks and sweets to take on the bus.

The luggage is stored under the bus and passengers bring only hand luggage with them on the bus. To be on the safe side, valuables should be kept with you at all times.

The luggage is stored under the bus and passengers bring only hand luggage with them on the bus. To be on the safe side, valuables should be kept with you at all times.

The interiors of of the first class government buses. The seats are reclinable and there's a TV at the front of the bus, showing everything from Korean and Thai soap operas to western Hollywood and even the occasional Bollywood film, depending on your luck.

The interiors of of the first class government buses. The seats are reclinable and there’s a TV at the front of the bus, showing everything from Korean and Thai soap operas to western Hollywood and even the occasional Bollywood film, depending on your luck.

The destinations are clearly marked and the information generally corresponds with the bus waiting at the platform. If in doubt, double check with the driver.

The destinations are clearly marked and the information generally corresponds with the bus waiting at the platform. If in doubt, double check with the driver.

A long ticket counter with clearly marked destinations run along the right hand wall of the station. Double check the destination, schedule, and type of bus with the vendors.

A long ticket counter with clearly marked destinations run along the right hand wall of the station. Double check the destination, schedule, and type of bus with the vendors.

Just in front of the entrance, you can see a big board with an overview of 2nd class government-run buses. Everything is in Thai so it's recommended to visit the government-run Transport Company Limited (the first booth with the navy blue booth with orange stripes) for inquiries.

Just in front of the entrance, you can see a big board with an overview of 2nd class government-run buses. Everything is in Thai so it’s recommended to visit the government-run Transport Company Limited (the first booth with the navy blue booth with orange stripes) for inquiries.

The Eastern Bus Terminal is small but well-organized and easy to navigate for visitors. With regular departures to all destinations, travelers who are unsure should show up earlier in the day, and (unless it is a long holiday), soon they will be on their way to the next holiday destination in no time.

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