Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Bus


Nakhon Chai Air is the most recommended bus company if you're going to Chiang Mai. Locals normally call it just NCA, so don't bother pronouncing it right. It will just cause more confusion. We had to call the lady from the ticketing office to get us a cab going there because taxi drivers can't understand us. Whew! They have their own terminal not too far from the Northern Bus Terminal. It was just 15 minutes from there. It is just small but has a good waiting area. They are very organized too.


our bus 

We settled for the Gold Class since First Class has long been fully-booked. NCA buses leave on time. During embarkation, they follow a check-in luggage procedure. The attendant will give you a number for the bags you deposited at the trunk. You will feel secured that nobody can just take your bags because they will require you to surrender the number tag first. Fantastic!


airplane? nope.

We were actually surprised that it was also neat. Our bus was 28-seater with a lavatory/toilet at the back. There is a lighting indicator in the front when it is vacant (green) or occupied (red). You don't have to be standing there while waiting. Awesome, right?


cool, yeah?

Each seat is equipped with a player console and a headset. It has music, music videos and movies. Not sure though if there are games on it. I hadn't checked it because I only planned to sleep that night. They also distribute plastic-sealed blankets, so you are a hundred percent sure that it wasn't used by some previous passengers.


not bad for 9 hours

I loved it that it has ample of leg room and you can recline your seat like you were almost lying down. It served me well because I am a short woman hehe. The seat was so comfy and it also has a button for the built-in massager thing. Yes, all you have to do is to sit back and relax. An hour after we left, the attendant handed out fruit juices and potato chips for snack.

Then halfway through, he gave us a rice meal and a bottled water. We were like, I thought only the First Class has this kind of service and full board meal? But it wasn't just that. After another couple of hours, they gave us a soy milk and a bun. Wow. Isn't that great? It's almost the same as receiving first class service in a plane. I actually wondered what else do they give or serve to the first class passengers.


NCA  rice meal onboard


Our bus did not stop anywhere since we have food and toilet on board. Everything went on very smoothly. At the end of the trip, they gave us wet cold towels so we can refresh ourselves before alighting. Great customer service!

I am one of those travelers who loves long train rides. I was a bit disappointed that I won't able to experience that Bangkok-Chiang Mai sleeper train. But after getting this 5-star service from NCA, I was impressed! And I am actually thinking of using their bus again if ever I'm going into another long trip in Thailand. The 9-hour bus ride seemed shorter. They made it easier and worry-free for the passengers. I am a very satisfied customer. So if you're planning to take a bus going to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, I definitely suggest Nakhon Chai Air. Now's your turn to find out for yourself why many travelers recommend it. :)


BKK-Chiang Mai Gold Class Ticket: THB 328.50


This is Part 2 of my Chiang Mai travel series.

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