Arriving into Ao Nang was a rather surreal experience. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was definitely more along the lines of chilled out fishing village – the days of which are obviously long gone.
Instead, I was greeted by a huge party strip with more bars than you could visit in a week. There were Thai restaurants, but the bright lights of McDonald’s and Starbucks shone much brighter. I walked down to the beach, hoping I’d get some respite here – but no, Ao Nang Beach really isn’t where it’s at.
There are some appeals to Krabi and Ao Nang. Railay Beach, while touristy and busy, is really beautiful, there’s diving in the area, there are some temples, caves and waterfalls inland and it’s close to the islands; you could definitely spend around 3 days in Krabi taking in all there is to do, and I can I do kind of see why it makes so many people’s Thailand itineraries.
But honestly, I felt like a fish out of water when I arrived here. I ended up seeing Railay Beach while I was in Ao Nang, but not doing much else apart from hanging out in my hotel and writing. Quite quickly, I was keen to get to Bangkok – Thailand’s capital that many people hate but I actually love – and away from this warped version of a Thai beach.
Where to stay in Ao Nang
If you do end up spending any time in Ao Nang, I recommend staying in the BlueSotel, which is where I stayed when there. It’s a luxurious hotel at a good price, with a pool and spa on the ground floor and gorgeous rooms with balconies and deluxe bathrooms. It was a really nice oasis from the madness of Ao Nang. Click here for reviews, rates and to book.
How to Travel From Krabi to Bangkok
I generally favour train over bus travel; I find it more spacious and comfortable, yet still have the same overland experience. But sometimes train travel is rather pricey (I’m looking at you, Western Europe) or the rail routes don’t go where you need them. Krabi is the latter; it’s complicated to travel from Krabi to Bangkok by train, making the bus the much easier solution.
But if you do want to know a little about train travel in Thailand, check out my Bangkok to Chiang Mai train review.
Booking the night bus from Krabi to Bangkok
You can book the Krabi to Bangkok night bus online at Bookaway. Click here to check out Bookaway or use the search form below.
Alternatively, you can buy tickets from any of the kiosks on the main strip. They’ll give you a time when they will pick you up from your accommodation and then take you to the bus stop where you’ll need to wait for your bus.
The same applies if you’re in Krabi town – either book online, at your accommodation or at a travel agent.
At the time of writing, I paid 400 Thai baht for the Krabi to Bangkok bus. This is about 10 pounds, so is a really cheap way to travel from Krabi to Bangkok.
Taking the night bus
You can check out my video of the night bus here – or for more practical information read below.
I was picked up from my hotel at 4:15pm – this time may be subject to change. The pick up van went round a few hotels and picked up various guests before heading towards the bus station. I thought it would be the main one – but actually it took us around to a random bus depot where we had to get our tickets.
Joined by about 500 mosquitos, I obtained two tickets, one for Krabi to ? and one for ? to Bangkok. I was informed that after the bus arrived at ?, I’d need to change to continue to Bangkok.
An hour and a few mosquito bites later (be sure to put on plenty of repellant, there is dengue fever around here which I managed to avert) and the bus arrived. It was a double-decker ensemble, with leather seats that kind of reclined. It definitely wasn’t as fun as a sleeper bus in Vietnam, but I figured if I had 2 seats to myself for the whole trip I could get some zzz’s in.
The sun set over Krabi, it was all very scenic, and I listened to some music and dozed. But before too long, all Bangkok-goers were told to get off the bus and on the one in front. Most of the passengers were heading to the ? islands of Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan.
The same set up greeted us, but this time with blankets. Again, I dozed off to sleep (I have insomnia in general day to day life, but put me on a bus, train or plane and my sleep is stellar). But a couple of hours later, we were all woken up by the beaming lights – we were now in the town where passengers who had already been to the islands were getting on, and the bus was full.
I ended up with a French backpacker sitting next to me – we exchanged sleepy hellos and once again I reclined, fell asleep and didn’t wake up until the bus reached Bangkok.
Arriving in Bangkok
It was my seventh time in Bangkok in just over a year (I know, it’s ridiculous, don’t ask), and I was pretty sure that I knew the area where we’d ended up. Wanting to save a few baht and aware of the fact that it was 5am, I had a cooking class booked in the area at 9am, and there was no point finding my hotel as I wouldn’t be allowed in, I decided to just walk around and try to get my bearings.
However, if I’d wanted transport, there were many tuk-tuk and taxi drivers waiting at the bus stop. Be careful with prices – as these quotes can be rather high – and if you want something a bit more fixed, I’d recommend using the Grab app.
After about half an hour’s walk in roughly the right direction, I found Koh San Road. If there’s one Bangkok travel tip I can give you, it’s don’t go to Koh San Road at 5:30am stone cold sober. The scenes are ridiculous, and the amount of plastic waste that was accumulated in just one night made me really sad.
I actually had no money, no WiFi and no idea where I was going, but eventually managed to connect to a hotspot, got some money out and decided to hang around in a cafe until my cooking class at 9am. A coffee later, and I was ready for the day!
Krabi to Bangkok bus review
Night buses in Thailand aren’t quite as comfy as those in Vietnam, and you don’t get super service like in Turkey, where you’re offered drinks and snacks three times in the night, but they’re not bad. My seat reclined, I got a blanket and was able to sleep, and it’s a budget and eco-friendly way to travel from South Thailand to the capital.
Some things that I’d recommend bringing are (you can click through to purchase the products on Amazon):
An eye mask if you’re sensitive to light – it can be bright
From some of the world’s best temples, to floating markets, to dynamic shopping areas, to amazing food, there are so many things to do in Bangkok. I’d recommend spending at least 3 days here – click here to see my full itinerary.
Where to stay in Bangkok
Bangkok is also the land of amazing hotels and hostels. You can stay in 5* luxury for a relatively cheap price, or make the most of some of the best, most well-appointed hostels in the world. Click here for my full where to stay in Bangkok guide.I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post and it’s helped you when organising transportation from Krabi to Bangkok! Follow me on Instagram and Youtube for more of my adventures.