Thailand is a large country and easy enough to travel around, whether you visit the cities and sights by bus, train, plane or domestic flight will depend on your idea of comfort and your budget.
The cheapest option is by coach and there is a network criss-crossing the whole country. Plenty of time will be needed if you choose this method as it can take 12 hours to cover Phuket to Bangkok alone, so if you are planning to travel from the southern islands to the northern regions sufficient time and stamina will be necessary.
The train network isn’t as extensive as the road, but definitely a cheap and comfortable, if very slow, option. Sleeper carriages can be booked for long overnight routes so you can actually get some rest, see the scenery and be comfy, a train journey presents the opportunity to walk around and meet fellow travellers which can be fun.
The qualities of the roads are pretty good so hiring a car is always a possibility and the majority of signposts are written in English as well as Thai. Be warned though, that you will still have the long distances to cover and gas prices are on the increase so it could be an expensive option.
As we get older we get used to our comforts and luxuries, generally with a little more money available we have the choice of travelling by any mode of travel we want. But, let’s face it, who wants to be on a bus for 12 hours crammed in with numerous others? Internal flights in Thailand can get you to any part of the country usually within an hour, with a comfortable seat and smiling beautiful hostesses. I put my hands up for a bit of that please!
Domestic flights in Thailand are competitive in comparison to other forms of transportation and, along with regular fares many of the airlines frequently have special promotions and offers. If you are a regular traveller or just here for a holiday it is worth checking them all out for any early booking fares or special discounts offered between certain destinations. You just never know what bargain you might find.
The main airports in Thailand are Bangkok, Chiang Mai in the north and Phuket in the south, but altogether there are 13 airports around the country so wherever you are planning to go there should be an airport not too far away.
The regular airlines in Thailand are Thai Air, the national carrier, and Bangkok Airways. Over the last few years the number of ‘no frills’ airlines within Thailand has also grown and you can find low fares with Air Asia, Nok Air and One-Two-Go. Air Asia is well known for having a free flights sale every now and again, but get there quick as they are sold out real quick as we all love something for free. There are always taxes and surcharges to pay however so the flight isn’t entirely free and these can add up. One-Two-Go’s fare structure is very simple with all domestic flights priced the same (not counting the special offers). Nok Air has flights to different provinces at competitive prices.
There are also a few small aircraft that operate less popular and more out of the way routes. PB Air runs routes in the north and north eastern regions and SGA Airlines has services to small towns mainly in the far north. Destination Air is a seaplane service based in Phuket, south of the country that flies to local islands and other nearby destinations.
If it is convenience, speed and value for money, taking an internal flights has to beat every other mode of travel hands down. From Bangkok you can catch a flight to any of the airports in Thailand and, apart from Bangkok, airports are all fairly close to town centers. A one hour flight compared to a 10 hour journey overland will see you arriving fresh, alert and unstressed. Until you see the deep blue ocean, white sand beaches and tropical interiors from high above you haven’t seen the best of Thailand.
Domestic Flights Thailand has all internal Thailand flights, detailing routes, airlines, schedules and fares available.