Anyone training Muay Thai will typically choose, Bangkok, Pattaya, Chang Mai, Phuket, Hua Hin or places close by for their training; Isaan is somewhere not many Westerners will venture due to it being fairly unknown. This is now a very easy trip for me, having travelled many times to Isaan to train, fight and see friends.
Getting To Phutthaisong From Bangkok
The journey starts from Bangkok. By MRT go to Chatuchak MRT station and take Exit 1. If you’re traveling by BTS, you need to go to Mo-Chit station and exit towards Chatuchak Park. Once you come out of MRT Exit 1, there will be motorbike taxi drivers sitting around waiting for their next job. Tell them “Mo-Chit”. They will give you a helmet and a ride off to the bus station. The drivers know Mo-Chit as it’s a frequent destination.
At Mo-Chit bus station you will need to go up to the 3rd floor, as this is the area for North Eastern Thailand. Waiting in front of the counters are men in black trousers and dress shirts. Tell them “Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat)” (pronounced Na-kon Rat-cha-seema) and they will take you to the correct counter. The ticket to Nakhon Ratchasima is 220 Baht and there is a bus leaving every hour.
On the ticket there will be a station number and time; this is the place you need to travel to. Put any big bags in the luggage compartment under the bus and take any valuables with you onto the bus.
About 2 hours in to the journey the bus will stop at a gas station to refill LPG. Everyone will have to get off the bus. You can take this opportunity to get some supplies. For me this meant an M-150 and vegetable juice. I’m not really sure how healthy this juice is, as everything that can be consumed here has a lot of sugar. This stop lasts for about 10 minutes.
In Khorat there are two bus stations/stops. First you will stop at a small bus station; this one is more for the local areas of Khorat. The bus will then go on to a 2nd and bigger bus station that has buses leaving for all over Isaan. This is where you want to be. In the bus station they have a food court and shops where you can grab a meal. Meals are around 50 Baht.
In the food court area, opposite the food counter area, you will see travel counters. Go up to one and tell them “Phutthaisong”; they will point you in the right direction. Khorat is the hub for Isaan, so this bus station will have most destinations in Isaan available. Phutthaisong is 116km from Khorat and a ticket costs only 90 Baht.
The journey to Phutthaisong is only 2 hours; some buses are so full you will have to stand or sit on the floor.
The total journey takes around 6 hours. The bus will stop outside a 7-Eleven and opposite is a restaurant; the little old lady cooks very good food.
The journey to Phutthaisong is quite cheap.
Costs of Traveling to Phutthaisong From Bangkok
Here is what I typically spend:
- Motorbike taxi: MRT to Mo-chit bus station – 60 Baht
- Bus ticket to from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) – 220 Baht
- 7-Eleven snacks – 69 Baht
- 7-Eleven snacks – 35 Baht
- Lunch – 50 Baht
- Bus ticket From Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) to Phutthaisong – 90 Baht
- Dinner – 40 Baht
A grand total of 564 Baht / £12 / $18 USD to get to Phutthaisong.
This is with snacks and food.
Michael Harbone came to Thailand planning to stay for only one month. It turned into eight years. He has been training Muay Thai full time for the past four years and fighting out of 96 Penang Gym for the last two. Michael has fought at Lumpinee and Rajadamnern stadiums, and has experienced all sides of Muay Thai from the tourist gym to the poorest. Connect with Michael at Michael Harbone Photography.