“This northeastern Thai city has two terminals, with the Khon Kaen Bus Terminal itself serving various type of regular buses leaving from Bangkok’s Morchit bus station and the other, the Air-conditioned Bus Terminal, serving VIP bus routes. Khon Kaen, located some seven hours by road from the capital, is the rural region’s hub for commerce, with its transportation options including trains from Bangkok as well as daily flights to its airport.
Both bus stations are centrally located, with the main terminal found on Thanon Prachasamoson and the air-conditioned bus station on Thanon Klang Meuang. VIP air-conditioned buses to Khon Kaen leave from Bangkok’s Morchit Bus Terminal half-hourly between 06:00 and midnight, arriving in the city between six and seven hours later. The trip costs 440 baht, and tickets are best booked in advance online as the VIP buses can be busy during holidays and the high season.
Other VIP bus routes to and from Khon Kaen include Chiang Mai, a twice-daily, 12-hour trip costing 542 baht and a nine-hour run from Pattaya 10 times per day at 416 baht. Buses from Udon Thani arrive every 20 minutes after a two-hour journey, and four buses daily run between Nong Khai, taking under four hours. All air-conditioned buses terminate at their dedicated bus station.
The local bus terminal serves both routes within Khon Kaen and non-air-conditioned longer-haul journeys. Fares are considerably lower and journeys longer with, for example, the two-hour trip to Roi Et by 24-seat VIP bus costing 99 baht and the same trip by ordinary bus charged at 50 baht.
Getting from either bus terminal to your hotel or guesthouse is best by colour-coded, regular songthaew pickup truck buses at just few baht per journey. Tuk-tuks are far more expensive, and mid-price motorcycle taxis are faster for those with backpacks rather than suitcases.”