How to get to Phana
Most people get to Phana from Ubon Ratchathani.
You can get to Ubon (Ratchathani) by air, train and overnight coach.
By air to Ubon Ratchathani (UBP)
You can fly from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport (DMK) on Air Asia, Nok Air and Thai Lion. Flights take 55 minutes.
From Bangkok Suvannabhumi Airport (BKK) (spelt variously, but pronounced Soowannapoom!) you can take Thai Smile which is often more expensive but you get a bigger baggage allowance.
By train to Ubon Ratchathani
Trains run from Hua Lampong station. Overnight train is probably best and 2nd class sleeper is what we always use. You can NOT book online. It leaves about 8.30 pm and should arrive about 7.25 am. Advance booking is advised, and this train gets heavily booked for ‘long weekends’ when people return home to Ubon for public holidays. 2nd class air conditioned carriages: Upper berth 691 Thai Baht, Lower berth 781 Thai Baht. Cheaper seats in air conditioned carriages are also available.
Another good option is the so-called sprinter or special express which leaves Hua Lampong at 05.45 and arrives at Ubon at 14.00. This train has just 3 carriages, all air conditioned, and of course you get a good view of the countryside and arrive much quicker. But can you be up in time to catch it?
By bus / coach to Ubon Ratchathani
Most buses to Ubon go from Mo Chit bus terminal which you can almost reach by metro and/or sky train but then you must take a taxi a short distance. However, we strongly advise you to take a Nakhon Chai Air bus from the dedicated Nakhon Chai Air bus terminal which is also nearby Mo Chit. Silver Class, Gold Class or Gold + Class are the recommended options. Comfort and service increases as you move up the scale, of course. The Gold + option is highly recommended and costs 520 Thai Baht. These buses leave more or less hourly and travel time is about 10 hours.
First, you must find the dedicated Nakhon Chai Air bus terminal which is a 60 baht taxi ride (5-10 minutes) from Mo Chit BTS Skytrain station / MRT Chatuchak Park interchange station. At Mo Chit Station you will need to walk across the road to catch the taxi going northwards. The terminal is modern, clean, well-signed and you can buy your ticket easily and wait for your bus in some comfort.
ARRIVING AT BANGKOK AIRPORT (Suvannabhumhi)
If you are staying in Bangkok when you first arrive, we advise you to take the RAIL LINK to Phayathai (pronounced PIE-a- Tie), 45 Baht. Then get a taxi-meter to your pre-booked accommodation. This way you avoid the hassle and possible scams with taxis at the airport.
It will help if you have the name of the road and accommodation printed (preferably in Thai), to show the taxi driver if necessary.
You have reached Ubon Ratchathani. Well done! Now, how do you get to Phana (silent h, so Pa-Na)?
The answer is: by bus from the Ubon Bus Station.
From the airport: take a taxi (about 60 Baht from the taxi queue NOT from the touts waiting just outside the arrival hall. Walk out of the hall and turn right, walk right down the far end of the building and you will see the taxi queue. Tell the person in charge where you want to go (‘Bus Station’ BOR-KOR-SOR).
From the railway station: take a taxi (about 100 Baht) or better, if you are alone, take a little white bus number 2, which runs all the way to the bus station. Pay when you get out. 40 Baht.
From the Nakhon Chai Air bus terminal: walk across the road!
Make you way to Platform 11, on the left side of the bus station. Two buses are available, each running hourly, with about 30 minutes between them. The journey will take between an hour and 75 minutes depending on traffic and stops.
One bus service is provided by white mini-vans numbered 229. These are fairly comfortable and air-conditioned. Pay 60 Baht on board before leaving. The other service is mostly provided by orange pick-up trucks converted to have two rows of seats at the back (numbered 228). Pay on arrival in Phana usually. The fare is 45 Baht.
The Phana Monkey Project is based about 5 minutes walk from the bus terminal in Phana. Call us if you can and we will meet you off your bus. If you can’t call us, let us know the time you will arrive in Ubon and where (airport, train station, bus station) and we will go to the Phana bus terminal at a suitable time.