Somchai Thongkhamkoon, the Managing Director of Thaipatanakit Transportation Chiangmai Co. Ltd or ‘Green Bus’, a company providing public transportation in the northern region of Thailand, said that Green Bus had applied to the Department of Land Transportation to provide transportation between Phuket and Chiang Mai. The application had been approved in August 2010. Now, the company was waiting for its five brand new buses, costing 40 million baht, that would be used to transfer passengers in 2011 on this new route, which would take 22-23 hours; therefore the company had been training its drivers in long distance driving.
Green Bus also planned to open new bus routes from Chiang Rai to Kunming Province in China on the Asian Highway called R 3 A passing Thailand, Laos, and China; however, it had to wait until the fourth bridge connecting Chiang Khong in Chaing Rai and Laos is completed. Moreover, there had to be an agreement on land transportation between the three countries. Somchai added that in 2009, the Department of Land Transportation of Thailand had signed an MOU with the transportation organization of Laos to get a concession to provide transportation from Chiang Mai to Luang Phra Bang and from Chiang Rai to Bor Ten. The Transportation Company (BOR KHOR SOR) would be responsible for this, however it has not yet got the authorization. It is estimated that BOR KHOR SOR would get the authorization after the bridge in Chiang Khong is completed.
Translated from Thai source: Kom Chad Luek