Somchai Tongkamkoon, the Managing Director of Thaipatanakit Transportation Chiangmai Co. Ltd or Green Bus, a transportation company in the upper northern area, revealed that the company got the authorization to provide transportation between Chiang Mai and Phuket from the Department of Land Transportation on the route number 799 which was 1,500 kilometers long.
The company had ordered 5 thirty-seated VIP buses, each 15 metres long, which are worth 45 million baht from China to use on this route. The buses would be delivered to the company in February 2011. As a result the service would be ready in March or April 2011.
Somchai added that there would be a bus for this route once a day. The bus would leave Chiang Mai at 4.00 p.m. and would leave Phuket at 3.00 p.m. every day. The journey would take about 22-23 hours. The tickets would cost 1,770 baht per seat. All seats would be VIP and fully equipped with small TV screens, audio, and massaging seat. In the future, the company might provide the first class air conditioned buses which would cost 1,327 baht per seat for the ticket. The target group would be Thai and foreign tourists, especially the backpackers, the students, and working people in the south and north of Thailand.
Somchai was confident that the company would get good feedback for this as people get used to long distance travel. He also commented that this would be another alternative for people who had to travel between the two regions. He added that the company also planned to open a new bus route to Kunming, China via Laos. Now, it was under the negotiation with Thai and other countries’ governments.