My girlfriend and I will be heading from Chiang Mai to Kanchanaburi in June. Originally, we were looking at taking an overnight bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, then transfer train stations, and then take a train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi later in the afternoon. Not the most efficient from a time or budget standpoint. We don't have the budget to hire a private car or taxi and will probably end up taking the quickest version of bus or train transport that we can find.
After some research, I have heard mentions of a bus service from Chiang Mai to Kanchanaburi, although accounts and details seem muddy and conflicting. According to some forum members, it is possible to hop on a bus in Chiang Mai and end up in Kanchanaburi 10 or so hrs later. According to others, one would have to switch buses in Ayutthaya, and possibly even stay in Ayutthaya overnight. I have searched online and found very little information about bus services from Chiang Mai to Kanchanaburi.
A TA member created a post in December 2013 about a new VIP bus service that goes directly from Chiang Mai to Kanchanaburi. He/she said it left from the number 2 train station in Chiang Mai, took about 11 hrs, and made several stops along the way but no transfers were necessary. A phone number was mentioned but no email or website, or even the name of the company running the buses. There were no responses to the post and it was subsequently closed.
Does anyone have any information on bus services from Chiang Mai to Kanchanaburi? Are there any direct routes or is a transfer in Ayutthaya absolutely necessary? Has anyone heard of this mysterious VIP bus service?
Thanks in advance for any help with this!