Chair massage and air travel vibes aboard Thai bus service’s fancy new coaches

Get that business class air travel experience on a fancy coach between Bangkok and Buriram that’s been upgraded with a pilot service adding pandemic-friendly space and comfort.

Luxury bus operator Nakhonchai Air’s new first-class buses redesigned with health considerations in mind will roll out just in time for Songkran between the capital and the culturally rich northeastern province for THB468 (US$15) per seat.

The new coaches are one level and sit only 23 passengers. All of those seats have wraparound cushioning and are laid out in a zig-zag pattern to decrease passenger contact. Passengers can recline further than usual in the pneumatic chairs, which massage and entertain them on 15-inch personal screens.

Nakhonchai Air has positioned itself as a safer alternative in a country where ravine-plunging buses are near-daily news fodder by advertising long-haul trips with two drivers to avoid fatigue.

Each seat on the new bus will included a USB charging port, two lights for reading, and a foldable tray for food and drinks. CEO Kruewan Wongrakmitr said it was a way to address of anxieties about public hygiene in the COVID-19 era.

She said that the new buses will gradually replace older models along other routes as the year progresses, with no increase in fares. 

Reservation can be made up to 30 days in advance by phone via 1684 or online.

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