What Matt neglected to say about the buses was that we ended up taking VIP buses between Surat Thani-Bangkok and Bangkok-Chiang Mai. A VIP bus is the local bus equivalent to first class on an airline. First of all, there is an amazing amount of leg room. This is great for people with long legs like me, but the extra space also came in handy when I reclined my chair all the way back without having to worry about squishing the person sitting behind me. As I leaned my chair back, a little leg rest popped up from under the seat. In addition to the comfy seats, the blankets and pillows provided matched the décor of the bus interior (seat upholstery, flowered light fixtures, curtains and valences. Yes, a valence). Our bus stewardess came around every so often with things like breakfast rolls, drinks, even a moist towelette to freshen up. Those two VIPs were the best 20 hours I’ve ever spent on a bus.