We left Bangkok a few days ago, deciding to head to the western side of the Thailand peninsula first. The bus left at 6pm, and arrived at Patong beach, Phuket, at noon the next day, after three changes in transportation and much waiting around: eighteen hours to reflect that this decision may have been a mistake.
Had we gone to the east side first, the journey would have been much shorter, and it ends with a pleasant boat journey to the island of choice. Still, that would presumably mean returning to Bangkok from Phuket, so I guess it’s six to one and half a dozen to the other. Arduous though! And the hangover didn’t help.