Thailand has many different modes of transport which tend to come in all different shapes and sizes. These shapes and sizes are often quite different in the smaller towns and cities compared to that of Bangkok. Bangkok in actual fact has everything when it comes to transport and a great variety of the different modes of transport to meet everyone’s needs.
- Tuk Tuk
The most indigenous mode of transport in Thailand, Tuk Tuks are the famous 3-wheeled vehicles that you would have seen in many travel-related photos of Southeast Asia. You should definitely take at least one ride on a Tuk Tuk as it is quite a memorable experience that you won’t find back home.
At the same time, it is important to note that Tuk Tuks are quite a lot more expensive than your average motorcycle taxi or Songthaew as it is a popular mode of transport for tourists. But if you can, jump aboard a Tuk Tuk at least once during your time in Thailand. The rates are usually anywhere from 80 to 150 Baht and if you brush up on your Thai, you are less likely to be ripped off by the Tuk Tuk drivers.
With Bangkok being the most visited city in the world in 2013, it consequently has one of the largest proportions of taxis to people in the world. Unlike in the big Western cities, Bangkok’s taxi system is very reasonable thanks to the metre system that was recently introduced several years ago.
Taxis start at 35 Baht and thereafter 2 Baht for the first 2 km and then 2 Baht per km after that. The traffic in some areas in Bangkok can however be appalling so motorcycle taxis might be a better bet if you are only wanting to travel a short distance in Bangkok. Taxis are however air-conditioned which can make for a nice break from the ridiculous Bangkok heat.
- Motorcycle Taxi
Motorcycle taxis are your best bet if you are looking for cheap and immediate transport for short distances. They can be found in most Thai cities throughout the country as well as smaller towns with good transport systems. Obviously when travelling on the back of a motorcycle, it is not ideal if you are carrying with you a lot of luggage or if it is raining quite hard but otherwise this is probably the best mode of transport for the everyday backpacker.
One great thing about a motorcycle taxi is that you can also go two people on the back and this won’t cost you much more. The standard rates for motorcycle taxis can be anywhere between 20 to 100 Baht – it all depends on the distance you cover. Simply tell the motorcycle driver the street or place you need to go and 9 times out of 10 he will know where to take you.
- Public Bus
Thailand has a developed bus transport system and unsurprisingly, Bangkok has the largest bus system in the country. Your cheapest bus option will cost you 7 -20 Baht within Bangkok with other buses not costing too much more than that. There are also long-distance buses departing from Bangkok to all over the country such as Pattaya, Hua Hin, Krabi, Phuket, Chiang Mai and so on. This is often a great alternative to flying or catching the train if you are on a tight budget.
In the smaller cities and towns, buses generally only leave from one terminal but in Bangkok buses depart from several different terminals. There are also a variety of different bus classes with different rates in Bangkok. For more details , please visit http://www.bmta.co.th/en/bus-lines
- BTS Skytrain
Over recent years and due to the over-congested roads in Bangkok, city planners have developed both an overground and underground train network through the city. The BTS Skytrain is an overground railway system comprised of the Sukhumvit Line and the Silom Line.
This overground railway network stops off at many tourist areas and attractions in Bangkok and is very developed much like the large Western cities of the world making it very easy to find your way around the city. For more details and routing, please visit https://www.bts.co.th/eng/library/system-structuer.html
- MRT Subway
The MRT Subway, otherwise known as the Blue Line, is the first underground railway line to be introduced to Bangkok’s railway network. It is comprised of 18 stops and follows a slightly different route to the BTS Skytrain which allows travelers to commute via train to the inaccessible neighborhoods of the Skytrain.
Both the BTS and MRT intersect at various points allowing travelers from both lines greater variety when it comes to getting to their destination of choice. Both the BTS and MRT networks are in operation from 6 am to midnight Monday to Friday. For more details and routing please visit https://metro.bemplc.co.th/MRT-System-Map
- Airport Rail Link
Airport Rail Link (ARL) railway line connects central Bangkok with Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Many travelers find it a safe, inexpensive alternative to using the bus or taking taxi to or from the airport. However, for a family or couple with a lot of luggage a private transfer may be a better option. Trains on the elevated, 28km long, City Line stop at six stations between the airport and downtown Bangkok. Journey time is approximately 26 minutes. This makes taking the train the quickest and most convenient way to travel in and out of Bangkok. For more details, please visit https://www.srtet.co.th/index.php/th/
- Water Transport
Bangkok has an extensive water transport system which serves passengers crossing or traveling along the CHAO PHRAYA River as well as the canals. Another way to see the city from a different perspective, cheap and a good way to see the local way of life. For more information, please visit https://www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com/