Bangkok - Getting Around

Bangkok has an excellent and modern public transport system in place making it easy for you to navigate around. River and canal boats, along with the Skytrain and subway system, taxis and tuk-tuks, are relatively cheap means to explore Bangkok. Here's your guide to inner-city transport options.

Motorcycle Taxi Motorcycle taxis all over Thailand provide a faster option for commuting during peak traffic hours. In Bangkok, they can be found in almost every corner and can go anywhere around town, but fares must be negotiated first. Just look for the orange-vested men in bikes and they can take you to where you want to go in no time. Helmet is provided by the driver.

Buses Taking the bus is the cheapest way to tour the city. Numbered buses ply specific routes around the city. Free city maps available at BTS stations can help you get to places on a bus. Fare for regular buses is between Bt6.50 and Bt8, and Bt12 to Bt25 for air-conditioned buses, while microbuses have a flat rate of Bt20. Airport buses to several destinations in the city are at least Bt100 and up, depending on the distance.

Subway Bangkok's subway, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), runs an 18-station line that stretches from the Hua Lamphong Railway Station on Rama 4 to the northern District of Bang Sue. Operating daily from 6 a.m. till midnight, it intersects Silom, Sukhumvit and Chatujak Skytrain stations. Minimum fare is Bt15. You can also buy Stored Value cards from ticket counters at subway station.

Skytrains Skytrains have two railway lines: one from the northern bus terminal at Morchit to Sukhumvit Soi 77 (Soi Onnut). The other runs from the National Stadium (Pathumwan Intersection) to Thaksin Bridge at the end of Sathorn Road. At the Siam Center station, passengers can switch between lines. Trains run every few minutes from 6 a.m. to midnight, a quicker alternative to land transportation especially during heavy traffic jams. Fare is between Bt15 to Bt40.

Tuk-Tuk A taxi-style transport unique to Thailand, the three-wheeled, open-air 'tuk-tuks" can take you almost anywhere around the city. You can take short trips around town while shopping and enjoying the local scene. Rate is usually pre-arranged, from Bt20 for a very short distance to about Bt100 for farther destinations. It would be wise to ask a local friend, or a hotel staff, for fare rates to avoid being charged overly.

Taxi Regular taxicabs abound 24 hours if you want a more flexible and comfortable way of getting around. The flag-down rate is Bt35, plus Bt2 per kilometer traveled. Always insist the use of meter to avoid being overcharged or shortchanged. Toll fees are paid by the passenger. Taxis from the airport (the ones in queue) charge an additional Bt50.

River Boats River boats ply routes along the Chao Phraya River to nearby provinces or through canals in the city. Some head off from the Saphan Taksin Bridge to Nonthaburi, stopping at piers to drop and pick passengers. There are piers near major commercial districts such as Sukhumvit and the World Trade Center. Long-tailed boats could be hired for special river tours. Fare depends on distance but starts from Bt3 to around 30.

Canal Boat Canal boats serve the Khlong Saen Saeb route, one of Bangkok's many canals (khlong). The canal runs parallel to Petchaburi Road, and provides the easiest access from the city center to the Golden Mount. There's a boarding pier across from the Central World Plaza under the bridge where Ratchadamri crosses the khlong near Petchburi, and piers now even have signs in English. Fares range from about Bt14-Bt25.