Transport in Bangkok Thailand
Transport in Bangkok Thailand
This “City of Angels” that is Bangkok is easily explored using taxis, tuk tuks, the underground or the city’s impressive Skytrain.
By far the most comfortable, scenic and environmentally-friendly way to travel in Bangkok is by the incredible Skytrain, an elevated rail network that soars above the chaos of the city’s noisy and fume-laden traffic jams. It’s quick, efficient, clean and inexpensive – and offers the additional benefits of air-conditioning and wonderful views of Bangkok which you would otherwise never see. Trains run regularly from 6am until midnight throughout most of the modern part of the city, and there are plans underway to extend the service very shortly to the outlying areas of the city and to the airport. Numerous types of pass are available and for 120 baht (approx £2) a day you get unlimited travel on the whole Skytrain network – information booths show details of discounted tourist passes and provide network maps. You may wish to equip yourself with 5B and 10B coins as these are needed if using the automatic ticket machines, although change is readily available from manned booths from 6am until midnight.
Taxis are without doubt the cheapest of any major city in the world and it is virtually impossible to spend more than 100 baht (less than £2) on any journey of half an hour or less! There is a minimum meter charge of 35 baht. Getting a taxi is usually quite easy apart from during peak commute hours and when bars are closing between 1am and 2am.
Bangkok’s underground system – or Metro as it’s called by the Thais – offers a comfortable environment in which to get from one side of the city to the other. Trains run from 6am until midnight and are cheap at 15 to 40 baht depending on the journey. You buy a magnetised coin (available from the ticket window or from an automated dispenser) and put this into the gate slot to exit.
By Tuk tuks
Tuk tuks cost twice as much but are an experience that must be tried at least once! It can be difficult getting a fair price for a ride in one of these open-ended three-wheeled motorised rickshaws as their drivers are experts in the art of spotting innocent tourists and will often quote a high fare, or alternatively insist they take you on a very cheap sightseeing tour which will result in your purchasing overpriced goods for which they’ll receive a commission from the shopkeeper. But providing you keep your wits about you and agree a sensible price before you get in (if you know the normal taxi fare for the journey, that will help in your bargaining) you’ll certainly have a memorable journey as you weave in and out of Bangkok’s chaotic traffic jams, accompanied by the ‘tuk tuk’ sound of the engine and the suffocating exhaust fumes! Three people can fit into a tuk-tuk quite comfortably, but any more than that and it becomes a bit cramped. By the way, however tempted you may be for comfort’s sake, don’t rest your feet on the rail near the driver’s head as this is considered to be very disrespectful.