Everything you need to know to get around Bangkok
Bangkok, the bustling capital of Thailand, is known for its vibrant culture, delicious food and beautiful landmarks. It is a destination that attracts millions of tourists every year and is worth spending a couple of days in.
If you are planning a trip to Bangkok it is important to know how to get around the city. With a population of over 10 million people, numerous neighborhoods, gigantic distances and the lack of a center (as we know it) or perhaps, a very large and scattered center, the city can be difficult to get around if you don’t consider the right mix of transport.
There are several transportation options available that can make your stay in Bangkok much more convenient, enjoyable and even adventurous. In this post we will explore all the ways to get around Bangkok.
From the iconic tuk-tuks to the modern skytrain, read on to find out everything you need to know about transportation in Bangkok.
If you are planning a trip to Bangkok be sure to read up on what to see in Bangkok (a mini-guide to Bangkok written after spending almost 2 months there)
How to get around Bangkok – All means of transport in the Asian megalopolis
One of the most popular ways to get around Bangkok is to use the city’s extensive public transport network.
IThe BTS Skytrain and the MRT Subway are both efficient and convenient options that can take you to most areas of the city.
The BTS Skytrain travels above ground, offering a unique view of the city, while the MRT Subway travels underground, basically it’s a subway. Both systems are air-conditioned, sometimes too much so, and easy to use, with signs and announcements in Thai and English.
Another popular mode of transportation in Bangkok is the iconic tuk-tuk. These motorized three-wheeled vehicles are a common sight on city streets and are perfect for short trips around the city. While tuk-tuks are a fun and exciting way to get around Bangkok, be sure to negotiate the fare before getting on to avoid any surprises.
For longer trips, you might consider using a taxi. Taxis are plentiful in Bangkok and are aconvenient and economical way to get around the city. Make sure you use a metered taxi to ensure a fair price for your trip.
If you want to avoid traffic and explore Bangkok’s famous canals, you can take a tour boat on the Chao Phraya River. Different types of boats are available, from tourist boats to public ferries, which can take you to different parts of the city.
For those who prefer to travel on foot, Bangkok’s sidewalks and pedestrian bridges are a great way to explore the city. Walking around Bangkok allows you to experience the sights and sounds of the city up close and is a great way to discover hidden gems that you might otherwise miss but remember that the weather in Bangkok is not the best (hot/humid city all year round) .
Let’s go into detail about all the transport options for getting around Bangkok, which I’m sure you will use (yes, practically all of them).
The Sky Train – Elevated rapid transit
The BTS Skytrain in Bangkok is an elevated rapid transport system that serves the central business districts (with skyscrapers and many shopping centers, some beautiful) and the main tourist destinations of the city.
The Skytrain operates on two lines, the Sukhumvit Line and the Silom Line, which together cover a distance of 52.4 km and serve a total of 43 stations.
The Sukhumvit Line runs from Mo Chit in the north to Bearing in the southeast, while the Silom Line runs from the National Stadium in the west to Bang Wa in the southwest. Both lines intersect at Siam Station, which is a major transfer point between the two lines, the station where you want to get off if you need to go to MBK and Siam Square.
The Skytrain runs daily from 6am to midnight, with trains arriving at 3-6 minute intervals peak hours and 5-7 minutes during off-peak hours.
The carriages are air-conditioned and equipped with modern amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and accessibility for disabled passengers.
Bangkok Skytrain fares depend on the distance traveled and range from 16 to 59 baht.
You can purchase single-journey tickets, valid for a single journey, use a rechargeable Rabbit Card (costs 100bath one-off), which can be topped up with credit and used for multiple trips or buy the day pass (150 baht) for unlimited trips during the day).
The Rabbit Card also offers fare discounts and can be used on other public transport in Bangkok, such as the MRT subway and the Airport Rail Link.
The ticket or Rabbit Card can be purchased at the machines found at each station or at the box office (in case you don’t have the coins).
The ticket or card must be tapped at the entrance gate to enter the platform area, and then tapped again at the exit gate to exit the station .
Good to know
The tickets have different costs depending on the station you need to arrive at. You can make a rechargeable coupon, the Rabbit Card, or you can buy single tickets at the machines or at the counter.
The machines mainly accept coins. If you want to pay by card or banknote, go to the counter. The train always has very high air conditioning, bring a jacket if you don’t want to hibernate.
The Bangkok Metro
The Bangkok Metro or MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is a modern and efficient rapid transit system serving the central business district and other key areas of the city.
The MRT operates on two lines, the blue line and the purple line. The blue line runs from Hua Lamphong in the city center to Bang Sue in the north, while the purple line runs from Tao Poon in the north to Khlong Bang Phai in the west.
The two lines intersect at Tao Poon Station, which is an important transfer point between the two lines.
The Asok station is the exchange point if you have to take the Skytrain or vice versa (from the skytrain you have to take the metro). a>
The MRT operates daily from 6am to midnight, with trains arriving at 3-5 minute intervals in peak hours and 7-10 minutes during off-peak hours. The system is fully air-conditioned and equipped with modern amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and accessibility for disabled passengers.
Bangkok MRT fares are based on distance traveled and range from 16 to 42 baht. Passengers can purchase single-ride tickets, valid for a single trip, or use a reloadable Rabbit Card, which can be topped up with credit and used for multiple trips.
To use the MRT subway, passengers must purchase a single ticket or will need to use the Rabbit Card at a vending machine located in the stations.
The ticket or card must be touched at the entrance gate to enter the platform area and then touched again at the exit gate to exit the station.
Official website: MRT Bangkok
Getting around Bangkok by buses
Buses in Bangkok are a popular, picturesque and convenient way to get around the city but there are a couple of things you need to know.
- Types of buses: There are different types of buses in Bangkok, including those with and without air conditioning. Air-conditioned buses are more comfortable and make fewer stops, but they are also more expensive than those without air conditioning. I didn’t understand if there is a way to understand which line has vehicles with air conditioning and which don’t (I don’t even know if this is the criterion) so when I took the bus I went to “bad luck”. that is, without air conditioning during the day, with monstrous heat, and with air conditioning in the evening, in a freezing bus.
- Routes: Bangkok buses cover a wide range of routes and it can be difficult to find your way around the system. Bus numbers and routes are listed in Thai and English on the front of the bus and it is essential to check the route before boarding. For convenience you can still use Google Maps which works very well both for finding stops and for calculating routes.
- Fares: Bus fares in Bangkok are relatively cheap, with prices starting at 8 baht for buses without air conditioning and from 10 to 20 baht for those with air conditioning. The fare may vary depending on the distance travelled.
- Payment: Tickets are paid directly to the ticket inspector on the bus in cash. Make sure you have coins or small denomination banknotes because the ticket inspector may not have change for larger banknotes.
- Safety: Buses are generally safe in Bangkok, it is essential to take precautions. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and be careful when getting on and off the bus.
When I have time I really like traveling by bus in Bangokok. Although the system may seem complicated at first, it is worth taking the time to understand it, but with Goole maps everything is now much simpler, because it can save you money but above all it could make you live a& #39;unique experience of the city by driving through neighborhoods where otherwise, perhaps, you would not have gone.
Getting around Bangkok by taxi
Taxis are a popular and economical means of transportation for getting around Bangkok and are easily available throughout the city (a little ; less at peak times).
The problem is that the city is so congested with traffic that even covering short distances could take hours. However, they are convenient and economical if you are in areas not served by Skytrain or metro.
Taxi drivers in Bangkok usually don’t speak much Englishe, so it’s a good idea to have your destination written in Thai or on a map to show the driver. I usually show the route on the Google map on my phone.
taxis in Bangkok are metered and fares start from 35 baht for the first 2 kilometres, with a supplement of 2 baht per kilometer. Surcharges may apply for tolls, airport pickups, or late-night travel.
Some taxi drivers may refuse to use the meter and prefer to negotiate a fixed price instead. It is better to insist on using the meter or find another taxi if the taxi driver is not willing to use it because by negotiating the cost you will surely pay more than double.
Before getting into a taxi, make sure that the taxi has a working taximeter and that it is turned on and ask if it uses it. If the driver refuses to use it, it is better to find another taxi.
It’s a good idea to have some change on hand, as taxi drivers don’t always have change available for larger denominations. You don’t pay by credit card so you always need to have cash. You cannot pay by card even using the applications.
It’s good practice to have a general idea of the route and distance to travel to your destination and use a GPS navigation app to track your route.
Good to know
Before getting into a taxi make sure you use the Meter. The ride starts from 35 bath, and then you pay very little per kilometer. In tourist areas, such as Kaosan Road, it is difficult to find taxi drivers who use it, in other neighborhoods it is always easier. Insist on its use.
Muoversi a Bangkok con i Tuk Tuk
Tuk-tuks are Bangkok’s most iconic form of transportationpracticing. They are three-wheeled vehicles that are commonly used for short trips around the city. To get a tuk-tuk, you can hail one on the street or haggle with a driver in a popular tourist destination.
Unlike taxis, tuk-tuks do not have a meter and fares are usually negotiated between the passenger and the driver.
Fares may vary depending on distance, time of day and the passenger’s negotiation skills. It is important to know that tuk-tuk fares are generally higher than taxi fares and that you should be prepared to negotiate the fare before getting in.
Before getting into a tuk-tuk, it is important to be aware of a few things. First, make sure the driver understands your destination and the fare that has been negotiated.
Secondly, make sure the driver is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Thirdly, be aware that tuk-tuks do not offer the same level of protection as taxis and it is important to hold tight while travelling.
Tuk-tuks are generally considered more expensive than taxis, but they offer a unique and memorable experience that is worth trying at least once.
They are particularly popular with tourists who want to explore the city in a fun and unconventional way. If you are on a budget, it may be more practical to use taxis or public transport.
A nice way to get around the center of Bangkok by Tuk Tuk (i.e. where most of the places you want to visit are concentrated ( temples, Royal Palace, Wat Pho etc etc) is the Tuk Tuk Hop on Hop Off which also includes the ferry ticket on the Chao Phraya and which costs €13 /15 per person, depending on the number of people.
The coordination is via Whatsapp, so make sure you have the data, you can do SIM True data at the airport for 1000Bath, because you will coordinate drop off and pick up via telephone.
Discover Bangkok by boat in its canals
Moving through Bangkok’s canals by boat is a unique and evocative way to explore the city’s waterways.
The canals, known as klongs, were once Bangkok’s main means of transportation, and many of them still exist today. You can choose between private and public boats.
Public boats are known as “water taxis” and are managed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA). They are a cheap and efficient way to get around the city and fares are based on the distance travelled.
The boats follow specific routes and there are several piers where passengers can get on and off. Costs vary depending on the route.
It is also possible to rent private boats, which offer a more personalized and flexible experience by being able to choose between 1, 2 circuits and 3 hours.
There are several companies that offer private boat tours and prices may vary depending on the length of the tour and the type of boat.
When it comes to boat options in Bangkok, there are several to choose from.
Here are some of the most popular:
- Water taxis: These are the cheapest option and run specific routes on the klongs. They are taken from the designated piers and have different costs depending on the route. If you go to Jim Thomson’s house, you will find a pier very close by and you could take the opportunity to take a trip on the canal.
- Long tail boats: These are traditional wooden boats with a long tail engine. They are apopular option for private tours.
- Speed boats: They are a faster and more modern option for private tours.
- Dinner cruises: These are romantic and luxurious options for those who want to explore the klongs while enjoying a meal and seeing Bangkok lit up (this is definitely one of the things I recommend doing to enjoy Bangkok illuminated)
- Canal Tours: These are guided tours that take visitors through the klongs, offering a unique perspective of the city. Costs start at around 1500/2000 Bath per hour. I recommend it if you want to discover a little of Bangkok outside the tourist circuits and above all away from traffic and skyscrapers. I liked it a lot.
By exploring the klongs by boat you can see some of Bangkok’s most interesting sights, such as floating markets, traditional Thai houses and the city’s most impressive Buddhist temples.
Some popular itineraries include the Chao Phraya River and the Thonburi Canals (which I highly recommend)
Good to know – Hop on Hop off on the Chao Phraya
If you are visiting the center of Bangkok to cool off a bit from the heat of the city and rest your feet, a very nice and practical way to move between some of the most important destinations concentrated along the Chao Phraya is the ferry You can choose to pay 30 baht for one way ticket or, if you plan to use it several times in a day you can also buy the hop on hop off day ticket 150 baht (€4).
Walking in Bangkok
Walking in Bangkok can be a challenging experience due to the city’s hot and humid climate, heavy traffic and crowded sidewalks. However, there are still some areas of the city where walking can be pleasant and convenient, especially in the cooler months of the year.
One of the best places for walking in Bangkok is Lumpini Park, located in the heart of the city. This park offers a peaceful and scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of city streets. Here you will find jogging and cycling paths, a lake and several sculptures and monuments. The park is open from 4.30am to 9pm every day and entry is free.
Another great place to walk in Bangkok is the historic district of Rattanakosin Island. Many of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks are located in this area, including the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho (the giant giant Buddha). Walking around this area allows visitors to appreciate the city’s rich history and culture, while enjoying the picturesque streets and architecture.
The area of Khao San Road is another popular place for walking in Bangkok, especially among backpackers and budget travelers . This lively neighborhood is home to many shops, restaurants and street vendors, and strolling through its narrow streets and alleyways is an excellent way to soak up the atmosphere.
The area of Sukhumvit Road is also a good place to walk, especially in the stretch between Soi 1 and Soi 55. This area is well-known through its trendy streets and alleys. This area is known for its trendy bars, restaurants and shopping malls, and strolling its lively streets allows visitors to experience Bangkok’s modern side.
Overall, although walking in Bangkok can sometimes be challenging, there are still many areas of the city where it is possible and enjoyable. Whether you choose to walk in a park, a historic neighborhood, or a trendy neighborhood, walking is a great way to explore the city and see it from a different perspective.
How to get to Bangkok from the international airport Suvarnabhumi
There are several options for reaching the city center from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, depending on your budget and preferences.
- Airport Rail Link: The Airport Rail Link is a convenient and convenient way to reach the city center from the airport.The Airport Rail Link connects Suvarnabhumi to Phaya Thai station in central Bangkok. There are eight stations in total. Each is numbered from A1 to A8. The fare starts from 15 baht and reaches 45 baht depending on the distance travelled.
- Taxis: Taxis are easily available at the airport and offer a convenient and comfortable way to reach your destination. Rates are metered and the cost can vary from 250 to 500 baht depending on the distance traveled and the time of day. We recommend using only official metered taxis. Remember that you pay in cash, so make sure you have Thai bath handy.
- Private Transfer: Private transfers can be arranged in advance or at the airport and offer a convenient, hassle-free option for reaching your destination. Private transfers may be more expensive than taxis, but they offer the convenience of door-to-door service and personalized attention.
- Airport Shuttle: Airport shuttles are available at the airport and offer an economical way to get to the city center. Fares start from 30 baht and go up to 150 baht depending on the destination. However, the service may be slower and less convenient than other options.
Overall, getting from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to central Bangkok is easy and convenient, with several options available to suit every budget and preference. Whether you choose the Airport Rail Link, a taxi, a private transfer or an airport shuttle, you can be sure of arriving at your destination safely and comfortably.
Good to know
The Skytrain DOES NOT go to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. If you need to take the skytrain you can do so at Phaya Thai station where you can then change to a train connecting to the airport. From Phaya Thai to Suvarnabhumi Airport takes less than 30 minutes. City Line trains leave every 10-15 minutes for the airport.