5 friendly ways to travel in Bangkok
It’s always fascinating travelling in the city of angels, but the first-time visitors might want to find the safer means to commute faster and healthier in the vibrant and chaotic when it comes to the traffic in the city of Bangkok.
For instance, you should forget about relying on bus in Bangkok, because it is way too challenging even to Thai people themselves. My following suggestions will help you to survive in this city like a boss.
1. Stick to the sky train (BTS)
The sky train, or what Bangkokian usually call BTS is one of the most reliable ways to roam around the city. It will surely help you locating the place easily with its organised map and standard sign posts as well as helping hands from its staff.
If you want a cheap city tour to see the downtown, BTS is a good way to do so. The routes pass a heart of the city like Siam Center or the business district on Silom road. Also, the sky train line has many tourist attractions hidden in each station so my suggestion is to study the BTS map or you can just simply ask the staff at the station: they are more than willing to provide you with useful information.
Ticket prices for BTS goes from 15 THB to 52 THB -according to its official fare list from last June. With BTS you can save lots of time and have less frustration from the traffic. You can also get a One-Day Pass for those who plan to use BTS as a main transport. It is 120 THB with unlimited rides in one day.
All tickets are available at every BTS ticket station. For more information about the BTS pass, check here.
2. Subway, a faster way
It’s standard, it’s fast and yes it’s dull too. Taking subway in Thailand is another recommended means of transportation as it’s convenient and it’s so simple that you can almost close your eyes while walking into the subway station. Obviously there is no view to enjoy along the way, as it’s underground, making it the second easiest way to travel in Bangkok.
It provides almost the same service as BTS does but the subway, or as Thai people refer to it, MRT, is not as convenient as BTS for a couple of reasons. First, its routes are more residential areas passing through some urban stations. Second, it usually requires a transfer to get to the final destination. And it’s a little pity to travel underground if you are first-time visitor, as you probably wanna see more things rather than the darkness and subway tunnels.
Ticket fees are not expensive: prices go from 16 THB to 40 THB. Though it shares the term “train” with the BTS, they use totally different system from each other. While BTS uses pass or card, MRT uses token or coin to activate the gate. Therefore do not expect an all-in-one card for these two transportation, because sadly there is no such a thing.
One-day pass is also available at every MRT station, price is 120 THB. For more information about the pass, visit the official site.
3. Taxi, private and affordable
Most of taxi services in major capital cities are hardly affordable but that is not the case for Thai taxi. It might not be so standard like the first two options above but it’s convenient and more practical as Bangkok transportation system is built on roads. BTS and MRT are partially effective in downtown and business district, but what if you want to travel to some certain destinations which are not on BTS or MRT map? Who can you turn to? Taxi might do a trick for you.
You might find yourself stunning with multi-colour taxis dash in and out from one place to another and probably thought to yourself which colour should you pick and is it going to be the same rate? Well, it is. All taxi service companies share the same service rates. The taxi-meter kicks off from 35 THB and it uses the kilometer and time to measure the fees.
The taxi fare were updated in 2015, being around 20% more expensive than before, but it is still quite affordable.
- Taxi fare calculator. Get an idea of how much will the ride cost.
- Tips to use taxi in Thailand
- 3 apps to grab a taxi
- DLT Check in, an app to report problems with your taxi ride
A friendly advice: try to get the taxi with the meter on. Most of taxis would like you to hire them for whole day so that they don’t have to use the meter. They will come up with many trips and tours but my suggestion is do your homework and rely on yourself – meter is way cheaper and reliable.
4. Airport Rail Link, lack of connections but still faster
I know there are way too many “trains” in Bangkok already but wait… there is more! Airport Rail Link is another transportation that helps you commute faster from one place to another (Basically from the airport).
This train has only 8 stations and it is designed generally to connect commuters and passengers from Suvarnabhumi airport to the city area of Bangkok. So you will probably use this transportation only the first time you arrive and when you have to return to the airport. The Airport Rail Link has two lines: express and city line. It starts from Suvarnabhumi airport and ends at Phaya Thai station which at the last station you can connect to BTS to continue your journey to the city area where most of hotels situate around there. Price for ticket starts from 15 THB to 45 THB.
Again I will have to inform you that these trains are not designed together so that means you should expect that there will be some certain lack of connections and difficulties moving from one type of train to another. Good luck.
5. Fly away!
Okay, this mean of travelling is not really for a journey in Bangkok but it’s also applicable for touring in Thailand. When one decided to visit Thailand, their choices will not strict to only the capital city like Bangkok but tend to be touristic cities around the country and the most effective way to hop from one province to another is absolutely by air.
Many airlines provide domestic service in Thailand ranging from boutique class airline to low-cost airline. Most of domestic services are based from the second airport in Bangkok, “Don Mueang Airport,” and some will operate from the main gateway of Suvarnabhumi Airport, so before booking make sure you got the name of the airport correctly.
All of airlines except Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways are low-cost Airline, which prices of course are cheaper than the two airways but services are varying depending on airlines and promotion on certain route.
My advise regarding flights is do not overspend on your domestic flight. Low-cost Airlines in Thailand offer good prices with nice services, personally I think it’s because Thai hospitality is in our nature, that made the limited services are more than acceptable. You will have snacks, water and smiles from beautiful flight attendants while full service airlines like Thai Airway and Bangkok Airways are more expensive but services on and off board are just terrific especially Bangkok Airways that offer you a lounge with a buffet for every booking.