Getting Around in Bangkok, Thailand

Bus

  • Bangkok Mass Transit Authority

    Buses in Bangkok provide an incredibly cheap way to travel from one side of the city to another. It's also a great way to see the real Bangkok you don't often see if you're traveling by other means of transportation. Although buses give you a ringside seat to experience and observe the locals and the city, they're not the most favourite means of getting around.

    Obnoxious drivers, aggressive bus conductors, bad traffic, pollution and sweaty fellow passengers are some of the things you will inevitably encounter. But this is real, hardcore Bangkok.

    Most buses (except for the all-night ones) run from 05:00 to 23:00 daily. Regular buses cost 7 baht (cream-red), and 8 baht (white-blue). Expressway buses costs 8.5 baht. Air-conditioned buses (cream-blue) cost from 9 to 19 baht (depending on the distance travelled). All-night buses (cream-red) are 8 baht. EURO II buses (yellow-orange) cost anything between 12 to 22 baht, depending on the distance travelled. The fare will be collected on the bus by the bus conductor.

    Prepare small change for the fare. A 100-baht note on an air-con bus is acceptable, but not so much on regular or smaller buses (500 and 1,000 baht notes are a big no-no).

    The newest, most efficient, and spacious bus is of the EURO II (yellow-orange). The drivers and conductors are nice and polite and, most importantly, the air-con works!

    Keep the small receipt because sometimes it will be checked.

Taxi

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    Available taxis are the ones with the glowing red vacant sign.

    No need to negotiate the fare as all taxis in Bangkok are now metered (well, sort of anyway). A driver refusing to use a meter is an indication of a suspicious agenda. If he insists on giving you a fixed fare, instead of using the meter, it's best to find another cab. Taxis standing by in front of hotels are usually suspicious.

    Don't be surprised if the driver refuses to take you where you wish to go. There's nothing you can do about it but try your luck with the next taxi.

    Don't expect Bangkok taxi drivers to know the city's every nook and cranny, as a driver qualification exam isn't required. It's always a good idea to carry a map, or the name and the location of where you're heading to written in Thai.

    Before getting out of a taxi, make sure you haven't left any valuables or shopping bags behind.

Train

  • Bangkok MRT

    Fast and efficient, the Mass Rapid Transit network (MRT) serves 18 stations and stretches for 20 km in a horseshoe shape from Hua Lamphong in the South (near Chinatown) to Bang Sue in the north. Trains arrive every 5-7 minutes, and connect to the BTS Skytrain at Sukhumvit and Silom stations.

    Bangkok MRT Route Guide

    The Bangkok MRT underground runs underneath Rama IV and Ratchadapisek Roads, the two thoroughfares that cut through the heart of downtown Bangkok. Although additional lines and extensions are in the pipeline, it currently only comprises the blue line, serving 18 stations from Hua Lamphong to Bang Sue. Trains every five minutes in peak times (07:00 - 09:00, 16:00 - 19:00) and every seven minutes at other times.

  • BTS Skytrain

    This Bangkok BTS Route Guide has been designed to help you discover all the interesting sites and activities surrounding each station so that you can get more out of your BTS-hopping experience through Bangkok.

    There are two BTS lines:

    SILOM LINE runs west to south, between the National Stadium in the Siam shopping area to Wongwian Yai in Thonburi (across the river), while

    SUKHUMVIT LINE runs north to east from Mo Chit to Bearing. The two lines meet at Siam Station, and also interconnect at two points with the underground (MRT) – at Sala Daeng and Asok stations. A new train arrives every 3 - 6 minutes or so between 06:30 and midnight.

    The last train leaves between 23:30 and 23:50. Fares start at 15 baht for one stop

    Note : that trains can get pretty full during peak hours (07:00 - 09:00 and 16:00 - 19:00), as the BTS has also become the choice mode of transport for people living and working in Bangkok.

Car Rental

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    Renting a car just to drive around Bangkok is not a good idea. Parking is impossible, traffic is frustrating, road rules can be mysterious and the alternative – taxis – are cheap and ubiquitous. But if you still want to give it a go, all the big car-hire companies have offices in Bangkok and at Suvarnabhumi airport. Rates start at around 1500B per day for a small car. An International Driving Permit and passport are required for all rentals. Most can also provide drivers (600B per day, 8am to 6pm), which gives local drivers a job and means you don’t have to navigate, park or deal with overzealous police.

    Car Rental in Thailand - AVIS RENT A CAR THAILAND has the service locations in all business areas and resort area such as Bangkok , Pattaya , Huahin , Phuket , Chiang Mai , Chiang Rai , Samui , Krabi , Hat Yai , Khongane , Udonratchatani , and AVIS Rent a car Thailand also has the car rental service in varies style of rental. Avis Rent a car Thailand has Daily Self - Drive for people who want to rent a car by day for travel and business purpose , Weekly Self - Drive for people who want to rent a car by day for travel and business purpose , monthly Self - Drive for people who want to rent a car by day for travel and business purpose , Yearly Self - Drive for people who want to rent a car by day for travel and business purpose. Limousine Service base on Hourly Rate, Daily Rate and Weekly Rate , Long-term rental for renter who do not want to take the risk on the insurance expense , Repair and maintenance expense , Car Replacement , and Legal Agreement and all legal binding that Car Owner need to agree under all legal condition of the Thailand Law that relate to financial law , Criminal law and Car Rental law. So Car Rental in Thailand - AVIS RENT A CAR THAILAND is one of the good choices that can help Car Rental Customer to save the money and save the time.

  • Budget

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    Budget Rent a Car is renowned for meticulously maintained vehicles and quality service. We offer a wide range of cars, 4WDs , SUV, MPV, trucks and mini vans which will suit all of your rental needs.Our car hire fleet is constantly being updated to ensure you enjoy the best in comfort and safety. Driving is one of the best ways to see the sights of Thailand, and Budget offers customers the convenience of largest car rental network, having over 24 car hire locations Thailand wide so you are never far from a pick up point or friendly service.When you rent a car from Budget Thailand you can also earn valuable rewards points & miles as well as a program participant with our international airline partners.Budget always offer customers a great rate and special deals to ensure you Drive your Baht Further. In fact, Budget’s best cheap car hire rates and offers are available online. So start saving now and click on the Special Offers tab to pick up a bargain today.

Driving

Distance unit
Metric (km/h)
Traffic system
Left-hand drive

Traffic Patterns

Anyone who has been living in Thailand for only a brief spell will know that the traffic in Bangkok is world famous for it's congestion. The heat, humidity and sweltering tropical temperatures can be a real test on the senses. It's a place were a majority of the vehicles in Thailand are registered and driven. During rush-hour the traffic jams (rot tit) stretch as far as the eye can see. The smog and traffic fumes will leave an unmasked rider sick / quesy within minutes. Asbestos lined brake pads are still used in Asia, further adding to the thick fumes. Only with a decent mask can you bike it and cut around with the daredevil taxi bikers in Bangkok. Even then you might start to feel the traffic fumes start to hit you hard after an hour or two.

The traffic lights tend to be spaced out well but can take up to 5 minutes to go from red to green. During this time whole phalanxes of bikers will line up ahead of the cars, buses and trucks while the traffic keeps on jamming up. The Bangkok police will direct traffic where they can, with most donning protective masks from the fumes they'll buzz out onto the street during the busy times to attempt to keep order amid the chaos. It's a thankless task made more tough by the blazing sun and humidity that blasts off every bright surface.


Safety

Driving in cities like Bangkok can be nerve racking for the most experienced of drivers. It takes time getting used to it. One thing you should know is that it is every man for himself on the road. That includes pedestrians. Don’t stop at pedestrian crossings because the car behind you won’t expect you to do that. He will probably just overtake you and then as you are blocking his view of the pedestrian, he will probably run them down. The same goes for lights that are changing to red. Think twice before you prepare to stop for a red light. The car behind you is probably speeding up and won’t realize that you are going to stop. I have had several cars nearly hit me from behind even when I slowed down gradually. Their eyes were on the lights and not me. Then again, you need to be aware that the people going the other way will be watching your lights turning red and not for their lights going to green. You will find that they often start coming before they get a green light. Motorcycles are the worst. They often don’t take any notice of red lights and you will also find that they drive down the road on the wrong way facing oncoming traffic.

Thailand is not a lawless country. There are policemen. However, in places like Bangkok you will only see them in their air-conditioned police boxes at major intersections. These guys ride motorcycles and so you won’t see any police chases in the city. For most of the time, they set up road blocks just for motorcycles. They check to see if they have licenses, registration and are wearing helmets. But, they also stop motorists for traffic violations. Though not as often as I would like. Many drivers are very dangerous. Like changing lanes without signaling or going into the left lane to do an illegal u-turn. Bangkok has some roads where only buses are allowed to go

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