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.
GRJ INTERNATIONAL SERVICES
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.
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.
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.
- Distance unit
- Metric (km/h)
- Traffic system
- Left-hand drive
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.
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