Getting around in Bangkok: info, costs and advice

Who I am
Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, located on the banks of the Chao Praya River, is one of the busiest metropolises in the world, has about 6 million inhabitants. It is a city full of charm, with its perfect mix of tradition and innovation, but at first glance it can leave you stranded: the seemingly impenetrable tangle of streets, the chaotic traffic, the frenzy of people. It takes very little to find yourself in the midst of huge traffic jams at any time of day or night, thus wasting a lot of time.

However, getting around Bangkok is surprisingly easy, thanks to his very efficient public transport system which allows to reduce travel times to a minimum, thus avoiding being stuck in traffic. If you have decided to visit this beautiful city, here is everything you need to know about how to get around in Bangkok: info, costs and advice!



Index

  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Bangkok
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By boat along the Chao Phraya River
  6. Taxi
  7. Tuk-Tuk
  8. By car
  9. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

Skytrain and subway they are the fastest and most comfortable means of getting around the city. Modern and with air-conditioned wagons, they offer frequent trips that allow you to reach the major tourist places quickly and without major problems. The costs are good; fares for single trips vary in based on mileage actually route, but they are very convenient pass for 1 or more days.

For short journeys we suggest you try the fun, picturesque tuk-tuk experience three-wheeled taxi used throughout Southeast Asia and almost become its symbol. Given its conformation, it is worth doing a ride along the river and in the khlong features, the canals of Bangkok. Water taxis, boats and longtail boats give the opportunity to see the city from another very suggestive point of view.

Finally, in such large and complex cities, a good solution is the hop-on hop-off tourist bus, which allows you to have an easy first approach to the city by identifying the main points of reference.



  • Recommended solutions and means: skytrain, metro
  • Solutions and means not recommended: cars and buses
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: One-Day Pass (from 140,00 THB / € 4,00), 3-Day Pass (from 230,00 THB / € 6,60)

How to get from the airport to the center of Bangkok

Bangkok's main airport is the Suvarnabhum International (BKK), one of the most important airports in all of Southeast Asia, which has daily flights from all major airlines that have connections with Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. The airport is about 30 km from the center, and is very well connected to the city center: there are several alternatives to choose from that differ in costs, travel time and comfort, but also private transfers are cheap (about € 10,00 ). The airport was built in 2006, replacing the older and smaller Don Muang airport.
The historical and glorious Don Mueang (DMK), is now active mainly for internal routes. It is located 23 kilometers north of the center, and is used only by Air Asia and some low cost airlines.

Suvarnabhum International Airport

From the Suvarnabhum, theAirport Rail Link it is the fastest way. The City Line reaches Phayathai Central Station with 6 intermediate stops and the fares vary according to the length of the journey (30 min, departures every 15 min, active 6: 00-00: 00). Public Taxi you must book by taking the ticket from the automatic ticket machines (taxi queue machine) or from one of the desks at doors 3, 4, 7 and 8 on Level 1 and then queue up on the sidewalk (lane) marked on the slip received. For thebus you have to take the free shuttle that takes you to the bus station and from there take the direct line to the center; the duration of the journey is affected by traffic.



  • Distance from the center: 30 km / travel time: 30-50 min
  • By train: City Line / ticket cost: from 15,00 THB (€ 0,43) to 45,00 THB (€ 1,30)
  • By taxi: average cost 400,00-600,00 THB (€ 11,50- € 17,30) / travel time: 40-50 min
  • By bus: average cost 24,00 THB (€ 0,65) / direct line to the center
  • Private transfer: shared transfer from / to your hotel

Don Muang Airport

If you land at Don Muang know that, among the various means to reach the city, there are no trains; as for the bus, they are in service from 7: 00/7: 30 until midnight, with a frequency of runs every 12/22 min. Finally, if you want to take a taxi, you must book by taking a ticket at the Arrival Hall and wait for your turn.

  • Distance from the center: 23 km / travel time: 45-50 min
  • By taxi: average cost THB 500,00 (€ 13,00) / travel time: 50-60 min
  • By bus: average cost THB 30,00 (less than € 1,00) / lines A1 and A2 Airport Bus
  • Private transfer: One way shared hotel transfer

How to get around on foot

Getting around on foot not the best choice. The city is huge and the various attractions are not concentrated in a real historical center. Other factors to consider are heat, high humidity, traffic pollution and almost non-existent pedestrian paths. All elements that would discourage even the most inveterate walker. To get around the city, the advice is certainly to make the most of the efficient public transport system.

However, some neighborhoods, such as Banglamphu, Chinatown, and Khao San Road are well suited for one pleasant walk. When you move on foot you must have maximum attention when you have to cross the street; if there is the possibility, use one of the numerous pedestrian flyovers, otherwise try to cross by joining a large group of other pedestrians. Remember that the green light is no guarantee of survival!



Con i mezzi pubblici

Besides its sheer size, Bangkok is famous for its traffic. In order not to waste precious time getting stuck in traffic, our advice is to mainly exploit skytrain and subway, the fastest and most comfortable means of getting around the city. Modern, equipped with air-conditioned wagons and with frequent runs, they allow you to explore the city quickly, reaching all the major tourist places without too many problems. Single-ride rates vary based on mileage, but are also available day passes definitely cheaper.

BTS Skytrain

The BTS Skytrain, the elevated subway, is the way safer, more comfortable, more convenient, as well as panoramic for touring Bangkok. It is divided into two lines: the Sukhumvit Line that crosses the city from north to east, starting from Mo Chit to On Nut stops in some areas of tourist interest such as the Chatuchak Weekend Market, the Victory Monument, Siam, Nana, Asok, Phrom Phong and Thong) ; and the Silom Line which crosses the city from west to south from the National Stadium to Wongwian Yai, Thonburi, stopping in major districts such as Siam (central station), Silom, Patpong and Saphan Taksin, where you can take the express ferry ( at the Sathorn pier).

Le rates they start from 15 THB (€ 0,40) for one stop, and increase according to the kilometers traveled. It operates from 6 in the morning until midnight with very frequent runs and works to all intents and purposes like the metro: after having taken the ticket you can go to the platform and wait for your train. Being modern vehicles, they are equipped with air conditioning and self-closing doors, just like the metro. Tickets and passes they can be purchased at the automatic machines or at the counters.

  • Downloadable map: official site
  • from 6:30 am to midnight
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from THB 15,00 (€ 0,40) to THB 52,00 (€ 1,50)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: One-Day Pass (THB 140,00 / € 4,00); 3-Day Pass (THB 230,00 / € 6,60)

MRT Underground

The Bangkok Metro is equipped with two lines: the blue line, an underground line that runs from Bang Sue to Hua Lamphong, where the city's train station is located, and the purple line, an elevated line that was inaugurated in 2016. Like the Skytrain, also in this case the transportation is fast and efficient, with frequent runs throughout the day. It is the vehicle most used by locals and commuters, also thanks to a special "Park & ​​Ride" rate which includes, in addition to the ride, a parking space in one of the car parks in front of the metro station.

I prices for a single ride they vary from 16,00 to 41,00 baht (€ 0,45-1,20) depending on the distance to be covered, but even in this case there are discounted passes, which offer an unlimited number of rides.
Tickets and passes at automatic machines or counters.

  • Downloadable map:
  • from 6:30 am to midnight
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from THB 16,00 (€ 0,45) to THB 41,00 (€ 1,20)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: One-Day Pass (THB 140,00 / € 4,00); 3-Day Pass (THB 230,00 / € 6,60), Monthly Pass (THB 1.400,00 / € 39,80).

By boat along the Chao Phraya River

Since Bangkok is nicknamed The Venice of the East, it is no wonder that rivers and canals make up one very efficient way of communication extremely panoramic. Using boats, water taxis or longtail boats, means discovering a side of Bangkok that is often not very visible.

Any type of boat allows you to move around rather quickly and, above all, enjoy the view that the Chao Praya river offers. There are various companies to choose from; the best known is the Chao Praya Express Boat which includes 5 lines of boats; the blue line is also called tourist boat because the itinerary, designed specifically for tourists, goes to touch the main attractions of the city (Chinatown, Royal Palace, Wat Arun, temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Po, Khao San Road).

  • generally from 9:00 to 20:00, variable according to the company
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from THB 10,00 (€ 0,30) to THB 20,00 (€ 0,60) each way

Taxi

Another easy and convenient way to get around Bangkok is by taxi - most are new and spacious, and it's not difficult to find them in the city. You can stop them directly on the street, but they are usually parked outside major hotels and major tourist attractions. Since the city is very large and the traffic is very intense (crossing the city by car can take up to 2 hours), it is a good idea to combine a taxi with a subway or sky-train.

Before getting on board, ask for confirmation about the use of the taximeter. You must demand it! Just ask: "Taxi meter?" If the taxi driver refuses, don't worry and look for another one. There rate starts from 35,00 THB (€ 1,00) and is valid for the first km. Thereafter, the fare increases by approximately THB 5,00 (€ 0,14) per kilometer. Often the taxi drivers do not speak English and cannot read maps. The ideal is to show him the name or address where you want to go written in thai. Always keep your hotel ticket at hand, it will be useful to return at the end of the day.

  • 24 hours on 24
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 35,00 THB (€ 1,00) first km + 5,00 THB (€ 0,14) every km

Tuk-Tuk

La true institution of Thailand, and more generally in Southeast Asia, are the colorful tuk-tuks, omnipresent in Bangkok. It is a sort of Ape / 3-wheeled motorcycle with 3 seats all behind on a single narrow bench. No glass, sides open to air and exhaust gases.

Obviously it is half more agile and quick than the taxi, but it is equally true that it is more expensive in case of accidents. However, it is mostly used on short routes also because after 10/15 min, the fun leaves room for inconvenience! A tuk-tuk ride is a fun experience which is part of the local folklore. For a short tour, try it at least once! Obviously there is no tariff. To bargain, bargain, bargain!

  • 24 hours on 24
  • Ticket / single ride cost: to be negotiated. Average of 80,00 / 100,00 THB (€ 2,30-2,80)

By car

If you don't know the city very well, forget the idea of ​​car rental. Driving is really very complicated. Sometimes even with maps it is difficult to orient yourself and the trafficas well as intense, it is disordered and "anarchic".

Only after comfortably visiting the capital with the its efficient public transport, rent the car if you intend to make an on the road to other areas of Thailand. And remember that the guide is on the left and that it serves the international driving license.


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