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Transportation Bangkok

 

Skytrain (BTS) - The Sky Train is an efficient and convenient way to navigate around the inner city, at a cost low enough to relax and enjoy the ride. It is an elevated train that runs through the main business districts, but doesn’t go ’everywhere’ (i.e taxis and tuk tuk rides are still needed). Train stations are well marked and well tended. Many hotels are just a short walk away from a stop so check your map to see if the sky train is your best option. It may be worth your while buying a B100 ticket that you can charge up by adding more money to it and recharge when you like so as to save queueing for tickets or for change for the machines.

Taxis - Taxis are cheap and fares start at 35 Baht - about 1 USD. Make sure the meter is on and showing 35 baht. All taxis are metered but some drivers will try to negotiate a fixed fare with tourists. This is not allowed and should not be done. In this case leave the taxi immediately and find another one. There are enough taxis available everywhere. At night time, taxis are the most convenient, as the Skytrain and Subway do not operate after midnight. Be aware that you can get stuck in some major traffic jams during morning and evening rush hours, especially on a Friday. The meter runs on a combination of both distance and time, so the BTS or MRT are always a better bet if it covers your destination. Taxis are mainly saloon cars with a large part of the trunk (boot) taken up by a natural gas tank. The colours of the cab indicate which co-op they belong to.

Chao Phrya River Express Boat - In a city teaming with traffic like Bangkok, an even easier way to experience a bit of Bangkok is to hop on the Chao Phrya Express boats that run along the river in both directions. A boat runs every 20 minutes, but in the rush hours they run about every 5 minutes. For 20 baht you could ride the express boat from the "Central Pier" (Ta Sathorn Pier, under the Saphan Takin BTS station) all the way to the end of the line at Nonthaburi, a fascinating journey of about an hour. Its also a fast way to get to the Grand Palace at Ta Chang Pier, and other interesting locations.

Motorcycle Taxi - For shorter distances motorcycle taxis can be found on many street corners. This is helpful especially for accessing the Skytrain or the Subway. Prices normally range between 15 and 40 Baht. However as a foreigner you are 99% likely to be overcharged. Just walk up to the driver, tell him where you want to go. If you want to go to the subway or skytrain use either “BTS” for the Skytrain or “MRT” for the subway. These are the short names that the drivers will understand. The driver is supposed to supply you with a helmet and you are supposed to wear it. If he doesn't and/or you don't, you are turning an already highly dangerous ride into a suicide trip.

Subway (MRT) - The Subway (MRT) is a welcome addition to the Skytrain and gives access to more areas than the Skytrain already does. There are interchange stations at Silom and at Asoke where you have the possibility to change from the subway to the Skytrain and the other way around. Magnetic chips and cards can be bought at the counter or the available machines. Cards can be recharged at the counter with any amount once they are used up.

Tuk Tuk - Your Bangkok trip would be incomplete if you did not ride, just once, in a Tuk Tuk. This is a motorized three wheeler which is seen all over the city. Since it does not have a meter, all the price has to be negotiated. its not recommended to use them as a normal form of transport as for tourists a taxi is cheaper, safer, and has air-conditioning! Be aware that aound the main tourist areas, some Tuk-Tuk drivers are not honest and will lead you into a shopping or other type of scam.

Airport Rail Link (ARL) - The Airport Rail Link (ARL) is a sub-urban train service that takes you directly from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city center (directly to Phaya Thai BTS Skytrain station) and vice versa. There are three services: City Line train, Phaya Thai Express and Makkasan Express.

The City Line trains departs at every 20 minutes and stops at all stations on the way to and from the airport. The total travel time between Phaya Thai terminal station and the airport is approximately 30 minutes. The maximum fare on this local route is 45 baht. Phaya Thai Express is a non-stop service between Phaya Thai station and the airport. Trains depart every 30 minutes and the travel time is 17 minutes. Makkasan Express is another non-stop service between Makkasan City Air Terminal and the airport. The fare for the two express routes is 90 baht each way and 150 baht round trip.

Public Buses
There is a huge network of public buses in the city, but little English language route information is available. Few tourists will opt for local buses when other options are available.


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