Many people when they come to Bangkok mock the idea of walking around the city. The pollution and heat, along with a wide variety of transportation options, make it look horrible and senseless. But the Thai capital has some good walks to show like the route from the historic Banglampoo, with its many guest houses to the majestic Grand Royal Palace.Car
Bangkok is known for his monstrous traffic jams and with good reason. Traffic is chaotic and bikers are everywhere. Therefore, in the experience of most tourists driving in Bangkok is a nightmare and is highly recommended to use public transport and not try to drive.
To get around Bangkok we have six means of urban transport: bus, skytrain, subway, boat, taxi and tuktuk.
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority offers an extensive network of bus services operating in the city from 05.00 till 23.00. Local buses are the cheapest, but they are, also, the most difficult way of getting anywhere. Rates vary between 6.5 baht (green buses), 7 baht (red buses), 8 baht (blue and white buses), while in the air-conditioned buses (blue and cream or blue and yellow) a ticket costs between 11 and 18 baht depending on travelled distance. The Euro II air-conditioned buses (orange) cost between 13 and 22 baht (again, depending on the distance) and use fuel-efficient engines to try and reduce, although a little late, the pollution in the city. There is also a limited night bus service (cream and red) which runs from 23.00 until 05.00 with rates of 5 baht. You can buy maps with bus routes in hotels and bookshops.
The Skytrain is an elevated train also called BTS. It currently has two lines and is a good option for not suffering the traffic jams in Bangkok.
Those who want a quick way to get around Bangkok should take the subway, this way avoiding the congested streets and on top of that is relatively inexpensive. Although there are not many stops, the Bangkok subway is constantly expanding and the city council of Bangkok has many plans to add several new lines to the rail system. The new Bangkok subway opened in July 2004. For now there is a route that covers parts of the city that are not served by the Skytrain. It starts at the Hualampong Train Station and ends in Bang Sue, in the north of the city. There are 18 stations in total, three of which related to the Skytrain. Trains run from 05.00 till 24.00 with a frequency of 2-4 minutes at peak time and 4-6 minutes in the less busy hours. The cards must be purchased in vending machines. Rates range between 15 and 40 baht depending on the distance that is covered.
The boat is an ideal choice for visiting the sights along the river such as the Grand Royal Palace.Chao Phraya Express Boats
A stroll along the Chao Phraya River should be high on the agenda of every tourist. The cheapest and most popular is the Chao Phraya Express boat, which is, essentially, a water bus that sails up and down the river. The basic service is from Wat Rajsingkorn to northern Nonthaburi, with stops at most of the main Rattanakosin attractions, including the Grand Royal Palace (in Tha Chang) and Wat Pho (in Tha Tien). The price of Chao Phraya Express boats varies between 10 and 34 baht, depending on the distance and the ship. Hours are approximately from 06.00 till 18.00 with a frequency of 20 minutes.Saen Saep Express Boats
Saen Saep Express boats are operating along the Saen Saep canal, one of the few canals that are left in Bangkok. It is mostly used by locals to go to work, but the service is cheap and you get to see the "back" of the neighbourhoods, so to speak. Furthermore, it is immune to the traffic jams in Bangkok. The total distance is 18 kilometre, and the service operates from 5.30 till 20.30.
The taxi is a cheap and comfortable option, being sometimes cheaper than the Skytrain.
There are also motorcycle taxis that are very convenient because they can handle well the traffic jams and reach their destination faster. Motorcycle taxis generally take one or two passengers and generally travel only short distances. Prices vary between 20 and 100 baht depending on the travelled distance. Helmets are compulsory for all passengers and they are provided by the driver. Drivers wear coloured clothing for easy identification and you can find them stationed in the intersections.
Taxi telephone number: 1661
The tuktuks are bikes with a "back" that provide an alternative to taxis and are ideal for short distance journeys.
Trains and the train station
State Railways of Thailand operates four train lines that end in Bangkok. The company offers air-conditioned trains and carriages without air conditioning.
Planes and airports
Bangkok has two airports: Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang International Airport. Both airports are about 30 kilometres from downtown.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)
Don Muang International Airport (DMK)
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