If you are planning a holiday in the Royal Kingdom of Thailand, you will no doubt be spending some of your time in the capital city and in this short article, we offer some useful information to help you navigate Bangkok.
The Bangkok Mass Transit System is affectionately known as Skytrain and there are many lines that run through Bangkok; a mixture of above and underground sections, you can travel around the city cheaply and quickly. Stations are very frequent and like any other mass-transit system, there are maps and diagrams everywhere, making city travel a breeze. The Red Line runs from Phaya Thai to Suwwannaphum Airport, which many travellers use when they first arrive and when they are about to fly home. You can buy one-day passes, which are great value and an online search will bring up the network lines and stations. If, for example, you are staying in a Sukhumvit Soi 11 hotel in Bangkok, you are right on the doorstep of the BTS.
While Bangkok taxis could be any colour, the green and yellow cabs are driver owned, which many travellers use as a guide. Other cabs are hired in 12-hour shifts by freelance drivers; which is why a driver will sometimes refuse a fare, if they need to return the vehicle. There is a minimum fee of 40 baht when riding in a taxi (just raised from 35 baht) and some taxi drivers prefer to negotiate a fare with a foreigner, rather that running the metre, which is, of course, illegal. If a taxi is vacant, there will be a red light illuminated on the dashboard and you can simply raise your hand to attract a taxi.
This is the quickest way to get from A to B, although riding as pillion in Bangkok is not for the faint-hearted. Motorcycle taxis are more expensive during the rush hour and there are no set prices, you simply negotiate with the rider. You can use apps like Grab to call on local riders who might be in your immediate vicinity; motorcycle riders tend to sit at the start of a road and all you have to do is raise your hand for the next rider on the list to approach you. If you travel solo for business, here is an informative blog.
There are many canals that run through Bangkok and in the past couple of years, these vessels have gone all electric, which offers a quieter experience, with no pollution. This is perfect for the adventurous traveller who likes the unknown, when you can explore the many temples found along the banks of the canals. A Google search will help you find Bangkok canals and their routes, while taking a ride is an experience not to be missed.
Both a/c and non-a/c buses run all over the capital city; it is worth noting that an a/c bus number 8 does not follow the same route as the regular number 8 bus. Most people get the hang of it after a week or so and travelling on Bangkok buses is something not to be missed.
Check out the Tourism Authority of Thailand for detailed tourism information and we hope that you enjoy your visit to the City of Angels.