All the means are good to move in Bangkok, where the traffic is very dense. From the fastest to the most economical, from the most practical to the most comfortable, the capital offers a multitude of means of locomotion. It’s up to you to choose yours.
Is it difficult to travel in Thailand?
No, not at all, on the contrary, it is quite easy. Accommodation and food are cheap, transportation is easy and moving from one city to another is not a problem, and many people speak a little English.
What is the first international airport in Thailand?
Suvarnabhumi Airport is Thailand’s first international airport and regional aviation hub. It combines all types of travel and transportation, supporting the development of travel and tourism in the country.
Suvarnabhumi means “Golden Land” and was chosen by King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
This airport was built on a 3,100 hectare site in the Bang Phli district of Samut Ptakan province, about 25 kilometers east of Bangkok. The access road is a 10-lane highway connected to the ring road and the road network. The airport is also connected to the Bangkok-Chonburi (Pattaya) highway. The seaside town of Pattaya is 1.5 hours away.
How far is it from downtown Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi Airport?
Suvarnabhumi Airport is located 24 kilometers east of Bangkok. The drive to the center will take between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions and your destination. The closest tourist area to the airport is Sukhumvit Road. In good weather, it will take you 30-45 minutes to get there. Silom, Sathorn and Siam Square will take 45 minutes to an hour and Khao San Road more than an hour.
Heavy traffic can make these trips much longer, so it’s best to take the highway, which will cost you 25/50 baht, depending on how many counters you pass. This fee is a passenger charge; if you use a cab, the cab driver may pay but ask you to collect your money when you arrive.
The highway is certainly faster at any time of day, but if you arrive at night, it is not usually necessary to go there as traffic will be light even on the main road.
To tell the driver to use the highway, you have to say kuen ton-way or kuen taang duan in Thai, but the driver will certainly use the highway even if you don’t say anything.
Both services are open until midnight.
Do I need an international driver’s license to drive in Thailand?
Yes, if you want to drive in Thailand, you need an international driving license. However, short-stay visitors can legally drive with a valid driver’s license from their own country, if it is recognized by law. An international license is preferable, however.
There are some considerations for tourists when driving a car or motorcycle in Thailand. In Thailand, drivers are required by law to drive on the left side of the road (in Europe, you drive on the right), so the steering wheel is on the right.
Drivers in Thailand are generally well-mannered and polite, at least to some extent. It is very difficult to hear horns honking and anger is never shown. But the traffic in Bangkok is generally hectic and chaotic and calm driving is generally not appreciated here and a more aggressive driving style is the norm.
Thais don’t walk much in the city. Walking through the huge city is not convenient and, on top of that, it is hot. It was therefore necessary to think of a multitude of means, adapted to each one, to move in the megalopolis, where traffic rhymes, daily, with traffic jam. And, in this field, Asians do not lack imagination.
Buses are still an efficient and very economical way to travel (5/10 bts). As long as there are reserved lanes on the main roads, the buses can bypass the traffic. When arriving in Bangkok, it is preferable to have a detailed map of the network. It is vast and served by several companies that offer different comfort (air conditioning or not).
What are the BTS and the MRT?
The aerial metro (BTS)
The BTS is an electric elevated train, a service known as “sky train”, “sky train” or “bi-ti-ess”. By this means, you can easily reach the main streets of central Bangkok. The main attractions near the BTS stations are: MBK, Siam Paragon, Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Victory Monument. Although the BTS does not reach the historic district of Rattanakosin, the train connects to the Chao Phraya River, where you can take boats to visit the Grand Royal Palace and Wat Arun. The BTS is also connected at several points to the MRT.
The MRT, which spans the city, allows you to forget the congestion and pollution of the streets. Little frequented, because relatively expensive (30/40 bts), the two lines of the subway cover only a part of the city.
With several people and at certain times of the day, it is profitable (40/50 bts) to take a cab, only equipped with a meter, “Taxi Meter”. You just have to make sure that the driver has understood your destination. The best is to show him the address written in Thai.
The MRT is an underground train service. Attractions near the MRT stations in Bangkok are as follows: Suan Lum Night Bazar and Boxing Arena, Queen Sirikit Convention Centre, Chatuchak Merate and the Thailand Cultural Centre. The MRT also connects to Hua Lumphong Station, located near Chinatown, which links Bangkok to the rest of Thailand.
If the “typical” and the sound of the two-stroke engine seduce you, dare to take the tuk-tuk, negotiating the price of the race before leaving and being sure of the point of drop-off. If you are in a hurry and daredevil, you will opt for the motorcycle cab. It is very fast and cheap (20/25 bts), but dangerous
Ships, boats and ferries?
Express transport on the river and boats in the canals regularly join different routes that are not subject to the constant traffic of the roads and, in addition, are cheap. Boats on the Chao Phraya River and in the canals are one of the fastest and cheapest means of transportation.
Often cited as one of the best deals in Thailand, the ferry that takes you from the pier near the Oriental Hotel in Nonthaburi, on the outskirts of Bangkok, in an hour and a quarter for only 10 baht, 25 cents per person. Ferries run between Khlong Saen Saep and Bangkok for about the same price.
The ferries run regularly up and down the Chao Phraya River, making about 20 stops. They are generally faster to reach the same destination than by road. For example, a trip from the Grand Royal Palace to the Silom district can easily take more than an hour by cab, depending on traffic, whereas it takes 15 to 20 minutes by river at any time of day.
Since the BTS connects to the river at Saphan Taksin Sathorn, it is convenient to use them together to reach many destinations.
The ferries that cross the river and travel along it are long, fast and white with red stripes. The price of the tickets varies according to the destination but is between 5 and 10 baht. They arrive every 20 minutes, start at 5:30 am and make their last run at 6:00 pm.
A little more complex is the case where it is necessary to take an express boat. At each pier there is a service to cross the river, the cost is 2/3 baht, which leaves almost constantly during the day. When you see these boats approaching the pier, you can hear them whistle, don’t hesitate as they normally wait a few seconds, people who are waiting board as quickly as possible and a slight delay costs you your place on the boat. Tickets can be purchased on the boat or at the pier. The piers have names in Thai and English, so it is easy to know where to get off.