Transport - Public and Private
Bangkok's metropolis has a large public transit system that is fully functional, but at times can seem a little bewildering. Our information below should help de-mystify the many options.
BTS (Elevated Sky Train)
The elevated sky train is a highly popular and extremely easy way to get around the city. More commonly known as the BTS, it snakes through Bangkok on two lines:
The Sukhumvit line that runs from Mo Chit N8 in the North West through to Bearing E14 in the East, and the Silom line that runs from the National Stadium W1 in the center to Wongwian Yai S8 in the South West. The two lines interconnect at Siam. More information can be found at our page explaining the system.
The underground train, or Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, serves 18 stations across Bangkok. It runs underneath Rama IV and Ratchadapisek Roads, and stretches for 22km from Hua Lamphong in the South to Bang Sue in the north. At Phaya Thai N2, it also interconnects with the BTS.
Trains come every five minutes in peak times (7am - 9am, 4pm - 7pm) and every seven minutes at other times. Service hours are approximately 6am – 12am.
Grabbing a taxi is simple in Bangkok, but avoiding the tourist scams is not so straightforward. Like many things in this city, taxi prices should be relatively cheap. They come in all sorts of colours and are considered some of the best value taxis in the world. Go for the metered taxis to ensure you don't get conned. These should start at around 35B for the first 1km. Note that any expressway or toll charges must be paid for by the passenger.
Unique to Bangkok is the motorcycle taxi. These are often found at the entrance to the side streets, or 'soi', that run off a main thoroughfare. The drivers don colourful outfits and whiz through the traffic, halving journey times if you're in a hurry. While this all sounds well and good, some drivers have been known for their somewhat erratic driving at times; don't say you weren't warned! Prices are sometime negotiated between the passenger and the driver, but should cost around 20B for a short trip or up to 100B if you're going across town. Most Soi Motorbikes stations have a pricelist for popular locations within their operating area, though these might be written in Thai.
Great if you want to travel short distances, Tuk Tuks are nifty little vehicles used by locals to get from A to B. Again, be careful not to get ripped off by extortionate tourist prices, making sure to negotiate a suitable price with your driver before you start your journey. If the trip will cost you more than 50B, it may be wise to consider other modes of transport and don't feel you have to take the service if you are not happy with the offered rate.
By far the cheapest way to travel, Bangkok's bus system is extensive and great for longer journeys across the city. While buses may not be overly comfortable, they are a great way to travel alongside the locals and see the 'real' Bangkok. Buses are operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), which operates over 100 routes. Air-conditioned fares normally start at around 10 or 12B and fan-con fares typically begin at 7 or 8B.
Boats are a fantastic way to explore Bangkok's riverside area. There are many different types of boats that operate here, all offering different services. A simple ferry crossing will cost around 2.5B and are availabe from several boat landings. For journeys up and down the river, jump on a water taxi, which tend to be priced from around 6B. The main operator of express boats on the Chao Phraya River is Chao Phraya Express Boat service with 3 different services; Orange Flag, Green Flag and Yellow Flag. All these services stop at Taksin Bridge close to Saphan Taksin S6 BTS station.