How to Get Around Bangkok
Bangkok is Thailand's biggest and one of Asia's busiest cities. There is no classical city center and the sites you may want to visit are more or less spread all over the 50 districts. Therefore you have to choose your means of transport by the distance you want to cover or the time you have available.
A private car may be the most comfortable way of moving around, but it will require a bit more planning, whereas a taxi is very easy to get at any time and much cheaper. Taking a tuktuk is a more typical way to explore the city, but you may want to keep this for shorter distances only.
Quick Facts (Getting Around)
- There are numerous ways to explore Bangkok: by private car, by tuktuk, or in a cab.
- Bangkok’s streets are full of cars and motorbikes, and traffic is nothing like in any western city, so pay extra attention.
- Bangkok is considered to be the hottest city of the world, so make sure to carry a bottle of tea or water whenever walking around.
- Be careful when taking a tuktuk, the driver might want to persuade you to go to other places than you want, for some doubtful reasons. Do not get trapped by that.
- Any time you leave your hotel you should grab a few of the hotel’s business cards. If you ever get stuck, you can show the card to a driver and find your way back.
- Always carry a photocopy of your passport with you. The police might want to see your ID at any time.
Private car with guided tour
A private car may offer you the highest comfort, such as air-conditioning, individual itinerary, and destinations you may not reach by public transport at all. Last but not least, you get privacy for yourself and your family. Compared to taxis, prices have become quite competitive.
The driver will pick you up at your hotel, respect your individual demands, get you as close to your destination as possible, and drop you off at your hotel again after completing your excursion. In the unlucky case of leaving some personal belongings behind in the car, the company can be contacted and your possessions will be returned.
When hiring a personal tour guide from Asia Highlights, you can just sit back and enjoy the itinerary we have worked out for you, based on your individual requirements. Your tour guide will handle all arrangements for the private car beforehand and take care of all communication with the driver during the tour.
Be aware, you will be a slave to the traffic in this major city, and other means of transport may be much faster, especially during rush hour. Ask us or your hotel reception for assistance to book a private car.
The Bangkok Skytrain, also known as the BTS, is probably the most advanced and convenient way to move around within the city limits. Travelling about 10 meters above the roads, will give you a different view of the city.
Two lines – the Sukhumvit line and the Silom line – are both connected to the Bangkok subway and the first one to the Airport Rail Link as well.
The BTS will take you to the major hotels in downtown Bangkok, as well as to the popular tourist sites such as Erawan Shrine, Siam Paragon, and the National Stadium.
It’s a good way to experience a typical Bangkok day. Visitors could take the Skytrain to downtown Silom region to shop and have food at night…
The Skytrain has two lines: the Sukhumvit and the Silom route. Trains run daily every 6 minutes from 6.30 am to midnight. Fares are calculated by distance, so refer to the map before buying your ticket from the vendor machine or the counter.
Please note, the vendor machines will accept coins only. The staff at the counter will offer you a day-ticket to move around all day, which might be a good choice if you plan on taking the BTS more than only one time.
The Chao Phraya Express boats serve popular piers on the Chao Phraya River and are a recommended means of transport through the city in north-south direction, independent from street traffic. There are three different lines, marked by different color flags (green, yellow and orange) which will serve certain piers along the river. During rush hour (6.45 - 7.30 and 16.00 - 16.30) additional boats with no flag will serve all piers.
A blue flag line is for tourists and serves all tourist sites, offering a brief introduction about them. A day ticket is available at 150 baht, for an unlimited number of trips during the day.
Fairs are fairly cheap (10-32 baht) and you usually get your ticket on board. Getting on and off the boat might be something you need to get used to. It may be a good idea to first watch the other passengers how to go about it. As the piers are not announced while traveling, it is recommended to take a note of the name of the quai you want to get off, as well as the preceding one.
Sathorn is the central pier, offering interchange with the BTS Skytrain. Additionally, countless ferries are crossing the river at many places, at prices below 10 baht. Be aware of the people offering you a “river-taxi”, these are boats for hire which will cost about 500 baht per hour. If you still want to hire one of these, always negotiate with the captain himself.
You may want to take a two hour night cruise on the Chao Phraya Princess, enjoying the colorful view of the city. Make sure you book the upper deck for an unobstructed view.
Discovering Bangkok on foot is an opportunity to explore the beauty of the city at your own pace, without missing details you might not spot from a taxi or even the sky train. Photographers might prefer this way to frame some extra scenes of daily life along and in-between the classical sights.
You may want to choose a route on one side of the river, so you will not have to cross. There are many tours you can join, that will lead you to some of the most frequented attractions in the city. Make sure you carry enough water or tea with you on your hike, as the city can get really hot during daytime.
The wats and temple tour will lead you through the landmarks on the east side of the river. From Wat Intharawihan via Wat Chanasongkram and Wat Ratchabophit, to Wat Thepthidaram and Wat Mangkon Kamalawat. This three hour tour will take you finally to the Temple of the Golden Buddha, covering nine outstanding tourist attractions in total.
This is just one example of a walking tour. Do not hesitate to contact us for an individual itinerary to cover your places of interest. We'll be happy to develop even a completely new route just for you.
Taxis are available anywhere at any time in Bangkok. They come in different colors; just make sure you take one marked “taxi-meter” on the roof. It is always better to pick one out of traffic by raising your hand. Fares are fairly low, and you should trust the taximeter rather than agreeing a fixed price with the driver, as he will give you a higher rate.
Using the express way, i.e. when going from or to the airport, will cost toll that you will have to pay to the driver additionally. Whenever asked, please tell the driver to use expressways.
The tuktuk, a covered three-wheeler, is the classic means of transport in Bangkok. The price is to be agreed with the driver beforehand and will not be lower than for an air-conditioned taxi, but tuktuks might be quicker in traffic from time to time. Moto-taxis are not for the week at heart; drivers usually do not speak English and you will have to hold on tightly, for their driving is adventurous. This is only recommended when you need to be really fast.
Visit Thailand with Asia Highlights
Feel free to make a choice out of the numerous attractions in Bangkok to compose your personal trip of Bangkok. Asia Highlights will do their utmost to realize your dream trip in one of the most stunning locations of south-east Asia, following all your suggestions and individual requirements. with a tailor-made itinerary you will remember. If you have any questions, please contact us.