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Thailand Transportation

Thailand has an exceptionally well developed transport infrastructure. Apart from the fact that travel here is relatively cheap, it is half the fun when when vacationing in this amazing country. Most tourists, especially those arriving for their first visit, will find the different and colorful transport options quite exiting. Wherever you are while traveling Thailand, you won't have to look for transport. The transport look for you.

Bangkok Transportation
Bangkok Transportation

Schedules for public transport can be relied upon with trains, buses and ferries having a reputation of being on time. In most parts of the country including the islands, getting around is easy and cheap with all the different modes of transport available.

Thailand by Air
Thailand Flights
The new Suvarnabhumi International Airport is Thailand’s main entry point for visitors. Whether you are traveling to hotels in Chiang Mai, to a koh Samui resort or any other major domestic  destinations like, Phuket, Chiang Rai, Chumpon and Trat, you will be able to reach them via domestic airlines like Air Asia, Thai Air or Bangkok Airways.  
Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)
Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)
The Bangkok Mass Transit System, commonly known by its abbreviation as the BTS Skytrain, is an elevated rapid transit system making navigating the city a breeze. Not only does it make getting from point A to B quick by avoiding the traffic, but it is also a much vhpear way of travel.

For quick, easy and cheap transport around Bangkok without having to navigate the traffic, jump on the sky train.

Thailand Buses
Thailand Buses
There are several types of buses available in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pattaya and most other towns and cities in Thailand. They include the ordinary local buses, luxury air conditioned buses, micro buses and mini buses or taxi vans.
Tuk Tuk
Thailand Tuk Tuk

Has there ever been a tourist in Thailand not utilizing the services of the Tuk Tuk.

This three wheeled open air and colorful mode of transport is as thrilling as it isfamous. It is cheap and it is fast and will take you anywhere in the city and on many of the islands.

Again, they are plentiful and you will constantly be offered their services. There is no standard price so prices are always negotiated before you get on.


Taxis in Bangkok, all other cities and towns and also on many islands, are so plentiful it is hard not to see one. Usually these guys will spot you walking and offer their services before you can look for one or flag one down. Taxis are air-conditioned and a fast, effective and economical way to travel.

Thailand Taxi Services
Thailand Taxi Services

At the Airport you will immediately be surrounded by taxi operators offering their services, so bargain for a good deal. Taxis are also the best mode of transport to get into Bangkok from the airport. These days, nearly all taxis have a meter and are well maintained. Each taxi company has their own colour scheme. Yellow/green and red/blue are popular but you will also notice orange and green taxis. All cost the same. Meters start at 35 baht and remain that for 2 km. After that, it costs approximately 5 baht per kilometer. Make sure the driver turn on the meter and do not charge his own inflated prices.

If the taxi driver refuses to turn on the meter, make your intentions to get out known. He will change his mind quickly enough. You can spot other vacant taxis from a distance as they have a red light in the front windscreen. If there are 3 or 4 of you, it may turn out cheaper to go by meter taxi compared to the sky train or Metro, since taxis charge per trip and not per person.

When you get out of a taxi, remember to look when you open the vehicle's door on a street to make sure a motorcycle is not approaching. It is very common for passengers to open a car door and have a motorcycle hit it. This can cause serious injury to the motorcyclist and yourself, as well as considerable property damage. You will be liable for all damages.

It is perfectly legal and normal in Thailand for motorcycles to drive in the spaces between cars, lanes, and on the curb.

Thailand Taxi Services
When waving down a taxi, turn your palm down and wave them in with your fingers.
Always keep your hand down, a few Thai phrases:
  • "ja by ..." (will go to ...)
  • "jawt tee nee" (stop here)
  • "chy" (yes)
  • "my chy" (no)
Be careful not to wave down a taxi too close or in a far away lane, as they have a reputation of cutting across lanes and slamming on the brakes. While in a taxi, say "by cha cha" which means "go slowly" if he is driving to fast.
Motorcycle Taxi
Thailand Motorcycle Taxi

They are fast and the more risky of the transport options. If you are the daredevil type and want to get around the city fast during peak traffic times, this is your choice.

Motorcycle taxis are common forms for public transport in Bangkok and most other cities, towns and villages in Thailand. They are generally used for short trips. In Bangkok, there are motorcycle taxi queues on many streets (Thai "sois"), which are regulated by the city's government.

Licensed motorcycle-taxi operators wear orange vests. In compliance with Thailand's helmet law, many (but not all) carry a spare helmet to offer to passengers. Prices are always negotiated since no fixed fees exist.

Chao Phraya River Express Boat
Bangkok Chao Phraya River Express Boat

The Chao Phraya River Express Boat run between Wat Ratchasingkhon and Nonthaburi province. This is a wonderfully scenic and relaxed way of exploring Bangkok.

Four types of boats, spotted by a flag in different colours, travel on the Chao Praya River. The boats marked by a blue flag stops only at Nonthaburi, Wang Lang and Sathorn piers and charge more or less 22 or 32 baht, depending on the distance.

The express boats, marked by a yellow flag, charge 18 baht for the whole route while the rapid boats, flying an orange flag, charge 13 baht per person. The ordinary boats, without a flag, charge 9, 11 or 13 baht, depending on the distance of the trip.

Chao Phraya River Tourist Boat
Bangkok Chao Phraya River Tourist Boat

This boat’s route starts at Sathorn Pier all the way up the river to Banglamphu Pier. It stops at no less than 10 piers on the journey. From these piers, easy access is available to many major tourist sights and attractions, including the Emerald Buddha, The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Chinatown, Khaosan Road etc.

This boat service is available daily from 09:30 am to 15:00 pm.

Thailand Songthaew or Baht Bus

A songthaew (meaning "two rows" in Thai), also known in English as a baht bus, is a passenger vehicle in Thailand and Laos adapted from a pick-up or a larger truck and used as a share taxi.

It takes its name from the two bench seats fixed along either side of the back of the truck. In some vehicles a third bench is put down the middle of the seating area. Additionally a roof is fitted over the rear of the vehicle to which curtains and plastic sheeting to keep out rain may be attached.

Thailand Scooter Rentals

Though not recommended in cities or other high-traffic areas, Scooters are a cheap, fast, and easy way to get around small villages and beach towns.

At a low cost of approximately 150-250 Baht per day you have your own wheels giving you the independance to tour around beach towns and back roads at your own time and leisure. Always remember to wear a motorcycle helmet and to lift the stand when driving.

Some smaller islands along the Andaman coast have only Scooters. No cars or buses are available. You either have to rent a scooter to get around, or ride a motorcycle taxi for a mere 50-80 Baht depending on your destination.

Thailand Samlors
Samlors (three-wheeled bikes) have been used in Thailand for over 60 years. Though motorcycle taxis are becoming more common for quick trips, there's still nothing like a samlor for carrying a load or riding along in typical, authentic Thai fashion.
Longtail Boats
Thailand Longtail Boats

All along the shores of Thailand and its island the long tail boat is king. They are incredibly versatile, acting as dive boats, fishing boats, ferries, cargo ships, and more. The boats are often more than ten metres (30 feet) long. Why are they called long tails? Though you can't see it from this vantage, long tail boats have a simple propeller at the end of a long drive-shaft connected to an even larger engine, (often removed from a car or truck). The boats are noisy, but great transport to various destinations and again fun and authentic .

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Tel: +66 86 762 0662 | Author: George Conradie