Bangkok: Local Travel Info
The City of Angels
To and From –
The airport is located about 25 km east of downtown Bangkok. Suvarnabhumi is one of the busiest airports in Asia and Bangkok's primary airport for all international airline flights. The airport inherited the airport code BKK from Don Mueang after the older airport ceased commercial flights. A modern motorway connects the airport to Bangkok, and there are also plans to open a rail link to the city centre. There are several bus services running from the airport to the city and a taxi stand in the departures area.
Don Mueang International Airport
Don Mueang International Airport is Bangkok’s second airport. It was closed in 2006 following the opening of Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport. After some problems at Suvarnabhumi, flights resumed at Don Mueang on March 24, 2007. Currently the airport caters for non-connecting domestic flights. Three airlines are now using the airport, which includes Thai Airways, Nok Air, and One-Two-GO Airlines. Don Mueang Airport is now in operation along with Suvarnabhumi Airport. You can find numerous bus services running to the city and several taxis are easy to locate.
Taxis from the airports - The average fare for a taxi ride from Suvarnabhumi airport to central Bangkok is 250-450baht. From Don Mueang International airport to central Bangkok expect to pay 200-300. There is a 50baht surcharge from the departures exit so if you are on a budget head to the taxi’s coming in at the arrivals entrance. The journey will take 30-45 min. depending on traffic.
Additionally, flat-fare limousines are available at the Arrivals Level (2nd floor). Limousine services are provided by AOT. The Thai Royal First service is discontinued.
Buses from the airports- The airports operate numerous airport express bus routes to downtown Bangkok. The buses are air-conditioned with ample luggage space. The fare from Suvarnabhumi airport is 150 baht for the entire route. From Don Mueang airport it is 100 baht. Additionally, many more city bus routes are operated by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA). City buses offer a cheaper alternative of Bt35 flat fare, compared with the airport express bus.
Bangkok by Taxi
Probably the easiest and most convenient way to get around Bangkok is by taxi. Most taxis are new and spacious offering a pleasant ride. Finding a taxi is not a hassle, especially around hotels, shopping malls and other tourist attractions.
Tuk-tuks in Bangkok
Tuk-tuks or 'sam lor' (three-wheeled) used to be everyone's favourite way of getting around Bangkok before the BTS, MRT and colourful taxis took over. Cheap fares are often found if you barter well.
Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)
The Bangkok Transit System (BTS) or Skytrain, is an elevated rail system which crosses the city and connects many of the most popular areas. A cheap, clean, easy and air conditioned way to get around the city.
Bangkok Underground (MRT)
Relatively cheap, fast and efficient, the Mass Rapid Transit network (MRT) has been a welcome and well-used addition to Bangkok's public transport network. The trains run every five minutes in peak times (07:00 - 09:00, 16:00 - 19:00) and every seven minutes at other times from various stations throughout the city.
Boats & Ferries in Bangkok
Boats & ferries are a nice way to get around the famous riverside area. There are many historical attractions to view along the river and you can explore the 'klongs' (canals) for a glimpse of yesteryear Bangkok. There are several kinds of boats (express boats, river taxis and tail-boats) that go up and down the Chao Phraya River for tourists and there are many boats connecting with the local suburbs on the Thonburi side and along the river. The ferries can be used to cross the river at various points.
Buses in Bangkok
The buses in Bangkok are an interesting experience. They provide an incredibly cheap way to travel from one side of the city to another. The signs and bus destinations are all in Thai so it may be a tricky adventure if you are travelling as a non Thai speaking tourist. Very cheap and quite rustic the buses are a great way to see the real Bangkok. You don't often use the same routes if you're travelling by other means of transportation. Although buses give you a ringside seat to the streets of Bangkok and the locals of the city, they're not the most favourite means of getting around. Many bus drivers are obnoxious, there are aggressive bus conductors, bad traffic, pollution and sweaty fellow passengers.
Motorbike Taxis in Bangkok
Motorbike taxis in Bangkok are one of the fastest ways to get around town when you are in a rush. Having to dodge the almost constant gridlock and dart in and out between cars and buses, however, is very dangerous. Motorbike taxis in Bangkok are cheap and a very quick way to get around, especially during rush hours, you just have to be as careful as you can be.
Bangkok By Car
Finding your way around the many one-way traffic systems in Bangkok is hard work, traffic can be mayhem and often road signs in Bangkok are in Thai only. The pace of the city is overwhelming and there are 1000’s of cheap taxi’s, tuk-tuk’s, buses and a great skyline service to get around the city. However, if you decide to rent a car there are a number of car rentals in the airport at the departures lounge. The airport has 5 main access routes. Among these the most convenient route is via the Bangkok Chon Buri Motorway (Highway No. 7). Another main airport entrance is in Samut Prakan province via the expressway from Bang Na to Bang Pakong.
Hitchhiking in Bangkok
With a huge variety of cheap travel solutions and great travel services hitchhiking in Bangkok is not common. If you are on a budget, hitchhiking is a much better idea when outside of Bangkok and it is more welcomed by the locals in the surrounding areas. Note that the wave is preferred to the thumbs-up.