I’ll take the opportunity to do a quick list of useful tips for transportation in Bangkok and around Thailand. I took the time to leave the cost of my recent flights to give you an idea of how prices can be very affordable and sometimes very high when you are not flexible.
|2 oct. 2010||Tiger Airways||Singapore – Kuala Lumpur||round-trip||75 USD|
|7 nov. 2010||Tiger Airways||Singapore – Phuket||round-trip||130 USD|
|20 déc. 2010||Air Asia||Singapore – Bangkok||round-trip||400 USD|
|22 avril 2011||Tiger Airways||Singapour – Manila||round-trip||240 USD|
|31 juil. 2011||Tiger Airways||Singapore – Bangkok||one way||72.50 USD|
|14 aout 2011||Jet Star||Siem Reap – Singapore||one way||200 USD|
Reserve your seats by visiting the budget carriers’ websites which fly to your destination. 2 weeks before departure is usually enough to get good rates. If the aircraft begins to be filled the rate of the flight is sky rocking and will not go down. Instead of a rate of around 50 USD you can pay 6 times the price. Limit your luggage as the additional costs drive up the bill quickly. Take two medium-sized bags; one for the overhead compartment and one at your feet or reduce them in one bag.
Do not take taxis directly located at the exit of the arrival of international flights. It’s a tourist trap, the taxis available there are VIP limousine taxis so much more expensive than ordinary taxis. Go on the departures’ floor and take a taxi dropping off passengers for departures. Ask the driver to start the meter, as many conveniently forget to switch it on and charge you a flat rate to their advantage. A normal ride to downtown should cost you between 300 and 500 baht which is between $ 10 and $ 15 USD. (Do not forget to have spare change in Thai baht to pay for the toll booths on highways and your ride.)
– If you arrive on the day you can ask the information booth where you can take the subway.
Forget the jumbo, tuktuk or motorbike taxi’s. They are attractive, but they are noisy, you will have smoke in your face, by all surrounding vehicles, throughout your ride. Although it doesn’t hurt to take it once for the experience, it is expensive and suffocating under the sun. It’s cheaper to take a taxi with aircon if we make sure to take the ride with the meter. Try to reach an official taxi stand, do not stop a taxi on the streets as it will cost you more.
Motorcycle taxis are often used to move quickly, in Bangkok over short distances to avoid traffic congestion of the morning or late afternoon, but also in the provinces. It is quite risky, the Thais use this mean of transport without special protection. Drivers with coloured jersey are certified by the government. A ride costs from 15 to 50 baht (50 cents to 1 USD), but when you’re white you have to negotiate because the price go higher.
Metro and skytrain are well organized, safe and modern but they do not serve the centre city, but its periphery. You will have to walk or take alternative transport to visit the popular streets of downtown. They operate from 6 am to midnight. The trains arrive every 3-10 minutes depending on the crowd. It is air-conditioned. The rates are 10 to 40 baht per person, depending on the distance.
On the klongs (the canals) and the Chao Phraya River. The boat offers the shuttle along the River. A good place to enjoy wind, the landscape and avoiding traffic jams. For 10 baht, the Chao Phraya Express shuttles, ferries and traditional long-tail boat will take you to all tourist attractions focused along its course.
To visit the suburbs and other regions, the train and the bus will be the most economical choice.
Buses from Bangkok are managed by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA ). It is possible to travel by ordinary bus (not conditioning) for about 3.5 baht, air-conditioned bus for 6-24 baht or by minibus (20 baht).
1. VIP Air conditioning which are usually blue buses offer long distance trips. (Between Bangkok and the provinces). There are toilets inside. The VIP Bus has more space between seats than the other bus.
2. The bus standard such as VIP travel great distances. They are orange, less comfortable without air conditioning and cheaper. It’s always an adventure and a great way to meet people.
3. Local buses: travel medium distance like Provinces to district or within the major cities. They are often old and operate only in the day time. Sometimes the bus is full and you have to travel standing.