Getting Around in Bangkok
For a safe, convenient, and comfortable ride around the Bangkok area, hop on the BTS Skytrain.This public transit was launched on December 5, 1999, and has been making travel around Bangkok easier ever since. The Skytrain is elevated, so commuters and tourists alike can bypass the heavy traffic in the busy streets.
Subway (MRT) Bangkok Metro
The Mass Rapid Transit, aka MRT, opened in 2004 and now serves more than 240,000 riders daily. It’s an underground subway type of public transit, which serves the area in a large loop from the northernmost station of Bangsue to the end of the line in Hua Lumphong. Travelers can connect with the BTS Skytrain at three of the stations: Silom, Sukhumvit, and Chatuchak Park. One way trip tokens or stored value cards for frequent riders are available.
Airport Rail Link (ARL)
The Airport Rail Like, or ARL, began serving airport goers in 2010. The ARL provides a quick and easy way to get to or from the Suvarnabhumi Airport from Bangkok in under 30 minutes.
The ARL has two lines: a nonstop express that runs hourly and only takes 15 minutes to reach its destination; and the City Line which has stops at Lat Krabang, Ban Thup Chang, Hua Mak, Makkasan, Ratchaprarop, and Phaya Thai. The City Line comes every 15 to 20 minutes. Both lines are available throughout the hours of 6:00 in the morning until midnight.
Riders who want to get to other parts of Bangkok can transfer to both the MRT, at Makkasan Station, and the Skytrain, at Phaya Thai Station.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Suvarnabhumi International Airport is one of the main airports in the Bangkok area, and is about 20 km east of the city. It is home to many international flights as well as limited domestic flights.Travelers can use public transportation or the Bangna – Trat highway to access the airport, depending on where they are coming from.
Don Mueang Airport
Don Mueang Airport is Asia’s oldest operating airport, which opened in 1914. It now serves mostly domestic and charter flights. The airport can be easily reached via public transit, and passengers can travel to the Suvarnabhumi airport with ease when they must transfer. It is a smaller and easier to navigate airport so many frequent flyers prefer to use Don Mueang.
If you are used to using taxis, you’re in luck! Bangkok has many metered taxis to take you from place to place, and all of them have air-conditioning to keep you cool. Veteran travelers know that it is preferable to flag down taxis that are already on the move, rather than to get into a parked taxi which may hike up your fare if they have been running the meter while parked. The red light atop the car means that taxi is empty.
Take a ride down the Chao Phraya River on the Express Boat. This boat transportation provides quick service river transportation between Bangkok all the way to the next northern province, Nonthaburi.
Make sure you know what the different flags indicate.
The express, which goes between Nonthaburi Pier and Wat Rajsingkorn with 34 stops will have NO FLAG. It operates MF between 6:45 and 7:30 in the morning, and again between 4:00 and 4:30 in the afternoon.
Express Boat with Orange Flag:
The express, which goes between Nonthaburi Pier and Wat Rajsingkorn with 18 stops will have an ORANGE FLAG. It operates everyday between 6:00 in the morning and 7:00 in the evening.
Express Boat with Yellow Flag:
The express, which goes between Nonthaburi Pier and Wat Rajsingkorn with 10 stops will have a YELLOW FLAG. It operates MF between 6:15 and 8:20 in the morning, and again between 4:00 and 8:00 in the afternoon/evening.
Express Boat with Green Flag:
The express, which goes between Pakkret Pier and Sathon Pier with 12 stops will have a GREEN FLAG. It operates MF between 6:10 and 8:10 in the morning, and again between 4:05 and 6:05 in the afternoon.
A motorcycle taxi can weave through traffic and get you to your destination. You’ll recognize these taxis because the drivers will wear numbered orange vests. Often you’ll see groups of motorbike taxi on street corners near busy area such as shopping malls and public transportation stations.
Tuk tuks were the popular way to get around the city before modern inventions. These are three- wheeled automobile carts with a driver, also called an autorickshaw. Please Note: many tuk tuk scams have been reported around popular tourist attractions. Like the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free ride.” Remember this if you are approached by a tuk tuk offering a free ride, and be weary of the driver vouching for gem shops, tailors, or other local businesses. If you can, flag down a tuk tuk instead of take an offered ride.