Public Transport in Bangkok, Getting Around in Bangkok City

Information on public transport in Bangkok and how to get around in Thailand’s Capital City

Getting around in Bangkok, like most cities is relatively easy.  With a comprehensive bus service, underground metro, sky trains and thousands of metered taxis and tuk tuks, you should have no problems getting to your destination.

I wouldn’t recommend driving your own car around the city unless you have local knowledge or a reliable sat-nav, Bangkok covers a vast area and signage is sparse.  Parking in the main centre and around the attractions is also a problem. 
We drove our own car down to Bangkok from Chiang Mai, all went well with the drive until we reached the city and then got lost for 4 hours trying to find our hotel.  

With so many options of public transport in Bangkok, we didn’t use our car again until it was time to head back to Chiang Mai.

The BTS Skytrain (Bangkok Transit System) with just 2 lines and 24 stops, does have a limited network and dosen’t cover the Ratanokosin or Banglamphu areas however, it does cover Sukhumvit, Chatuchak Market, Lumphini park and the night bazaar.  
The skytrain is clean, air conditioned and efficient,  running every few minutes from 6am through to midnight.
The fares for the skytrain range from 15-50 baht per one way trip, depending on the distance travelled.

Skytrain in Bangkok
Skytrain over Bangkok

Bangkok’s underground metro is a good option for getting around the city.  Like the skytrain it doesn’t cover the main areas for tourist attractions, but with just a single line of 16 stops, starting at the Hualamphong over ground train station where the long distance trains from all over Thailand and Malaysia stop and the last stop at Bangsue. 
The metro covers Lumphini Park, Sukhumvit, Thailand Cultural centre, and goes out to Rachadapisek and Lat Phrao areas with a stop right outside the weekend Chatuchak Market.  
Fares for the metro can be anything from 15 to 40 baht depending on the distance and runs until midnight.

Metro in Bangkok Metro in Bangkok
The Underground Metro 

We found the meter taxis in Bangkok to be the most effective  and comfortable way to get around. 
We took the metro train from Lumphini Park to Lat Phrao and the cost was slightly more than if we had taken a taxi door to door as we still ended up having to get a metered taxi to take us from the metro station to the hotel.

The city is saturated with taxis and you never have to wait very long until one comes along.  They start with a base rate of 35 baht and the fare goes up 5 baht with every km travelled.
When a metered taxi is free to take passengers they will have a red light displayed on the bottom of the windscreen.  Make sure that they turn the meter on before you begin the journey as some taxi drivers will try to fix a price with you instead of using the meter.
For an example fare, we went from the Lat Phrao area to the Grand Palace, it took around 35 minutes and cost us 150 baht.  

Meter Taxi in Bangkok
Meter Taxi in Bangkok

Tuk-tuks are a bit of a novelty for tourists and travellers to Thailand. Though apart from that there is little to recommend them for.
The drivers often try to scam you and take you to other destinations than what you request, try to get you to go to jewellery shops from which they will them earn a commission for taking you there, this happens most often in Bangkok.
They are expensive and you have to haggle a lot to get a decent price, but they will never be as cheap as taking a metered taxi.

Tuktuk in Bangkok

Bangkok also has a very comprehensive bus route as well as ferries and canal boats which you can also use to navigate the city.  

Sacha El-Haj 

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