Transportation in Thailand 2024 Guide

Type of transportation in Thailand:

  • Motorbike taxi
  • Bangkok BTS Skytrain
  • Bangkok MRT Subway
  • Taxi
  • Tuktuk
  • Songtheaw
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Airplane
transportation in thailand

Motorbike Taxis

Motorbike taxis are a popular mode of transportation in both the city and more suburban areas, locally known as “Win Motorcycle.” You can easily find them at almost any street corner, especially at soi corners. Alternatively, you can use the “GRAB” app, which offers motorbike transportation along with taxi and personal ride services. This can be particularly useful during peak city traffic times, providing a time-saving option.

Travel Tips:

  • Fares typically range from 20-100 THB for short distances, offering an economical choice.
  • Always wear a helmet; the drivers usually carry spares.

 

Bangkok BTS Skytrain

The BTS Skytrain in Bangkok offers an elevated rail experience that is both affordable and a time-saver for inner-city travel. It extends from the city center, providing a convenient option to navigate through the bustling streets, especially during busy traffic times. This makes it a great choice when you’re in a hurry to reach a dinner reservation or need to travel to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Travel tips:

  • The Skytrain operates from 5:00 AM to midnight, offering an economical and speedy way to get around the city.
  • If you plan to stay in the city for a month or more, consider getting a “Rabbit Card.” This card can save you time as you won’t have to stand in line to purchase tickets every time. To obtain one, you’ll need your passport and an initial amount of money (200 THB) to load onto the card.

 

Bangkok MRT Subway

Also known as the Blueline, the MRT subway complements the Skytrain, covering areas inaccessible via elevated railways. It’s very similar to BTS just underground.

Travel Tips:

  • Operating from 6:00 AM to midnight, the MRT intersects with the Skyline, contributing significantly to traffic alleviation.

Lines and Stops:

  • Blue Line: Starts at Hua Lamphong.
  • Purple Line: Connects outer and central Bangkok, primarily used by locals.

 

Taxis

There are three ways to get a local taxi in Thailand. You pull one over and have them charge you by the meter (which is based on the distance you travel) or you negotiate your prices. When a Taxi driver can tell you are a tourist he will be negotiating with you from the jump. You may also use your “GRAB” app to order a taxi or a private car for your ride just like you can with motorbike rides.

Travel tips:

  • Confirm the presence of a meter before getting on the tuk-tuk to avoid anonymous fare disputes.
  • Keep the taxi helpline number (1164) handy for any unexpected tussles with the driver.

Fare Insights:

Starting at 35 BAHT, taxi fares increment at 5 BAHT per kilometer, with a reduced rate of 2 BAHT per minute in traffic.

 

Tuk Tuks

The tuk-tuk is a small three-wheeled vehicle meant for short trips in cities. It is very popular amongst tourists. It carries about 2-3 passengers. There are more than 35,000 tuk-tuks in Thai cities, especially in Bangkok, and fares usually range from 80-150 Baht. Unlike taxis or bikes with meters, tuk-tuks don’t have that, so it’s important to discuss the fare unless you want to end up paying more than expected.

Travel tips:

  • Tuk-tuks can be pricier than taxis, so check different options and compare fares before choosing a ride.
  • Be cautious of potential scams; some drivers may try to charge extra. Negotiating the fare for a tuk-tuk ride in Thailand is essential. Before getting in, make sure to agree on a fair price since there’s no standard fare for these rides.

 

Songthaews

The Songthaew, which translates to “two rows” in Thai, is a shared taxi truck that is commonly used for short distances. These vehicles have two rows of seats in the back and are a popular mode of transportation in rural areas. They are also a great way to get around cities like Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phuket.

Travel Tips:

  • Press buzzers on the roof to indicate stops, allowing for convenient inter-city travel.
  • While economical, it may not be the fastest option for those in a rush.

 

Bus

Thailand’s bus service has a variety of options, from air-conditioned VIP buses for long trips to non-air-conditioned government buses, creating a well-connected transportation network. To navigate the sometimes confusing routes, it’s recommended to download the “ViaBus” app for scheduling information.

Travel Tips:

  • In Bangkok, you can catch the most affordable bus service starting at just 7 THB, making it a cost-effective choice for short routes compared to taxis and motorbike taxis.

 

Railway Train

Train travel in Thailand may not reach every corner, but it offers a unique and comfortable journey you won’t find elsewhere. Think scenic landscapes, a relaxing pace, and local charm!

Where the Rails Go:

  • East: Follow the coast to Pattaya or head towards Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
  • North: Journey to the vibrant city of Chiang Mai.
  • West: Explore the natural beauty of Nam Tok.
  • South: Travel down to the border with Malaysia.

Starting Point: Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok connects you to all these lines.

Choosing Your Class:

  • 1st Class: Splurge for luxury! Think air-conditioned cabins with double beds, but be prepared for a price tag similar to a budget flight.
  • 2nd Class: Find a balance between comfort and affordability.
  • 3rd Class: The most budget-friendly option, perfect for short distances and soaking up the local atmosphere.

Travel Tips: Trains fill up quickly on weekends, so book tickets in advance for peace of mind.

 

Airplane

Thailand has 6 international and 23 domestic airports, making it a breeze to explore. Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, known as the travel hub, connects you to popular destinations near and far.

Choosing Your Airlines:

  • National Pride: Fly Thai Airways, the national carrier, for popular tourist spots like islands and other regions.
  • Domestic Delight: Bangkok Airlines covers many areas, from Chiang Mai in the north to Phuket in the south, with flights as short as an hour.
  • Budget Traveler: Airlines like Air Asia offer affordable options to Southeast Asia and even Europe.
  •  

Travel Tip:

  • Book in advance, especially during peak season, to secure the best deals.

 

Diverse transport is exciting, but accidents happen, especially on motorbikes. Get peace of mind with Thailand-specific travel insurance covering medical bills and motorbike mishaps. Click the link below to see tailor-made plans for Thailand and enjoy your trip!

Must Have Apps in Thailand

Downloaded these apps on your phone before you go:

  • Google Maps
  • Google Translate
  • Grab
  • Food Panda
  • LINE
  • XE Currency Converter
  • Agoda
  • Air Visual

From navigating the bustling streets of Bangkok to finding the best local eats, these apps will make your trip to Thailand a breeze.

apps in thailand

List of the 8 Essential Apps

google maps

Google Maps

Google Maps is a must-have app for any traveler, and it’s especially useful in Thailand. With its detailed maps and real-time traffic updates, you can easily navigate the busy streets of Bangkok or find your way to a hidden gem in Chiang Mai. The app also offers public transportation options, making it easy to get around without a car. Do keep in mind that Google Maps does not always work accurately in remote areas, so be sure to always be sure to use the street view to have a preview of your destinations and journey.

google translate

Google Translate

While many people in Thailand speak decent English, enough to get the message across, it’s always helpful to have a translation app on hand. Google Translate allows you to translate text, speech, and even images in real-time. It’s a useful tool for communicating with locals and navigating menus and signs written in Thai.

grab

Grab

Grab is the go-to motorbike and car transportation app in Thailand. Similar to Uber, you can use Grab to book a car or motorcycle taxi to get around the city. It’s a convenient and affordable way to travel, and you can even pay with cash if you don’t have a credit card. Grab can also be used as a food app, a lot of the restaurants will be registered with ‘Grab Food’ and you can find it all within the same app. There are just different decisions for “transport” and “food”. Be sure to look out for vouchers available to customers if there is a special promotion or occasion.

food panda

Food Panda

Foodpanda is a popular food and grocery delivery app in Thailand that caters to both locals and tourists. Tourists can use it to easily browse menus from a wide variety of restaurants across the country, from local street food stalls to international chains, without needing to navigate Thai language menus or haggle prices. The app allows for secure online payment and tracks the delivery progress, offering convenience and peace of mind. Also keep in mind the monthly vouchers they give for some discounts and free delivery.

line

LINE

LINE is the most popular messaging app in Thailand. It’s a good idea to set up an account just in case you need to add a Thai friend. You can use it to make calls, send messages, and even make group video calls. Plus, many businesses in Thailand use LINE for customer service, so it’s a good idea to have it downloaded before your trip.

XE App

XE Currency Converter

Thailand’s currency is the Thai Baht, and it can be confusing to convert prices from your home currency. XE Currency Converter makes it easy to convert currencies and stay on top of exchange rates. You can also use it offline, which is helpful if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.

agoda app

Agoda

Agoda is a popular hotel booking app in Thailand, offering a wide range of accommodations at competitive prices. You can filter your search by location, price, and amenities, making it easy to find the perfect place to stay. Plus, you can earn rewards and discounts by booking through the app.

Air visual app

AirVisual

Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches and lush landscapes, but it’s also known for its air pollution. AirVisual is a useful app for monitoring air quality and pollution levels in different areas of Thailand. At times, PM 2.5 can get to levels that are very unhealthy, so be sure to utilize the widget feature on this app and have it on your home screen. It’ll help you plan your outdoor activities and avoid areas with high pollution levels.

With these essential apps, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate Thailand and make the most of your trip. From transportation and translation to food and accommodations, these apps cover all the bases. Make sure to download these must-have apps for a smooth and enjoyable trip to Thailand. Also with any city it’s always important to protect yourself from unforeseen circumstances. So be sure to equip yourself with comprehensive travel insurance.

Travel Insurance with No Excess

In short the ‘excess’ is your portion of the bill  in short. The amount you agree to pay upfront for any approved claim. It’s deducted from your payout, and various types of claims may have different excess amounts.

travel insurance no excess

What is travel insurance excess? 

Imagine travel insurance like a team effort towards unexpected costs on your trip. The “excess” is your share of the bill.. You agree to pay this amount upfront for any claim that gets approved.

  • Excess = your contribution to a claim.
  • It’s usually deducted from your payout.
  • Different types of claims might have different excess amounts.

Can I get travel insurance with no excess? 

The short answer is yes; you can get travel insurance with no excess.

Some insurance companies offer you to purchase an excess waiver for an additional fee. An excess waiver essentially removes the excess from your policy, but it comes at a cost.

Other travel insurance policies offer no excess, like LUMA Asia Pass, you do not have to worry about paying excess and can claim from the first dollar.

no excess travel insurance

What are the different types of travel insurance excess?

Compulsory

A compulsory excess is an amount that is set by the insurance company and cannot be changed. This type of excess is typically found in standard travel insurance policies and is usually a fixed amount, such as $100 or $200.

Voluntary

A voluntary excess is an amount that you choose to add to your policy on top of the compulsory excess. This type of excess can help lower your premium, but it also means you will have to pay more out of pocket if you make a claim.

travel insurance no excess thailand

What are the advantages of Travel Insurance with No Excess

The most significant advantage of travel insurance with no excess is that you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket if you need to make a claim. This can provide peace of mind and save you from unexpected expenses while traveling.

Additionally, no excess travel insurance can be a more cost-effective option for those who plan on making multiple claims. If you have a policy with a $500 excess and make two claims for $1000 each, you will have to pay $1000 out of pocket. With no excess, you would not have to pay anything, making it a more affordable option in the long run.

What are the disadvantages of Travel Insurance with No Excess

The main disadvantage of no excess travel insurance is that it typically comes with a higher premium. As mentioned earlier, insurance companies use excesses to share the risk with policyholders, and by removing the excess, they are taking on more risk, resulting in a higher premium. Additionally, some insurance companies may have stricter eligibility requirements for no excess policies, such as age restrictions or specific destinations. It’s essential to read the policy wording and understand the terms and conditions before purchasing a policy.

So really, it’s down to your preference and your financial tolerance if you need a no excess policy. LUMA Asia Pass is a no excess travel insurance policy.