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!

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