There are so many different options of getting around in Bangkok. This city is so huge and has so much to offer – getting around the city is easy, from the BTS Skytrain to tuk tuks to taxis, there are plenty of options. This guide gives an overview of each, giving you all the key information you’ll need.
The BTS Skytrain is a cheap, fast and reliable way to travel around the city. For tourists, you can easily hop on and off the BTS to explore Bangkok. With 2 lines and 43 stations, this elevated electric train can take you to all the main areas of the city. You can zoom above Bangkok’s crazy traffic to get to your destination in no time.
The BTS is made up of 2 lines: the Silom Line and the Sukhumvit Line. The Silom Line runs west to south from the National Stadium in Siam to Bang Wa. The Sukhumvit Line runs north to east from Mo Chit to Bearing. These 2 lines meet at Siam Station so you can change lines here.
The lines are also connected to the underground (MTR). The Silom Line meets the MTR at Sala Daeng Station. The Sukhumvit Line meets the MTR at Asok Station.
Paying for your ticket:
The BTS is a very affordable way to travel the city. There are many options that you can choose from to pay for your tickets.
You can buy an individual ticket. Fares start at 15 baht for one stop and reach around 50 baht for longer trips. You can buy these tickets at the ticket machine. Look at the information board next to the machine and find your destination. The number in a circle next to the station is the one-way fare. You then select the fare on the ticket machine and pay. Beware, some of machines only take change but if you need, you can change notes at the booth.
Another option is the BTS Rabbit card. This is similar to an Oyster card for the London Underground where you can load it with money and pay as you go. You can buy them for 100 baht and load them with up to 4,000 baht.
Another option is buying a one-day pass. These are great for tourists who will be hopping on and off the BTS frequently. They cost 120 baht and provide unlimited travel for one day.
You can also get a 30-day pass. These allow you to buy a set number of pre-paid trips which are valid for 30 days. For example, you can buy 15 trips for 375 baht.
Trains are very frequent, so you won’t be waiting longer than 5 minutes for a train. They operate from 5.30/6am until midnight. Beware that the BTS can get very busy around peak times as it is the mode of transport for many workers in Bangkok. At these times, the trains will be incredibly crowded, and you may even have to wait for another train to come. Despite this, it is still one of the quickest ways to get around the city.
The BTS is a great way to travel around Bangkok and see all of its sites. It is very modern and has air conditioning in all of its carriages. Additionally, it is very clean as no food is allowed. Be sure to give it a go on your next visit to Bangkok!
The underground MRT is a fast and convenient way to travel around Bangkok. Made up of 35 stations on 2 lines (blue and purple), it is a great travel option.
The MRT trains run from 6am until midnight and trains arrive every 5-7 minutes. It can get very busy during peak times where carriages will become very crowded. The MRT connects to the BTS Skytrain and to the Airport Rail Link.
The MRT is very affordable. To ride, you need to purchase a plastic token from the machine in the station. The fares vary, for a single journey you can expect to pay between 16 baht to 42 baht and if you change lines it can be up to 70 baht. Although the MTR is cheap and efficient, for tourists, it is not the best. This is because it is not as connected to tourist locations, the BTS is better.
Taxis are the easiest and most comfortable way to travel the city, however, they are not always the quickest. Most taxis are modern and clean, and the drivers are usually friendly. It is very easy to get a taxi in Bangkok as there are so many, finding one won’t be a problem.
Taxis are cheap in Bangkok. When using a meter, the fare starts at 35 baht. If you’re travelling a few kilometres, expect to pay around 50 baht. Fares when travelling within the central area of Bangkok rarely exceed 100 baht. Be aware that freeway tolls are always paid by the passenger – these range in price from 25 to 70 baht. You will also pay a surcharge during traffic jams.
Occasionally, you will come across a driver who may try to scam you. The most common scam to watch out for is ‘no meter’. Never agree to take a taxi that won’t use the meter, it is actually illegal. You will often find drivers like this parked outside hotels and major tourist attractions. It is best to hail a passing taxi.
Another potential scam is that some drivers will claim to have no change when you give them a large note. To avoid this, try to carry change but if not tell the driver you will get out at a nearby shop to change money. Often the driver will give in and ‘find his change’.
Another thing to note is that many of the taxi drivers won’t speak English well so it is best to have the address written in Thai. The easiest way to do this is to type your address into google maps and it should provide the Thai address.
You can also use apps such as Uber and Grab to get a taxi. These operate in Bangkok and can be very convenient.
Tuk-Tuks are a fun way to travel around the city. As a symbol of Bangkok, no trip is complete without at least taking a short trip on one. These days, Tuk-Tuks are more of a novelty and a fun activity to do rather than being a practical way to travel. They are not air conditioned and can be uncomfortable for long periods so it’s better to take a short trip on one.
Fares vary widely and negotiating is key. The driver will usually start by quoting you a very high, inflated price so be sure to haggle the fare down to something more reasonable. For a short trip, expect to pay around 30 baht.
Be careful of scams. Some drivers will offer to take you to special places, shops or on tours. These are usually scams so say ‘no, thank you’ to avoid it.
Tuk-Tuks are one of Bangkok’s most recognisable features and are popular amongst tourists so definitely give it a go. It is best to avoid taking one at peak times (7am-9am and 4pm-7pm) as you will likely get stuck in traffic for a long time. They are great for photography due to their open nature, you can take some great photos of Bangkok. However, they are not convenient so if you’re going on a longer trip, it’s better to take a taxi.
If you’re in a hurry, then the fastest way to travel is by motorbike taxi. These bikes weave in and out of gridlocked traffic to get you to your destination fast. These are an especially good option during rush-hour as most other forms of transport are overcrowded.
Although they are very fast, they can be dangerous. Some drivers may drive onto pavements or into oncoming traffic to get you to your destination quicker. Make sure you wear a helmet as police may fine you if they catch you without one. Also make sure not to sit side-saddle as you could easily fall off if the driver makes a sharp turn. You can also hold onto the bar on the back of the back.
Motorbike taxis are fairly cheap. Fares start at around 10 baht and vary depending on the distance travelled. Make sure to negotiate with the driver to avoid being overcharged and agree the price before you set off. These types of taxi are especially great for solo travellers, less so for groups as you would each have to take one. They are also easy to spot as the drivers wear orange vests. They often wait around street corners or near BTS stations.