Bangkok Transportation

Bangkok Transportation: Tips for Easy Travel

The transportation system in Bangkok is a busy one, but knowing these tips will make it easier for backpackers to connect to the city. The list of transportation amenities in Bangkok is endless including the BTS Skytrain and MRT subway, taxis, tuk-tuks to name just a few. In this article, we’re going to give you an overview of how to tour Bangkok without any hassle and be stress-free.

Key Takeaways:

  • Plan your routes in advance for a smooth journey.
  • Use the BTS Skytrain and MRT subway for fast and efficient travel within the city.
  • Consider taking river taxis for a scenic and economical option.
  • Try the local buses for convenient and cheap transportation.
  • Be cautious when using taxis and always insist on using the meter.

Bangkok’s Skytrain: A Fast and Efficient Option

When it comes to Bangkok transportation, the BTS Skytrain is a top choice for navigating the busy city. Offering speed and efficiency, this system covers two main lines: the Sukhumvit Line and the Silom Line. At the heart of the network lies Siam Station, a major hub connecting various parts of the city.

Trains run frequently, with intervals as short as 5-10 minutes, ensuring minimal wait times for passengers. The service operates from around 5:30 a.m. until midnight, allowing for convenient travel throughout the day. Whether you’re a tourist exploring the city or a local on your daily commute, the BTS Skytrain offers a reliable mode of transportation.

When boarding the Skytrain, fares are calculated based on the distance traveled. The system utilizes a ticketing system where passengers purchase tickets from either machines or ticketing windows. It’s important to keep your ticket handy as you will need it to exit the turnstiles at your destination.

For a seamless journey on the BTS Skytrain, here are a few key points to remember:

  • Choose the appropriate line (Sukhumvit or Silom) based on your destination.
  • Check the train schedules to plan your journey accordingly.
  • Purchase tickets from machines or ticketing windows before boarding.
  • Have your ticket ready to exit the turnstiles at your stop.

With its extensive coverage, frequent service, and user-friendly ticketing system, the BTS Skytrain is an excellent choice for getting around Bangkok efficiently. Whether you’re heading to popular shopping areas like Siam Paragon and MBK Center, or exploring the vibrant nightlife of Sukhumvit Road, the Skytrain makes it easy to navigate the city with ease.

Sukhumvit LineSilom Line
Mo Chit (N8)National Stadium (W1)
Asoke (E4)Ratchadamri (S1)
Phrom Phong (E5)Sala Daeng (S2)
Thong Lo (E6)Chong Nonsi (S3)
Ekkamai (E7)Surasak (S5)
On Nut (E9)Chong Nonsi (S3)

Exploring Bangkok with the MRT Subway

The Bangkok MRT subway is a convenient transportation option for navigating the city. With two lines, namely the Blue Line and the Purple Line, the MRT subway provides easy access to various destinations in Bangkok.

Trains on the MRT subway run every 5-10 minutes from 6 a.m. until midnight, ensuring frequent service throughout the day. This makes it a reliable mode of transport for commuters and tourists alike.

When it comes to fares, the MRT subway offers a cost-effective solution. Ticket prices are based on the distance traveled, with fares ranging from 15-50 baht. The system’s ticketing machines accept small denominations of Thai baht and provide RFID tokens for entrance to the platforms. This ensures a seamless and efficient boarding process for passengers.

One of the notable features of the MRT subway is its commitment to accessibility. All MRT stations are equipped with elevators, making it easier for people with disabilities or those carrying heavy luggage to travel comfortably.

To give you a better idea of the MRT subway network, here’s a breakdown of the two lines:

LineStationsMajor Destinations
Blue Line18Chatuchak Market, Hua Lamphong Railway Station
Purple Line16Phahon Yothin, Bang Yai

As you can see, the Bangkok MRT subway provides extensive coverage within the city, making it a convenient option for exploring different areas. Whether you’re planning to visit Chatuchak Market, Hua Lamphong Railway Station, Phahon Yothin, or Bang Yai, the MRT subway will take you there efficiently.

Now that you have a better understanding of the MRT subway, you can confidently include it in your transportation plans when visiting Bangkok. With its reliability, affordability, and accessibility, the MRT subway offers a convenient way to explore the city’s attractions.

Getting Around by River Taxi

Looking for an economical way to travel in Bangkok and avoid traffic? Look no further than Bangkok river taxis operating on the Chao Phraya River. These river taxis offer not only convenient transportation but also scenic journeys along one of Bangkok’s major waterways.

What makes river taxis a great choice is their affordability. With fares as cheap as 30 cents, you can explore the city without breaking the bank. If you plan to use river taxis frequently, consider purchasing an all-day pass for around $3. This pass allows for unlimited rides, providing you with the flexibility to hop on and off at various stops along the river.

To access the river taxis, head to Sathorn Pier, conveniently connected to Saphan Taksin Station of the BTS Skytrain. From there, you can board the river taxis and embark on your journey. However, keep in mind that loading and unloading can be chaotic at first, so be prepared for the hustle and bustle of the river taxi pier.

The river taxis use a colored-flag system to indicate their destinations, making it easier for passengers to identify the right boat. Be sure to pay attention to the flags and choose the boat that corresponds to your desired stop. Once on board, find a seat and enjoy the scenic views as you cruise along the Chao Phraya River.

Advantages of River Taxis:

  • Affordable fares, starting from 30 cents
  • Scenic and enjoyable journeys
  • Convenient access at Sathorn Pier
  • Flexible all-day pass available for purchase

Disadvantages of River Taxis:

  • Chaotic loading and unloading process
  • Potential overcrowding during peak hours

Despite some challenges like crowded piers and busy boats, river taxis provide an authentic and unique way to experience Bangkok. So, if you’re looking to add a touch of adventure to your travel while avoiding the city’s notorious traffic, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Bangkok by river taxi.

Affordable fares, starting from 30 centsChaotic loading and unloading process
Scenic and enjoyable journeysPotential overcrowding during peak hours
Convenient access at Sathorn Pier 
Flexible all-day pass available for purchase 

Navigating Bangkok by Bus

If you’re looking for a convenient and affordable way to explore Bangkok, look no further than the city’s extensive bus network. Bangkok buses provide access to many popular tourist attractions and offer a unique cultural experience along the way. With fares ranging from 6-40 baht, buses are an economical choice for public transportation in Bangkok.

When planning your journey by bus, it’s important to factor in the traffic conditions in Bangkok. The city is known for its congested roads, especially during peak hours. To avoid getting stuck in traffic, consider traveling early in the morning or later in the evening when the roads are less crowded.

One of the interesting aspects of taking buses in Bangkok is the presence of conductors who collect fares and assist passengers. They navigate through the crowded buses, ensuring everyone gets a ticket and helping them find a seat. It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with the friendly conductors.

However, keep in mind that buses in Bangkok can get crowded, particularly during rush hours. Be prepared for the heat and congestion, especially if you’re traveling during peak times. It’s also a good idea to carry a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing to stay cool and comfortable.

Here’s a closer look at some key points about navigating Bangkok’s buses:

  • Cost: Fares range from 6-40 baht, depending on the distance traveled.
  • Ticketing: You can pay the fare directly to the conductor when boarding the bus. Make sure to have smaller denominations of Thai baht to make the transaction easier.
  • Stops: Buses in Bangkok typically make stops at designated bus stops along their routes. Look for the blue and white signs that indicate the bus stop.
  • Routes: Bangkok buses cover a wide range of destinations, including major attractions, shopping malls, and residential areas. Consult the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority website for detailed route information.

To help you navigate the bus system more effectively, here’s a simplified table highlighting the main bus routes to popular tourist destinations in Bangkok:

Bus RouteTourist Destination
15Grand Palace, Wat Pho
47Chatuchak Weekend Market
59MBK Center, Siam Square
53Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew
25Terminal 21, Soi Cowboy

Remember, buses in Bangkok offer an affordable and local way to get around the city, but be prepared for the challenges of navigating through traffic and crowded buses. With a little patience and a sense of adventure, you can discover the many wonders of Bangkok using the city’s public bus transportation system.

Taxis in Bangkok

Taxis are a popular mode of transportation in Bangkok, offering convenience and flexibility for getting around the city. However, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of a few important tips to ensure a smooth and fair experience.

Insist on Using the Meter

When getting into a taxi in Bangkok, always insist that the driver uses the meter. This ensures that you are charged the correct fare based on the distance traveled. Be firm but polite in requesting the use of the meter, as some drivers may try to negotiate a fixed price. Metered taxis provide transparent and fair pricing, giving you confidence in the accuracy of your fare.

Avoid Taxis in Tourist Areas

It’s advisable to avoid hailing taxis in busy tourist areas, such as around major attractions or shopping districts. These areas are often plagued by touts and unscrupulous drivers who may attempt to overcharge unsuspecting tourists. To avoid such situations, consider walking to a nearby street or finding a taxi stand located slightly away from the tourist hotspots.

Choose Metered Taxis for Fair Fares

When selecting a taxi, look for vehicles with a “Taxi-Meter” sign on the roof and a red vacant sign in the front window. These are official metered taxis that operate under regulated guidelines. By choosing a metered taxi, you can be confident that you will be charged fairly and avoid potential disputes over the fare.

Plenty of Taxi Options

In Bangkok, you’ll find taxis queued up at various stations and popular spots throughout the city. This means you’ll have plenty of options to choose from, even during peak travel times. Hailing a taxi from a stand not only provides convenience but also ensures that you are choosing from legitimate and authorized vehicles.

Use Google Maps for Efficient Routes

To ensure your taxi driver takes the most efficient route to your destination, it’s a good idea to follow your journey on a map using apps like Google Maps. This way, you can avoid unnecessary detours or extended travel times, ensuring that you reach your destination quickly and smoothly.

Insist on Using the MeterAlways request that the driver uses the meter to avoid negotiations.
Avoid Taxis in Tourist AreasSteer clear of taxis near tourist attractions to avoid potential scams.
Choose Metered TaxisOpt for taxis with a “Taxi-Meter” sign for fair and regulated pricing.
Plenty of Taxi OptionsFind taxis at stations and designated stands for a reliable choice.
Use Google Maps for Efficient RoutesTrack your journey to ensure the driver takes the most efficient route.

Exploring Bangkok with Tuk-tuks

Tuk-tuks are a quintessential Thailand experience and a fun way to get around Bangkok. These three-wheeled, open-air vehicles are a popular choice among tourists for their unique charm and maneuverability. Operating in the bustling streets of Bangkok, tuk-tuks offer a convenient mode of transportation for short distances.

When it comes to tuk-tuk fares, negotiation is key. Unlike metered taxis, tuk-tuk fares are usually agreed upon before the journey begins. This means you have the opportunity to haggle and find a price that suits both you and the driver. Remember to offer a price you’re comfortable with and be prepared to walk away if you can’t come to an agreement.

It’s important to note that tuk-tuks may not be the most cost-effective option compared to other modes of transport. Additionally, as tuk-tuks are open-air vehicles, they may be less safe than taxis due to the lack of seat belts. Consider using tuk-tuks for shorter distances or when you want to immerse yourself in the authentic Thai experience they offer.

Pros and Cons of Using Tuk-tuks in Bangkok

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using tuk-tuks in Bangkok:

Authentic cultural experienceHigher fares compared to taxis
Ability to navigate through traffic easilyLack of seat belts
Flexible and convenient for short distancesPotential for overcharging by drivers

Tips for Negotiating Tuk-tuk Fares

Here are some tips to help you negotiate tuk-tuk fares in Bangkok:

  • Start by offering a lower price than what the driver initially suggests.
  • Be willing to walk away if the driver does not agree to your desired fare.
  • Keep in mind that fares may vary depending on the time of day, distance, and traffic conditions.
  • Consider using a currency converter app or having small bills to ensure smooth transactions.

By following these tips and being savvy negotiators, you can enjoy the unique experience of exploring Bangkok in a tuk-tuk while staying within your budget.


Navigating Bangkok’s transportation system may seem overwhelming, but with these tips, you can have a smooth journey in the bustling capital of Thailand. Whether you choose to take the BTS Skytrain, MRT subway, river taxis, buses, taxis, or tuk-tuks, it’s important to be prepared. Plan your routes, know the fares, and always negotiate when necessary. By following these tips, you’ll be able to navigate Bangkok’s transportation system with ease and enjoy all the city has to offer.

FAQ about Bangkok Transportation

Is the BTS Skytrain a good option for traveling in Bangkok?

Yes, the BTS Skytrain is an excellent choice for traveling between busy areas in Bangkok. It covers the Sukhumvit Line and Silom Line, with the heart of the network being Siam Station. Trains run every 5-10 minutes, starting from around 5:30 a.m. until midnight. Fares are calculated based on distance and range from 16-59 baht.

How can I purchase tickets for the BTS Skytrain?

You can purchase tickets from machines or ticketing windows. Make sure to have your ticket handy to exit the turnstiles at your destination.

What are the operating hours of the Bangkok MRT subway?

The Bangkok MRT subway runs from 6 a.m. until midnight. Trains run every 5-10 minutes. The system has two lines – the Blue Line and the Purple Line.

How do I pay for the MRT subway?

Fares for the MRT subway are based on distance and range from 15-50 baht. Ticketing machines accept small denominations of Thai baht and provide RFID tokens for entrance to the platforms. All MRT stations have elevators for accessibility.

Are river taxis a good way to travel in Bangkok?

Yes, river taxis are an economical way to travel in Bangkok and avoid traffic. They operate on the Chao Phraya River and offer scenic journeys for as cheap as 30 cents. You can purchase an all-day pass for around .

How do I catch a river taxi?

The nearest BTS Skytrain station to catch a river taxi is Sathorn Pier, connected to Saphan Taksin Station. River taxis use a colored-flag system, and loading and unloading can be chaotic at first, but they are a great way to cover some distance in Bangkok.

Are buses a convenient option for getting around Bangkok?

Yes, buses are a convenient and cheap option for getting around the city. They cover many tourist attractions and have fares ranging from 6-40 baht. However, buses can get stuck in traffic, so it’s important to consider the time of day when planning your journey.

How can I ensure a fair journey in a taxi?

Always insist on using the meter when getting into a taxi and avoid taxis in tourist areas. Some drivers may try to negotiate a fixed price, but it’s best to find a metered taxi for a fair journey. It’s also a good idea to follow your route on Google Maps to ensure the driver takes the most efficient way.

Are tuk-tuks a safe and cost-effective option in Bangkok?

Tuk-tuks are a fun way to get around Bangkok and offer an authentic Thai experience. However, fares are usually negotiated before the journey, so be prepared to haggle. They are not the most cost-effective option and can be less safe due to the lack of seat belts. Use them for shorter distances or to enjoy the experience.