Thoughts And Tips On Transportation In Bangkok

By: Jim Brown

The most efficient and reliable way of reaching your destination is by bus. Buses arrive at set times and can be flagged down at almost place on the side of the road as long as it is on their route. The general cost of bus fare depends on where you are going. The minimal cost on an air conditioned bus is 7 Baht while the cost on non air conditioned buses can be less. Buses are not always known to arrive on time and sometimes don't arrive at all but trust that they are the most reliable source of transportation.

Coming in at a close second best is the ever present taxi. A taxi fare can be debated between you and the driver if your Thai is decent but drivers are not always true to their word. The easiest thing to do is go by the taxi meter and hope that you don't get stuck in a traffic jam.

Taxi meters start at 35 Baht and will not go up until 2 kilometers has been surpassed. The meter rises in increments of 2 Baht and has the option changing the increment so make sure the driver doesn't play around with the radio too often. Be mindful also of the route that you take. Try to get a rough estimate from others on how much the fare should cost before you get in so you don't get taken for a longer ride than necessary. Taxi drivers are not all dishonest and some pink taxis actually sport a sticker on their windows that says "I (heart) Farang" which translates to "I love Foreigners".

If you can't find any other transportation to take you directly to your destination you can take a series of Tuk-Tuk's for 5 Baht a ride regardless of where you get on or off. The front of the Tuk-Tuk consists of the front cab of a low ride pickup and the back half is an empty box with no doors, windows or walls containing a slim bench on all four sides for passengers to sit on and a small space for people to get off.

Space is minimal and most people don't choose this as an option because you are not protected from the pollution on the roads or the weather or puddles. Sometimes, during the rainy season especially, Tuk-Tuk's will pull a piece of plastic around the "walls' to save you from the splashes. Mostly in the rainy season you won't be able to find a Tuk-Tuk, nor will you want to, because the roads become flooded with the heavy rains making transportation next to impossible.

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