Here are the best ways to get around Bangkok:
Boats operate from 6am to 10pm in Bangkok. They can be really convenient when you visit the old part of the city (Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Wat Saket...). The main pier is right next to BTS S6 Saphan Taksin, where you’ll find 5 different types of boats, all bearing different flags (blue, yellow, green and orange). There will be maps to visually help you see which color to choose depending on where you are going, but I think that the orange flag is the best choice. Those boat stop at all the main piers, perfect for tourists. The price can varied between 10 to 40THB, but will most likely be about 15THB. You can be asked to pay before or after boarding, Once you've boarded, there will be a woman asking for your ticket. If you don't have one, just pay the fare and she'll give you one.
BTS is the skytrain. It operates from 6am to midnight. The price depends on where you are going: the further you go, the most expensive it’ll be. There are maps (see below) that indicate the price for each station.
All you have to do is to select the one matching your destination on the machine and pay in coins only. If you don’t have coins, just go to the ticket office and change your bills.
If you are planning on using the BTS a lot, there are several options for you:
- One day pass for 120THB,
- 15 trips pass for 375THB (valid for 30 days)
- 25 trip pass for 575THB (valid for 30 days)
- 40 trip pass for 840THB (valid for 30 days)
- 50 trip pass for 1000THB. (valid for 30 days)
- Rechargeable Rabbit card for 150THB, including 50THB deposit. It is valid for 5 years and you can put up to 4000THB on it.
MRT is the underground. Same system as the BTS, you pay in coins depending on the station you get off. Although, I don’t think there are special passes for this.
Taxis are everywhere in Bangkok. Color doesn’t matter, that just means they belong to different companies, The fare is the same for all of them (see picture) Always ask the driver to put the meter on, if he doesn’t want to, just get off the car and find another taxi. The meter starts at 35THB.
Tuk tuk are another way to get around Bangkok. They are mostly used by tourists. Be sure to read about the tuk tuk scams! Basically, just be careful of drivers offering you a very cheap ride. It usually comes with a scam where the driver will take you to tailor shops or gems shops.
Motorbike taxis are the fastest way to get around Bangkok. A lot of Thais actually ride motorbike taxis. The price varies depending on how far you go, the minimum fare is 10THB. Be sure to negotiate the price with the driver before riding his motorbike, and always wear a safety helmet.
Buses. I haven’t take buses in Bangkok, so I’ll let you read this article which I found really informative.
Airport link. This line allows you to connect from Bangkok BTS N2 Phayathai to Suvarnabumi Airport in 30 minutes for 45THB.
What you need to know before your trip:
- Bangkok as you know is a very well known tourist destination. When there are tourists, there are scams. So if you are planning a trip there, you need to be aware of them. You can easily find the list of scams in Bangkok on the internet as well as youtube videos of people sharing their own stories. But don’t watch too many of them, as it can give you a “bad” first impression of Bangkok without even having started your trip. I personally went to Bangkok 3 times already, two when I was young with my parents and once as a grown up. And I never got scammed. I guess if you are well aware, you won’t have any problem. But please, don’t leave on your trip with the idea that you will get scammed at some point. You just have to be careful, just like you would be on any other trip.
- Remember to keep your belongings with you at all time (passport, money, phone...)
- I would recommend having a crossbody bag instead of a back bag, so you can easily have an eye on it at all time.
- Take some light clothes as it is very hot and humid. But don’t forget to bring some that cover at least your knees and shoulders. Some places are sacred, and you’ll need to wear appropriate clothes to enter. (You can also rent some sarong there)
- There are a lot of places to change your money. The most common ones are the Superrich. They are not that hard to find, I saw a bunch of them at big BTS station like Siam.
- Make sure you have some change with you when you take the taxi, drivers don't necessarily have the change on larger bank notes.
- You can buy a SIM card at the airport, for a very cheap price. We paid 200 THB (around 5 euros) for 7 days, with 1.5GB internet, which was more than enough. We mainly used it for google map.
I hope you found this article useful. Don't hesitate to share with us your own tips, join the community!
If you are planning your own trip to Bangkok, head over to this article, where I share with you my own Bangkok itinerary (with prices, opening hours and directions!) You can download it for free!