Bangkok’s BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) has two lines servicing the city’s important Sukhumvit and Silom districts. The BTS travels above traffic congestion meaning that journey times through the city are cut to a fraction of the time of journeys by road. The trains run at each station every few minutes and the system is operating from 6:00 until midnight. Fares start at THB 16 to only THB 44 for the furthest journeys. The service also provides shuttle buses free of charge to ferry passengers to destinations close by to the stations.
Bangkok’s subway system, known locally as the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit System) connects passengers to other important destinations in the city. Trains arrive every few minutes and in line with the BTS, the MRT service opens at 6:00 until midnight. Fares start from THB 16 up to a maximum of THB 42. The MRT has 18 stations and connects with Thailand’s long distance rail network at Hualamphong station. It also connects with the BTS at Silom, Sala Daeng, Asoke and Chatuchak stations.
Bangkok has many taxis and you should usually have little difficulty in flagging one down from the street. You should always try to make sure that the taxi uses the meter, except for long distance journeys out of town when the price is often negotiated beforehand. The meter will begin at 35 baht and rises in 2 baht increments. Taxis are hired per taxi and not per passenger and passengers will be expected to pay the toll fees on the expressways themselves.
You will often find Tuk Tuk in the more tourist orientated areas as they are somewhat of a novelty for visitors. Tuk Tuks can be very loud and offer little protection from the elements and from the exhaust on Bangkok’s roads so many people prefer to take a taxi instead. Tuk Tuks don’t have a meter and any fee should be negotiated before you agree to hire one.
Bus routes traverse the whole city and are very cheap to use. Although some of the buses are new and modern, others can be very hot and uncomfortable and you could find yourself stuck in traffic for long periods of time. Those that can afford to generally prefer to use better transportation systems, although a bus is usually just fine for shorter journeys.
Bangkok’s has the large Chao Phraya River running through it as well as a network of canals and both of these provide an additional transportation service. Maps are available that outline routes and piers and the network can help to reduce travel times considerably. Although the boat network is not for the faint-hearted, it can provide for a more scenic journey around the city.