Bangkok Transportation

Bangkok Transportation: How to Get Around in Bangkok’s Traffic

The Bangkok transportation system will probably look like one big chaos to any first time visitor. TomTom, producer of navigational products, voted the traffic situation in Bangkok to be the second worst in the world. Not too surprising for a city with over 10 million inhabitants and more than 7 million registered vehicles. A prepared person is much better equipped to deal with the Bangkok transportation system. That’s why I’ve collected all of the information you need, to get around in the crazy Bangkok traffic.

The Bangkok transportation system includes almost every type of transport you can think of, with maybe the exception of an elephant’s ride. All of the major roads are completely covered with cars all day. Even at night, it’s not uncommon to get totally stuck in traffic.

It pays off to be familiar with all of the different travel options that are available to you and to travel smart. You don’t want to see your valuable holiday time dwindle away, standing still in a beat down taxi behind an ugly truck. You want to be visiting Bangkok’s temples and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants.

Bangkok Transportation
Skip ahead to:

 

SkyTrain
Metro
Taxi
Tuk Tuk
Motorbike Taxi
Bus
BRT
VIP Bus
Minivan
Boat
Train
Airport Rail Link
Plane

 

 

SkyTrain (BTS)

The SkyTrain is very popular with tourists as well as with the local Thai people. Bangkok’s appearance has changed tremendously since the introduction of this train line, built on concrete pillars in 1998. While everyone on the main road is waiting in traffic the SkyTrain is just whizzing by, a couple of meters higher.

More than 700,000 passengers per day are enjoying the SkyTrain. Right now there are 2 SkyTrain lines (Sukhmvit Line and Silom Line), connected to each other at station Siam. The Sukhumvit Line is passing over the lower part of the very crowded Sukhumvit Road. The Silom Line comes in from Northern Bangkok and ends past the Chao Phraya River.

SkyTrain BTS Map Bangkok

Map of the SkyTrain route. Cyan = Silom Line and Green = Sukhumvit Line

 

The SkyTrain operates from 6.30 until 23.30. Stations at the beginning of the line will close a few minutes earlier than the ones at the end. Peak hours are from about 07.00 – 09.00 and 16.00 – 19.00. Don’t expect to find an available seat if you’re boarding at one of the popular stations during these times.

Tickets for the SkyTrain can be bought at the station and range in price from 15 to 52 Baht. To check out the exact price for your planned trip, you can use the interactive SkyTrain map.

Bangkok Skytrain

If you’re planning to use the SkyTrain regularly, the Rabbit Card is a recommendable option. This card costs 300 Baht and holds 100 Baht of travelling credit. You’ll get 50 Baht back after returning the card. Once you have your card charged with some money, you can comfortably bypass the large queues of people buying a ticket at the station.

In case you want to use the SkyTrain several times a day, you could go for the one day pass. This costs 120 Baht and gives unlimited access for the whole day. If you really want to SkyTrain it up for a whole month, you can save some money with the 30 day pass.

 

Metro (MRT)

There are 2 metro lines in Bangkok, covering a large part of the central area of the city. The first metro line was completed in 2001 while the second line was finished in August of 2016. The lines are connected to each other at their respective ends/beginnings.

There are 35 stations along the metro’s route, with a total length track of 43 kilometers. An average 240.000 people use the metro everyday.

Bangkok Metro MapRoute of the blue and purple metro lines

 

A metro train will usually arrive at the station every 5 minutes. During the rush hour, you might have to let 2 or 3 trains pass before you can get in. Even during these crowded hours it’s still one of the fastest ways to get around Bangkok, avoiding the traffic jams. Waiting for a train never takes long.

Bangkok Metro

Tickets can be bought at the ticket machines or the counter. A metro card can be bought for 180 Baht at the Ticket Office. This gives you 100 Baht in travel credit with the option of charging it with any preferred amount. With this card, you won’t have to stand at the ticket lines anymore, which can get boring really fast. A one day pass for the metro costs 120 Baht and a 30 day pass 1,400 Baht.

Fares for a single ticket range from 19 Baht for one station to 42 Baht for 12 stations or more. Exact fares can be calculated on the Bangkokmetro website. The metro operates daily from 06.00 until midnight

 

Taxi

The taxi is one of the most comfortable Bangkok transportation methods. You can always hail one on the street wherever you are to go wherever you want to go. It’s a bit more expensive than the SkyTrain or metro but still a cheap option, especially when compared to Western prices. The downside is that you’ll probably be in a few traffic jams before reaching your destination.

There are over 150,000 taxi’s riding around Bangkok on any given day. Most of the taxi’s are quite new Toyota cars, equipped with air-conditioning.

Ordering a taxi can be done by just stopping them on the street, making a reservation over the phone or by using one of the taxi apps like Uber or GrabTaxi. Uber is mostly used for private cars and Uber is better if you want to reserve a regular taxi from a company.

A taxi that’s looking for a customer has its red vacancy light switched on, next to the steering wheel. Flagging a taxi that doesn’t have this light on will be a pretty useless operation.

CIMG4912
This taxi is ready to be hailed

 

Taxi’s parked in front of a hotel or standing still around tourist spots are to be avoided. The best chance of finding a reliable taxi driver is by stopping vacant taxi’s that are driving around on the streets.

One of the big problems with taxi’s in Bangkok is that drivers will often refuse to put the meter on. Instead, they want to negotiate a price with you. This price will always be higher than the meter price so it’s best to look for a new taxi if this happens. I’ve had to pass up on about 10 taxi’s one day, before finally finding a driver willing to put on the meter. You can ask for the meter in Thai by saying: chai meter dai mai? Just saying ‘meter’ will usually do the trick also.

Telling the driver where you want to go can be difficult if using the English language. Even requesting to drive to a famous tourist destination like Khao San Road can leave the driver confused because the English pronunciation is very different from the Thai. The best way to deal with this is to have a Thai person write the address down or by showing the address on your phone with an app like Google Maps.

Taxi Bangkok

Taxi meters will start at 35 Baht and go up 2 Baht, every 400 meters. A 10 kilometer taxi ride will cost about 80 Baht and 30 kilometers will cost about 200 Baht. At a speed lower than 6 km/h it will go up 2 Baht per minute. If you’re in a taxi with a meter that’s much quicker than this, you’re probably getting scammed. Pay the fare, get out and find a new one. This doesn’t happen very often, luckily enough.

Although sign language can go a long way, it might be useful to know a few Thai phrases during a taxi ride. Turn left is leow sai in Thai and leow kwaa means turn right.

The taxi driver might ask if you want to use the highway or not. This is a faster option but requires you to pay the toll. This usually costs somewhere around 35 Baht, which has to be paid right away. Taking a taxi from the airport at the taxi stand will add an additional 50 Baht to the total fee. You can avoid this by going to the taxi drop off spot at departures and getting a taxi there.

If you feel scammed by a taxi driver or you’re in need of assistance, you can call Bangkok’s tourist police at the number 1155. It’s always a good idea to write down the ID number of the taxi. It can be found on the yellow card on the passenger doors. In case you leave some of your valuables behind in the taxi, you can contact the call center for lost items at 1644.

 

Tuk Tuk

A trip to Bangkok is not complete without a trip in a tuk tuk. Most tuk tuks will be used by either tourists or vendors who need to carry a lot of stuff with them. It’s not a very recommendable form of transport because they are more expensive than a regular taxi and you’re out in the open, inhaling the polluted air.

Because tuk tuks don’t have a meter, the driver will negotiate a price with you beforehand. This is either a price higher than what you would pay in a regular taxi or an insanely low price. It’s a misconception that tuk tuks are cheaper than regular taxi’s.

In case you’re charged an insanely low price, you’ll be taken somewhere that will earn them a commission. They might offer to take you on a tour where you’ll visit 3 temples for just 20 Baht but quickly find yourself inside a shady tailor shop or back alley diamond store before you can figure out what’s going on.

CIMG4909

Although the custom tailor shops actually have great deals, it’s probably not where you want to be spending your time at during your trip. The diamond stores can really ruin your visit to Bangkok. They’ll try to sell you overprices diamonds, claiming that you can sell them in your home country for a big profit. A lot of people have lost hundreds of dollars on this scam, run by Thai maffia.

Especially the tuk tuks that are waiting outside of the popular tourist hotspots have a high probability of taking you to shady places. It can be a fun experience riding a tuk tuk but it’s best not to rely on them too much.

Tuk Tuk Bangkok

 

Motorbike Taxi

Motorbike taxi’s are a perfect way to beat traffic jams. The motorbike drivers will always find a way to squeeze themselves through stationary traffic. It’s one of the cheapest and fastest ways to travel short distances in Bangkok.

Motorbike taxi’s in Bangkok can be found at a lot of intersections, stations and crowded places. They are wearing bright orange vests which make them easy to spot. You can fetch a motorbike ride by going to one of the motorbike taxi starting points, not by flagging them down on the streets like you would do with a normal taxi. They are perfect to get from a SkyTrain or metro station to your hotel, or the other way around.

CIMG4916

Many of the drivers seem to be quite reckless and it’s not uncommon to see them drinking liquor on the job. Travelling with these guys is not for the fainthearted. They won’t think twice about going against the traffic, or driving on the sidewalk to get you to your destination in the fastest way possible. Keep your elbows and knees tucked in at all times because there’s usually not a lot of margin on both sides.

Especially on longer rides, it’s a smart idea to wear a helmet. Bangkok is notorious for its dangerous roads and you’re very vulnerable on the back of a motorbike. Helmets are sometimes provided by the driver but this is not always the case. You can be fined by Thai police for not wearing a helmet, which could cost you 500 Baht or more.

CIMG4941

The motorbike fares are fixed and are displayed on a board at the taxi starting point. This is usually in Thai so you might be charged a bit more as a foreigner. It’s good to negotiate beforehand but most of the drivers are honest anyway and won’t overcharge. The fares start at 10 Baht and shouldn’t go over 25 Baht for a ride that’s shorter than 2 kilometers. After that it will go up 5 to 10 Baht for every extra kilometer. The fare for a ride of more than 15 kilometer should be negotiated

.

Bus

The bus is definitely not the most convenient way of getting around in Bangkok. Most of the buses are very old, they are usually stuck in traffic jams and many of them don’t have air-conditioning. However, if you want to experience a more authentic way of traveling in Bangkok that many tourists skip out on, the bus is perfect for you.

Going to a bus stop randomly without checking which bus you should take, is a recipe for disaster. There’s not a lot of information about the bus routes at the stops and most of it is in Thai. Better be prepared.

CIMG4942

A list of all bus lines and their stops is available on the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority website. To quickly check which bus line gets you where you want to go, use the route planner on TransitBangkok.com.

Getting aboard the bus needs some assertiveness. The bus will just drive by if you don’t show intention of getting on it. Most Thai people will run like crazy once they see their bus arriving. The doors will open while the bus is still driving and sometimes, the bus doesn’t even come to a complete stop to pick up passengers. When you want to get off the bus just press the stop button or wait at the doors.

CIMG4918

Tickets can be bought inside the bus. Just sit down until the bus staff asks you where you want to go. They might not understand your English very well so it’s better to show them the address in Thai writing or on an app like Google Maps.

The fares on the red and white-blue buses are less than 15 Baht, no matter where you go. These buses don’t have air-conditioning and are famous for their wooden floors. The cream-blue buses do have air-conditioning and cost less than 20 Baht for all rides. Then there are also the cream-red buses, which operate 24 hours a day. These will cost you 8 Baht for a ride. The yellow-orange buses cost 12 to 22 Baht. All buses operate from 05.00 until 23.00 every weekday, with the exception of the 24 hour buses.

Bus In Bangkok
The red buses with wooden floor don’t have air-conditioning

 

You’re advised to bring coins or small paper money on the bus because they might not be able to give you change for your 1,000 or 500 Baht bill. It’s common courtesy to give up your seat to older people or monks. You can contact the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority at 184, if you have any questions. They have English speakers operating the phone.

 

BRT

A more luxurious bus system is that of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT). One of the biggest advantages of these buses is that they have their own bus lane, making them immune for the traffic jams. The buses and most of the waiting rooms at the stops, have air conditioning. There’s currently 1 operating BRT line in Bangkok with a total of 12 stops.

The BRT line is operating since 2010. An additional 4 BRT lines were planned but were never completed. It’s not very likely that these will be complete anytime soon.

The BRT line starts at Sathorn and is connected to the Chong Nonsi SkyTrain with a walk bridge. Total length of its route is 16.5 kilometers. From Sathorn the BRT travels to Akan Songkor, Yen Akart, Thanon Chan, Nanaram 3, Wat Dan, Wat Pariwat, Wat Dokmai, Saphan Rama 9, Charoenrat, Saphan Rama 3 and finally Ratchapruek.

BRT Bangkok Map

By Globe-trotter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The yellow green line reflects the BRT route

 

If you’ve already been on the SkyTrain before, the BRT ticketing system will look very familiar. Tickets cost 5 to 10 Baht, depending on the distance. Travelling in 1 zone costs 5 Baht and travelling to a destination in zone 2 costs 10 Baht. Zone 1 is from Sathorn to Wat Dan and zone 2 from Wat Dan to Ratchapruek.

There’s a new bus arriving every 5 minutes during peak hours and every 10 minutes outside of peak hours. Peak hours are from 06.30 until 09.30 and from 16.00 until 20.00.

 

VIP bus

There are a lot of first class buses going from Bangkok to a variety of destinations around Thailand. The most popular destinations are Koh Chang, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui but it’s definitely not limited to just those. First class bus trips are offered by a lot of companies but the bus lines provided by the government are the cheaper and more reliable option, obviously.

One of the worst ways to book a first class bus trip is by going to one of the agencies around Khao San Road. The quality of these trips are usually a lot lower than what you’ll get by buying a ticket at one of the bus terminals. Some tourists have even reported being robbed of their belongings during one of the stops along the way.

The VIP bus lines that are run by privately owned companies, depart from many different points throughout Bangkok. The VIP buses that are run by the government depart from 3 stations in Bangkok. These are Mo Chit (Northeastern bus terminal), Sai Tai (Southern station) and Ekkamai (Eastern station).

Mo Chit is the largest of the bus stations with VIP buses going to Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Chonburi, Udon Thani, Khonkaen and Nong Khai. This station is very close to the Chatuchak weekend market, about 2 kilometers away from the Mo Chit BTS station and Chatuchak Park metro station.

Sai Tai is a small bus station that’s located a bit on the outside of Bangkok. Buses from here go to Krabi, Phuket, Koh Samui, Trang, Surat Thani and a few other destinations.

The Ekkamai Bus Terminal is very centrally located on Sukhumvit Road, right next to the Ekkamai BTS Station. It has bus connections to most of Thailand’s islands and to Pattaya, Chonburi and Rayong.

A complete overview of all VIP bus departure times is listed 1stopbangkok.com. Tickets can be bought at the bus stations from 08.00 until 16.00, up to 2 months in advance. The VIP buses will have air-conditioning and toilets on board and include a free blanket. Trips that take longer than 5 hours will usually stop at a restaurant or you’ll be given a free meal.

The VIP buses have recently been complemented with a new line going from Mo Chit to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

 

Minivan

The Victory Monument in Bangkok used to be the go-to place to catch a minivan going to a nearby town. It’s a very popular way to get to destinations that are within a 300 kilometer range from Bangkok. Some of the most travelled to destinations by minivan are Pattaya, Hua Hin and Ayutthaya but it’s definitely not just limited to those. Minivan fares will generally not exceed 200 Baht.

Minivans are a great choice for locals, tourists and expats because of the cheap prices and high travel speed. It can be quite cramped inside the minivans so it’s not the best way to get around with a lot of luggage.

The Victory Monument’s roundabout has always been notorious for its relentless traffic jams. This is why the government has recently decided that minivans can’t continue to leave from there. It’s the government’s opinion that minivans are one of the main bottlenecks of the Bangkok transportation system. The departure points of the minivans are now moved to 3 other locations, more distant from the center.

CIMG4922

A free shuttle bus service is now in place take stranded passengers from Victory Monument to the bus station of their choice.

Mo Chit Bus Terminal is where the minivans going to Northern and Northeastern destinations will leave from. Although it has the same name as the SkyTrain station, they are not directly connected. The easiest way to get there is by taking a taxi from the Mo Chit SkyTrain station.

The minivans travelling in the direction of Eastern Thailand are now departing from Ekkamai Bus Terminal. This terminal is right next to Ekkamai’s SkyTrain station.

Minivans travelling towards Southern and Western Thailand are now departing from the bus station at Sai Tai.

 

Boat

Bangkok is intersected by the Chao Phraya river and there are also lots of canals. Some of these canals have their own boat lines. There are a lot of options to travel along the Chao Phraya river too. Most of the boat trips will cost you less than 40 Baht, giving you a cheap and adventurous way of travelling while you can see the city from a new perspective.

The Chao Phraya Express line runs from 06.00 until 20.00 on weekdays and in the weekend from 06.00 until 19.00. The line has a total of 33 stops and 5 different lines running on it; the orange flag, yellow flag, blue flag, green flag and no flag boats.

Chao Phraya Express Boat
Route of the Chao Phraya Express boats

 

The no flag boat line will stop at every pier and terminates at Nonthaburi while the yellow line will only stop at the major piers. Most tourists are ushered to take the blue flag line as it stops at all the popular destinations and operates most of the day. It costs 40 Baht, no matter which stop you get off at. The orange flag boat is a little cheaper at 15 Baht and has more stops. You can take it all the way to Nonthaburi for a very scenic 1 hour boatride.

The Tha Tien pier is the choice of many tourists, although the adjacent stops are also very popular. It’s within walking distance from Wat Pho. You can also take a ferry from here to Wat Arun, just on the other side of the river. The Grand Palace can be reached on the next stop, which is Tha Chang.

A detailed map with all of Chao Phraya Express’ stops, can be found here with a list of departure and arrival times here.

Khlong Saen Saep is a canal with its own boat line running through it. It starts at Wat Sriboonreung and goes all the way to Panfa Leelard, crossing a distance of 18 kilometers. It serves over 60,000 passengers per day and operates from 05.30 to 20.00 on weekdays and from 06.00 until 19.30 on Saturday. On Sunday it stops at 19.00.

Saen Saep Canal Boat

By Globe-trotter (Own work based on OpenStreetMap.org) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or ODbL (http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

The line is divided into two parts, the Golden Mount Line and the NIDA Line. If you want to travel the entire length of the route, you’ll have to get off at Pratunam and hop over to the other line. This boat is a very convenient way to get to the Golden Mount temple (Wat Saket). Khao San Road is about 300 meters away from the end station Panfa Leelard.

Boats travel in 2 directions at the Saen Saep canal so you always have to make sure that you’re not hopping in the wrong boat. The signs at the pier can help you with this. Getting in and out of the boat can be a little difficult if you’re not very mobile or carry a lot of luggage.

Fares will be somewhere from 10 to 20 Baht, depending on the distance. The fares are collected by a very brave Thai, walking up and down on the side ledge of the boat. You’ll have to tell him in Thai where you want to go. It’s best to have some small change for him or otherwise a 20 or 50 Baht note. You don’t want to make the life of the ticket collector harder than it already is because he really doesn’t have the best job in the world.

The Saen Saep canal line connects very well with the Petchaburi metro station. From the metro you can walk to the pier in about 5 minutes. Just follow the signs to get there.

The nearest pier to reach from the SkyTrain is at Sapan Hua Chang. From there it’s about a 20 minute walk to the Ratchathewi SkyTrain station, following Phaya Thai Road up north. From Pratunam Pier, there’s a very good connection with the Central World shopping mall. It can be reached in just 5 minutes from there.

CIMG4933

If you prefer to travel over water in Bangkok but want to do it in a more private way, the long tail boat is your best option. You can find a lot of them at the Sathorn Central Pier or Tha Chang Pier.

Some of these will offer you an unforgettable and romantic ride along the Chao Phraya River. On the other hand, there are also companies out there which are overcharging for trips that are way too short. Always negotiate prices beforehand or they might keep you floating in the middle of the river until you decide to pay up. It does happen like that.

Tip: there’s a free shuttle boat service going from the Saphan Taksin Station to Asiatique the Riverfront. It operates from 4.30 until 23.10 and leaves every 15 minutes. There’s also a free shuttle boat going to Asiatique from Sathorn Pier. This one leaves every 30 minutes and runs from 19.00 until 22.30. The Asiatique area offers a great shopping opportunity and even has a big Ferris wheel.

 

Train

There are four main train lines leaving from the Hua Lamphong train station. This station is very centrally located in Bangkok. It’s close to Chinatown and has Hua Lamphong metro station right next to it.

There are 130 trains leaving the station everyday, serving over 60,000 passengers. The lines can be roughly divided into 4 lines, the Northern, Northeastern, Eastern and Southern line.

Hua Lamphong Bangkok
Hua Lamphong train station

 

The Northern train line leaving from here has Chiang Mai as its end station, passing Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Phitsanulok and Lampang along the way. The Northeastern line splits up after the Ayutthaya station, with a part of the train going to Ubon Ratchathani and the other part to Nong Khai.

The Eastern line splits up to Aranyaprathet and the other part is going to Si Racha and Pattaya. Finally, the Southern line goes all the way to Hat Yai and passes Hua Hin, Chumphon, Surat Thani and Trang. From there the train splits up to Butterworth, Malaysia and Sungai Kolok. I’ve used this night train to Butterworth before on my trip to Penang, which took 22 hours in total and was quite an experience.

IMG_0148
Night train to Butterworth Malaysia

 

There used to be a lot of scams going on with fake travel companies selling tickets at inflated prices but the government put a stop to this. Tickets for the train can now be bought at the station’s ticket counters without any overpricing going on.

Usually the lines can be quite long at the ticket counters as the trains are a very popular way to travel around Thailand. Tickets can also be booked a couple of days in advance here but they can sell out quickly. It’s also possible to buy the train tickets online but the price is slightly higher.

Powered by 12Go Asia system

There are 2 other train stations in Bangkok, which are a bit smaller than Hua Lamphong. These are the Thonburi Railway Station and the Don Muang Railway Station.

The Thonburi Railway Station is located a bit further outside the city center, across the Chao Phraya River. The only way to get there is by using the Chao Phraya Express Boat. The station was rebuilt in 1950 after it was destroyed in the second world war. The most popular line leaving from here is the train going to Kanchanaburi, which is famous for its bridge over the river Kwai.

From Thonburi Railway Station you can also go to Hua Hin, Cha Am, Ban Krut, Chumphon, Lang Suan Prachuap Khiri Khan and other destinations. A complete overview of departure times and destinations can be found here.

The Don Muang Railway Station is located opposite to International Terminal 1 of the Don Muang airport. You’ll have to use the foot bridge passing over Vibhavadi Rangsit Road to get there. It’s a small train station at which the Northern line and the Northeastern line, which leave from and go to Hua Lamphong, pass through. Tickets can be bought at the counters at the platform.

Be advised that the trains don’t always follow their schedules closely and there might be some delays. However, this is the cheapest form of transportation coming from and going to Don Muang airport.

 

To complement the 2 SkyTrain and metro lines, the Airport Rail Link (ARL) was built in 2010. It’s connecting the Suvarnabhumi Airport to the metro and the Skytrain and carries 60,000 passengers everyday. It’s the cheapest way to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to central Bangkok and is quite comfortable too. Some people mistake the ARL for the SkyTrain as they are both on pillars, on an elevated height.

Airport Rail Link Bangkok

The ARL is spacious, fast and has air-conditioning. A new train arrives at the stations every 12 to 15 minutes, so you’ll never have to wait long for it.

The Makkasan station of the ARL is right next to the Petchaburi metro station. There’s a roofed footbridge passing over the crowded street, which only takes 5 minutes to cross. Phaya Thai is The other SkyTrain station from which the ARL can be accessed. The Airport Rail link leaves from and arrives at the first floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

CIMG4924

The Airport Rail Link operates from 06.00 until midnight. The entire trip from Phaya Thai to the airport takes less than 30 minutes. There used to be an express service going directly to Makkasan and Phaya Thai without stopping at the other stations but it had to be cancelled due to technical difficulties.

Tickets can be bought at token machines, placed at the stations. The price for a ticket ranges from 15 – 45 Baht.

 

Plane

There are 2 airports in Bangkok, Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi. Suvarnabhumi Airport opened in 2006 while Don Muang has been open for commercial flights since 1924. Suvarnabhumi handles over 53 million passengers per year and Don Muang about 30 million.

Don Muang Airport focuses on budget flights, with AirAsia being the most dominant Airline company operating at it. There are no intercontinental flights departing from or arriving at Don Muang. The most popular destinations from here are Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Phuket and Chiang Mai.

Don Muang Airport is about 25 kilometers away from Bangkok’s center. There’s currently no metro or SkyTrain connection to Don Muang but there are plans to connect it with the Airport Rail Link. Don Muang can be reached by train from Hua Lamphong train station, although you’ll probably have to deal with some delays.

Most people go to Don Muang Airport with the taxi. Depending on the traffic, a trip from the center of town to the airport will cost about 300 Baht. There’s a taxi stand at the airport from which you can order a ride. They will add 50 Baht to the total fare when leaving from here.

Suvarnabhumi Airport has daily flights to most of the major airports around the world. The most popular flights are those to and from Hong Kong, Singapore and Seoul. Flights to popular island destinations like Phuket can be purchased for as cheap as 800 Baht.

Suvarnabhumi Airport has a very good connection to the city. The Airport Rail Link makes it possible to go directly into the center of Bangkok, without the need to transfer. Another option is to take a taxi. You can order a taxi from the public taxi waiting platform, which will add 50 Baht to the total fare. This fee can be avoided by going to the departures area and taking a taxi that just dropped someone off.

An original way to get from the airport to the center is using a bicycle. The Sky Lane is a 24 kilometer long road, completely built for cyclists. The road is closed off from all other traffic and is a healthy and convenient way to avoid the traffic jams.

 

Future of the Bangkok transportation system

There are already a lot of transportation methods to travel around in Bangkok. However, estimations have shown that it’s still not going to be enough for the future. The population of Bangkok will increase with 10 million people before 2050, according to the World Bank. Preparations will have to be made well ahead of time to deal with this huge population growth.

Several ambitious traffic enhancement plans are in the pipeline. One of the plans is a monorail line with a total length of 26 kilometers. It will pass through lower Sukhumvit and Thong Lo and will travel all the way to the Rama IX bridge. An estimated 340,000 people are estimated to use this new line every day.

To get an idea of what the Bangkok transportation system will look like when all of the currently proposed plans are completed can be seen in this map, made by artist Oran Viriyincy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.