Skytrain (BTS)

The Skytrain is an efficient and convenient way to navigate around the inner city, at a cost low enough to relax and enjoy the ride, though not cheap -- short distances are about one dollar or slightly less, while longer distances are the equivalent of $1.50. It is a very high tech, modern and smooth elevated train that runs through the main business districts, but doesn’t go ’everywhere’ (i.e taxis and tuk tuk rides may still be needed depending upon your itinerary).  Train stations are well marked and well tended and trains run very often, with little or no wait times. Many hotels are just a short walk away from a stop so check your map to see if the Skytrain is your best option for returning to your hotel, or better yet -- book a hotel near the skytrain in order to avoid the horrible Bangkok traffic.  You can take the skytrain to the river and then use the river boats to visit the Grand Palace and other major sites.   It may be worth buying a  ticket that you can charge up by adding more money to it and recharge when you like so as to save queueing for tickets or for change for the machines, though it may be difficult to figure out how to do this. Skytrain does not cater well for disabled people, being elevated and access generally being by steps and escalators. Elevators for disabled people are available at many stations though so it is possible to take these if you check in advance which stations have them.  The service ends at midnight.  Skytrain was recently extended further west, on the west side of the river for several stops.  If you stay near Siam Center, an interchange between the two skytrain lines, using skytrain as transportation to many places becomes easy and very quick.  Here is their English language website:


Taxis are cheap and fares start at 35 Baht. Make sure the meter is on and showing 35 baht, though it is often difficult to convince the driver to do so. All taxis are metered but some drivers will try to negotiate a fixed fare with tourists. This is not allowed and should not be done. In this case leave the taxi immediately and find another one. There are enough taxis available everywhere. Late at night, taxis are the most convenient as the Skytrain and Subway do not operate after midnight.  Be aware that you can get stuck in some major traffic jams during morning and evening rush hours, especially on a Friday and with the civil unrest and protests taking place in Bangkok now, traffic blockages are becoming common. The meter runs on a combination of both distance and time, so the BTS or MRT are always a better bet if it covers your destination. Taxis are mainly saloon cars with a large part of the trunk (boot) taken up by a natural gas tank. The colours of the cab indicate which co-op they belong to.

Chao Phrya River Express Boat

In a city teeming with traffic like Bangkok, an even easier way to experience a bit of Bangkok is to hop on the Chao Phrya Express boats that run along the river in both directions. A boat runs at least every 20 minutes, but in the rush hours and during high season they run about every 5 minutes. For 20 baht you could ride  the express boat for locals from the "Central Pier" (Ta Sathorn Pier, under the Saphan Taksin BTS station) all the way to the end of the line at Nonthaburi, a fascinating journey of about an hour. It's also a fast way to get to the Grand Palace at Ta Chang Pier, and other interesting locations. Here is their English language website:  From the central pier it is often difficult to find the locals boat and, instead, tourists are ushered on the tourist boat which costs 40THB for any segment.  Tourists are urged to purchase 150THB on and off unlimited cards for the day, but unless you take four segments, these do no pay for themselves.  Try to get onto a local's boat at some time and experience how efficiently they bang into the piers and on and off load their passengers, and then quickly take off again.  There are cross river ferry boats from several of the piers to visit Thorburi and Wat Arun.

Motorcycle Taxi

For shorter distances motorcycle taxis can be found on many street corners. This is helpful especially for accessing the Skytrain or the Subway. Prices normally range between 15 and 40 Baht. However as a foreigner you are 99% likely to be overcharged. Just walk up to the driver, tell him where you want to go. If you want to go to the subway or skytrain use either “BTS” for the Skytrain or “MRT” for the subway. These are the short names that the drivers will understand. The driver is supposed to supply you with a helmet and you are supposed to wear it. If he doesn't and/or you don't, you are turning an already highly dangerous ride into a suicide trip.  Fumes in traffic are also bad and there are numerous scams of tourists taking  Not really recommended... 

Subway (MRT)

The Subway (MRT) is a welcome addition to the Skytrain and gives access to more areas than the Skytrain already does. There are interchange stations at Silom and at Asoke where you have the possibility to change from the subway to the Skytrain and the other way around, but the systems are independent of each other and not very handy to use in tandem. Magnetic chips and cards can be bought at the counter or the available machines. Cards can be recharged at the counter with any amount once they are used up.  Here is their English language website:


A single route Bus Rapid Transit system is now open, see

Tuk Tuk

Some may believe that your Bangkok trip is incomplete if you do not ride just once in a Tuk Tuk, but you may want to save this experience for a less congested city where the fumes are not so bad, and the danger less. This is a motorized three wheeler which is seen all over the city. Since it does not have a meter, all the price has to be negotiated. its not recommended to use them as a normal form of transport as for tourists a taxi is cheaper, safer, and has air-conditioning!  Be aware that aound the main tourist areas, some Tuk-Tuk drivers are not honest and will lead you into a shopping or other type of scam often by lying to you about major attractions being closed. These drivers will also sometimes drop you off in the wrong area, saying that you just need to walk up the road to get to where you want to be - if you do not recognize where you are, insist he drop you where you agreed to. If not, say "no pay". Either he will then drop you off at the correct place, or he'll realise you caught him trying to trick you and he'll say "no pay". Get off, get a taxi - they are safer, cheaper, more reliable.

Airport Express

An Airport Express rail link between Suvarnabhumi Airport and Makkasan (red line) is a very quick way to get from the airport to town, but the link also extends past Makkasan to the Phaya Thai station (blue line) as well, taking an additional fifteen minutes . The trains link to the BTS Sktrain network, but a transfer will be needed. Travelling times estimated at 15-20 minutes on the express and 30 or so minutes from end to end on the blue line, with very reasonable fares. 

Public Buses

There is a huge network of public buses in the city, but little English language route information is available, though they are not difficult to figure out. Few tourists will opt for local buses when other options are available, but the adventurous tourist will be rewarded with good and very inexpensive cultural experience when riding the bus.  Tell the conductor your stop and he will let you know when to exit.  For information on Airport Buses, see the "Top Thailand Questions" in the Thailand forum, or the "Top Bangkok Questions" in the Bangkok forum. Sites with city bus route info: