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Transport in Bangkok, Thailand

 

Transport in Bangkok Thailand

 

Transport tips on travelling around Bangkok, Thailand 

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Below we offer you some useful tips when arriving in Bangkok and travelling around within this city. If you have any suggestions for fellow travellers please do contact us

Bangkok SKYTRAIN

Transport in Thailand, especially in Bangkok has just undergone one of its most important changes in many years. No the cars have not disappeared, nor have the road works stopped, instead you will be able to look down on the traffic whilst pondering what is for dinner, when you arrive home in 15 minutes, a trip that previously would have taken an hour or two. The BTS, LRT, Skytrain, call it what you like has just opened. Stretching from Sukhumvit Soi 77 all the way to Chatuchak, with one leg that runs (which opened 5 December, 1999) from Erawan intersection to the Chaopraya river, just next to the Shangri-la Hotel. This futuristic sky train is a much needed force and a very welcome addition to the weary fight against traffic pollution. You can buy individual tickets along with monthly, yearly, and a few other alternatives.  We will soon be adding a map of the Skytrain, and more information on the pricing structure to this page so it should help when choosing a hotel to stay at. Of course the train actually reaches most major places in Bangkok, covering most of Sukhumvit, Silom, Ploenchit and Phiyathai roads. 

This addition to Bangkok does raise some very important questions such as will it reduce the traffic problems below it, what will the Thai people do with all this extra time that the train should bring. Possibly this may even cause a baby boom, or possibly even increase in individual spending and what will happen to the divorce rate ? Of course some of these questions are more frivolous in nature if not very serious in meaning. The traffic situation may not change that much, although if you do live and work along the train system you may indeed be tempted to take advantage of it. However the train stations at each end such as Sukhumvit 71, Chaopraya, and Chatuchak do not yet have car parks to allow people to drive to the station and then drop their car off in preference for the ease of the train. Mr. Andrew Cornelio, Assistant Director of Sales for the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel said "..that although the train system is an enormous benefit to Bangkok, it still needs to iron out a few of the finer details such as the need for carparks. For tourists though it will give tourism in Bangkok a much needed breath of fresh air, they can now choose a hotel by its quality and not purely its location. As this hotel has a train station close by we do anticipate a large increase in business, as we attract guests from areas that were previously too far away. People know the quality and luxury that is expected of a Crowne Plaza so we are looking forward to the benefits it will offer us all, but most importantly the guests." We could not agree more, now you can take your pick of any of the hotels in Bangkok that run along the train system, unless of course you enjoy sitting in traffic. 

The hotels (4 and 5 star in no particular order) that are affected the most by the skytrain with stops very close by are : Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Grand Pacific, Landmark, Amari Boulevard, JW Marriott, Grand Hyatt, The Regent, Le Meridien President, Swissotel, Novotel Siam Square, Novotel Bagna, Novotel Lotus, Pan Pacifc, Dusit Thani, Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, Shangri-la, Peninsula, Imperial Queens Park, Rembrandt.  

We tested the train system on its second day of operation and we can only say that we are very impressed. In peak rush hour at 18:15 from Asok (Sukhumvit 21) station to Thonglor (Sukhumvit 55) station we paid 15 Baht for a ticket, and were at our destination in 7 minutes. The same journey by taxi would have taken anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. The train is easy to use and the amount of steps aren't really as bad as they seem from a distance. Interestingly one taxi driver we questioned said that he was not worried about his future because Thais he said "..do not like to walk.." others said that it is too expensive. These things may be true, but the train was very busy with Thais testing out there new futuristic toy.  It is very well laid out with details really making small differences such as railings that run around the door areas instead of straight down the middle of the train so when it is busy you still will have something to hold on to. Of course glitches here and there are to be expected, but this may have more effect on Thai society than we can ever imagine.   

Bangkok - Airport - Limo - When arriving in Bangkok International look for the Airport Associate Limousine / Taxi counter on the far right, where you can take a Mercedes Benz Limousine service for 650 one way or 1150 return trip. The cars are clean and the drivers reliable. The toll way for the highway is not included but the expressway below it is. I recommend the Airport Associate Limousine compared to the Thai Airway Limousine. Ask them for a bonus card, and for each 650 Baht (if you take the return trip at 1,150 you will only get one stamp) you spend they will give you a stamp, when you complete the card with a total of 5 stamps, you will be entitled to a one way trip in either direction free of charge.  

Bangkok - Airport - Taxi - Taxi's are readily available. Only take the taxi's which are in the official taxi queue and only those that will show you the meter is working before you get in. A ride from the airport to central downtown should cost between 200/350 Thai Baht. A lot of people may approach you especially if you look like it is your first visit, and will offer you a taxi service. Under NO circumstances use these people. We strongly believe that we are at our most vulnerable when at the airport, you have all your cash, cards and everything else when you arrive so why take any risks. 

Bangkok - Downtown - Bangkok can as I am sure that you are well aware suffers from the occasional traffic jam to say the least. It is getting better, however careful planning is still needed. Taxi 's are readily available however only accept taxi with working meters, and try to avoid taxi's that are waiting around. If possible hail a taxi that is driving down the road. Only take a taxi that is loitering around if there are NO other possibilities.  This will avoid any potential problems.   Tuk Tuks, although fun can be a health disaster if in the rush hour and if you are on business, you may finish with a large dry cleaning bill. The other way to get around if you are crazy or brave (you decide) is to take a motorbike taxi (motorcy - local dialect). These are readily available and are fast and cheap. You can recognise the drivers as generally they wear vests, and are sat around waiting for customers. Be VERY careful though they can be very dangerous with many deaths, and serious disabilities every day. They can be fun and will definitely beat the traffic just take care, and watch your knees.

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