Bangkok is a crazy city. Finding a right mean of transport here, can be a challenge.
That’s why I made a list of vehicles you can choose from, if you find yourself in this incredible city.
First and most popular among the tourist is TAXI. You are probably going to ask ‘Ok, but there are at least ten different colours of taxis, how do I know which one is the right one?’
Every one of them is almost the same. What is important, that you pay a good attention if your taxi driver started the METER. When drivers see lost tourist who doesn’t really know where he’s going, they try to avoid using the meter and charge you more. That’s why you should observe the meter monitor. Driver should press a ‘start’ bottom. The prices always start at around 35 Baht. Then the meter goes up depending how long is your ride. If the meter doesn’t start counting immidiately, don’t freak out! Normally there is a distance that is included in this 35 bahts, and after few minutes price will start going up. Bangkok is huge, so it is good to have an exact adress, including a district, street name and some distinct landmarks. You should also be prepared to spend a long time in the traffic jams. This is why, if it’s not in the night time, taxi ride can be quite long.
If you feeling like trying something new and more exciting you can take a motorbike taxi. Motorbike taxi is a Thai invention and you can spot it at corner of every street. It would be a group of men dressed with orange reflective vests and sometimes funny head covers protecting their faces from sun and fumes. Each one has his number and he can take you on a back of his motorbike wherever you want. It is best to use motorbike taxis on short distances, because they can get confused with getting an adress right. They are much faster than regular taxis and a lot of Thai people uses them.
They are also cheaper.
Another taxi alternative can be a tuc tuc. They are very popular among the tourists. Bangkok is full of these colourful mini taxis, they look pretty and fun. But be carefull! Drivers notoriously overcharge tourists. You have to be good at burgaining or just be ready to pay slightly more to experience the famous tuc tuc ride.
The fastest of all means of transport are sky train and metro. The prices sometimes, are even higher than for a shared taxi. But if you want to save time, this is definitely the best option to avoid traffic. Unfortunaly skytrain doesn’t go all the way to the turistic places, it is supposed to be for the people who need to get to work. Buying tickets is easy. You go to the ticket/ information window, change you notes for coins and you buy your ticket in one of the ticket machines. If you are not sure which ticket you should buy, you can always take a look at the board next to the ticket machine, showing you all the stations and ticket prices. It is very easy and modern. The one thing you might not like about it, is that most of the times, it’s very crowded.
Bangkok streets are full of bright colour buses buses, but tourists usually avoid them. The reason could be, that finding a bus schedule is almost impossible. The thing you should do if you want to take a bus, is just go to the nearest bus stop and ask people which bus goes in your direction. You would see a bus stop by its blue sign with a white bus picture. The other challenge here is to distinguish different types of buses. They have all kinds. The cheapest and most basic ones are governmental buses. They have wooden floors, no fans (except one for the driver) and if you are lucky you can get a ride for free. These buses are funded by King,. From Monday to Friday, people who use them to go to work don’t have to pay for the ticket. All the other categories, they would differ in air condition, numbers of fans, general form of a bus. Always be prepare for the traffic and be ready to go out when your bus stop comes. Driver literally just stops for a few seconds. Actually most of the time he slows down and opens the door, the rest you would have to figure out on your own. Ticket prices start at 6,50 BHT and they shouldn’t be more than 15- 20 BHT for more expensive ones. Although it is a tiring and noisy trip(most of the time windows are open), you can watch how everyday people’s life looks like and take pictures when waiting in traffic.
If you want to move along the main river, it is best to take a boat. And as usual, there is more than just one type. As soon as you get to the pier, you will be offered 100- 150 BHT boat tickets. If you want to join other tourist in a comfortable tourist boat, you can pay that price. However you should know, that next to any ticket box, there is also a queue of people who are waiting for a regular public boat. This one is much cheape. Ticket costs 15 BHt and you can buy it on board or just before getting in.
The last and the most exciting one for me was a small canal boat ride. Shallow canals inside the city have their own public transport. There is a numer of piers starting from Golden Mountain area, through Sukumvit and further. To take this one I paid 18 BHT, but the ticket prices may vary, depending on how far you are going. The trip is crazy and far from touristy. Boat is small, engine loud and you have to be quick to get on and off. You should also pay attention to a dirty canal water splashing around, not to get in your eyes. You will be surrounded by friendly Thai people, see the city from a totally different side and escape the traffic. What’s more, watching a ticket seller balancing on the side of the boat, holding to a thin rope, changing money and checking people coming in and out is an unforgettable experience!