Monday 19 October 2015

Getting Around in Bangkok with Airport Rail Link, BTS, MRT, River Boat, Taxi & Tuk Tuk

Hi welcome back to our Bangkok travel post, today we shall share some tips on how to get around in Bangkok city using their local transport system. Base on our traveling modes in Bangkok trips we felt the most convenient and safest way to get around Bangkok is through their BTS Skytrain which located mostly near hotels, popular malls and tourist attractions.

Below are 5 main modes of transportation which you might find it useful in helping you to get around Bangkok city without much trouble.


[Airport - City] Upon arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok International Airport) you can choose to travel to the city with any of the public transports such as taxi (go by free-way to avoid heavy traffic), express bus or airport rail link (express train service).

Airport Rail Link service is located at the basement level 1 and it operates from 6:00am till midnight. With a traveling speed of up to 160km/hr making it a quick and convenient transport option for getting in and out of Bangkok. Below are two types of the Airport Rail Link transfer for your reference:

The Express Service: A 15 minute non-stop journey between the City Terminal and the airport with a fare at 150 baht (SG$5.80) per trip.

City Line Commuter Trip:  A slower line which takes  30 minutes to reach the airport with fare staring  from 15 - 45 baht. The train departs from Phaya Thai, Ratchaprarop, Makkasan, Asoke, Ramkhamhaeng, Hua Mak, Ban Thap Chang, Lat Krabang stations ending at the last stop at Suvarnabhumi Airport.


[Bangkok Transport] Route Map
The most convenience way for tourist to travel around in Bangkok city is by using their BTS or MRT to which are mostly within stone throw away (or walking distance) from popular shopping malls or tourist attractions.

For your information there are two Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) lines which are:

SILOM LINE runs west to south between the National Stadium Station (MBK mall) which is in line with Siam Station (siam paragon & siam square one mall)  to Bang Wa in Thonburi (across the river);

SUKHUMVIT LINE runs from north to east from Mo Chit (Chatuchak weekend market) to Bearing.

[Travel Companion] Remember to grab hold one of this "rabbit stored value card" from any BTS station (Bangkok Mass Transit System) for your traveling convenient and easy access to your desire stations. Rabbit card is also an e-money system that can be used on other mass transit networks apart from BTS.

[Bangkok Transport] Single Journey Ticket Machine
Alternatively you can also get the "Single Journey Ticket" from the ticket machine available at the station which is valid for a single journey. To purchase insert coins and select the fare accordingly from the chosen destination starting from 15 baht - 52 baht per journey.

[Bangkok Transport] Example of the BTS Single Journey Ticket

There are two BTS lines which meet at Siam Station as well as another two interconnect points with the underground MRT at Sala Daeng and Asok stations. Each train arrives at an interval of 3 - 6 minutes depending on the peak/non peak hours between 6.30am in the morning till midnight.


Add on the existing BTS line, there is another new Mass Rapid Transit Network (MRT) that serves 18 stations stretches for 20 km in a horseshoe shape from Hua Lamphong in the South (near Chinatown) to Bang Sue in the north.

The MRT operating hours is from 6.00am in the morning till midnight with train(s) arriving at every 5 - 7 minutes interval connecting to two BTS Skytrain points at Sukhumvit and Silom stations. And instead of ticket card, a black "single journey token" shown above will be issued upon purchasing single journey ticket. Or you can also get their Stored Value Card or unlimited rides Day Pass depending on your traveling needs.


Tuk-tuk or 'sam lor' (three-wheeled) is one of the tourists ' favourite mode of transport getting around Bangkok city. Tuk-tuk is originating from an old-fashioned rickshaw during the second World War has a small engine fitted in which allows it to traveler at a faster speed.

Riding a tuk-tuk is more of an experience for rather than a practical way to get around especially with group of more than four. The seats are a little high making it difficult to move in and alight and being open air you also gets to smell all the vehicle fume. Furthermore due to the traveling speed and safety measure (without proper doors or covering) it might not be safe for family with elderly or young kids.

Since tuk-tuk is not running on meter the fare will all depend on the distance traveled, traffic (peak/non-peak) as well the drivers himself to quote the price. Normally for a short trip of 5 minutes it will cost around 30 bath (SG$1.40). 

[Tips]  Always try to negotiate 10 - 15 baht off the proposed fare and plus or minus from there. Example we took a tuk-tuk from Chinatown to Platinum Fashion Mall for 110 baht (after negotiating) which is equivalent to $4.30 Singapore Dollar.


[Bangkok Transport] Taxis
You can easily spot these colour taxis with green-yellow and red-blue or funky colours like bright orange, pink and etc along the road side of major shopping malls, airport or tourist attractions. The basic fare starts from 35 baht (SG$1.40) for the first two kilometers and it usually takes about 100 - 400 baht (depending on the location) to travel from hotel to various tourist attractions.

[Tips] Here are two points to remember when taking taxi:

- Confirm with the driver to pay by meter before hoping in;

- Give 10 - 20 baht extra on top of the fare as a reward (optional) to show your appreciation;

- Do not use big notes like 500 or 1000 baht while paying for fare, try to give exact fare or round off to the nearest ten to avoid unnecessary arguments on the fare.

A short clip on how we travel around around in Bangkok city with taxi, tuktuk, BTS and etc.


[Bangkok Transport] Tourist Ferry Service
In Bangkok there are different types of boats and ferries offering different services up and down the river which is sort of like a bus on the water with extremely cheap fares. As a tourist you might want to consider the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat which provides service to 8 piers that give access to Bangkok's most famous attractions (check out their website here for more details).

[Bangkok Transport] Complimentary Shuttle Boat Service
Alternatively you can also experience a complimentary free shuttle boat service at Sathorn Pier (BTS from Siam to Saphan Thaksin Station) to Asiatique which is a night bazaar with open-air mall, dining, sightseeing, activities and events under one roof.

During the boat ride you can also spot the 60-metre high "sky wheel" from far near the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

[Bangkok Transport] River Boat Ride
River boat ride is one of the cheapest and faster mode of transport in Bangkok where you can simply wave them down at the pier, hope in and off it goes within seconds. It operates early in the morning from 5.30am till 10.30pm with fees range from 10 and 20 baht depending on the distance travel.

[Bangkok Transport] River Boat Ride
Basically there are two river boat lines; Golden Mount Line (terminating at Golden Mount) and NIDA Line (terminating at Wat Si Bunrueang). You can read more from Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat website here.

A short clip on how to board (jump boat) the river boat at Asok Pier.

Lastly I hope this post will be useful for you while preparing for your upcoming Bangkok trip during coming year end holidays. Meanwhile stay tune for the next top on Chatuchak weekend market.

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