Urban transport in Bangkok. Than to move on?
Bangkok is famous for its traffic jams, but thanks to the public transport system including underground train, Skytrain (BTS –Sky Train), buses, river transport on the river Chaopraya and the many waterways in the city you can navigate quite comfortable.
The bus is the cheapest way to move around the city, although not the easiest. The problem is that routes a huge number, all of them confusing and, as a rule, are marked only in Thai. But there are advantages. In many places for buses in a separate lane for traffic, and while cars are stuck in traffic, buses move quietly.
I don't think that simple to get out and go somewhere on the bus without prior training. Certainly confused. At the hotel explore the map of routes, define the starting and ending points, intermediate stops, and only then go. An unforgettable experience is guaranteed.
There is a great online service the bus network of Bangkok in English and Thai languages on the website "BMTA". It describes all the routes, popular attractions and how to reach them by public transport. On the left side in the drop-down list on the website you can choose a destination and the system will give you full information on the routes to and from there. Overall, very recommended and essential for independent travelers resource. Can also buy paper map of bus routes in supermarkets "SevenEleven".
There are several types of buses, different comfort and different prices. To distinguish them you can only by color:
- Little green is 6.5 baht, the cheapest, not air conditioned and not vented.
- Red buses is 7 baht, same as green, only bigger.
- White-blue – 8 baht, no different from red in addition to prices.
- Blue and yellow – the price depends on the distance from 11 to 18 baht, air-conditioned and quite comfortable.
- Orange – the price depends on the distance from 13 to 22 baht, air-conditioned, new and comfortable.
- Pink-white, 25 baht, comfortable, air-conditioned, with only a few places.
The Skytrain is Bangkok (BTS Skytrain)
It would be better even to say - Skytrain, since a large part of the way is not on the ground and above the ground.
System the Skytrain is Bangkok (BTS) is the most convenient way of transportation in Bangkok. This is a modern subway, the Thai people have built themselves, and very proud of it. And for good reason. Spacious, air-conditioned carriages moved through the streets of Bangkok over the ground at 3 to 7 floors, avoiding all the traffic jams and opening up the great views of the city. If you want to see the city and make impressive photos, then sit in the first or last cars.
If you are lazy to go a kilometer or two from the station to any of the sights then this is the vehicle for you will be the perfect option.
Currently, there are two branches of Skytrain – Sukhumvit (Sukhumvit, long, on the map in light green) and Silom (Silom, short, on the map in dark green). Lines cover most of the Central business and tourist districts of Bangkok. The movement of trains is carried out from 6 am to midnight, the traffic of trains increases during peak hours.
In blue on the map shows a line MRT underground. The transition between the ground and underground in the E4 and S2. Underground branch is not in the tourist areas, and residential areas.
The fare depends on the distance you travel. Tickets are sold at each station at the ticket offices or machines. Machines are of two types: Ticket Issuing Machine (TIM) – only accepts coins and gives change with coins (5 bat); Integrated Ticketing Machine (ITM) accepts coins and banknotes (20, 50, 100 baht) and gives change with coins (5 baht).
Tickets are sold by zones (on the map marked S1, E3, etc.), and the price is determined according to the table ranges from (15 to 40 baht). The traffic pattern and the table value are available at each station.
Do not think that can deceive the Thais, and bought a ticket to a nearby station to pass through the city. Ticket inspection takes place at the entrance and at the exit of the subway. And if you bought a ticket to any zone, and trying to come out to another, you will hear a siren sound and the turnstile will not let you. Then you have or buy at the box office, a new ticket outlet, or to return to train and proceed to the desired station.
Types of tickets BTS:
- Single Journey Ticket. The ticket for one trip, valid only on the day of purchase.
- BTS Sky SmartPass. Ticket. The cost of 100 baht. The minimum Deposit is 100 baht. The cost of the travel 30 baht is not included in the trip. Every time you travel with the pass is deducted the cost of the trip. Valid for 5 years.
- Adult SmartPasses. Travel ticket with a fixed value. Come on: 15 trips – 345 baht (23 baht per trip) 25 trips – 550 baht (22 baht per trip); 35 trips – 735 baht (21 baht per trip); 45 trips – 900 (20 baht per trip). Valid for 30 days.
- One-Day Pass. Unlimited 1 day ticket (120 baht).
Stations, points of interest, monuments, shopping centers at the Skytrain stations:
- Eastern bus terminal Ekkamai to go to E7.
- The Central train station Hua Lampong output to W1.
- North Eastern bus terminal Mo Chit 2 – N8.
- Chatuchak Park (Chatujak) – N8.
- Lumpini Park (Lumpini) – S2.
- The Queen Sirikit Park (Queen Sirikit Park) – E5.
- Park Santipharp (Santipharp) – N3.
- Paolo Memorial Hospital – N7.
- Temple Erawan – E1,S1.
- Victory Monument – E4.
- Stadium Hua Mark (Hua Mark) – N3.
- National sports stadium – W1.
- The house-Museum of Jim Thompson – W1.
- Amarin Plaza – S1.
- Central Chidlom – E1.
- Chatuchak weekend market (Chatuchak) – N8.
- Emporium shopping Mall – E5.
- Gaysorn Plaza – E1.
- Shopping center MA boon Kron (Mah Boon Krong) (MBK) – W1.
- The centre of folk crafts Narayana Phand – E1.
- Quarter Patpong S2.
- The Robinson store on Shiloh – S2.
- Store at Robinson Bangrak – S6.
- Central World Plaza – E1.
The underground subway of Bangkok (MRT)
Currently there is only one metro line which runs from Hua lamphong station to the North station Bang through Silom, Sukhumvit, Ratchadaphisek area around Chatuchak Weekend Market in Phahonyothin. On the map the line is drawn in blue.
Intersects with lines of Skytrain stations Si Lom (S2),Sukhumvit (E4) and Chatuchak Park (N18). For tourists line underground metro is of little interest, since it mostly passes through residential area, where there are few attractions. But it's a subway connects the railway station Bangkok Hualamphong and North's morchit bus terminal (Chatuchak station).
The cost of tickets and SkyTrain, depending on the distance and starts from 15 baht.
Line airport subway of Bangkok (Airport Rail Link)
Line airport subway launched in August 2010 connects Suvarnabhumi international airport with the city centre. There are two lines - the Express line (Express Line) and City line (City Line). Express line shown on the map in red, Urban line – dark blue.
The Express line is mainly used in order to get into the city from the airport as quickly as possible. Train it don't make no stops, and follow from the airport directly to Makkasan station (City Air Terminal). This trip will take you 15 minutes and will cost 90 baht. Trains depart every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. to midnight. From Makkasan station you can continue your way around the city by taxi, go on a City line (to get to the end station Phaya Thai to transfer to the SkyTrain station), or go to the underground MRT subway (Phetchaburi MRT station).
Cheaper city line stops at all stations, and should continue in the city. From Suvarnabhumi airport train goes to Phaya Thai. At Phaya Thai you can switch to the Skytrain. The entire journey takes 30 minutes and costs 45 baht.
Bus rapid route (BRT Bus Rapid Transit)
This new transport system in Bangkok. In the future it is planned to create 5 different high-speed route. Currently opened only one route from Sathon to Ratchaphruek. On the map the route line is displayed in yellow.
The most exotic and most expensive mechanical means of transportation – Bangkok tuk-tuk. Almost homemade three-wheeled cars carry tourists through the streets of Bangkok, leaving the clubs stinking of smoke.
They will wait and pounce on you from every corner and offer free or nearly free trip to anywhere in the city or on the tourist route. They say that today is a special day of celebration and therefore all free. Of course, all this divorce tourists for money, carries a catch. Don't believe them. During the trip you will have to pay a considerable sum for a very short distance. Sometimes tuktukan cross border and threats to get their money or bring tourists in the narrow streets and surrounded from all sides by a gang of angry toktakunov :-). Of course the last one was a joke, but sometimes they do cheat tourists, agreeing to drive in a single amount, and then demand under all sorts of pretexts greater.
The only way to free ride on the tuk tuk, is to agree on a "sightseeing" trip to the jewelry factory, restaurant, or other "enterprise for the promotion of tourists", where the driver will receive for your head a Commission. Well, if your desire to ride on a tuk-tuk in Bangkok with nothing to fight off, be sure to agree a price before the trip, write it on paper and not settle for arrangements of the driver like, "veri chip", "special price", "Its okay" without numbers. And it is necessary to agree that the price was for the whole trip, not per passenger separately.
In addition to travel three-wheeled tuk-tuks in Bangkok also operate a four-wheel (called actually songthaew). They are cheaper and used by local residents for short journeys. They follow pre-set routes, but if you start asking them, whether they get there, they will take your question only as what you want them to hire a taxi. So be careful too.
Taxis in Bangkok are very common and inexpensive form of travel. Despite the fact that it is the capital, to travel nearly the entire city center can be for no more than 100 baht. It is only necessary to use a taxi in order not to overpay or to be deceived.
The best option is a taxi meter (Taxi) Meter. An exception may be a trip to the airport or long distances to nearby cities (Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua hin, etc.). In this case, you can hire a taxi at a fixed price. But not all taxi drivers are always ready to take you on the meter (they usually say that the meter is broken), and not all counters work correctly. Before boarding a taxi is to make sure the driver that the meter is a simple question, "Taxi Meter?". If he claims that the meter is broken, just look for another taxi.
The most correct and best option is to catch a taxi on the road, and not to hire taxi drivers, awaiting clients at the crowded places. Usually taxi drivers who stand and catch customers at shopping centers, attractions, nightlife, immediately begin to impose exorbitant prices for travel at a fixed and inflated price (because for such a great place waiting customers they have to pay). Therefore, if you want to save money, it's best just to move a little bit away from this place and catch a taxi.
In Bangkok and beyond, there are a few toll roads, and parallel to them the usual way. You always have the choice to take the toll or free road, but if you choose paid, you'll get there faster. Tolls on the toll road, of course, have to pay you. Negotiate this issue with the drivers.
Many drivers in Bangkok don't understand a word in English and do not understand the cards. If you get this, don't hesitate to ask passers-by who will be your translators, while you explain to the driver where you need to go.
Tipping taxi drivers is not mandatory, but you can round off the amount on the big side and leave the change the driver.
River transport of Bangkok
If someone does not know, Bangkok has been called the Oriental Venice because of the many channels. Accordingly, water transport in Bangkok is very popular, inexpensive, convenient and ,in some cases, one of the fastest ways to get to the goal.
Through the city, meanders to the river Chaopraya, and from it to the far corners of the city is a growing variety of channels. According to him operates many types of water transport, including public. Route maps on the river and canals can be found at major piers.
Water taxi is the most expensive form of water transport. The price for a one-hour boat ride-dlinnohvostaja starts from 500 baht for one hour. And whether you are sailing or have been to see the sights, the payment will be the same. To negotiate before the trip is possible, but it gives poor results. The most that you can count on discount for a few hours travel. If you plan to rent a boat for groups of more than two people, you will have to pay more almost twice. Ideally, you should take a water taxi for small groups and walking on the water, and sights to see, moving on another vehicle.
To find a water taxi for a long time. One has only to appear on one of the piers of the river Chobia, you will have "Charter boat".
A much cheaper version of the moving – Express boat (express boat) that sail on fixed routes. The largest carrier at Chaopraya - Chao Phraya Express Boat. At least this carrier provides information about its routes, and you can more or less make sense of them. All the information presented on the site http://www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com/en/home/.
Tickets for boats from 10 to 32 baht and can be purchased at the ticket office on the pier or at the entrance to the boat. Boats marked with flags of different colors depending on the route. There are also boats that are not marked with flags. They are the cheapest but also the slowest, since the approach to all the piers.
A great option for exploring the sights can also be a large tourist boats. They can move at 40 baht per trip or buying a pass for the day for 150 baht.
The main pier for express boat – Sathon (Taksin also). It is adjacent to the BTS Skytrain station Saphan Taksin. It is, in fact, the only subway station next to the piers. If you are not familiar with water transportation to Bangkok, it is best to start with this pier. On the pier you can find the necessary information about the routes.
On one side of the river to another you can move almost any pier in just a few baht.
Read more about the waterways of Bangkok here...