Bangkok is one of the cities where public transport is quite developed, but not as convenient as Singapore but in return they have many other types of transport that complement each other very well. This article will help you find the way to travel in the city and how to travel from the two major airports in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang to city center, easily and economically. So, are you planning a trip to Bangkok (BKK) and don’t know how to get around Bangkok (how to go around Bangkok and how to travel around Bangkok) and how to travel cheap in Bangkok? Let’s check out our suggested 5 best way to get around Bangkok (best way to travel around Bangkok) and cheapest way to get around Bangkok and from Bangkok to other provinces in Thailand by public transport: MRT, train, boat and bus to find out the answer! Let us discover the best tips for an effortless Bangkok journey!
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How to get around Bangkok? Getting from the airport to the city center
In Bangkok, there are 2 airports: Don Mueang (for Air Aisa, Nok Air) and Suvarnabhumi (for Vietjet Air, VN Airlines or some other common and high–end carriers). To get to the city center from these airports there are many means of transportation for you to choose from such as Airport Bus, City Bus, Tram and Taxi. All of these vehicles you can refer at: http://www.transitbangkok.com/.
If you fly to Bangkok and landing at one airport and have to go to the other airport to catch the next flight, you can use the shuttle bus between the two airports for free, remember to bring your air tickets if they sudden check.
Besides, you need to distinguish some of the following terms:
- Train: Including tram exclusively for the departure and return trip from the airport (Airport Link) and train running in the city. Train in the city includes the subway (MRT) and skytrain (BTS).
- Bus: Including the airport shuttle bus and the city bus.
If you fly to Don Muang (Don Mueang) airport
From Don Muang airport, there is currently no Skytrain (it seems like they are building it but not complete), so you still have to choose one of the traditional means such as taxi and bus.
- Taxi: Taxi fare in Thailand is quite cheap, from Don Muang airport to central Bangkok about 17km apart and cost about 200–250 baht. Note that when get on a taxi you need to ask the driver to turn on the meter calculates in Km because one of Bangkok’s specialties is traffic jam (whether it is a brand taxi or private taxi), if you take a taxi to calculate the hourly price, the price is very high. There may be an additional fee of 50 baht for parking and 30 baht if you choose riding on the expressway.
- Airport bus: There are 4 routes: A1, A2, A3 and A4 pick up at the airport gate, A1 route runs to Mochit station at Chatuchak Park and A2 passing Mochit and continues running to Victory Monument, cost about 30 baht and every 30 minutes has a trip. While A3 running through Pratunam, Ratchadamri BTS, Lumphini Park and A4 running through Democracy Monument and Sanamluang Bus Terminal with tickets price for A3 and A4 is 50 baht (See details in picture below).
- City bus: This is the cheapest way to get around Bangkok, you must go to the first floor and then get out of the door according to the signs and then follow the overpass across the road to catch the bus. Usually you will have to take the bus number 29, 510 (after arrive Mochit station and then take Sky Train, taxi or tuk–tuk), or other bus routes if it close to your hotel by following this link. This bus runs 24/24 so you always can catch the bus at anytime, the ticket price is 6.50–21 baht depending on the bus top. Similarly, to go from the city to Don Muang airport in the most economical way, you just take the bus or MRT or BTS to Mochit station, from here you take the bus number 29 or 510 that will takes you straight to the airport.
- Airport Limo Bus Express: This is a new service in Bangkok, a 33–seat car with 2 main routes is Don Mueang – Phloen Chit – Lumphini Park and Don Mueang – Thanon Khao San (If you stay in Khao San is not struggle to find how to get to the hotel). Ticket price is 150 Baht/trip.
In addition to the above ways, you can rent a private car from the airport to the hotel, especially if you go with a large group will be more economical and convenient, without waiting time. Link to book here: Private Don Mueang Airport (DMK) Transfers for Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Ayutthaya
If you fly to Suvarnabhumi airport
- Airport Link: Including City Line and Express Line running from 6am to 12pm, this is the most economical way to get to Bangkok city center from this airport. If you take the Express Line, you will run straight to Makkasan without stopping at any point, priced at 90bath, from here you will walk (about 300m) to Phetchaburi MRT station to continue taking a train or taxi to your hotel. If you take the City Line you will reach the last station is Phaya Thai, cheaper than the Express Line is about 15–45bath depending on the stop you want to get off.
- Bus: You take the shuttle bus to the Transport Center and then take the bus to the city here, details of the routes you can see via this link.
- The last way is to take a taxi.
When arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport, you get your luggage at the 2nd floor, go to the B1 floor if you go by Airport Link or down to the 1st floor if you want to take a taxi to the center.
In case you go from the city center to the airport and if you are tired after a few days of traveling here, you can choose a taxi to go fast, especially if you go with 2 people or more. You should choose fixed price before depart (ranging 250–300 bath that included fee riding on highway). Taxi will take you straight to the door to prepare for check–in, saving you a lot of time.
In addition to these above ways, you can do as I do, that is when I first came to Bangkok, did not research anything beforehand, took the luggage and followed the sign to the Skytrain, asked the counter staff the route to my hotel, they give detailed instructions and so let’s go.
If you choose to stay in Khao San area, there will be no train lines nearby, you must take a taxi from the airport or more economically, take the train to the nearest point and take a taxi to Khao San (do not take the bus if you comming to Bangkok for the first time because it will be complicated and difficult to navigate).
How to travel around Bangkok? Traveling around the city
By BTS Skytrain or MRT
Bangkok is a developed transport city like Kuala Lumpur (slightly less than Singapore a little bit), so to traveling around the city you can choose the skytrain (BTS) or the subway (MRT) as convenient and economical, sometimes even faster than taxis because in Thailand traffic jam always terrible. The way to buy tickets is quite simple, at each train station there are tickets vending machines, you just need to select to English, press destination you want to go and put money into it to get tickets. Get this ticket swipe or put into the machine when going through the entrance to get in the train station. Fares ranging from 15B–40B depending on the length of the route (eg if you going to the end of the line, the price is up to 40B/person).
Note that BTS and MRT are separate, BTS tickets will not be used for MRT, so if you want to travel a lot, and you want to buy daily and weekly tickets, consider it because tickets will be limited to not use for each other. Looking on the map you will see some notable stations such as:
- Visitors often choose hotels in Sukhumvit (city center), Khao San or Chinatown, if you stay in Sukhumvit and the plane lands at Suvarnabhumi airport, you can take the Airport link to Makkasan station, change to the green line to get to the hotel.
- Mo Chit Station: This is the last northern station of line N, also the last station for those who want to go to Don Muang airport or go to Chatuchak weekend market.
- For those who like to go shopping, they will often go to Chit Lom Station, from here you will take a fairly long walk to Big C, Central World, Pratunam or Platinum (shopping malls or markets are quite close together).
- Those who want to take the Chao Phraya River boat can go to Saphan Taksin BTS station to get to Taksin pier, from here you can take a boat to Chinatown, Khao San or back to Asiatique night market.
Taking a taxi is only more complicated in that you need to know the distance you will take to estimate the amount to be paid. Taxi prices in Thailand are only about half the price in Vietnam, always remember require the driver to turn on the meter, should not choose the type of package payment because of high prices. And if the driver said only pay in package, you just estimate the price is half the price of Vietnam to bargaining. If taxi calcuate by meter, it is very cheap to calculate each kilometer just over 10 Baht (in case of no traffic jam). If you are stuck in traffic, you will watch that the Meter will have a money jumping box according to the waiting time for the traffic jam, making the price much higher than normal.
By Songthaew – Tuktuk
Songthaew – a kind of pickup truck that it has 2 rows of rear seats for passengers and Tuktuk – similar the three-wheeled taxi in Vietnam, are also popular vehicles in Bangkok. When you take tuk-tuk, remember to pay only 1/3 to half of what the driver told you. The closer the location is usually less than 100 baht, the farther location the price will be higher. Experience is that with short distances you can take tuk-tuk for more conveniently because they weave in between traffic and drive in a zigzag quite well on busy roads. I do not like to tuk-tuk very much because of the driver quite snob, often cheating customers. If you experience tuk-tuk for the first time, you will encounter a case of the tuk-tuk driver pretending to not understand English, saying anything is ok and then driving around, if you ask them to stop they will pretend not to understand. Be careful they will take you to a remote area and then ask for money at a high price, can take your luggage as a claim for money again.
To avoid being fooled, you just have to bargain clearly, estimate the distance, hold the smartphone to navigate if they are on the right path, if you see they go the wrong way, then get off.
By city bus
I travel by this means in Bangkok is not much, but overall the bus in Thailand seems to be the cheapest, tickets are only around a few Baht (as cheap as buses in Hanoi), only with long distances like taking the airport route, it is expensive (like route A1 to Don Muang with 30 baht/way), but waiting bus quite long in hot weather and the bus also quite bad. Anyway, getting to the airport use the bus is the most economical way because it is much cheaper than taxi, especially the route 510 cost 30 baht that take you right at the door of the airport.
By boat on the Chao Phraya River
This is also a very useful means for those who want to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the banks of the river, cool, interesting but not too expensive. If you choose to stay in a riverside hotel, and want to go to places like Khao San, Chinatown, Taksin Bridge or Asiatique night market you can take a boat. Some places like the The Grand Palace, some temples next to the Grand Palace or near the river will have to take a boat to reach, so consider when use this means.
- Operation time: 6am – 7.30pm daily
- Ticket price: 15 baht/person (public boat but quite small) or 40 baht (larger boat) to any point in the route.
How to travel cheap in Bangkok? From Bangkok to other provinces in Thailand
Usually with a trip to Thailand of 5 days or more, we often go to some other places in Thailand, with a short-trip, Pattaya is a good choice, while long-day travel, there are many other tourist destinations such as Northern Thailand has Chiang Mai, Southern Thailand has the sea of Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, .. There are many ways to reach there from Bangkok such as by plane, bus or train. By plane, you just look for Thai domestic firms such as Thai Airways, Nok Air or Air Asia.
Getting from Bangkok to Pattaya
The simplest and most convenient way is to take a passenger car (coach), the price is about 122 Baht/way with a frequency of 1.5 hours/trip. The coach runs from Suvarnabhumi Airport, if you arrive at Don Mueang airport, it will has free shuttle bus to Suvarnabhumi. The bus runs from 7am to 10pm daily, you find the bus on the 1st floor of gate 8 of the airport.
- Bangkok Pattaya itinerary 5 days — The fullest guide for a budget trip on how to spend 5 days in Thailand perfectly.
- Krabi travel blog — The fullest Krabi travel guide & suggested Krabi itinerary 4 days perfectly?
Take the bus to Krabi (to Ao Nang, Phi Phi), Surat Thani (to Koh Samui), Chiang Mai: You see how to go in this article.
The popular and cheapest way to get around Bangkok is by bus, the rest is taxi, train (BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway) and Songthaew (or tuk-tuk). Of the 3 types of vehicles later, if the road is beautiful without traffic jam, taken taxi is the cheapest and happiest, of course, you have to ask driver to turn on the Meter to calculate, otherwise skip it. Tuk-tuks or trams each have their own advantages and disadvantages, trains seem to be cheap but not cheap, sometimes inconvenient because the train system is not as diverse and diverse as in Singapore, it may take a lot of walking under the hot weather to get to a station. Tuk-tuks are more convenient when you can catch it anywhere, but are often overcharge, drivers are quite snob, expensive, they offer how much, you bargain lower than at least half to go.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Bangkok you can refer to
- Bangkok City & Temples Tour by Tour East
- Classic Bangkok Tour: Floating Market, Elephant Village, Asiatique, & More by AK Travel
- Bangkok Old City Half Day Tour
- Bangkok Landmarks Day Tour: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Chao Phraya River & More
- Bangkok Sky Train (BTS) One Day Pass
- Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (ARL) Ticket
- [Sale] Private Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfers (BKK) for Bangkok, Pattaya & More by Oriental Holiday
- Shared City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya by Oriental Holiday
- Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin & More
- Shared City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya by Oriental Holiday
- Private City Transfers from Pattaya to Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Samet & Koh Chang
- [SALE] BTS Skytrain Rabbit Card
- Chao Phraya Tourist Boat Bangkok Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Boat
- [SALE] Chao Phraya Princess Cruise
- [SALE] 4G Sim Card (Thailand Pick Up) for Thailand
- 4G SIM Card (BKK Airport Pick Up) for Thailand (Unlimited Data)
- 4G Pocket WiFi (Bangkok and Phuket Airports Pick Up) for Thailand
Are you finding more Bangkok travel guide: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out our Bangkok travel blog — The fullest Bangkok travel guide blog for a budget trip to Bangkok (BKK).