International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Culture Corner

Getting Around Bangkok

Like many cities, Bangkok offers a number of ways to explore all it has to offer. Walking is a great way to navigate the city's streets and nearby areas. If you prefer something a bit more automated, public transportation offers many affordable options to move about the city.

To learn more about the different ways to navigate Bangkok, please read the descriptions below.

Types of Transportation

Domestic flights have become more affordable and popular in the last few years. Most fly in/out of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui or Phuket. Thai Airways is Thailand's national carrier, but Nok Air and Air Asia tend to be cheaper.

Thailand?s bus company, Transport Company or Baw Khaw Saw (BKS) is subsidized by the government and provides reliable, comfortable rides throughout the country. The different classes of buses include:

  • rót thammádaa (ordinary buses) are the cheapest, slowest, and fan-only buses that stop in every small town along the way.
  • rót ae (air bus); rót pràp aakàat (air-con bus; and rót tua (tour bus) are faster, and more comfortable, but run less frequently.
Reservations for the air-con buses can be made at any BKS terminal, but tickets for the ordinary buses cannot be booked in advance.

Subway & Sky Train
The Sky Train (BTS - Bangkok Transit System) and Light Rail (MRT - Mass Rail Transit) are going to be common ways to travel and lines run throughout Bangkok and the suburbs.

Taxis can be a good option for quick comfortable trips, especially if traveling in a group as the rate is per vehicle and not per person unlike other forms of public transportation. Taxis are run by meter and the metered rate begins at 35 baht. Metered taxis come in many different colors, with the green and yellow ones being thought of as the best, because they are driven by the owner, while the others are usually rented out. They're inexpensive compared to other big-city cabs, running approximately 35B (0.85 US$ approx) including the first 2km and then it's 5B/km after that.

Please note: each taxi has an ID number posted on the inside of the passenger door, it is good to note this down in case you have an issue or forget something in the taxi, it can be tracked down by this number.

Transportation Passes

Monthly and unlimited day BPS Skytrain passes for students can be purchased at any of the rom the Ticket Issuing Machine or ticket office in Bangkok. Various pass options are available.