Getting Around, Bangkok Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Bangkok, Thailand)

Picture of roads in the city centreBangkok is well placed, meaning that it is fairly straightforward to travel all over Thailand from the city itself. Many people choose to fly into Bangkok's gleaming new airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, while others arriving from mainland locations travel into Bangkok by train or use long-distance, air-conditioned bus transport.

Within the city environs, you will find an almost bewildering selection of public transport. Whilst the more peaceful areas of Bangkok are perfect for walking, within the city centre many prefer to use underground metro trains, the elevated Skytrain, and bus transport, which comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. However, no trip to Bangkok is really complete without a trip on one of its iconic 'tuk tuks'. It is even possible to travel to some parts of the city by boat, along the Mae Nam Chao Phraya River and canals.

Interior picture of Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) / Arriving by Air

Address: Racha Thewa, Bang Phli, Bangkok, 10540, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 2 132 1888
The recently opened (2006), modern Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) often still goes by the name of Bangkok International Airport and is a major transport complex, with seven different levels and an appealing observation deck. The airport features a good choice of ground transportation, such as buses, hotel shuttles, taxis and limos, and is approximately 25 km / 16 miles to the east of Bangkok city centre.

Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) Guide

Photo of roads beneath the skytrain

Car Rental

Cars can be easily rented from various hire companies around Bangkok and its nearby Suvarnabhumi Airport. Long-term rentals often feature sizable discounts although it is worth noting that you will always need both a passport and International Driving Permit before renting any vehicle. In is also essential that you are a confident driver, since the roads around central Bangkok can become rather hectic and congested at times.

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Picture showing buses and cars in the city centre

Buses and Coaches

By using the Bangkok Metropolitan Transit Authority (BMTA) buses solely for city transport, you can be sure to save plenty of money. Public bus transport is an extremely cheap way to travel around Bangkok, with the prices being cheapest on the smaller red or green buses. In general, most of the buses within Bangkok travel between 05:00 to 23:00, although all-night buses (cream and red) do operate outside of these hours. On packed buses, always keep a close eye on your luggage, at all times. Lookout for the pink and white microbuses, which are never crowded since they don't allow standing passengers. Long-distance bus transport provides an economical way to travel into Bangkok from various locations around Thailand and even Malaysia.

Photo of the skytrain

Trains / Metro / Skytrain

A fast way to travel to Bangkok from mainland destinations, such as Chiang Mai and Pattaya, is by using train transport. Hua Lamphong is the main train station and can be found in the city centre, within the Pathum Wan area. This train station is linked to the Bangkok Metro, a fast underground network of subway train transport, often known as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). The elevated Skytrain (rót far fáa) network is also a popular way to travel in the city and is run by the Bangkok Mass Transit System Skytrain (BTS), allowing travellers to avoid traffic jams whilst enjoying the views as they travel, many of which are not visible from road level. Skytrains travel between the hours of 06:00 and midnight.

View of the famous 'tuk tuks'

Taxis / Tuk Tuks

Metered taxi transport (tháeksii miitôe) is readily available around Bangkok and often extremely convenient, being easy to flag down on the street. However, increased demand between 08:00 to 09:00, 18:00 to 19:00, and from 01:00 to 02:00, means that taxis can be in short supply. Many locals prefer to travel on Bangkok's iconic three-wheeled 'tuk tuks', which have the advantage of being small in size and can therefore weave in and out of the traffic during times of congestion. Motorcycle taxis are also available around the city, while river taxis along the Mae Nam Chao Phraya make for a particularly pleasant commute.