I wrote about getting around Bangkok by using three transportation systems, but actually Bangkok offers you many types of transportation. To help you plan your visit in Bangkok, in this blog post I will give you a detail of each transportation system which is available in Bangkok.
Comparing to subway or skytrain systems in other countries, the BTS skytrain in Bangkok might be the easiest system to use in the world because currently BTS has only 2 lines: Silom line and Sukhumvit line. However, with only 2 lines, BTS manages to cover several important areas in Bangkok. The central station, Siam station, where you can change line might make you a little bit confused, but the signs are written clearly in two languages: Thai and English. You are not allowed to bring foods and beverages to the skytrain. BTS runs daily from 06.00 to 24.00. It is crowded during rush hours. The fare starts from 15 baht up to 52 baht for single journey ticket depending on the distance. One day pass ticket is available in 130 baht. More and updated information about the other type of tickets and service routes can be found here or on BTS official website.
MRT or subway in Bangkok is also an efficient transportation system. Comparing to subways in other countries that I have visited, MRT is quite new, cheap and clean. It has only 1 line covering other important areas. BTS and MRT cover different areas in Bangkok, but these 2 systems link together. There are 3 stations that you can transfer from either BTS to MRT or MRT to BTS. MRT runs daily from 06.00 to 24.00. The fare starts from 16 baht up to 40 baht for adult and from 8 baht up to 20 baht for child/elder for single journey ticket depending on the distance. One day pass, 3-day pass, 15-day pass, 30-day pass and premiere pass are also available. More detail about the ticket info and service routes can be found here or on MRT official website.
Airport Rail Link
Airport rail link connects Suvarnabhumi airport to Bangkok city. It connects with BTS at Phaya Thai station. It takes around 15-30 minutes from the airport to the city. Airport rail link runs daily from 06.00 to 24.00. The city line fare starts from 15 baht up to 45 baht. The express line fares are 90 baht for single trip and 150 baht for round trip. The timetable and service route can be found on airport rail link official website.
BRT (Bus rapid transit)
This is the only transportation system that I still have no chance to use it even once. With this system you can travel faster because one bus lane is dedicated for BRT bus. Currently only one line, Sathon–Ratchaphruek route, has been operating. The fare starts from 12 baht up to 20 baht depending on distance. BRT system connects to the Silom line of the BTS system at Chong Nonsi station.
Chaophraya Express Boat
Chaophraya Express Boat is another efficient transportation system. It is quite easy to reach some attractive places such as Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun by boat. Chaophraya Express Boat connects to the Silom line of the BTS system at Saphan Taksin station. The detail about timetable and fares can be seen from its official website.
**This map shows you the areas that the five transportation systems above cover and also how they connect to the others. **
** With only 5 transportation systems, you can avoid traffic jams while exploring many areas in Bangkok. However, they do not reach the entire Bangkok. For some places, you still need other transportation systems. **
The buses run around Bangkok and to nearby provinces. The fare is very cheap, but it does not have schedule. Sometimes you have to wait for the bus more than an hour and the bus comes with crowded people. So, it is quite difficult to plan a trip. Personally I use the bus when travelling during non-peak hours only. Read this guide first, if you want to get around Bangkok by bus.
Taxi is another easy way to get around Bangkok. Finding a taxi is quite easy especially around the shopping malls and attraction places. The fare starts at 35 baht for the first kilometer. If you travel only a few kilometers, it usually goes up to 50-60 baht depending on the traffic. Well, please bear in mind that some taxi drivers speak little English. Read this guide first, if you want to get around Bangkok by bus.
Motorcycle taxi is one of the public transportation types in Bangkok and also other provinces in Thailand. Motorcycle taxi is usually used for short rides such as in sois or alleys. Due to the traffic in Bangkok, motorcycle taxi could lead you to the destinations faster. If you want to use the service during rush hours, you might have to wait in a long queue.
This type of transportation is very popular among tourists. Riding a Tuk Tuk is always in a must-do list for many foreigners. If you want to ride it, I recommend you to do it in the late evening in order to escape both heat and traffic jam.
Van or Minibus
This transportation system is relatively new compared to others. With vans or minibuses, you can go to many attractive places in and around Bangkok such as Hua-Hin, Pattaya, and Ayutthaya. Currently Victory Monument is the biggest hub. You can see more detail here.
As you may know, this is the most convenience transportation types. You can rent a car at both Suvarnabhumi Airport and Dom Mueang Airport.