Bus is a type of transportation in Bangkok. Taking Bangkok bus is not difficult, but also is not that easy especially if you do not know Thai language. In this post, I would like to give you information about the Bangkok buses such as types of bus, fare, routes, timetable, and also tell you the tips to use Bangkok buses.
Bangkok Bus Types and Fare
The buses in Bangkok are operated by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA). And, there are privately-owned buses also. On the streets you will see several bus types; some of them are non air conditioned, while some of them are air-conditioned.
The fare rate for Bangkok bus is very cheap. The air-conditioned buses are a little bit more expensive than the non air-conditioned ones. For the non air-conditioned buses, it is around 6.5-8 baht depending on bus types. For the air-conditioned buses, it is around 10-23 baht depending on the distance travel.
If you are lucky, you will find the free bus. Look at the photo below, the Thai written sign in the red rectangle box, “รถเมล์ฟรี จากภาษีประชาชน”, tells people that this is the free bus.
Bangkok Bus Routes
The service routes cover several areas in Bangkok and also nearby provinces such as Nonthaburi, Pathumthani, and Samutprakan. Unfortunately, the downloadable bus map is not available. You can only see the route of each bus line from this link and see the list of buses that pass each major tourist places from this link.
Bangkok Bus Timetable or Schedule
Most buses run from 04.00 or 05.00 to 22.00 or 23.00 (there are some overnight buses), but there is no bus timetable or schedule. It is possible that you have to wait for an hour for the bus and there is much chance that the bus is crowded and does not have available seats, but it should happen only when you go somewhere quite far and only one or two bus lines pass that place. You can check the service period of each bus line here.
Tips to use the bus
- To get on the bus, you have to flag down bus at bus stop; the driver does not stop at all bus stops.
- Since the destination sign on the bus is written in Thai and some buses run in shorter distance (The driver tells us by putting the sign in front of the bus and, of course, the sign is written in Thai), it is good to ask a local around or ask the bus conductor before boarding in order to ensure that the bus will pass your destination. And, if you do not know where to get off, tell the bus conductor to let you know.
- It would be good to have the name of your destination written in Thai with you, since many local here do not speak English.
- The bus conductor will collect the fare when you are on board. You have to prepare small change. A 500-baht note or more is (usually) not acceptable. For air-conditioned bus, you have to tell your destination because the fare depends on the distance travel.
- Keep the ticket with you until getting off; they check it sometimes.
- Walk inside; find a seat or a place to stand; do not block the way.
- Press a buzzer to let the driver know that you want to get off in advance.
- If you are new to Bangkok buses, I recommend you to take it during off-peak hours first.
Have you ever been to Bangkok? Have you ever ridden a bus in Bangkok? Share your experience with me in the comments!