How to Get Around Bangkok

18 Dec, 2023 | A-> Z Guide

Avoid getting caught in traffic, and spend your time enjoying all the attractions and activities this energetic city has to offer instead.

When you first set foot in Bangkok - the capital of holiday heaven Thailand, this city’s bustle may simultaneously exhilarate you and make you feel a bit daunted. Thankfully, there are many ways to get around quickly and efficiently. In fact, the traffic jams for which Bangkok was once notorious are not nearly as much trouble as they used to be.
With the Bangkok transportation methods in this post, you can avoid getting caught in traffic, and spend your time enjoying all the attractions and activities this energetic city has to offer instead. Let’s go over how to get around Bangkok.

1. Airport Rail Link

If you are in search of a quick way to reach the city center from Suvarnabhumi Airport, consider taking the Airport Rail Link (ARL). It is also sometimes called the Airport Train Link or simply the Airport Link. The names of the three services ARL operates are the City Line train, Phaya Thai Express and Makkasan Express. Using this link, you can travel between the airport and the city center in just 26 minutes.

  • Fare: 45 baht
  • Working hours: 5:30 am to midnight, daily
  • Notes: With a departure every 10-15 minutes, you never have to wait long to catch a ride. Purchasing your token is easy; just use the ticket machine, which is available in Thai and English. The tokens come in a range of colors, but they are all for the same route if that is what you correctly purchased.

2. MRT

MRT stands for Metropolitan Rapid Transit. It is a metro system you can use while visiting Bangkok, consisting of three lines: the Blue Line, the Yellow Line and the Purple Line. The Blue Line runs from Lak Song to Tha Phra. The Purple Line runs from Khlong Bang Phai and Tao Poon. The Yellow Line goes between Lat Phrao and Samrong. As with the Airport Rail Link, you purchase tokens, not tickets.
Despite the fact that the Yellow Line is part of MRT, many people consider it separate since it is a monorail SkyTrain. So, when tourists ask about the MRT, they are almost always referring to the Blue and Purple lines.

  • Fare: 17 baht to 43 baht
  • Working hours:

Blue Line: 6 am to midnight, daily

Purple Line: 5:30 am to midnight (weekdays), 6 am to midnight (weekends and public holidays)

  • Notes:

MRT stations tend to have multiple exits. You can look at the map in each station to see where the exits lead. It is also useful to be aware that there are connections between MRT and the Airport Rail Link and BTS (see below). Therefore, if you want to take advantage of Thai public transport, make sure you get a hotel slot near the main streets to save your legs. 

3. BTS

BTS stands for “Bangkok Mass Transit System.” Usually, people just refer to it as the “BTS Skytrain.” This Bangkok transportation system features the following lines: the Sukhumvit Line, running between Khu Khot and Kheha; the Gold Line, operating between Krung Thon Buri and Khlong San; and the BTS Silom Line, running between the National Stadium and Bang Wa. As an elevated rail, BTS is pleasant to ride and offers excellent views of Bangkok.

  • Fare: 17 baht to 62 baht
  • Working hours: 6 am to midnight, daily
  • Notes:

As the stations feature elevators and escalators, they offer excellent accessibility.
The arrows you see on the floor at the platforms tell you where to stand if you want to get on the train, as well as where not to stand to avoid the people who are exiting the train.

4. Taxi

Another option for getting around Bangkok is to hail a taxi. This may be convenient when you need to travel somewhere that you cannot access easily via a mass transit line.
When you are looking for a taxi to flag down, it is helpful to know that they are not just yellow; they can be green, blue, red, orange or pink. The different colors indicate different companies, but do not have any other special significance.
Look for a sign in the front window of a vehicle that indicates it is vacant to identify a cab you can take.

  • Fare: Starting at 40 baht (source)
  • Working hours: 24 hours a day
  • Notes:

An important thing to note is: don't hail a taxi during rush hour (07.30–09.30 and 16.30–18.30) if you don't want to end up with hours and hours on the road for nothing and be surcharged with more baht. Having a cup of coffee or going shopping during these time frames is much better. Moreover, the taxi rates for traffic jams are outrageous, so you may end up regretting not traveling on foot.
Also, we recommend you know how to get to where you want to be, as not all cab drivers know their way to all destinations.

5. Tuk-tuk

A tuk-tuk, also known as a samlor, is a small motorized rickshaw taxi with open sides. Tuk-tuks are not the most efficient transportation vehicles, but they are a lot of fun.
There are different options for using tuk-tuks. You can take a short trip in one, or you can book one for a day and use it as needed, or you can go on a tuk-tuk tour. Some tuk-tuks drive routes that are similar to bus routes, and passengers can come and go as they need to at regular stops along those routes.

  • Fare: Starting at 30 baht
  • Working hours: Hours vary by operator
  • Notes:

Consider making your tuk-tuk trip a short one and specifically avoiding using one in congested traffic. It would not be fun to be stuck breathing fumes.

One more thing—tuk-tuk drivers are used to negotiating pricing. So, if you are quoted a high rate, do not immediately agree to it. Instead, bargain. The driver will usually settle for a lower price. Take care of this before you start your ride.

6. Rental motorbike

One of the most cost-effective and versatile Bangkok transport options is to rent a motorbike. You can rent one for a day, a week, or even a month. In fact, we have seen prices quoted at around 2,500 baht per month, which comes out to under $70 US dollars. So, for tourists on a budget, it is arguably the best way to get around Bangkok.

  • Fare: Starting at around 150 baht per day, or 2,500 baht per month
  • Working hours: Hours vary by operator
  • Notes:

When you rent a vehicle in your own country, you should inspect it and take photos and/or video when you receive it. That way, no one will be able to claim you put in a dent that was already there. Read the rental agreement carefully before you sign it.
Also, make your first stop at a gas station. Usually, the tank is close to empty when the company rents you the motorbike.

7. Bus

Another Bangkok transportation system many people will use at some point during their trips is the bus system. As there are numerous types of buses, routes and stops, the system can get you to most places, but it may be overwhelming if it is your first time using it.

  • Fare: 8 baht (regular), 9.50 baht (24-hour buses), 10 baht (express), 12 baht (air-conditioned), 13-25 baht (spacious EURO II buses)
  • Working hours: 5:00 am to 11 pm, daily (a few buses also run 24 hours a day)
  • Notes:

Bus conductors cannot always make changes for large bills; plan accordingly.
The colors of the buses are significant. They can indicate different types of buses or different routes.

8. Songthaew (Shared taxi)

The Songthaew is one of the more unusual means of Bangkok transportation. It takes the form of a pickup truck that features a pair of benches in back and an awning overhead. Like a small bus, you share the ride with other passengers.
Also, as with a bus, a shared taxi has a specific route. But you can signal the driver to let you out anywhere; you do not have to wait for a predetermined stop.

  • Fare: 10-30 baht
  • Working hours: Early morning to evening (varies by route)
  • Notes:

Hailing a Songthaew works just like hailing a cab. You can check for a sign that lists the route. If there isn’t one, the color may offer a clue. If you are in any doubt, ask the driver. Also, if you happen to be the only rider, you may be able to get the driver to take you exactly where you want to go. Of course, there is an added fee for this service.

9. Boats/Ferries

One more enjoyable way to get around Bangkok is to take a ferry service. These include express boat river taxis, long-tail boats, hotel shuttle boats, river-crossing boats and canal boats. Not only is this method of transportation convenient, but it gets you away from all the noise, fumes and traffic of the streets for a peaceful jaunt.

  • Fare: 10-40 baht
  • Working hours: Morning to evening (varies by route)
  • Notes:

To identify the route for a given vessel, check which color flag it is flying. Also, be aware that while a boat will get you away from the noises of the streets, some of the vessels themselves can be quite loud.

Share on


Countless travel tips, Asian worth-seeing destinations unveiling are coming to your mailbox every week!

Related post

10 Popular Cambodian Food Every Visitor Needs To Try

10 Popular Cambodian Food Every Visitor Needs To Try

| 28 Apr, 2023

Discover what’s special in Khmer food and other types of Cambodian cuisine. ...

Traditional Costumes Of Myanmar

Traditional Costumes Of Myanmar

| 08 Mar, 2023

The traditional costumes of Myanmar show a lot of cultural and personal traits of this country, which are unique, ......

Why do Burmese Women Have White Faces?

Why do Burmese Women Have White Faces?

| 02 Feb, 2023

Burmese women apply Thanakha to protect their skin and for beauty purposes. ...