For those who live, work, and play in Bangkok, the Skytrain - completed in December of 1999 - has been a dream come true. What could often be easily more than a one-hour taxi ride in rush hour from Sukhumvit to Silom now takes less than 15 minutes, and that's with a transfer at the Central Station at Siam Square! Not to mention that it's cheaper as well. Outside of rush hour - unless you're an old hand and know what time to go on which roads - you're bound to get caught up in a bottleneck somewhere. The trains are extremely convenient between the modern business, shopping, and hotel districts and you should definitely use them. Where they do not go are the heavily visited areas of the older parts of the city which house Chinatown and the sacred temples of The Golden Palace. These areas are best visited by taxi, river boat (from Silom/Sathorn) or, if you're adventurous, canal boat (from the Siam Square area near Ratchathewi station). The Skytrain operates from 6:00 am to midnight and is simple to use - just pay for a ticket at the automated kiosks located in every station. If you don't have change, you can get it at one of the booths. A ride costs between 10 and 40 baht depending on your destination. The stations are extremely safe, though the usual pre-cautions for any location for single woman late at night apply. For more information, please call 617-7300.
Up until a few years ago, the few taxis that had meters rarely would use
them. After years of abuse, the battered tourist got a break when the
government finally cracked down. Now, all taxis have meters and
you don't have to plead for ten minutes to get them to turn it on! How
convenient. Flagfall is 35 baht for the first two kilometers, and 4.5
baht for the next ten kilometers, 5 baht for kilometer 13 through 20 and
5.5 baht for anything more. If the taxi is travelling at less than 6 km/h,
then there is a surcharge of 1.25 baht per minute. This is to help alleviate
their continuously being stuck in traffic.All this is subject to change
without notice, of course but at least you get an idea of the rate structure.
Still, Bangkok taxis are more numerous and much less costly that in most
other cities and often preferable late at night when there's relatively
little traffic and your hotel and/or destination aren't right at a Skytrain
Before the advent of the metered taxi, this non-airconditioned,
noisy, yet romantic three-wheeler was the way to get around Bangkok.
Nowadays, it's as cheap or cheaper (and more comfortable) to take a taxi.
However, if you want to have the experience, we recommend you do it in
the cool of the night. In the day, it's almost intolerable to be breathing
in the pollution in the streets from the heat of the open-air tuk-tuk.
Don't say we didn't warn you.
|Buses are dirt cheap - less than 5 baht for any trip of ten kilometers or less. Well, except for the green ones, and maybe the blue ones, too. The thing is, there are so many routes and buses and times and fares that we won't begin to try to list them here. Simply ask at your hotel how to get from A to B and they should be able to point you in the right direction. One note: the city runs a popular ladies-only line and you should ask about this at your hotel's front desk, if interested.|
River and Canal Boats
trip on the Chao Phraya is certainly recommended during your stay. River
boats are faster and cleaner, not to mention more picturesque, between
certain points - most notable between the riverside hotels and the older
parts of the city. There are major docks near the Bangkok Marriott Spa,
the Peninsula, Royal Orchid Sheraton/The Oriental and the Shangri-la.
If you take a trip early in the morning or in the late afternoon you will
run into the hordes of people who use the boats to commute to/from work.
Pay attention getting on and off! The boats don't wait long and everything's
bobbing up and down - both pier and boat.