Dont forget to take the cheaper boat to shuttle around Bangkok on the water! I wrote about this last year and you can read the post by clicking here.
More From Thailand:
While there are a number of options for traveling longer distances in Thailand, when we went up to Chiang Mai we opted to fly on Thai Airways. It's true that there were some nominally cheaper flights on other airlines, and there is always the sleeper train, but to be honest... I just wasn't feeling that this time.
What Does It Cost?
The flight between Bangkok and Chiang Mai is just over an hour and we booked "early saver" seats at 1320 baht per passenger including taxes. That's about $35 USD. Not too shabby!
There's Free Food?!
Traffic in Bangkok is bad. However there are times when it makes more sense to take a taxi than another method.
Sometimes it's just convenience because you're not located close to a BTS stop or a Pier etc, or maybe your end destination isn't close to any stop.
Because the rate is determined by the meter, it can be more economical for multiple people sharing the taxi than each paying their way on public transport.
There are any number of reasons you may choose to use a taxi in Bangkok. So here are just a couple of things I learned along the way.
Getting a Taxi at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport
Actually, this could not be more simple.
Step One: Walk outside to Taxi area
Step Two: Push Button and Receive Slip
Step Three: Proceed to designated Taxi
About The Slip
The slip gives you some key information. It tells you which taxi you are going to (lane number) and details about the taxi and driver. There is contact information for the airport and Ministry of Transport.
In the event of any issue you have, you can now reference this conveniently for any information you would need to report. Maybe you just forgot something in the taxi. This will help you track it down.
Only Go By The Meter!!
Taxis are regulated by their meters in the city of Bangkok. If a taxi driver wants to give you a rate to get to a certain place, probably he is trying to rip you off. Besides, how do you even know what a good rate is? :-( #noobstruggles So when you go to get into a taxi ask them if the meter is working. If they say no... Get your butt out of there. Don't worry, you'll catch another taxi.
Airport Taxi Drivers
An airport taxi driver will add 50 baht onto whatever the meter says. Don't get all up in arms. They aren't trying to scam you. This is a regulation by the Ministry of Transport and is actually noted on your slip from the airport, at the bottom.
Take a Picture - It Will Last Longer
At the front passenger side of each taxi is the information about the taxi, driver, numbers, etc. Although sometimes the driver does NOT look like the one in the picture at all.. Hmm...
Anyhow. It's a good idea to take a picture of that and/or the taxi number on the door. Again, this is just a precaution incase there is an incident or (hopefully the more likely thing) you forget something in a Taxi.
How Much Did It Cost?
We took a taxi from the Suvarnabhumi airport at1:40 am.
The taxi was from the airport to the Ideo Mobi condo Sukhumvit 81.
Cost 217 baht on meter + 50 baht for airport taxi driver for a total of 267 baht, or about $7.50 USD
Depending on the route you take, its about 30-38 kilometers according to Google.
Great deal! ;-)
The Chao Phraya (แม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา) River is a huge river that runs through Thailand, including Bangkok. Don't you love it when a city is situated on water?
Naturally, you have options for transportation via the river. In many cases, the River may provide a most convenient spot for you to reach your destination with ease. For your convenience, I will link to the official BTS and Chao Phraya Express Boat web pages to highlight some useful pages for planning your trip.
We took the BTS from Onnut station (สถานีอ่อนนุช) to Siam (สถานีสยาม) where we transferred to Silom Line (สายสีลม) and got off a few stops later at Saphan Taksin. (สถานีสะพานตากสิน) This station is nicely situated at the Pier where you can catch the Chao Phraya Express Boat or Tourist Boat as well as hire other boats, perhaps a longtail to take you to the floating market.
Ticketing - Express Boat
There are several different lines you can take that run different routes and at different times.
Local Line (no flag): 8/10/12 baht
Orange Flag Boat: 14 baht
Green Flag Boat: 10/12/19/31 baht
Yellow Flag Boat: 19/29 baht
Of course the prices vary depending on how far you are traveling, which stop you get off at.
Ticketing - Tourist Boat
Most likely, this is what you are hear to know read up on.
The tourist boat is a lovely provision!! It leaves from Sathorn Pier every 30 minutes starting at 9:30.
A ticket costs 130 baht ( about $3.65 USD) for unlimited rides all day.
Much like the BTS day pass, there is a lot of comfort in knowing you have unlimited rides when you are new to the area and just learning how to get around. Once you get your travel streamlined then you can save more by purchasing individual fares. But for tourists visiting for a short time, it's a lovely option!
Ticketing - Where To Buy
* Sathorn Pier (Central Pier)
* Phra Arthit Pier
* BTS Siam Station
* BTS Taksin Station
Sights As You Sail
Busy as we all area, multitasking is a must.
And travel, unfortunately, is often too short. We have too many places to go, things to see, foods to try, culture to take in (Side Note: Overplanning is BAD. We'll talk about that later ;) )...
The River Boats are a great way to multitask. While you get to your next adventure for the day, you can enjoy the sights of the Chao Praya rushing through Bangkok. Take the time to look around and appreciate the color, the architecture, and the people around you.
If you're not in a rush, why not hop off at a stop you have never been to before? Or why not stay on to one of the very last stops. See what you find!
At The End Of Your Adventure
You may be tired, after hopping on and off all day, trying not to miss the boat and land in the river.
(Yes, that almost happened to me) But even as the darkness surrounds you, the twinkling of city lights and boats dancing on the river could hardly be more beautiful.
Have Time For One Last Ride? Hang On Tight and Push Play! <3
Tomorrow is Taxi Tuesday! See ya then for a couple of Taxi Tuesday Travel Tips ;-p
Have a great day!
Can I just say that I love the BTS?
I don't know what exactly it is about it, but I love it. It was was nice, clean, efficient. It was easy to hear what stop you were approaching and which door would open. Most of the time it was crowded. And I mean really crowded. You start to walk a mile in the shoes of sardines smashed all up against each other in one of those little cans. There are sights. There are smells. I love it all. Okay, I don't love all of the smells. But the memories that come with it are my jam!
Another reason I probably loved the BTS was because we strategically chose an accommodation that was steps away from the Onnut BTS stop. ;) A girl has to get places, amiright?!
Check out this short video for how to insert a ticket at the BTS station, if you're unfamiliar.
There are a number of ticketing options for the BTS.
You can get:
* Single journey ticket - 15-42 baht per trip (~$0.42 - 1.18 USD)
* One day pass - unlimited for 140 baht (~$3.92 USD)
It really depends on what you're doing which is a better value. Check the chart at the station (or online) to see what the cost would be for you to get to your destination(s) and back. In some cases it is worth it to get the pass. Or if you are only visiting for a day or so and prefer the peace of mind of the pass in case you get off at the wrong stop and need to get back on etc, then go for the one day pass. Our first day we did a lot of moving and got the one day pass. After that we did the single journey tickets.
The stations were great because everything was in Thai and English. Or... whatever they call the English spelling of the Thai words. (?) That was super helpful.
There are also quick food places in the stations! I was excited about that!! Although, you are not to eat on the platforms or in the trains. But when you get off it's convenient to grab a bite on your way out. We enjoyed several Thai teas with boba this way. <3
There are 2 BTS lines (Silom and Sukhumvit Lines) and they connect via BTS at Siam station. The BTS website is an excellent resource and has an English option for page viewing. It has interactive maps and routes. You can see not only the stops, but also when you click on any stop it will bring up another map of the area around the stop. What business are around, where the different exits are and so-on..
An incredible service is the "Explore Bangkok by BTS" page. Here you can narrow down places you want to go to by category (such as Palaces, Shopping, Parks, etc) You can read a description of the place and get information like hours, entrance fees, phone number, website, and instructions on how to get there!!! How awesome is that?!
I hope this brief overview of the BTS is helpful to you. I found it very convenient to use and user-friendly for a newbie in Thailand. If you're visiting for a short time, it will likely take you to all the main places you would want to go, or at least pretty close to them.
Trip on over again next week for info about the Chao Phraya Express Boat including some video footage. ;)
Have an awesome weekend!
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Growing up I thought I would never leave my home town, but in my 20's I caught the travel bug and if I'm not traveling you can bet I am dreaming about my next adventure.
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