Getting around the Kingdom of Thailand is easy, economical and convenient.
Apart from domestic services of Thai Airways International which flies to major destinations, the country also has a large network of highways and smaller roads linking the main cities with outlying areas.
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Visitors with international driving licences may wish to explore the country on their own. There are many car rental companies, ineluding Hertz and Avis, located in major tourist destinations throughout the country.
Travelling by train is another delightful way to explore the country. The State Railway of Thailand provides a nationwide network of routes. Trains offer first, second and third class options, including airconditioned first- and second-class sleeping coaches.
Forgetting around Bangkok, there are public taxis and tuk-tuks, air-conditioned buses, motorbike taxis and a new skytrain system serving key central areas. River ferries and water taxis complete the options for daily commuting within Bangkok and its suburbs.
Thai Airways International (TG), Bangkok Airways (PG) and PB Air operate regular domestic flights from Bangkok to major provincial and resort destinations. Advance booking is necessary when travelling during the high season and during public holidays any time.
- Bangkok Don Muang Airport
- Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Thai Airways International (TG)
The State Railway of Thailand operates four train lines - Northern, Northeastern, Eastern and Southern - accessing every province except Phuket. Trains are classified into Special Express (the fastest), Express, Rapid, and Ordinary.
First-class carriages, available on Special Express and Express services, consist of individual cabins with air conditioning. Second-class carriages have individual seats which are converted into curtained-off beds and a choice of fan or air-conditioning. Third-class carriages have wooden benches each seating two or three passengers. They are cheap but not recommended for long distance journeys. Toilets and washing facilities are located at the ends of carriages on all trains.
Train fares depend on class of carriage and destination. Extra charges may apply for certain bookings, such as for catering services and double beds in first-class carriages. Twentyday rail passes are available for second and third-class carriages.
Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Station) is the main station located near the intersection of Rama IV and Krung Kasem. The train can also be boarded at Samsen station on Rama VI Road. To book tickets, contact the Advance Booking Office at Hua Lamphong, Tel: 0 2223 3762, 0 2224 7788, 0 2225 0300 ext 5100 or provincial stations. For further information and schedules, call 1690 or visit www.srt.motc.go.th.
The State Railway of Thailand
- Head Office:
Don Muang Road, Bangkok 10330
Tel: 0 2222 0175, 0 2220 4444
Fax: 0 2220 4297
- Hua Lamphong station
Tel: 0 2223 3762, 0 2224 7788
Hot line: 1690
- Head Office:
89 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road,
Tel: 0 2513 0121
Fax: 0 2545 3832
- Lan Luang Office:
6 Lan Luang Road,
Tel: 0 2280 0070, 0 2280 0080
- Silom Office:
485 Silom Road,
Tel: 0 2234 3100-19
- Don Muang Airport:
Vibhavadi Rangsit Road,
Tel: 0 2535 2081-2, 0 2523 6121
- Hot line: 1566
Bangkok Airways (PG)
- Head Office: QSNCC,
New Ratchadaphisek Road,
Tel: 0 2229 3456-63
Fax: 0 2229 3454
PB Air (9Q)
- 591 UBC Tower II Building, Soi 33,
Tel: 0 2261 0220-5
Fax: 0 2261 0227
Buses and coaches are the only mode of transport to access all provinces in Thailand, running both to and from Bangkok and between each other. Options include ordinary air-conditioned coachcs end VIP air-conditioned coaches with refreshment services. Bookings can be made through travel agents, major hotels or at the following bus terminals:
Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai)
300 Soi 40, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110
Tel: 0 2391 8097, 0 2391 2504
For routes to Pattaya Rayong Trat and other points east
Northern & Northeastern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit 2)
999 Kamphaengphet 2 Road, Bangkok 10900
Tel: 0 2936 2841-48
For Chiang Mai and northern destinations
Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai)
147 Boromratchonnani Road, Bangkok 10700
Tel: 0 2434 5557-8, 0 2435 1200
Air-conditioned bases leave from the front building to destinations west and southwest
A variety of public bus services connect all parts of Bangkok. Prices vary according to air-conditioning and age but a11 are exceptionally economical. Regular services run from 5 am to 11 pm, while all-night services run from 11 pm to 5 am. For routing information, call 184 from 6 am to 9 pm.
Taxis & tuk-tuks
River ferries & Water Taxis
Another fast and convenient way to travel in Bangkok is by boat. A river ferry service operates along the Chao Phraya River between Krung Thep Bridge and Nonthaburi. Fares are fixed according to distance, ranging from 6 to 10 baht. The boats make frequent stops and run about every 20 minutes. The trip from The Oriental Hotel to Nonthaburi takes about one hour. Services operate daily from 6 am to 6 pin.
- Chao Phraya Express River Ferry,
Tel: 0 2222 5300-23
- Laem Thong Express Boat,
Tel: 0 2583 6195-9
In addition, cross river ferries operate from almost every boat landing. Riverside hotels also provide their own cross river services. Long-tailed taxis are good for visiting the smaller canals, or khlongs, particularly the extensive networks in Thon Buri. Tha Chang landing (near the Grand Palace) is the departure point for various destinations in Thon Buri. Furthermore, the Khlong Saen Saep ferry service runs from Phan Fa to the Bang Kapi intersection on Ramkhamhaeng Road. Landings are generally under bridges.
Taxis and tuk-tuks (open sided threewheel mini taxis) can be hailed anvwhere in Bangkok. Only use taxis with a rooftop "Taxi Meter" sign, and ensure that the meter is switched on before you start. Every journey starts with a set price of 35 baht, plus additional fare depending on distance and duration. Tuk-tuks are most useful on shorter trips during offpeak hours and are generally cheaper than taxis. Always bargain the price in advance. Motorbike taxis are good for weaving through heavy traffic. Drivers are obliged to provide crash helmets for passengers and it is against the law to ride without one.
BTS operates air-conditioned skytrains along two inter-connecting lines - Sukhumvit and Silom - daily from 6 am till midnight. The Sukhumvit line runs between Moh Chit station, Phaholyothin Road (near Chatuchak market), and On
Nut station, Sukhumvit Soi 77. The Silom line runs between Saphan Taksin station, near the Chao Phrava River on Sathon Road, and National Stadium station on Rama I Road.
The two lines are connected at Central Station (Siam Square) which has two platform levels for changing. All stations are accessed by stairs and some by escalators and lifts.
Trains run everv few minutes and the fares range from 10-45 baht, depending on number of stations travelled. -\9onthlv and Sterecj-\'alue (multi-trip) tickets arc Also available for the rei;ular traz-eller. Comprehensive maps are available at all stations free of charge. A BTS feeder system provides shuttle bus services to major stations. Check with a station or the BTS for current availability.
Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Co Ltd
BTS Building, Phaholvothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok
Tel: 0 2617 7300
Fax: 0 2617 7133 www.bts.co.th.
A Bangkok subway system is currently under construction. Once completed, it will complement the skytrain system bv connecting other kev points in the city. The subway will comprise three lines- Blue, Orange and Purple-and the first phase ia expected to begin operations in 2003.
Numerous international and local car rental firms are listed in the Bangkok Yellow Pages telephone directory. Vlam- are located around the Ploenchit end of Sukhumvit Road and on Rama IV and Sathon roads. Chauffeur-driven car rates are also available. Larger companies have offices in Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Hat Yai. Mini vans are also widely available for those travelling in groups.
Car rental companies
- Avis Rent-a-Car, Tel: 0 2255 5300-4
- Grand Car Rental, Tel: 0 2248 2991-2
- Klongtocy Car Rent, Tel: 0 2250 1930
- Lumpini Car Rent, Tel: 0 2255 1966-8
- Prabhirarb Transport Co, Tel: 0 2535 2634
- Budget, Tel: 0 2203 0250
- Don Muang Airport: Tel: 0 2552 8921 ext 8107
- Chiang Mai Airport: Tel: 0 5320 2871
- Chiang Rai: Tel: 0 5374 0442
- Hua Hin: Tel: 0 3251 4220
- Krabi Airport: Tel: 0 7563 1682
- Pattava: Tel: 0 3872 0612
- Phuket Airport: Tel: 0 7620 5396
- Samui Airport: Tel: 0 7742 7188
- Udon Thani Airport: Tel: 0 4234 1885