Your options for getting around Bangkok
So, you live in Pattaya but need to spend some time in Bangkok either for business or just a change of scene. How do you get round the capital, assuming you don’t want the hassle of driving yourself?
To get there, you can either take a taxi for around 1,000 baht, or a reasonable alternative is an air-conditioned bus from Pattaya bus station at a cost of around 124 baht. The seats are fairly comfortable and the journey takes 2 – 2 ½ hours. The buses leave every 30 minutes or so from the bus station going to either Morchit (near the famous Jatujak or Chatuchak market) or to Ekamai in Sukhumvit Road. Both are close to Skytrain stations. Once you arrive, the transport options are the numerous meter taxis, which offer excellent value for door-to-door service and for long trips across the city in comfort. ‘Tuk-tuks’ are ok for short hops if you don’t mind being exposed to the ghastly vehicle emissions. Motorcycle taxis offer another cheap alternative and offer a quick (though somewhat risky) option when the traffic is particularly bad. If time is not a pressing issue, the large air-conditioned buses are cheaper still and pretty comfortable. They can get rather crowded though.
An increasing number of people look to the Skytrain as a quick, affordable option to getting around the capital. It is clean and efficient, with regular arrivals and easily the quickest way to get across the city. The network is increasing all the time with extensions across the river to Rattanakosin Island and significantly, to Suvarnabhumi airport, which is very good for tourists and expats from the business community in Bangkok who fly on a regular basis.
The Skytrain route covers most of the major business and tourist areas, with several stops along Sukhumvit Road and Ploenchit Road and also, with a switch at Siam Square onto the main business district of Silom. For those tourists or expats who enjoy the bar scene, the Skytain stops at Asoke (near Soi Cowboy) Nana (Near Nana Plaza) and Silom (near Patpong) The service is automated, so to save time getting change, take some 10 baht coins with you. They do offer ticket promotions, pre paid tickets etc. The underground syste, the Metro has routes from Hualongporn, the main railway station to Bangsue with some stops interconnecting with Skytrain stations.
The type of transport that you choose will obviously be determined by the purpose of your visit and which parts of Bangkok you need to get to. The Skytrain website is www.bts.co.th
If you are going to Bangkok for sightseeing, the One Day River Pass is a great idea. You can get off at any of 8 different piers to visit some of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks, such as WatArun, the massage centre of Wat Po and the magnificent WatPhrakaew. When you are finished, you can get on another boat and visit the next landmark. Tickets cost only 150 baht per day. More information at www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com