Bangkok Public Transport: The Ultimate All-in-One Guide to Travel Around the City356
BY Dr. Theodore (Professor Bear)

Bangkok Public Transport: The Ultimate All-in-One Guide to Travel Around the City

When you’re in a travel destination enjoying the place and the culture, everything is exciting and new 🧐 But, you will feel overwhelmed or stressed when you are getting from place to place. 

Accordingly, to a first-timer, Bangkok’s diverse public transportation system may appear daunting and overwhelming at first 🧑‍🎓

Bts Sky Train Is Running Downtown Bangkok Sky Train Is Fastest Transport Mode Bangkok (1)

Just believe me, with proper research and preparation, you will take on public transport in Thailand and easily travel around. If you need a guide to make sense of Bangkok’s public transport, this all-in-one guide is for you 💯


Move Around with Bangkok's Public Transport Local Thai People Transports inside Train Bangkok Mass Transit System Midday Period

In general, traffic in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) is absolute chaos, especially compared to Western cities 🧐 However, using public transport will be better than trying to drive yourself. Bangkok generally has an amazing public transport system that’s comfortable. 

Normal rush hours in the city fall around 07:00 and 09:00 in the early morning and 16:30 and 20:00 in the evening, but the main remain busy at any time of day 🧑‍🎓 You absolutely want to avoid getting stuck in traffic at places like Sukhumvit Road, as you can easily end up stationary for two hours. 


Travel by Railway Across Bangkok

BTS Skytrain

Bts Sky Train Is Running Downtown Bangkok Sky Train Is Fastest Transport Mode Bangkok

The BTS is the fastest way to travel in the city, and due to that, it is the all-time favorite way of Bangkok Public Transport for any Bangkokian. The BTS, which transports over 650,000 people daily, is an elevated rapid transit system known as the Skytrain 💯 This modern train system is equipped with superb air conditioning for comfort and gets you to the other side of the city within an hour. 

Bangkok has two different BTS lines, the Sukhumvit Line (light green) and the Silom Line (dark green), that cover the most important districts of the city 🧑‍🎓 At Siam BTS Station, travelers can switch between Sukhumvit and Silom Line and connect to the MRT System at Asok, Mo Chit and Silom BTS Stations. However, recently, the line was expanded. Nowadays, you can take the BTS from the heart of Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) all the way to Samut Prakan 🧐 But I focus on the BTS lines and stations covering the capital city for the article's purpose. The BTS Lines operate between 06:30 in the morning and 12:00 at midnight.

In order to access the BTS Lines, you need to buy a Rabbit Skytrain Card at the ticket booth or buy a single card at the ticket machines 🧑‍🎓 If you plan to use BTS multiple times a day, it’s best to get a BTS One-Day Pass for 140 THB or put money on your Rabbit Card at the kiosk. With these cards, you can easily access the platforms without waiting in a queue in front of the ticket booth. In 2018, the Sukhumvit Line extended all the way to Samut Prakan, and further extensions are planned for the future, including to Don Muang Airport 🧐 Travelers who must go to Suvarnabhumi International Airport can use the Airport Rail Link at Phaya Thai BTS Station.

The Airport Rail Link is a BTS connection between the international airport Suvarnabhumi and the city center, with seven stops. Several of these stops are connected with either the BTS or the MRT (Metro System) 💯 For tourists and every traveler; the BTS is a fantastic form of Bangkok Public Transport that allows you to travel comfortably and cuts out road traffic 🧑‍🎓 It’s a good idea to book a hotel close to a BTS Station to move quickly through the city. 

For more stops, check out the most recent version of the mass transit map of Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) made by Richard Barrow, who writes excellent and useful articles about tourism in Thailand 💯


MRT Metro

Asian Woman Tourist Waiting Skytrain Railway Station Platform City Bangkok Thailand

Another all-time favorite of Bangkok Public Transport is the MRT 🧑‍🎓 Like the BTS; this metro system has two different lines: the Blue Line and the Purple Line. 

At Sukhumvit, Chatuchak Park, and Silom Station, travelers can switch between lines and MRT and BTS systems 🧐 During rush hour, these stations get extremely busy, but using the BTS and the MRT is still a great alternative to being stuck in traffic jam. As an example, you will usually have to wait an additional fifteen minutes for the MRT Connection at Sukhumvit as it is so busy. But getting stuck at Sukhumvit Road in a taxi can take up to two hours 💯

When traveling on the MRT, you must get either a single-journey token or an MRT Pass. Like the BTS, travelers can also get a day pass for 120 THB 🧑‍🎓 As the railway systems are run by different companies, using an MRT day pass for a BTS ride is impossible. The MRT Lines are available between 06:00 in the morning and 12:00 at midnight. 



People Railway Station Traveling by Train Bangkok Thailand

The train system isn’t ideal for getting around Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok), but it’s a great way to travel to different parts of Thailand 🧑‍🎓 For many travelers, taking the train to the north or south of the country is a cheap, comfortable, and safe option. 

The trains nowadays are modern and equipped with all sorts of features such as air conditioning and power sockets 💯 However; these trains are extremely slow, yet fair-priced. Night trains, such as the train to Laos, have beds with freshly washed sheets. Each train is divided into three classes, with First Class being the most luxurious.

Bts Train Station Bangkok Thailand

Popular train routes, such as the night train for the Full Moon Party or the train to Laos, quickly sell out, so get tickets at least 24 hours before departure at the ticket booth at Hua Lamphong Station 🧐 Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok’s central hub, accessible from the Metro System.

The most convenient option is to get your train tickets from the Ticket Office for Foreigners (06:00 - 20:00) 🧑‍🎓 Always bring your passport when buying train tickets, as they’ll be linked to your name. The most popular train routes are:

  • Train to Chiang Mai
    This train will also take you to Ayutthaya.

  • Train to Nong Khai
    After arriving, you will take another train for 20 minutes to Vientiane, Laos. 

  • Train to Hua Hin

  • Train to Surat Thani
    This is the train to the Southern parts of Thailand and takes many of its travelers to the islands and the Full Moon Party.


The train to Kanchanaburi can only be accessed from a different train station named Thonburi Train Station 🧑‍🎓 From 2021, Hua Lamphong Train Station is no longer in use. The government is building an enormous state-of-the-art train station near Chatuchak Weekend Market. Once the new station is in use, the Hua Lamphong Station, which was opened in 1916, shall be transformed into a museum 💯


Travel by Road Around Bangkok

Bangkok Airport Taxi

Young Asian Woman See Her Car that Her Booked Via Ride Hailing App Are Waving It Down

On the first floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport, you'll find the taxi rank 🧐 To take a taxi from there; you need to get a ticket at the office inside the airport; they will direct you to the parking lot and your taxi. 

By law, the taxi driver charges an extra 50 THB fee on top of the total cost of the journey 💯 Most taxi drivers tend to take the highway, which means you must also pay extra toll costs. Traveling from the airport to central Bangkok usually costs up to 400 THB. It might be cheaper and more comfortable with a group of people 🧑‍🎓 The only downside is that most taxis are small sedans without space for all the suitcases. When taking a taxi with a group at the airport, ask for the larger taxi vans.

Since there's no Skytrain at Don Muang Airport yet, you can only take a bus or a taxi, so as you can imagine, it gets jam-packed. On the first level of Don Mueang, you'll find a similar taxi ticket system as at Suvarnabhumi 💯 Getting a taxi from the second level is possible to avoid the queues, where people are just being dropped off. Here you can easily get a taxi which most people don't know about. 

There are no extra fees at Don Mueang, but there are tollways before entering the city 🧑‍🎓 It will cost you around 150 THB to get to Mo Chit BTS Station, including the toll fee.  



Taxi Sign with Defocused Lights Blur Chinatown Bangkok Night Thailand Southeast Asia

As the railway systems in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) are limited, taking a taxi is another popular way of getting from point A to B 🧐 You can hail any taxi when the red light (sometimes green) in front of their window screen is turned on.

Even though you might have heard stories about taxi driver scams, in general, you won’t have any trouble if you follow this advice:  

  • Always ask the driver to use the meter. If they refuse, step out of the car and look for another taxi. The starting fee for the taximeter should be 35 THB.

  • It’s extremely difficult to hail a taxi during heavy rain. Drivers tend to increase the price or will refuse to use the meter.

  • Finding a metered taxi around nightlife areas during the night is difficult. Walking away from these areas and finding a driver to use the meter will be much easier. 

  • Avoid using taxis during rush hours; check if using the MRT or BTS is possible. It saves you a lot of time! 

  • Use Google Maps or maps to make sure the taxi driver is not taking a detour, which they sometimes tend to do with tourists.

  • If you use the highway, you’ll have to pay the toll at the gate. The taxi driver will always ask whether you want to take the highway.

  • Taxis can be much cheaper than the BTS if you travel in a group of three or four people.  


Taxis can be a great way to get around and are much safer than using a tuk-tuk or motorbike 🧑‍🎓 Taxis also typically have air conditioning, leather seats, and seatbelts, making a much more comfortable ride 💯



Thai Public Bus Transportation Travel Traffic Road Scenr

For most travelers, the public buses in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) are not a popular form of transport because of the research required to work out bus lines and timetables, which aren’t normally available in English 🧐

Some buses aren’t the most comfortable transport either and are frequently old and rundown 💯 Long-distance night buses, however, are a great mode of transport, especially if you’re on a budget. These buses are cheap but comfortable and relatively safe 🧑‍🎓 Just ensure you always keep your valuables with you. Sometimes night buses can be extremely slow, and the longest journeys can take 20-plus hours. 

Tickets for these buses can be found in any city at any travel agency for destinations around Thailand 💯 If you have a slightly higher budget, I’d still recommend the train, which is faster and more efficient. 



Tuk Tuk Thailand Thai Traditional Taxi Thailand

As some people have shared, a tuk-tuk may not only be uncomfortable and unsafe, but the level of pollution inhaled when driving around the city could be overwhelming 🧐

Some of you may have also read from other websites about some tuk-tuk drivers infamous for their scams and often charging ridiculous prices for short trips 🧑‍🎓 Remember that not everyone does.

You can always negotiate, and some are flexible and open to giving you an exciting tour around the city 💯 Although, personally, I still must say that taxis are much safer, cheaper, and more comfortable.  



Motorcycle Is Running Road Lumphine Bangkok Thailandeditorial

In Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok), you'll notice vibrant orange-vested motorbike riders offering convenient short trips around the city for 20-30 THB 🧑‍🎓

While it may seem like an affordable transportation option, there are other great choices for getting around the city 🧐 Bangkok offers a variety of public transport options that are safe, efficient, and enjoyable. And Thailand has been working diligently to improve road safety 💯



White Passenger Medium Size Commercial German Luxury Minibus Van Parked City Street with Blurred Silhouettes Pedestrians Moving Car Green Trees

Minivans are a popular form of transport for long-distance trips to, for example, Ayutthaya. Each minivan can accommodate up to eight passengers and take you to various popular destinations in and around Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) 🧐 

In Bangkok, the most common areas to find these vans are at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports, the Victory Monument, Mo Chit Bus Station (also known as Mo Chit 2), and the Ekkamai Bus Terminal 💯 You’ll find these comfortable vans with air conditioning and sometimes LCD screens across Thailand. 


App Operated Transportation Services

Joyful Caucasian Female Tourist with Backpack Using Mobile Phone Walking Old City Chiang Mai Northern Thailand

With the advent of technology, public transport in Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) has become relatively easier. You can worry less about intra-city commuting if you have your smartphone with you 🧑‍🎓 These apps (e.g., Grab, Bolt, etc.) are extremely convenient modes of transport services in the city that have come into existence in recent days. Make sure you're able to choose one that best suits your needs.


Travel by Road Around Bangkok

Chao Phraya River Express Boat

Local Transport Boat Chao Phraya River Bangkok Thailand

One of the top things to do in Bangkok regarding transport is to take a trip on the Chao Phraya River Express Boat 🧐 The city is built around the Chao Phraya River, so you can use a comprehensive boat service. 

Five express lines stop at the main piers at Chao Phraya River, with one dedicated to tourists. The blue line is perfect for sightseeing, you can easily hop on at one of the piers, but most people start at Sathorn Pier, located close to Saphan Taksin BTS Station 🧑‍🎓 For a one-way ticket, you’ll pay 40 THB, and for a day pass, 150 THB, this allows you to hop on and off all day. 



River Cruise Tour Chao Phraya River Bangkok City

Simple river crossings can be found at multiple piers along the river, costing you just four THB. Ferries are a great way to visit Wat Arun, in particular; 💯 Visit this beautiful riverside temple by taking a ferry to Tha Tien Pier.  


Long Tail Boat

Tourist Long Tail Boat Bangkok River Dawn Temple

If you want to explore the river, renting a private longtail boat at Sathorn Pier is possible. It would help if you negotiated prices, but usually, it costs 1,500 THB for 90 minutes 🧐 The boat is large enough for at least ten people.  


Public River Taxis

January 2019 Bangkok Thailand River Bangkok Skyscrapper Highrise Building Cityscape Riverscape Taxi Boat Serve Public Transportation

You’ll immediately be flooded by touts and get to hop on to various boats with different itineraries, all-inclusive packages, and a long list of sights when you exit to the pier via the Saphan Taksin BTS station to traverse the Chao Phraya River 💯

A ticket on the orange flag boat from Saphan Taksin to the Grand Palace stop will cost THB 15 / 0.70/0.50 USD, and ticket fares here are bought on-site. If you’re looking for the most economical option, head left to the public river taxis, denoted by their colored flags, which represent different routes 🧑‍🎓

The colored flags are as follows:

  • No Flag (Local Line)
    It can be seen only during weekdays. It stops at every pier from Wat Rajsingkorn (Pier S1) to Nonthaburi (Pier N30)
    THB 10-20.

  • Blue Flag Line (Tourist Boat)
    It is running any day of the week, and you can stop it where you please. It has an English-speaking staff who will call out at every stop. They will ask if anyone would like to get off and operate from 9 am to 7 pm. The cost will be THB 40 per trip and THB 100 or more for a day pass.

  • Orange Flag
    It can be seen every day of the week, and to be highlighted, it stops only at the main piers from Wat Rajsinkorn (Pier S3) and Nonthaburi (Pier N30)—about
    THB 15 per journey. 

  • Yellow Flag
    It is run only on weekdays during the morning and evening. They use larger, posher boats to take on more passengers and travel faster, costing around THB 20-29.

  • Green Flag
    It can only be seen during weekdays in the morning and evening. It will stop at 13 stops out of the 33 piers and is designed for commuters traveling into downtown Bangkok from the northern outskirts.


Airports in Bangkok

Lockdown Is Time Travelhappiness Asian Femlae Traveller Wear Casual Cloth Hand Wave Gesture Smiling while Sit Relax Terminal Airport Floor with Luggage Safety Travel Concept

Bangkok has two airports, Suvarnabhumi and the much smaller Don Mueang Airport 🧐 Suvarnabhumi is the international airport of Bangkok, while Don Mueang flies mainly on domestic routes and to some nearby countries. 

Suvarnabhumi has the Airport Link Connection, which means a BTS connection between the airport and Phaya Thai BTS Station, with six stops in total 💯 


Accessing Airports in Bangkok

Don Muang Airport to Bangkok

Yellow Black Sign Taxi Placed Top Car Night

Although buses are available, the most convenient way to get to the city center is by taking a taxi straight to your destination or Mo Chit BTS Station. If you take a taxi to Mo Chit, you can take the BTS and MRT to your destination 🧐 As mentioned; it’s easier to get a taxi from the departure floor of Don Mueang rather than waiting in the queue on the arrival floor. 


Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Passengers inside Departure Terminal Tourist Traveler Medical Masks from Coronavirus

The most convenient way to get to or from the airport is the Airport Link and the good old taxi or buses for most tourists from Mo Chit BTS 🧑‍🎓

Passengers Looking Mobile Phones while Electric Train Bts Bangkok Thailand

In addition, taking the Airport Link to Phaya Thai is the most convenient way depending on your destination. This BTS Line has six stops: Lat Krabang, Ban Thap Chang, Hua Mak, Ramkhamhaeng, Makkasan, and Phaya Thai 🧐 The maximum duration is 26 minutes and costs 45 THB.

If your final destination isn’t accessible from one of those stops, take a taxi from the first floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport 💯


Suvarnabhumi Airport to Sukhumvit

Bangkok Airport Rail Link Arl Coronavirus Covid19 Period They Concern Social Distancing Policy by Marking Tape Seats Floor Train Bangkok Thailand

The best way to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Sukhumvit is to take the Airport Rail Link to Makkasan Station 💯 From this station; you take a taxi heading south. Makkasan Station is two kilometres from Asok BTS Station and Sukhumvit Road. It will cost you around 140 THB when traveling alone 🧑‍🎓


Suvarnabhumi Airport to Khao San Road

Bts Skytrain Bangkok Cityscape

One of the most common ways to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Khao San Road is by taking the Airport Link 🧐 This BTS Train will take you all the way to Phaya Thai BTS Station and cost you 45 THB.

You can get a taxi to Khao San Road, which costs you around 70 THB. The overall travel time is 50 minutes, depending on the traffic 💯 You can also take the bus from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Khao San Road for 60 THB. You need to take Bus S1 at Exit Number 7. Remember that bus rides can take up to two hours or more, depending on the traffic. 

Moreover, a taxi ride from Suvarnabhumi to Khao San Road will cost you around 400 THB, and this is the fastest way to get into the city if you use the highway 🧑‍🎓 This is the most efficient and affordable way to get there if you’re traveling in a small group (up to four people). 


Khao San Road to Suvarnabhumi Airport

Traveling Khao San Road Bangkok Thailand

The easiest and most convenient way to get from Khao San Road to Suvarnabhumi is to take a taxi to Phaya Thai BTS Station and take the Airport Link to Suvarnabhumi Airport 💯 It will cost you around 70 THB for the taxi and 45 THB for the BTS ticket.  



Tips to Get Around Bangkok by Public Transport 

Bangkok Thailand October 01 2021 Bts Skytrain Bangkok Mass Transit System People Passengers Rush Hour Transportation Bangkok Thailand

  • Plan your Journey
    If you have a flexible schedule, avoiding peak rush hours is advised as most people’s ideal way to spend a few hours is not an overheated crowded bus stuck in traffic

  • Pick Your Mode of Transport
    With BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, buses, taxis, motorbike taxis, tuk-tuks, songthaews, and Khlong boats, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) has many transport options for its visitors. So, you can select the best public transport ways for hassle-free tours to your destination.

  • Keep Cool
    If you are not traveling by air-conditioned transportation, the temperatures can sometimes feel suffocating. Invest in a hand-held or mini battery-powered fan to keep cool.

  • Safety First
    Investing in your internationally approved safety helmet would be wise for adrenaline seekers who prefer to navigate the city by motorbike taxi. Thailand’s roads are amongst the worst in the world, and taking precautions to protect yourself is advised.

  • Carry Small Change With You
    The driver will collect the fare and keep a small change with you. It may be acceptable for a 100-baht note on an air-con bus, but not so much on regular or smaller buses.

  • Keep the Receipt
    After buying your ticket, you will get a small receipt and don't forget to keep it with you; sometimes they will ask you to show it again.

  • Always Tell Your Destination to the Driver
    This way, you will pay according to it, and they will also let you know where to get off. There is no need to always count on it, but they do it if you are the only foreigner on the bus.

  • Call for the Bus When it’s Approaching 
    Whether you find yourself right at the bus stop as your bus approaches or not, follow the lead of the locals. Emulate their actions and either sprint towards the entrance or catch the driver's attention by waving your hand vigorously. Remember, if you don't take these proactive steps, there's a high chance you'll miss your ride.

  • Get Ready To Jump in And Out
    Most buses don’t really stop, and you need to run and jump in (and out) when they are still moving. To be highlighted, a little balance with quick reflexes will do the trick!

  • Try To Ask For Directions
    You’ll see that anyone speaks good English on a Thai bus in Bangkok. Still, occasionally, there will be someone who understands a bit. So, you can get their help as these people are very kind and willing to help their tourists. Occasionally, you will be surrounded by concerned people who are trying to understand where you need to go or get off. All this may sound a bit “uncomfortable” for a typical tourist, but it’s all part of the experience! Rejoice in the fact that people want to help you.

  • Find Out Where the Bus Stop is in Advance
    Be prepared! If you're uncertain about the designated bus stop for your route, don't hesitate to ask people on the streets, as not all busses have a clearly marked stop. One helpful indicator, especially on major roads, is 3-4 or more people waiting on the roadside. Alternatively, head to the nearest main road to catch the first bus that stops. Once aboard, rush to the front door and inquire from the driver if the bus goes to your specific destination.

  • You Can Write the Name of the Places and Roads in Thai
    If you aren't fluent in Thai, it's strongly recommended to seek assistance from the Hotel/Hostel receptionist. Enlisting their help can be a lifesaver when navigating public transport and interacting with locals. They can provide valuable guidance and ensure you have a smoother experience getting around.


Public Transportation Development Projects in Bangkok

Sky Train City Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok is continually evolving its transportation infrastructure to provide more convenient travel options. One of the significant developments is the implementation of bullet trains in Thailand 🧐 These high-speed trains, utilizing Chinese HSR technology, aim to revolutionize travel within the region. With impressive speeds of up to 250 km per hour, they promise to offer faster and more efficient connectivity between cities.

The local authorities are also taking steps to enhance public transportation within Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok). One notable initiative is the introduction of new electric buses 🧑‍🎓 These eco-friendly buses will contribute to a more sustainable urban transport system and provide improved travel options for residents and visitors.

As we eagerly await these changes, we can be assured that the future of travel in Bangkok holds great promise 💯


Bangkok Public Transport The Ultimate All in One Guide to Travel around The City


🧑‍🎓 Vocabulary Time!

complete disorder and confusion


: appearing difficult to deal with in prospect; intimidating


very great in amount


: a lineup or series of people or vehicles patiently waiting for their turn to be attended to or to proceed


deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd



Written by
Dr. Theodore (Professor Bear)

Hi! I'm Dr. Theodore Bennet (Professor Bear), your scholarly travel companion who brings history to life with immersive tours and expert guides. With a Ph.D. in History and years of travel writing experience, I offer authoritative insights for unforgettable journeys.


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