Bangkok a city of 12 million people and about 10 million cars, 5,000 busses, 6 million taxis, 38 river express boeats, 20 canal boats, 3 sky train rails (with about 20 trains total), 1 subway (with about 8 trains), 8,000 tuk tuks, and 6 million motobikes. Can you believe it? The traffic is heavy during the rush hour (7am until 9am and again from 3pm until about 7pm.) In certain areas – its heavy traffic all day long. (Especially near the Siam Shopping Complex – can you imagine 12 Mall of America’s Lining the street – both sides. – It is extremely unbelievable.
These are just some of the Transport modes, that I know of. There could be more, but who knows. In this city anything is possible. I have used the safest modes while I have been here but never the more dangerous and unpredictable modes. I think the motorbike taxi is going to be avoided for the duration of my stay. – I don’t think my insurance would cover an accident on it. When traffic gets heavy – eveything slows down – which in some cases is actually a good thing. The city moves so fast that slowing down is okay.
My favorite mode of transport is by far the public bus. I know – a taxi would be so much better. Well – I can take a bus for an eighth of the cost 8 baht compated to 75 baht. or 13 baht compared to 152 baht. – I get to the same place no problem – one just takes more time – but equal time in stand still traffic – so who is smarter now. ??? ha ha, just kidding. Anyway – the Bus here in Thailand is not so bad. Unlike in the USA where you pay the fare when you enter the bus – I get on the bus – sit if a seat is available, and when a person comes around to collect the fare – I just give her the money. On air con bus I have to tell them where I am going because the fare changed based on Distance. If I get on a red bus – it is usually about 6.5 Baht. (Some red busses have a blue sign with white letters saying it is a free bus) These are especially nice. :) The blue and White busses – or sometimes Pink busses are 8 baht flat fare, no matter how far you travel – same with the red bus – free or not.) The Mass Transit Authority of Bangkok (MTAB) runs most of the busses – there are some blue air con busses (all of which have number 5** = 500 + two other numbers) These busses are run by a private company are are actually cheaper – sometimes. Last time I used it – cost me 10 baht. I don’t know why but I just like the bus – makes me feel more local, in addition to working well with my tight budget. :) The other upside to the bus is if you get lost – you eventually end up back where you started (not always but sometimes – it has happened more than once. Besides by using the bus I can work on my reading skills trying to read the signs to figure out where the bus goes.
I would use the taxi but it just costs too much at a base fare of 32 baht (about 1US dollar) the price increases quickly. Therfore; I reserve taxi use to when I absolutely need it – besides I think it is difficult to get around by taxi if you don’t speak fluent Thai. Many don’t understand english. – Only time I HAVE to use taxi is if I go to immigration office. but it is very expensive – about 20 us dollars in travel.
Lastely you have Boats and the Trains. I have used the boats only a few times – not convient for me since they are not close and don’t go where I want to go. The trains (subway – MRT – and Sky Train – BTS) are also not near me so not really a good mode of transport for me. as a matter of fact I just used the MRT the other day – and the BTS about a week ago.
As far as the boats go – there are some locations that can only be visited by Boat. For instance Wat Arun (à¸§à¸±à¸”à¸à¸£à¸¸à¸™) (Temple of Dawn) is easier to get to by boat instead of road. Too many streets to take to get to it.