Alex Block

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Day 177: Bangkok traffic

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Couple days ago I have read very interesting idea: true bangkokian is the one who can get from one place to another, using all city’s transport the most efficient way.
There’s definitely something in this idea as traffic here could be really tough and moving fast between different places could be a great logical quiz. I’m pretty far from being expert in ways of transportation in Bangkok, but I definitely know little more than after my first visit here. I still remember that it was first time in my life when I couldn’t cross the street and catch taxi. Now, of course, it’s not that tricky, but still could be complicated.
The main trouble is traffic and information. There are so many options of transportation in Bangkok and I will try to name some of them.
MTR, BTS and SkyTrain: it’s kind of metro, which partly goes underground, partly overground literally in the sky. One of the most efficient and scenic way to get around without traffic issues, but limited with only few lines and not very cheap. I used it multiple times and loved it. Now it growing rapidly and new stations are coming. Cost depends and could be up to 1.6$.
There are also several kind of busses going in many directions. Some of them are basic and free, some of them air-conditioned and not free. But it’s easy to pay inside. I used it couple of times, it was kind of 30¢ maximum. The tricky thing about it is that you have to know what number you need or just go and see where it goes. Asking someone inside for directions almost impossible.
Doew Suthep is kind of minibus going with fixed popular routes. It is not the same as in Chiang Rai, where it serves as shared taxi. Cost is about 20¢.
Motobike taxi is basically motorbike with a driver. It’s relatively new option. You sit and he drives you. Cost is around 0.5$. Mostly used to get to the closest train station or short rides. Good way to get through traffic as driver goes between cars. I never used it as it feels little unsecure for me.
Tuktuk is basically just tuktuk. I think, that now its mostly used by tourists. Looks like its getting less popular as daily transport. Price depends on many factors and needed to be discussed before going. Good fare is roughly 1$/km.
Taxi is very good and one of the cheapest transport option in Bangkok. Usually it cost me 2-3$ to cover 5-6km. Which is absolutely great value, cheaper than tube. Make sure you go by meter or you will pay times more. The main problem is traffic, once i was stucked for 1.5 hour. Also sometimes it’s tricky to explain where to go. At least twice they thought i need to get to Grand Palace, no idea why. I tryed different ways to explain from names written in Thai to showing them map, but it works bad. The best way was to tell them the name of district and then just show the way.
Uber exists in Bangkok, but after i tryed it few times and simply couldn’t find my driver, i forget about it. And it is more expensive than taxi.
Boats are another great option to avoid traffic. One of my favourite as i stayed near canal and it is most convinient way to get to the main districts. There are lots of routes and categories of them. They are cheap (25-70¢) and fast. Very fast. You need to act quickly to get on board. I had an accident few days ago when the boat started to move while i was boarding. Literally with one leg on the boat and other on the pier i was very close to a serious incident, but i acted quick and ended up with broken pants, mar and scratch on my knee. Still it was more of an accident. I had few rides after it and was fine.
Probably there are others options, but that’s the ones that i know! It’s really very exciting to learn about it and try different ways! Love it!

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