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Thailand - Transport info

Bangkok by LimousineLimousines: Thais refer to top end family saloon cars as Limousines - so don't be disappointed when your Limo turns out to be a ten year old Volvo! Touts will try to pick up unsuspecting tourists at Bangkok International Airport with the promise of an air conditioned limousine. Chances are it will be clean - have white cotton seat covers and be a reasonable, smooth ride and the air con will work.

Taxis: There are two types of taxis in most of Thailand. Metered and un-metered. If you don't know where you are going or how much it should cost it is always best to use the metered taxis until you get a feel for the town or city you are in. There are standard rates for metered taxis and there is a minimum charge that will show as soon as the meter is activated (say 35 bhat for the first 2 km). Obviously the fare will go up as time or distance increase. Bangkok metered taxis In Bangkok it is a good idea to ask the driver of a metered taxi to go via the expressway even though you are liable for the toll! Your driver will not expect a tip (so don't give him one unless he is very helpful and then keep it down to a couple of bhat! 5 or 10 bhat max!) Un-metered taxis should be avoided by the new visitor at all costs as time is money to these chaps their idea is to get the negotiated journey over as soon as possible! We would say choose a yellow and green metered taxi as these are all owner drivers and generally look after their cars and drive carefully.

Below: Picture of a Tuk Tuk taxi.

Picture of Tuk-Tuk taxiTuk-Tuk: These un-metered three wheeled taxis based on a scooter are also known as Samlor (three wheels). The name Tuk-Tuk derives from either the Thai word for 'cheap' = Tuk or the noise the vehicle makes when idling (if your lucky you will hear the engine idle - once or twice on a journey). Thai Tuk Tuk costs: All fares should be negotiated before you travel. Tuk-Tuk's are normally cheaper than regular taxis. They are only really suitable for two (brave) people maximum and then only for short trips. It is worth taking at least one Tuk-Tuk trip just for the experience. The drivers of Tuk-Tuk's are generally young men with attitude (and we all know what testosterone and wheels do to a bloke!)You will find Tuk-Tuk's in the provinces too, where the terrain allows them to operate - Tuk-Tuk's don't like hilly areas. Koh Samui e.g. doesn't have any Tuk-Tuk's that we could find.

Motorcycle Taxis: Only the very brave (or stupid) should attempt to use this traffic jam buster transport. The licensed (insured?) riders wear a waistcoat with their licence number on the back. Fares must be negotiated before your journey. Generally agreed fares are about the same as metered taxis but during the rush hour may be more expensive as your time is their money! Keep your legs well tucked in and keep your eyes on the back of the riders shoulder (or closed!) You will get within a gnats whisker of other traffic and road furniture!

Bangkok aircon bus in trafficBuses: Just to confuse you even more there are two types of buses in Bangkok. The air-conditioned run throughout the city and are cheap at about 12 bhat for 8 or so km to a maximum of 20 bhat. Then there are the 'ordinary' city buses don't follow the same routs as the air-con buses and the fare is 10 bhat no matter how far you go. In rush hour traffic you may not move very fast but life's like that.

Below - Picture of the Sky train, Bangkok.

Picture of Bangkok Sky trainSky train and Metro: Covering most of the city they run every five or six minutes through the day and more frequent at rush hours. You can buy a day ticket for about 100 bhat. Great value travel. Routes cover most of the city and you can explore loads of places - all you have to do is look up and there your ride home is! The metro is new and shiny and not all that popular yet but you can buy a day ticket just the same for about the same price.

Mini (Taxi) mini (taxi) busesBuses AKA Songthaows : Not the type of minibus we know but a pickup truck with a covered passenger section in the back. Runs like a bus but charges like a metered taxi you pay by the km. These mini buses are more common in provincial regions travelling between districts or even towns. You will be sharing with anyone else who flags the bus down until the bus is full!

 




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