Getting Around Bangkok: Modes of Transportation in Thailand

A photo of a tuk-tuk, an iconic mode of transportation in Thailand. The tuk-tuk is a popular mode of transportation in Thailand for tourists and remains one of the most widely used public vehicles in the country.

How does one get around the vast city that is Bangkok? With many diverse options, transportation in Thailand can either be an easy or tricky endeavor.

Thailand offers a wide range of transport choices for your riding pleasure, including three-wheeled taxis called tuk-tuks and passenger trucks known as the songthaew. On smaller and narrower roads, the tuk-tuks are the best choice to get around, while in rougher road conditions, the songthaew provides the power and capacity to move a large number of passengers.

With your Thai date in mind, we’ll show you how to get around Thailand using some of its most popular modes of transportation.

Tuk-Tuk, the Famous Three-Wheel Transport in Thailand

Besides Buddhist temples, what comes to mind when one mentions Thailand?

For a lot of people, the tuk-tuk is their first answer. This popular three-wheel transport in Thailand is basically a motorcycle’s fancily dressed brother.

Like a motorcycle, it uses a pair of handlebars for steering. It has three wheels — one in front and two in the rear, enabling it to stand upright, unlike a moped.

Tuk-tuks come in a variety of colors and can seat 2-3 passengers. And because it is an icon in Thai transportation, it is very popular with tourists who want to experience the local culture. Be warned though. Because they are becoming more of a tourist attraction, tuk-tuks have become more expensive than other taxis. One ride can cost you around 80-150 Baht, depending on your destination.

Before riding a tuk-tuk, you might want to brush up on your Thai-speaking skills, or at least some basic words. This will help you avoid getting ripped off by drivers who might take advantage of your being a tourist.

But with your Thai date at your side, we’re sure you can navigate the roads without problems. The tuk-tuk is the best way to discover Bangkok up close and personal and can be especially romantic at night.

Songthaew, the Dedicated Workhorse

If you take a pickup truck and replace the truck bed with a roofed chassis, then you’ll get a songthaew. It is a popular mode of urban transport in Thailand, especially in smaller towns. While not very common in Bangkok, you should jump on one if the opportunity presents itself.

The name “songthaew” means “two rows” in English. That’s because the back part of the songthaew consists of two bench seats positioned opposite each other. Passengers enter through an opening at the back and sit facing each other. The songthaew is Thailand’s version of the Philippines’ jeepney.

You can take your date sightseeing around Bangkok on board a songthaew as the vehicle often moves slowly. A buzzer is attached to the roof of the vehicle that passengers can press should they want to disembark. Fare is paid to the driver once you get off, which can cost around 10 Baht.

A photo of a songthaew, a popular mode of urban transport in Thailand. Take the chance to ride on a songthaew, a mode of urban transport in Thailand that can carry a large number of people.

The Taxi Cab, a Staple in Thailand

There are many kinds of taxis in Thailand, including tuk-tuks, motorcycles, and cabs. Taxi cabs are similar to those you see in the US — you hail one, tell the driver your destination and a digital meter computes the fare. Motorcycle taxis, on the other hand, do not use a meter. Instead, the rider provides a fixed rate depending on the distance you need to travel.

If you like living on the edge, a motorcycle taxi might suit your style. The advantage of using one is that it can conveniently filter through traffic and get you to your date faster, even on congested roads. The downside is its lower safety standards. For one, passengers usually don’t wear a helmet, which can be dangerous in case of an accident. And two, riders can be reckless, especially when it comes to lane filtering.

The cab costs around 35 Baht upon embarking, and an additional 5 Baht per kilometer. Moreover, 2 Baht is added per minute. A motorcycle taxi in Thailand has a fare that varies between 20-100 Baht.

The Bus Transit System

Like in many parts of the world, the bus is the most common transportation in Thailand. Buses have fixed routes that can span several kilometers, with some traveling to different cities. Buses are larger and can seat more people than any other land transport vehicle, making them effective people carriers.

Bangkok offers the largest bus service system in the country, providing a variety of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned units for long and short routes. The cheapest bus fare is around 7 Baht. An air-conditioned private bus is a convenient and cheaper yet luxurious alternative to planes and trains.

Trains in Bangkok

There are three types of railway systems you can choose from in Bangkok: the regular railroad train, the underground MRT, and the overhead BTS Skytrain.

Railroad Train

The Bangkok train system is a quick mode of transport that provides a comfortable travel experience. The Eastern Railway Line goes as far as the Cambodian border, while the other side goes as far as the coasts of Pattaya. The Western Line covers all of Nam Tok, the Northern Line goes to Chiang Mai, and the Southern Line goes to Malaysia.

Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station is the central station for all train travel across the country.


The Bangkok MRT is also known as the Blueline. It is a subway network, which covers different parts of the city inaccessible via the Skytrain.

The MRT is a fast and convenient way to travel across Bangkok if you want to stay away from congested traffic on the roads. The MRT stops at 18 stations. It operates from 6 AM till midnight, five days a week.

A photo of a Bangkok train system known as the BTS Skytrain. The Bangkok train system offers commuters a convenient and affordable way to travel across the city.

BTS Skytrain

As its name suggests, the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Skytrain offers an elevated railway experience for daily passengers who are weary from heavy Bangkok traffic. The Skytrain is one of the most affordable and fastest modes of transportation in Thailand.

Being a cheap travel alternative, the Skytrain can get crowded during weekdays as it operates from 5 AM till midnight on the weekdays. The downside to the Skytrain is that it does not cover all of Bangkok, so you may have to avail yourself of other modes of transportation to get to your preferred destination.

Why the Different Modes of Transportation are Important When Dating in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand, is a treasure trove of hundreds if not thousands of beautiful places you can take your date to. If you don’t know which mode of transportation to take to get to certain areas of the city, you’ll end up stressed and waste valuable time trying to figure out how to get to your next stop.

There are also other forms of transportation that you might be familiar with, such as ridesharing apps. While there is no longer a presence of Uber in Bangkok, you can download the Grab app which is similar to Uber.

On a final note, if you join our socials, you’ll get a chance to see and try out all the different types of transportation on our guided tours through Bangkok. We’ll ensure your experience with Bangkok culture is one that is memorable and enjoyable.

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