Don Muang, Bangkok’s international airport is one of the busiest in South East Asia and is a major centre for international flights throughout the continent. There are direct flights to and from the Thai capital from most major cities in the world and as with most destinations the more popular airlines will work out more expensive whereas flights with the less popular carriers can work out much cheaper. The two domestic airlines are Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways and once again, they can prove quite pricey.
The airport lies about twenty-five kilometres north of Bangkok but there are numerous ways of getting from here to the city centre. Your first option is the airport bus which operates three different services and runs every fifteen minutes between 5.00am and 11.00pm. This costs 70 Bahts per person. The second choice is the city bus which you can catch on the highway just outside the airport. You will need to find out exactly which bus you need beforehand however, as well as checking the timetables. The city’s rail lines also run quite near the airport and you can get a train to the main station, Hualamphong, for 10 Bahts in third class. Finally, there are numbers of taxis but ignore the limousine drivers and look for the public taxi exit. It is worth noting that once you reach the taxi rank, try to take a metred taxi which should cost you between 150 and 250 Bahts. Those which are not metred usually cost about 100 Bahts more.
There are several forms of public transport in operation in Bangkok which make getting around the city extremely straightforward. The new Skytrain is a state of the are service running on two lines which will bring you to and from all the city’s major tourist destinations. Fares range between 20 Bahts and 40 Bahts.
The bus service in Bangkok is also useful but is very erratic. If you do intend using it, a bus map is essential. You will find one in most tourist offices or any newsstand and they cost about 40 Bahts.
Taxis are popular too but ensure that you agree a fare before departure if you don’t get a metred car. Otherwise your journey could prove quite costly.
Another authentic way to get about the city is by tuk tuk. Unique to the city, this is a vehicle consisting of one wheel at the front, two at the back, a motorbike engine, handlebars to steer and a plastic seat positioned over the two back wheels. Sound awful – well it is and should really only be used for short journeys. Again, agree a fare before departure.
Travel by boat is also popular in the city and is a fascinating and unusual way to see the city. As well as this, it is much less time consuming – there are no traffic jams on the river.