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Transport in Thailand

Getting There
Thailand is served by three international airports which are located in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. As well as these three terminals, however, connecting flights from Kuala Lumpur also take you to Hat Yai while flights from Singapore also fly to Hat Yai and Ko Samui as well as the aforementioned. The country has two domestic carriers, Thai Airways International (THAI) and Bangkok Airways which use the twenty six national and international airports around Thailand. As well as the native airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, Canadian Airlines International, Quantas and British Airways are the most popular airlines offering direct flights to Thailand. Numerous other European and International carriers also fly direct too and quite often offer better deals than the bigger airlines so it is worth checking out before making any decisions.

Thailand can also be reached by train from Singapore and Malaysia. The Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTM) travels via Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang eventually connecting with the country’s state railway network. The International Express travels between Penang to Hat Yai and Bangkok without any change of trains and for both services the border delays which used to be a big problem on trains are now much less frequent and shouldn’t cause too much inconvenience.

The only access by road is from Malaysia and there are occasional services between the town countries. All of these are operated by private owned companies and are far from frequent. If you do avail of this service, however, you will cross the border near betong in Yala Province and at Sungei Golok in Narathiwat Province.

Getting Around
The State Railway of Thailand provides efficient and regular connections from Bangkok to Chinag Mai in the north, Udon Thani in the northeast of the country, Pattaya in the east and and as far as the Malaysian border in the south where it connects with the aforementioned KTM. Fares are a little confusing as a double charge system is used. The first charge depends on the distance travelled between stations and the second is relative to the speed at which you travel and the level of comfort which you require. Either way, rail travel within the country need not be that expensive and is an excellent way to see the areas that are included on the rail network.

Bus travel throughout the county is also efficient, clean and reasonably comfortable for relatively short journeys. As well as this, air-conditioned buses are available on all major routes and they travel to the most remote and far flung destinations in Thailand. For the cheapest option avail of the government bus company, Bor Kor Sor. Its services are usually anywhere between thirty and seventy per cent cheaper than the independent companies. On the other hand, the latter quite often provide complimentary meals and transport from your place of accommodation to the bus terminal so you just have to decide which alternative is the best for you personally.
It is also worth noting that you should pay extremely close attention to your belongings on all bus and train trips, but particularly on overnight trips where you should try to avoid placing any valuables on the overhead luggage racks.

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