Transportation in Thailand
Transportation in Thailand
How to get around once you arrive in Thailand?
Thailand, especially Bangkok, has one of Asia’s best connecting transport networks and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport is one of Asia’s biggest airline hubs. From Bangkok visitors can conveniently connect to other domestic destinations and neighbouring countries using public transport. Major roads in Thailand are clearly signed in English. Trains have recently been upgraded. Cross country buses connect Bangkok to major regional provinces with stops in smaller towns along the way. There are river cruises linking Bangkok and the former capital Ayutthaya; and in the North and the Northeast, there are river cruises linking Thailand and Laos. The latest development is the ferry across the Gulf of Thailand connecting Hua Hin and Pattaya. Luxury travellers can rent a private jet, helicopter or yacht. Travellers looking for a local experience should try the local means of transport if travelling just a short distance. This module is divided into two parts: transport in Bangkok; and transport to/in other domestic destinations.
Transport in Bangkok
1. Airport Rail Link (ARL)
Airport Rail Link connects Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Phayathai Station in central Bangkok in 30 minutes, with stops at 6 stations along the way i.e. Lad Krabang Station, Thab Chang Station, Hua Mark Station, Ramkhamhaeng Station, Makkasan Station, and Rajprarop Station. The most convenient connecting point for travellers with luggage or on wheelchair is Makkasan Station as there is a 166m walkway to MRT (Metro) Petchaburi Station. ARL operates 6.00 24.00hrs on weekdays, departing every 12 – 15 minutes and on weekends and public holidays, every 15 minutes. From Phayathai Station, the first train departs at – the last train departs at. From Suvarnabhumi Airport, the first train departs at – the last train departs at. For more details, see www.srtet.co.th/index.php/en/information-ticket. There are many mobile Apps for travellers to check the timetables of MRT, BTS and ARL, such as Bangkok Transport Map, Next Station, Explore Bangkok BTS and MRT Map, Bangkok Metro Map Transportation.
2. Airport Shuttle Bus
This is a free Transfer Bus between Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport which operates daily 05:00 – 24.00hrs. The bus departs every 12 minutes between 08.12 – 11.00 and 16.12 – 19.00 and every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour at other times.The bus departs from Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Terminal 2nd Floor, Gate 3; and from Don Muang Airport Arrival Terminal (Building 1) 1st Floor, Gate 6. Passengers must present the boarding pass of their arrival flight, air ticket or booking confirmation of their connecting flight, and passport or ID card.
Contact Call Centre 1722 for more information.
3. Airport LimoBus Express Don Muang International Airport
Passengers arriving at or departing from Don Muang Airport can take a 33 seat, air-conditioned Limo Bus with free WiFi for only 150Baht one way. There are two routes: Lumpini Park – Ploenchit – Don Muang Airport, and Khaosan Road – Don Muang Airport. From Don Muang Airport, passengers can take the bus at Gate of the Arrival Terminal, Building 1, between – hrs with departures every 30 minutes. From Lumpini Park and Khaosan Road, the service operates between 04.00 – hrs with departures every hour. Airport LimoBus Express departs from Gate 14 of the Arrival Terminal, 1st floor, Building 2. Passengers can also take public transport to the city between 07.30 – 24.00hrs. The A air-conditioned bus, Don Muang Airport – BTS Mo Chit Station, departs every minutes and A airconditioned bus, Don Muang Airport – Victory Monument, departs every 30 – 60 minutes. This service only costs 30 Baht flat rate.
For more information, contact Call Centre at.
4. BMTA (Khor Sor Mor Kor) Public Buses from Suvarnabhumi Airport to destinations in Bangkok and the near suburbs
There are frequent air-conditioned public buses from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Fares range between 24 – 35Baht, and the buses depart frequently. For more information on bus numbers and stops, see http://suvarnabhumiairport.com/en/ -bus-bmta.
5. Limousine at Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Suvarnabhumi Airport Limousine operates 24 hours and fares are according to the distance travelled. Contact the Airport Limousine Service Counter on the nd Floor at Baggage Claims and Arrival Hall Exits A, B and C. For the convenience and security of the passengers, the location of the limousine can be tracked with Geographic Positioning System (GPS).
6. Public Van at Suvarnabhumi International Airport
These services can be found at the Public Transport Centre, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Arrival Terminal, 1st Floor, Gates 1 and 8.
No. 549 Suvarnabhumi Airport – Minburi (operates 24 hours) Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Lardkrabang Police Station – Romklao Road – Kasembundit University – Minburi 25 Baht flat rate, departs every 10 minutes (16.00 – 18.00, departs every 5 minutes)
No. 550 Suvarnabhumi Airport – Happy Land (05.00 – 24.00) Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – On Nuch – Praves District – On Nuch Intersection – Bangkapi Intersection – Happy Land 30 Baht flat rate, departs every 20 minutes (16.00 – 18.00, departs every 5 minutes)
No. 551 Suvarnabhumi Airport – Victory Monument (05.00 – 22.00) Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – over Motor Way – Get down to Victory Monument 40 Baht flat rate, departs every 20 minutes (16.00 – 18.00, departs every 5 minutes)
No. 552 Suvarnabhumi Airport – On Nuch (05.00 – 22.00) Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Bangna-Trad Road – Chularat Hospital 1 – Ramkhamhaeng 2 – Central Bangna – Udomsuk – BTS Station (On Nuch) 20 Baht flat rate, departs every 20 minutes (16.00 – 18.00, departs every 5 minutes)
No. 552A Suvarnabhumi Airport – Samutprakarn (05.00 – 22.00)
Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Bangna-Trad Road – Chularat Hospital 1 – Ramkhamhaeng 2 – Central Bangna – Samrong – Samutprakarn – Praeksa Garage 25 Baht flat rate, departs every 20 minutes (16.00 – 18.00, departs every 5 minutes)
No. 554 Suvarnabhumi Airport – Rangsit (04.00 – 22.00) Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Ram Intra Road – Lak Si – Sapan Mai – Lam Lukka Entrance – Bangkok Gate (Sapan Mai) 40 Baht flat rate, departs every 20 minutes (16.00 – 18.00, departs every 5 minutes)
No. 555 Suvarnabhumi Airport – Rangsit (03.30 – 22.00) Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Rama 9 Expressway – Dindaeng Toll Gate – Get down at Dindaeng – Suthisarn – Vibhavadee Rangsit – Kasetsat University – Lak Si – Don Muaeng 45 Baht flat rate (05.00 – 15.00), 50 Baht flat rate (15.00 – 05.00), departs every 20 minutes (16.00 – 18.00, departs every 5 minutes)
No. 559 Suvarnabhumi Airport – Rangsit (Expressway) (06.00 – 23.00) Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Expressway (Ring Road) – Lam Lukka – Dream World – Klong 4, 3, 2, 1 – Suchat Market 34 Baht flat rate, departs every hour
No. Suvarnabhumi Airport – Wat Chanasongkram (Khaosan Road) Route Suvarnabhumi Airport – Larn Luang – Pan Fah Lee Lat – Kok Wua Intersection – Wat Bowon Niwet – Banglampu – Ram Butri – Wat Chanasongkram – Nang Loeng – Samsen Tewet Bangkhunphrom – Phra Athit Road – Khaosan Road Tickets on sale – 22.00, departs every hour.
7. BTS (also known as Sky Train)
BTS stands for Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited, and is often called Sky Train by the locals. This modern and very easy-to-use train is one of Bangkok’s best public transport systems to avoid traffic jams. It operates daily 06.00 – 24.00hrs.
BTS Sky Train is one of Bangkok’s best public transport systems to avoid traffic jams
Currently there are two lines, which intersect at Siam Station:
1. Sukhumvit Line(light green) stops at 21 stations, from Mo Chit to Samrong. Stations include Mo chit (interchange with MRT), Saphan Kwai, Ari, Sanam Pao, Victory Monument, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Siam (interchange with BTS Silom Line), Chit Lom, Ploen Chit, Nana, Asoke (interchange with MRT), Phrom Phong, Thong Lo, Ekkamai, Phra Khanong, On Nut, Bang Chak, Punnawithi, Udom Suk, Bang Na and Bearing.
2. Silom Line(dark green) stops at 12 stations, from National Stadium to Bang Wa. Stations include National Stadium, Siam (interchange with BTS Sukhumvit Line), Ratchadamri, Sala Daeng (interchange with MRT), Chong Nonsi, Surasak, Saphan Taksin, Krung Thon Buri, Wongwian Yai, Pho Nimit, Talat Phlu, Wutthakat and Bang Wa. BTS passengers can connect with MRT at three stations: Mo Chit BTS Station connects with Chatuchak MRT Station, Asoke BTS Station connects with Sukhumvit MRT Station and Saladang BTS Station connects with Silom MRT Station. Tourist Information Centres are located at Saphan Taksin, Phaya Thai and Siam Stations and open daily 08.00-20.00hrs. Other services, including One-Day River Passes, Package Tour, Cooking Class, Cabaret Show Ticket, Thai Boxing Ticket, Dinner Cruise Ticket and mobile phone sim cards, can be purchased at Saphan Taksin Station.
For tour and travel recommendations, please see www.bts.co.th/customer/en/06-travel-palace-01.aspx
For more information, please see www.bts.co.th or call BTS Hotline at 0 2617 6000 For ticket information, please see www.bts.co.th/customer/en/ -ticket-type.aspx
MRT (‘Mass Rapid Transit’) is a rapid transit system serving the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. It is a modern public transport system whose passengers do not need to worry about traffic congestion. Its two underground lines currently cover a total distance of 43km. The 18-station Blue Line, officially the Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line, was the first of the two lines to open. As of, two extensions of the Blue Line are under construction. When completed, the Blue Line will become a loop line around the centre of Bangkok, with an extension to Bang Khae on its western side. The Purple Line, officially the Chalong Ratchadham Line, began its full service on August, The 16-station Purple Line will connect Bang Sue with Bang Yai in Nonthaburi north-west of Bangkok, and will be the first public transit line outside the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The two lines meet at Bang Sue Station. There are currently 18 stations: Hua Lamphong, Sam Yan, Si Lom, Lumphini, Khlong Toei, Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, Sukhumvit, Phetchaburi, Phra Ram 9, Thailand Cultural Centre, Huai Khwang, Sutthisan, Ratchadaphisek, Lat Phrao, Phahon Yothin, Chatuchak Park, Kamphaeng Phet and Bang Sue. MRT passengers can connect with BTS at stations: Mo Chit BTS Station connects with Chatuchak MRT Station, Asoke BTS Station connects with Sukhumvit MRT Station and Saladang BTS Station connects with Silom MRT Station.
•Everyday: 06.00 – 24.00hrs
•Frequency in peak hours (06.00 – 09.00 and 16.30 – 19.30): every 5 minutes
•Frequency at other times: every 10 minutes For information on tickets and park & ride locations, please see www.mrta.co.th/en/ or call 0 2624 5200, Monday – Friday, 07.00 – 20.00hrs (except public holidays).
For door-to-door transport, a taxi is the most convenient option. Taxi stops can easily be found near shopping centres, entertainment areas and tourist attractions. On most minor roads, passengers can simply signal the driver to stop. In Bangkok the fare starts from 35 Baht (approximately AU$1.25) only. These days there are several service operators offering pre-booking for taxis for a small surcharge. ‘All Thai Taxi’ – a yellow Toyota Prius, can be booked via mobile app ALL THAI TAXI or call centre 0 2018 9799 which incurs a 40 Baht surcharge. Waving for a taxi on the street (which is Vacant or shows No Reservation) does not incur a surcharge. For increased safety, All Thai Taxi limits their taxi speeds to 90km/hr. (Though in the case of an emergency, they can increase the speed to 100km/hr. See www.allthaitaxi.com/website/en/home/ for details. Grab Taxi is a smartphone-based taxi booking and dispatching service. All you need to do is download the app, pin your location and enter the destination, sit back and relax while your driver is on the way. A live GPS feed allows you to track your driver and manage your time. The driver will call you upon arrival at your location. There are options of a standard Sedan and 7seater to choose from. The fare is shown before you decide to make the booking. Once you reach the destination, you pay cash. There’s a 25 Baht booking fee. See www.grab.com/th/en/taxi/ for more information. Notes: Taxis from Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang Airports incur a 50 Baht surcharge. Toll and expressway fees are to be paid by the passengers.
10. Bangkok Buses
Bangkok buses run daily 5.00 – 23.00hrs and Night buses run the rest of the time. Make sure to signal the driver that you want to get on the bus. Tickets are bought on board the buses. Signal the driver that you want to get off the bus by standing up and approaching the doors. Buses with blue signs in the front window travel the normal route. Buses with yellow signs take the expressway with limited stops. This is the cheapest means of transport, but can be inconvenient as there is no timetable. For details, see www.bmta.co.th BMTA Application can be downloaded at Google Play and App Store.
11. Chao Phraya Express Boats, Chao Phraya Tourist Boats and Khlong Saen Saep Boats
Chao Phraya Express Boats stop at both sides of the Chao Phraya River. At the main pier (Sathorn Pier) passengers can connect to the BTS Sky Train at Saphan Taksin Station. Services are divided into four routes:
1. Local Line Boat (6.20 – 8.20, 15.00 – 17.30) • Round trip services from Nonthaburi Pier to Wat Rajsingkorn Pier stopping at 34 piers
2. Express Boat (Orange Flag) (05.50 – 19.00) • Round trip services from Nonthaburi Pier to Wat Rajsingkorn Pier stopping at 18 piers
3. Express Boat (Yellow Flag) (06.15 – 08.35, 15.30 -20.00) • Round trip services from Nonthaburi Pier to Ratburana Pier stopping at 10 piers
4. Express Boat (Green-Yellow Flag) (06.15 – 08.05, 16.05 – 18.05) • Round trip services from Pakkret Pier to Sathon Pier stopping at 12 piers
For maps and stops, see www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com/en/services/index.aspx#routemap
11. Chao Phraya Express Boats, Chao Phraya Tourist Boats and Khlong Saen Saep Boats
The most convenient river transport for tourists in Bangkok is the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat. The boat stops at nine piers along Chao Phraya River connecting famous tourist attractions in Bangkok. Starting from Sathorn Pier where passengers can connect to the BTS Sky Train (at Saphan Taksin Station), the boat stops at Oriental Pier, River City Pier, Ratchawong Pier, Yodpiman Pier, Wat Arun Pier, Maharaj Pier, Thonburi Railway Pier, Phra Athit Pier before making its way back to Sathorn Pier via the same route. The boat leaves Sathorn and Phra Arthit piers every 30 minutes. From Sathorn to Phra Arthit 09:00 – 17:30 and from Phra Arthit to Sathorn 09:30 – 18:00. From 16:00 (from Phra Arthit) or from 16:30 (from Sathorn), boats extend their routes to Asiatique as well. Single journey tickets cost 40 Baht and a 1 Day ticket costs 150 Baht with unlimited rides; both can be purchased at Chao Phraya Tourist Boat ticket counters at Sathorn Pier, Phra Athit Pier, Tourist Information Centres at Siam and Saphan Taksin BTS Stations. Guided 3 -, 5 – and 9 – temple tours are also available. For details on stops, guided tours, attractions and timetables, please see www.chaophrayatouristboat.com/guidedtour.html. Khlong Saen Saep Boats run daily 5.30 – 20.30 (but only until 19.00 on weekends). Khlong boats are especially useful to get to/from Siam Square and its surroundings during rush hour. Two connected routes take you east-west along the Khlong Saen Saep (Saen Saep Canal). The Golden Mount Line stops at Phan Fa Lilat, Bobe Market, Charoen Phon, Ban Krua Nua, Hua Chang (Siam Square) and Pratunam Pier. The NIDA Line stops at Pratunam Pier, Chit Lom Bridge, Witthayu, Nana Nuea, Saphan Asok, Prasan Mit, Ital-Thai Tower, Wat Mai Chong Lom, Baan Don Mosque, Thong Lo, Cham Issara, Klong Tan, The Mall 3, Ramkhamhaeng, Wat Thepleela, Ramkamhaeng University Pier, Saphan Mit Mahat Thai, Wat Klang Pier, The Mall Bang Kapi, Bang Kapi and Wat Sriboonreung. Pratunam Pier near Central World is the interchange station. At Hua Chang there are connections to the BTS by walking to Ratchathewi, Siam or National Stadium Stations. At Asok it is possible to change to the MRT (Phetchaburi station). Tickets can be purchased on board and the fare is 10 – 20 Baht depending on distance.
See www.transitbangkok.com/khlong_boats.html for more information.
Khlong Saen Saep Boat
12. Tuk Tuk
Tuk Tuk is one of Bangkok’s icons and very popular among tourists. Riding a Tuk Tuk is more an experience than a practical way to get around. It is advised to avoid using it during rush hour or for long distances. As it is an open-sided vehicle, passengers are advised to hold on to the beam, keep their arms and legs within the vehicle and look after their belongings at all times. Fares vary, depending on the distance and the situation and must be negotiated before the ride. Several tour operators offer Tuk Tuk sightseeing and street food tours. Examples are www.smilingtuktuk.com/foodie and www.bangkokfoodtours.com/bangkok-best-eats-midnight-foodtour-by-tuk-tuk/
Transport from Bangkok to other provinces and transport outside Bangkok
1. Air Transport
International Airportsin Thailand include:
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Thailand’s biggest airport)
Bangkok Donmuang International Airport
Chiang Mai International Airport
Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai International Airport
Udon Thani International Airport
Ubon Ratchathani International Airport
U-tapao International Airport
Phuket International Airport
Krabi International Airport
Hat Yai International Airport
Samui International Airport
Surat Thani International Airport
Domestic Airports in Thailand include:
Khon Kaen Airport
Mae Hong Son Airport
Mae Sot Airport
Nakhon Phanom Airport
Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport
Nan Nakhon Airport
Roi Et Airport
Sakon Nakhon Airport
Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport
Domestic air transport has increased in popularity due to the expanding services and competing fares offered by low cost carriers such as Air Asia www.airasia.com, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air www.nokair.com, Nok Scoot, Thai Smiles www.thaismileair.com, Thai Lion Air www.lionairthai.com/en/, Kan Air www.kanairlines.com/web/, and Orient Thai www.flyorientthai.com. These low cost carriers operate from Don Muang Airport, whereas most of the other airlines operate from Suvarnabhumi Airport. See the full list of airlines operating from Don Muang Airport at http://donmueangairportthai.com/en/1148-airlines-information See the full list of airlines operating from Suvarnabhumi Airport at www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/en/262-airlinesinformation Some useful route maps include:
Thai Airways and Thai Smiles route map
Nok Air route map
Bangkok Airways route map
Kan Air route map
To facilitate passengers who need to connect between flights at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and Bangkok Don Muang Airport, there is a free Transfer Shuttle Bus which operates frequently between 05:00 – 24.00hrs. The bus departs every 12 minutes between 08.12 – 11.00 and 16.12 – 19.00 and every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour at other times. The bus departs Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Terminal 2nd Floor, Gate 3, and Don Muang Airport Arrival Terminal (Building 1) 1st Floor, Door 6. Passengers must present the boarding pass of their arrival flight, air ticket or booking confirmation of their connecting flight, passport or ID card. Contact Call Centre 1722 for more information.
Transport between major tourist destinations around Thailand Several airlines operate direct flights between major tourist destinations within Thailand e.g. Chiang Mai – Phuket, Chiang Mai – Koh Samui, Phuket – Koh Samui, Krabi – Koh Samui, Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai – Pai, Chiang Mai – Pattaya, etc. On top of that, most airlines offer convenient connecting flights via Bangkok. For example, there are currently over 40 flights/week, operated by four airlines connecting Chiang Mai and Phuket: Thai Airways www.thaiairways.com), Thai Air Asia www.airasia.com), Thai Smile www.thaismileair.com) and Bangkok Airways www.bangkokair.com). Bangkok Airways operates daily flights between Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, Krabi and Koh Samui, Phuket and Pattaya, Koh Samui and Pattaya, and 30 flights/week between Phuket and Koh Samui. (Currently Bangkok Airways is the only airlines operating direct flights between Phuket and Koh Samui.)
2. Bor Khor Sor Bus from Suvarnabhumi Airport to destinations beyond Bangkok
There are 13 bus services from Suvarnabhumi Airport to destinations beyond Bangkok. Tickets are available at the service counter of Bor Khor Sor, Public Transport Centre (Passenger Terminal, 1st Floor, Gate 8) or contact Call Centre 1722.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht. Route: Ekkamai Bus Terminal – On Nuch Intersection – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Klongsuan – Klong Prawes – Chachoengsau – Amphur Bang Klah.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht. Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Leamchabang – Pattaya.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht. Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Chachoengsau – Rongklua Market.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport departs at
Baht. Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Motor Way – Chantaburi – Trat – Koh Chang.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht. Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Nakhonratchasima – Khonkhaen – Udonthani – Nongkhai.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport 0
Baht. Route: Bangkok Bus Terminal (Ekamai) – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Laem Ngop.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport 0
Baht. Route: Chatuchak Bus Terminal (Expressway) – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Motorway – Chonburi.
No. Route: Chatuchak Bus Terminal (Expressway) – Suvarnabhumi Airport – U Tapau – Banchang – Maptaphut – Rayong Chatuchak Bus Terminal (Expressway) – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Maptaphut – Rayong Chatuchak Bus Terminal (Expressway) – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Rayong
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht. Route: Chatuchak Bus Terminal (Expressway) – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Amphur Klaeng – Chantaburi.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht. Route: Chatuchak Bus Terminal (Expressway) – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Kulpat Tour Centre – Amphur Klung – Trad.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht. Route: Chatuchak Bus Terminal – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Sriracha – Leamchabang.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht. Route: Ekkamai Bus Terminal – Sukhumvit (Expressway) – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Sakaew.
: From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Baht Route: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Hua Hin.
3. Car Rental
ar rental is a good option for travellers who love to travel freely. There are several suppliers at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport on the 2nd Floor near Gate 8, Don Muang Airport on the 1st Floor of International Arrival Hall (Building 1) and the1st Floor of Domestic Arrival Hall (Building 2) as well as other major domestic airports. See details at: AVIS Tel. , website: www.avis.com Budget Tel., website: www.budget.com Car Rental Association Tel. 0 2737 8888 Hotline 08 7505 0501 website: www.tcra.or.th BIZCAR Tel. 08 9992 5556, 08 9992 5557 website: www.bizcarrental.com Hertz Tel. 0 2266 5070, 08 5917 9903, 08 6779 5456 website: www.hertz.com NATIONAL Tel. 08 4700 4380, 08 7685 5599 website: www.nationalcar.com SIXT Tel. 08 6909 4422, 09 4478 6368 CALL CENTRE 1798 website: www.sixtthailand.com CHIC CAR RENT Tel. 0 2286 6799, 06 1393 6886, 06 1393 7997 website: www.chiccarrent.com THAI RENT A CAR Tel. 1647 website: www.thairentacar.com ASAP CAR RENTAL Tel. 0 2023 7567 website: www.asapcarrent.com EUROPCAR Tel. 0 2206 0373 website: www.europcar.co.th
4. Bor Khor Sor Bus to destinations beyond Bangkok (other than the ones from Suvarnabhumi Airport)
There are three bus terminals in Bangkok with frequent buses to destinations nationwide. Tickets can be purchased in three ways: via the Call Centre: 1490 (open 24 hours); or book online at www.pns-allthai.com/transport/en/index.php; or call 0 2872 1777 to place the booking, take the code to any Counter Service or 7Eleven to pay, and then use the payment slip to exchange for the ticket before boarding the bus. Chatuchak Bus Terminal (also known as Mo Chit 2 or Mo Chit Mai, located on Phaholyothin Road behind Chatuchak Park, is a terminal for buses to/from the North, the Northeast and Central region north of Bangkok. Ekamai Bus Terminal, located on Sukhumvit Road opposite Ekamai Road, is a terminal for buses to/from the East e.g. Pattaya in Chonburi, Rayong, Chantaburi and Trat. Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (also known as Sai Tai Mai or Taling Chan), located at the corner of Barom Ratchachonnani Road and Bhudha Monthon Sai 1 Road, is a terminal for buses to/from the South, the West and Central regions south or west of Bangkok e.g. Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon, Ratchaburi, Cha-am in Phetchaburi, and Hua Hin in Prachuab Khiri Khan. Passengers getting off at the bus terminus can easily catch local transport to their final destination. Passengers getting off at stops along the way should pre-arrange with their accommodation or local operator for pick-ups. In addition to Bor Khor Sor Bus, there are a few private cross country bus operators including Nakhonchai Air www.nakhonchaiair.com, and Sombat Tour www.sombattour.com. These operators have their own bus terminals.
Bor Khor Sor Bus
Train travel is one of Thailand’s oldest and cheapest means of transport, and possibly, its most pleasant: passengers can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery along the way. It is suitable for environmentally friendly travellers, and travellers who like to get a genuine Thai experience and are flexible with times. The network is operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and covers four main lines: northern, southern, northeastern and eastern. The biggest station is Bangkok’s Hualamphong Station. Some popular tourist routes include Bangkok – Chiang Mai, Bangkok – Ayutthaya, Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – River Kwai Bridge, Bangkok – Samut Songkhram – Mahachai Mae Khlong Market and a train plus-ferry from Bangkok to Ko Samui, Koh Tao or Koh Phangan or train-plus-bus from Bangkok to Phuket or Krabi. In 2016 the State Railway of Thailand unveiled modern train carriages. The new train carriages feature modern facilities including more comfortable seats/beds, seat-mounted TV screens in first class, CCTV, USB power outlets and aircraft-style toilets. These trains including new express engines are deployed on the long-distance routes which include Bangkok – Chiang Mai, Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok – Nong Khai and Bangkok – Hat Yai. The SRT operates passenger trains in three classes: 1st, 2nd and 3rd and there are three types of train: an ordinary, a rapid and an express train. Certain classes are only available on certain train types. Commuter trains in the Bangkok are all 3rd class.
Bangkok’s Hualamphong Station
First Class is only available on selected trains (only on rapid, express and special-express trains) and tends to get ‘booked up’ early. First-Class Sleeper offers private and lockable compartments and is only available on overnight trains. Second Class carriages are found only on rapid and express trains. There are air-con and fan cooled Second Class carriages. During the day there are two facing seats, which are pulled together at night to form the bottom bunk. The upper bunk folds down from the wall above. Curtains are hung up in front of both bunks to give more privacy. Lower berths are slightly more expensive as they have space, are more comfortable and have a window (which the upper berth does not). Attendants assemble and make up the beds for you. Children are always assigned a lower berth. Third Class consists of two rows of bench seats divided into facing pairs. Each bench seat is designed to seat two or three passengers. Express trains do not carry Third Class carriages at all. Please note that the next stop is not announced on all train types. For timetables and fares, see www.railway.co.th/checktime/checktime.asp?lenguage=Eng or contact the call centre on. The Eastern & Oriental Express travels along one of the most magical and memorable routes in the world. This remarkable 22 compartment train, immaculately appointed and air-conditioned throughout, provides a perfect vantage point from which to view breathtaking scenery, meandering rivers and the lush tropical landscape of Southeast Asia. The, km journey between Bangkok and Singapore, with stops in River Kwai and Kuala Kangsar, is about adventure, discovery and the excitement of travel. There are three types of bedroom: Pullman ( ,Baht/person), State ( , Baht/person) and Presidential (, Baht/person). The service is no different from a five-star hotel. There are an Observation Car at the rear of the train affording magnificent views and free Wi-Fi, fine dining restaurants, the Saloon Car where guests can relax with a book, magazine or selection of games, and the Bar Car which provides a convivial hub at any time of day with cocktails, live music or entertainment. For more information, see www.belmond.com/eastern-andoriental-express
6. Water Transport
6.1 River Cruises between Bangkok and Ayutthaya
River cruise between Bangkok and Ayutthaya is a great way to relax and enjoy beautiful scenery, see historical sites and observe the local way of life along the river. Some of the river cruise operators, who also offer sightseeing tours, include: Chao Phraya Express Boat www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com/en, River Sun Cruise www.riversuncruise.co.th and Mekhala www.mekhala.com
Cruise passenger volumes in Asia have grown rapidly since, and continue to grow in tandem with the spending power of its growing middle class. ASEAN member states have reiterated their commitment to develop Southeast Asia into a vibrant cruising destination. ASEAN is estimated to have received 116 million international visitors in 2016, up by 6.5% from the previous year, with arrivals dominated by intra-ASEAN travel. Hong Kong and Singapore have long been in the business, whereas cruise tourism is relatively new for Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. In Thailand, the government has announced a massive two phase redevelopment of Phuket as a key cruise Home Port, with Phase One being a short-term refurbishment of the existing port and Phase 2 being a long-term development plan. When finished, the Phuket Home Port will include numerous cruise ship docking areas, a convention hall and exhibition centre, and a mix-use zone complete with hotel, restaurant and retail spaces. Laem Chabang Port, a 90 minute drive from Bangkok and the home port of Costa Cruise since early 2015, will also undergo a massive facelift and infrastructure improvement, scheduled to be completed by 2022. At each of Thailand’s welcoming ports, including the country’s fourth main port at Ko Samui, cruise passengers already discover a variety of tourist attractions featuring off-the-beaten-path destinations, unique cultural and local experiences, Thai hospitality, entertainment and the world-famous Thai cuisine. Located in the heart of the ASEAN region, Thailand easily connects to surrounding countries via both the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand. On the Andaman Sea side of the country, cruise passengers from Singapore can travel to Malaysia, then on to Krabi, Phuket and Ranong in Thailand, finally arriving in Myeik in Myanmar. From the Gulf of Thailand, cruise passengers can depart Singapore to Songkhla, Samui, Hua-Hin-Cha-am, go on to Koh Chang and end in Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Examples of the cruise lines which stop in Thailand are Royal Caribbean Cruises www.royalcaribbean.com.au, P&O Australia www.pocruises.com.au, Cunard and Holland America ships www.cunard.com and Silversea www.silversea.com
River cruising in Southeast Asia is also booming with an incredible choice of itineraries, from a few day’s cruise on the Mekong River to a month long cruise-and-land tour. Pandaw www.pandaw.com is probably the biggest operator for river expeditions on the Mekong through Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Some of their Mekong cruises depart from Chiang Rai in Thailand’s North. Other operators include APT and Scenic, who combine Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar into one trip.
6.3 Sea Ferries
Besides ferries to main islands (e.g. from Phuket to Koh Yao, from Ban Pae to Koh Samet, from Pattaya to Koh Lan, from Trat to Koh Chang, etc), the newest service is a ferry connecting Pattaya and Hua Hin which sails across the Gulf of Thailand. The service officially launches in January , and will operate from the Bali Hai Pier in Pattaya to Saphan Pla (the main port in the centre of Hua Hin). The Pattaya – Hua Hin ferry service is part of the Thai government’s East – West Ferry Project, which aims to boost tourism between Chonburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan. The 113km sea journey takes 2 hours, whereas the road journey between Pattaya and Hua Hin usually takes 5 to 6 hours.
Tickets cost, Baht/person one-way. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/RoyalPassengerLiner/ or call
6.4 Private Yachts & Chartered Cruises
From the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea, Thailand has become quite the destination for putting up the sails. Thanks to its beautiful expanses of water, picture postcard perfect islands and world-class service at marinas, yacht enthusiasts from around the globe are heading to Thailand for racing, weekend getaways and stopovers. The best destinations in Thailand for getting on a yacht include: Koh Samui: Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s top tourist destinations, popular for its white sandy beaches and luxury fivestar resorts. The island has plenty of luxury boats available for charter – don’t miss sailing through the nearby archipelago of Angthong National Marine Park. Phuket: Phuket is one of Asia’s biggest yachting centres. The annual Phuket King’s Cup Regatta in December is Asia’s biggest and most popular regatta with a jam-packed week of yacht racing on the Andaman Sea coupled with lavish parties on the island. The regatta always attracts several world-renowned names from the yachting world. The island also plays a host to the prestigious consumer’s Phuket International Boat Show where big deals for high-end yachts are brokered right on the marina.
Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket
Pattaya: Pattaya is home to another luxury boat show, the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show. The event offers a glimpse into the luxurious yachting lifestyle with free cruises and demonstrations of all the latest and greatest industry technology. The Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Thailand’s premiere sailing club and the prestigious organiser of Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is also located here. Krabi (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta): Home to the famous Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, Krabi has a lot of small islands to discover. At Krabi Boat Lagoon, the island’s premier marina complex, it’s easy to rent a boat or hop on board one as a passenger. Krabi also leads into another gorgeous yachting destination: Phang – Nga Bay. Phang – Nga (Phang – Nga Bay, Surin & Similan Islands): Nestled between Phuket and the western coast of mainland Thailand, this bay contains perhaps the most beautiful group of islands in the kingdom. Phang – Nga Bay is a wonderful sailing destination with many unique characteristics to discover from the 200m long cave tunnel from Koh Phanak to Khao Phing Kan, to the island where the James Bond movie: “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed. There are approximately 2,000 yacht charter services in Thailand, with 70% sailing on the Andaman Sea (Phuket, Krabi, Phang – Nga) and the rest sailing on the Gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Pattaya). For weather forecasts and warnings, see www.tmd.go.th/en/ Examples of the yacht and marina service operators are: Azimut Yachts Thailand http://thailand.azimutyachts.com/ Phuket Yacht Haven www.pyhmarina.com.
Phuket Yacht Club http://phuketyachtclub.com Ocean Marina Yacht Club www.oceanmarinayachtclub.com There are a vast selection of cruise providers in Thailand, from traditional Simese – style barges to extravagant charters. Some of the fabulous marine excursion and cruise providers include:
Diva Marine www.divamarine.com
Tawan Cruise www.tawancruises.com
Senses Phuket www.sensesdetox.com
Asian Oasis www.asian-oasis.com
Private Jet Whether chartering for business or pleasure, some of the top air service providers in Thailand which we can recommend include: Mjets www.mjets.com Siam Land Flying www.aircharterthailand.com OrientSKYs www.orientskys.com Stratos Jet Charters www.stratosjets.com/jet-charterairports/thailand Advance Aviation www.advanceaviation.co.th (private jet & helicopter)