Adventures in East Asia

Observations on Bangkok Public Transport

Whilst in some other East Asian countries we were able to get around using a convenient prepaid travel card of some sort, in Bangkok, it was deemed to be easier to buy one way tickets as and when needed. Particularly as there were differentiating metros and skytrains.


Anyway, we found that we practically made all our journeys on the BTS Skytrain and only once used the metro where it was more convenient to get to Suan Lum Night Bazaar.

The BTS Skytrain does what it says in that it travels above the roads and actually got to most of the places we wanted to visit during our stay in Bangkok. Buying tickets from a vending machine was fast, straightforward and cheap, with manned booths at each station nearby being ready to dish out small change.

When we got to using the metro system, once we figured out how to buy the tickets, we were amused to find that they just consisted of a small plastic coin. Nothing too unusual I guess, but after dealing with magnetically-striped cards, we just found it funny to receive these circular bits of plastic from a machine.


Once inside the metro carriage, we took note of the sign suggesting that passengers should offer monks their seat. I haven't seen this kind of sign before and find it a little fascinating in its reflection of a culture. Such is the respect for monks I guess, where the opposite is true of durians in Singapore, which are banned on the buses there.


Buses, taxis and tut-tuks are widely available in Bangkok, but we read that its best to avoid them because of all the traffic on the streets. We only took a taxi when we couldn't get a metro or skytrain and to get to the airport. Getting to the airport was quick once the driver got to the freeway, but on the urban streets, the pace was almost excruciatingly slow.

Tuk-tuks are smaller and I guess potentially more maneuverable, but unless you really want to ride on one, and we weren't bothered, being open to all the exhaust fumes from other traffic really isn't much fun.

This entry posted in : Culture. Thailand.

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