Travel and Transit Information for Bangkok
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Bangkok travel and transit information.
Most flights into Thailand touch down at the new Bangkok International Airport, which is located 15 miles east of downtown.
Bangkok International Airport (BKK)
+66 2 132 1888
Major airlines include:
Air Asia (+603 8660 4343 / http://www.airasia.com/)
Air China (+1 800 227 5118 / http://www.china-airlines.com/)
Air France (+1 800 871 1366 / http://www.airfrance.com/)
Air New Zealand (+1 800 663 5494 / http://www.airnz.com/)
American Airline (+1 800 433 7300 / http://www.aa.com/)
British Airways (+1 800 247 9297 / http://www.ba.com/)
Continental (+1 800 525 0280 / http://www.continental.com/)
El Al (+1 800 223 6700 / http://www.elal.co.il/)
Japan Airlines (+1 800 525 3663/ http://www.japanair.com/)
Korean Air (+1 800 438 5000 / http://www.koreanair.com/)
Lufthansa (+1 800 645 3880 / http://www.lufthansa.com/)
Northwest (+1 800 225 2525 / http://www.nwa.com/)
Nippon (+1 888 422 7533 / http://www.ana.co.jp/)
Qantas (+1 604 279 6611 / http://www.qantas.com/)
United (+1 800 241 6522 / http://www.ual.com/)
From the Airport
Bus: Buses exit every 15 minutes from the airport and depending on the status of traffic can your ride into Bangkok can last one to two hours. Passengers can choose from four routes: A1: Silom Road Business District A2: Khao San Road A3: Sukhumvit Road and Central World Plaza A4: Hualampong Railway Station These express buses operate daily from 4:30a-12:30a, with a fare of THB150. Regular city buses also depart from the airport for around THB35; they can be reached by taking a shuttle bus to the airport bus terminal.
Train: Express train service into downtown Bangkok can be found opposite the terminals and can be reached by the skybridge linking the two. Travel time is about 30 minutes.
Taxi: Taxis are easy to find outside the airport's three terminals. Depending on traffic, rides generally last between 40-90 minutes. Fares usually cost THB240-THB320. Don't take offers from taxi drivers within the terminals. Go to an official taxi stand. The fare will be much cheaper. Make sure that the taximeter is running.
Avis (+1 800 831 2847 / http://www.avis.com/)
Budget (+1 800 527 0700 / http://www.budget.com/)
Hertz (+1 800 654 3131 / http://www.hertz.com/)
State Railways of Thailand (+66 2 225 0300) services Bangkok from all four directions, including Malaysia from the south. Passengers disembark at the Hua Lampong Train Station (+66 2 223 3762), located on Rama IV Road. Taxis can easily be located outside the station.
The Southern Bus Terminal (+66 2 435 1200) services buses arriving from such southern towns as Hua Hin and Phuket. The North/Northeastern Bus Terminal (+66 2 272 0296) caters to buses arriving from the north, including from Chiang Mai, near the Laos border and Lampang. The Eastern Bus Terminal: (+66 2 391 2504) harbors buses arriving from the southeast coast, including from the towns of Pattaya and Trad.
National Highway #4 jabs into Bangkok from the west and represents the main thoroughfare from Hua Hin. National Highway #3 arrives from a southeast direction, making Pattaya a three-hour drive. National Highways #32 and #117 vein into the city from the north.
The Bangkok Mass Transit System's Skytrain (+66 2 617 7300 / http://www.bts.co.th/) rates as the quickest and most efficient option for negotiating through the city. This elevated monorail features 25 stops spread over two lines. The Sukhumvit Line accesses such popular attractions as Siam Square and the Victory Monument. The Silom Line includes stops in the Silom business district and at the National Stadium. Stations are attended every three minutes during peak hours. The Skytrain operates daily from 6a-11:57p and all rides cost less than THB40.
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (+66 2 246 0973 / http://www.bmta.co.th/) operates a massive bus system that services Bangkok and beyond. All one-way fares cost less than THB20. Be aware that the buses are the main work areas for pickpocket artists and "purse slashers" (also known as "razors") that target tourists, so travel with caution. The system operates daily from 5a until 11p.
Three-wheeled, open sided vehicles called tuk-tuks dominate the streets to the point that they have come to symbolize downtown Bangkok. Despite their novelty, they are also ideally suited for short trips around the city (they possess the capacity for long, cross town hauls but the constant exposure to bus and truck exhaust fumes while endlessly idling in traffic tends to limit their appeal to three or four blocks). Drivers consider haggling a lofty human virtue so agree to a set price before entering. Rides generally cost between THB40-THB140.
Taxi, Motorcycle Taxi & Watertaxi
Taxis are easy to hail from the street and in front of the major hotels. Avoid fare rip-offs by only using cabs designated with clearly marked "taxi-meter" roof signs.
Motorcycle taxis are only recommended for those with sound health insurance. No helmets are provided and drivers weave in and out of traffic as if auditioning to be Hollywood stuntmen. Use only as a last option for short distances.
The Chao Phraya Express Company (+66 2 222 5330) provides water taxi service on the Chao Phraya River, hence the name. The comedic number of boats on the river makes it seem as if a Jackie Chan chase scene is about to whiz through at any second, yet this service still represents the quickest means for maneuvering through Bangkok in a north-south direction. Most riders board at the Siphya Pier, close to the Royal Orchid Sheraton.
Driving in Bangkok offers obvious convenience, but also obvious risk. Road congestion is constant, locals exhibit the same cautionary driving skills as all-night revelers, and regardless of fault, foreigners are usually blamed in accidents. Keep in mind that seat belts are mandatory and driving is on the left.
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