Bangkok - Local Transfer Information - When you arrive in Bangkok by
Train there are several local transport choices for transfer, depending on your
travel plans. If you are heading to another city, you may have to take a long-distance
bus from one of Bangkok's Bus Terminals. If you are heading to Sukhumvit or
Silom Areas, you can take the Bangkok Metro (MRT) or Skytrain (BTS). There is
also a very good Public Bus System in Bangkok if you're short on money and
have the extra time to ride. Most tourist maps have the
'Chao Phraya River Express', Skytrain and Subway (Metro) Stations names and
locations, and bus numbers printed on them. Plus there is always the option of taking
a Taxi, 'Tuk'Tuk', or Motorbike.
Other Bangkok City Railways - Bangkok has two City Railway Systems that don't share rails with Thai Railways. The Bangkok (Metro) Subway (MRT) is Bangkok's Underground Subway System. The Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) is Bangkok's 'Elevated' City Railway. Both offer a fast and inexpensive way to get around Central Bangkok in Air-Conditioned comfort and avoid the notorious 'Traffic Jams'.
--a. Bangkok (Metro) Subway means 'rotfai taidin' in Thai, or 'underground train'. Hualamphong Railway Station's MRT connection (Hualamphong Metro Station) finally opened in July 2004. From Hualamphong Rail Station, walk under main street for the Subway Entrance to Hualamphong Metro Station. The Blue Metro Line also connects with the Thai Railways System at Bang Sue Rail Station (Northern Bangkok).
--b. Bangkok's Skytrain serves most of the downtown area. There are two lines. The Light-Green 'Sukhumvit Line' which travels along Sukhumvit Road and up Phayonyothin to North Bangkok. The Dark-Green 'Silom Line' travels from the Silom Area to the National Stadium. The two lines meet at Siam Square. Hualamphong Rail Station also provides access to the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) via the Bangkok Metro. The nearest Metro / Skytrain transfer station to Hualamphong SRT Station is Si Lom (Metro) / Sala Daend (Skytrain). The Skytrain Connects with Chao Phraya River Taxi Service at Saphon Taksin Skytrain Station
--c. There are MRT / BTS Connections at several Stations. Silom (MRT) / Sala Daeng (BTS), Sukhumvit (MRT) /Asok (BTS), and Chatuchak Park (MRT) / Mo Chit(BTS). You can transfer to North/Northeast-Bound Thai Railway Trains at the Bang Sue Station / Junction to cut a half-hour off your train trip. . Metro tickets are not interchangeable with Skytrain tickets. There will be MRT / BTS connections at Phaya Thai (BTS) / Petchaburi (MRT) Stations with the planned Thai Railways Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Service Link. This service should open in 2008. (see 'Future Routes' Section)
--d. Thai Railway Connections into Bangkok (Metro) Subway (MRT)/ Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)
----1. Bangkok (Metro) Subway (MRT) - Thai Railways connects with Bangkok Metro (MRT) Blue Line at Hualamphong, Makkasan (BTS--Phetchaburi Station) and Bang Sue Rail Stations. From Hualamphong Rail Station, walk under main street for the Subway Entrance to Hualamphong Metro Station. (See 'Other Bangkok City Railways' Section above for more details)
----2. Hualamphong Rail Station provides access to the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) via the Bangkok Metro. The nearest Metro / Skytrain transfer station is Si Lom (Metro) / Sala Daend (Skytrain). There is also a direct Thai Rail / BTS transferat Phaya Thai Station. (See 'Other Bangkok City Railways' Section and above for more information)
----3. Suvarnabhumi Airport Link - SRT is building and may operate the Suvarnabhumi Airport Link to Suvarnabhumi Airport, scheduled to open in 2008. It will include MRT / BTS Links at Phaya Thai (BTS) / Petchaburi (MRT). (see 'Future Routes Section')
Bangkok City (Public) Bus System - Bangkok has an excellent City Bus System. You can get to/from most places in Bangkok cheaply by City Bus, including Hualamphong, Don Muang, and Thonburi Railway Stations. Bangkok's Public Busses also stop at the 3 Long-Distance Bus Stations (Listed Below). Bangkok's City Busses are comfortable enough, but they can be crowded, and can get 'stuck' in Bangkok's famous traffic. During busy times, you may not be allowed to take large luggage (backpacks / suitcases) on the local buses, except airport busses. The Bangkok City Bus System is mostly operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and routes are usually only marked in Thai. If you can speak Thai you can call 184 Bus Route Hotline. Most tourist maps have the bus numbers printed on the streets. Try to learn the name of your destination in Thai so you can check with the attendant before boarding. Busses of the same number may run slightly different routes, depending on the color of the bus. Bus stops usually list only the bus numbers that stop at that place and will stop only when people wave them down (arm out, palm down). There are six types of City Bus Service. (For Thai Rail / City Bus transfer, Check the Route numbers on a Tourist Map of Bangkok)
- Small Green Bus - Crowded, no air-con, no fan,
- Red Bus (BMTA run) Frequent service, fan, often crowded. Some of these run all night
- White/Blue Bus (private)- Exactly the same as the red buses but more expensive.
- Blue/Yellow (privte) and Cream/Blue Bus (BMTA) - Air-Conditioned, quite comfortable.
- Orange (Euro II) (BMTA) - Air-Conditioned, newer, and more comfortable.
- Red Bus No. 2 - Regular Service to the Khao San Road area. Skytrain and MRT connections.
- Blue 'Air Con Bus 511 takes people from Sukhumvit and the Democracy Monument to the Southern Bus Terminal. The 'Blue and White 511 Bus goes to Sanam Luang (very close to Khao San Road).
- Red Bus 53 runs between Hualamphong Station and Banglumpoo (Khao
San Road Area). The stop is behind Hualamphong Station, away from the main Bus Stop,
near a group of Motorbike Taxis.
Bangkok's Long-Distance Bus Stations - The easiest and fastest way to get to many popular destinations from Bangkok is by Long-Distance Bus. This is especially true for the region East between Bangkok and Cambodia, where train service is very limited. The bus station you depart from depends on your destination. You can arrive at any of the bus stations by taxi, motorbike, 'tuk-tuk' or public (city) bus from Bangkok-area rail stations. (See "Bangkok City Bus' Section above for more Bus route Information). Bangkok's North/Northeast Bus Station has both Metro (MRT) and Skytrain (BTS) access. Bangkok's Eastern Bus Station is beside a Skytrain (BTS) Station. There are three Long-Distance Bus Stations (Terminals) in the Bangkok Area. Bangkok Metro (MRT), Skytrain (BTS).
- Eastern Bus Terminal - (Ekamai) A compact terminal right next
to Ekamai BTS Station on Sukhumvit Rd (Soi 40 / Soi Ekamai, Th Sukhumvit).
For all Eastern Thailand destinations, including Pattaya, Rayong, Ban Phe,
Chanthaburi and Trat.
- North & North Eastern Bus Terminal - (Moh Chit) (or Mor
Chit / Morchit) in Bangkok's Phahonyothin District (Th Kamphaeng Phet Road).
This Station is the largest, busiest, and most modern of Bangkok's Bus Terminals.
Busses to the Northeast (Isaan) leave from the Upper Floor. Busses
heading North leave from the Ground Floor. Some Bus Service to the
East Region (Pattaya, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat) also departs from the
Ground Floor of the North Terminal. The Moh Chit BTS Station and Chatuchak
Metro Station are just across Chatuchak Park from Moh Chit Terminal.
- Southern Bus Terminal - (Sai Tai Mai) in Bangkok's Thonburi
District (HWY 338 / Th Nakhon Chaisi & Th Phra Pinkao). The Southern Bus
Terminal is an older and relatively chaotic station. For all Bus Service to
Thailand's West and South Regions. There are also some departures for areas
in Eastern Thailand (Pattaya, Rayong), but the service is not as frequent as
from Ekamai Station.
- Bus Services - Long-Distance Government Busses depart from
Bangkok's Bus Terminals (listed above). Private Tour Busses Depart
from an area near their home base (usually a location with many travel agencies,
like Khao San Road).
Other Bangkok Public Transport
- Mae Nam Chao Phraya River Taxi Service- Chao Phraya Express Boat, is basically a 'water bus' going up and down the Chao Phraya River from Wat Patchasongkhon to Nonthaburi. There is Chao Phraya River Taxi access to/from Hualamphong Rail Station if you walk through Chinatown from Tha Ratchawong Pier, but the path is a bit tricky. Chao Phraya Express Boats stop near most of Rattanakosin's major attractions including the Grand Palace (Tha Chang Pier), Wat Pho (Tha Tien Pier), and the Temple of Dawn (Tha Tien Pier). Chao Phraya Express Boats also provide access to the Banglumpoo / Khao San Area ((Tha Phra Athit Pier). Chao Phraya Express Boat Piers are marked on most Bangkok Tourist Maps. Passengers Board at piers where a sign shows the boat route. The new 'Route Sign Marking' on the piers is quite clear, with Route Information Maps in English and numbers on Piers. Chao Phraya River Express meets the Skytrain at Tha-Sathon Taksin Station (River Express) / Saphon Taksin Station (Skytrain).
In addition, there is 'Canal Boat' Service operated by Bangkok Metropolitan
Authority. An elaborate network of canals known as 'khlongs' gave Bangkok the
nickname "Venice of the East" at a time when most Bangkok transportation
was by boat. Today, nearly all of the canals have been filled in and converted
There are four types of Chao Phraya Express Boat Services plus the canal boats:
- Express - (Yellow or Orange Flags) Service during Morning / Evening 'rush Hours'. Stops only at major piers.
- Local - (No Flag) Stops at all piers.
- Tourist Boats - Stops at a different Set of Peirs and has an English-Speaking Guide. Comfortable but more pricey.
- Across-River Ferries - Board at Piers next to Chao Phraya Express Boat Piers. Crosses the River to sites on the 'Other Side' from piers and back again.
- Khlong Saen Saep (Canal Taxi) Boats - Service along Bangkok's Canal System. Used by many Thai Commuters. Faster than busses or Taxis. Has plastic 'Splash-Barriers' on the sides to guard against splashing by the polluted water. Perfect for 'Downtown Transit' between Banglumpoo (Khaosan Area) and Siam Square (Khlong Saen Saep Canal).