No matter where you stay in Bangkok, you end up in a lot of different kinds of transports! The cheapest way to get around is the bus. With the help of a bus map that can be bought everywhere, it is relatively easy and can be quick if there is a bus lane. But yes! Traffic can be murderous in this city, especially around the evening when we thought it was finally cool enough to go out again.
This is why we like the new Sky Train and the metro. They zip you around the city in air conditioned carts in no time. The fare depends on how far you go, between 0.4 and 0.8 Euros. Considering the size of Bangkok, they only cover a small area and do not enter the old part of town with its tourist attractions. But since the Sky Train connects with the boats running up and down the Chao Praya River, all the sights, Wat Arun, the Royal Palace / Emerald Buddha, National Museum, Wat Pho and Chinatown can be visited without being caught in traffic.
The boat trip is good fun, breezy and no haggling over the price. From the boat stops, it is only a short walk to any of the places of interests. Naturally, you will be approached by touts offering river tours, who may also tell you that the Royal Palace is closed and you should go with them to see the Reclining Buddha instead.
Of course, there are Bangkok’ famous Tuk Tuks, an institution! However, we got so tired of being quoted ridiculous prices that we hardly ever used them. Sometimes they ask 4 times the price it should be! We knew the price in a metered taxi from Khao San to our hotel in Sukhumvit was about 90 Baht, but we had Tuk Tuk drivers ask for 250 Baht for half the distance. As soon as you get on, they ask you if they could stop here and there… Who has not heard about the “gem scam”? They even offer a reduction of the fare if you agree to stop at one of these “notorious shops”.
Same goes for the motordup: they try any fantasy price. Although it is fast and SHOULD be cheap, we only did it once. We just did not have the nerve! When the road is clear, they drive like Kamikazes, but in Bangkok this is rarely the case. In the much more likely traffic jam, they meander through cars stuck or drive between the lanes crowded with cars.
The most convenient and comfortable way of transportation are metered taxis. Plus, they should not be much more expansive than a Tuk Tuk. They start off with 35 Baht on the meter, which takes you quite a distance, before it starts adding. Often drivers need to be reminded to turn it on. Of course, there are many who try to quote you a price. We always walked away from those. A lady we met at our hotel was quoted 2.000 Baht for the ride from the airport to the city center, which should cost around 250 Baht! Similarly, the taxi drivers who hang out at our hotel lobby ask for 600 Baht. When we told we take a taxi for 250 Baht, they played the old trick: “Oh, you taking a public taxi, ours is safe and convenient”. Maybe it is worth mentioning that Bangkok’s taxis are brand new and spacious.