Transport in Thailand is quite varied. They have fast speed metros, airlines to unique old-age concepts of samlor and Tuk-tuks. Transportation in Thailand capital city is sorted and convenient, another part of the country also has excellent connectivity by air, water, rail, and road modes.
Transportation in Thailand: Top 13 Ways to Get Around Thailand
This mode of transport is a truck or pick-up modified into a passenger vehicle is trendy transportation in Thailand. It has two benches for seating at either side of the truck, and one seat is often placed in between. Songthaew runs both in cities and in towns sometimes as a shared taxi for passengers going in the same direction; it can also be a fixed fare on route service.
A songthaew is the cheapest mode of transport in Thailand. Sometimes songthaew can be called a red truck, red cars, or taxis. In some areas color of the songthaew decide the route. There is a buzzer inside the songthaew, which needs to be pressed to get out of it.
The fares are usually fixed, and paid when one deboarded the vehicle. In tourist areas as Pattaya, Chiang Mai songthaew is a loved mode of transport. A smile and bit explanation in broken English is enough for the driver to assist you to alight at your destination. Two famous models of songthaew are Toyota Hilux and Isuzu faster.
With a capacity of two to three people, Tuk-tuk is a three-wheeled motorized rickshaw. It is private transportation which takes you to the lanes or bylanes you want. One must enjoy the tuk-tuk ride, at least even if you are in Bangkok.
Tuk-tuk is the iconic Thailand transport, which has got a place in the National emblem of Thailand. It is advisable to settle the fare with the tuk-tuk driver before hiring the vehicle. The tuk-tuks are often decorated with trinkets and colorful frills to attract the customers. Tuk-tuk is generally found at all the tourists’ spots, even at islands exception is Koh Samui Island.
In PhraNakhon, Grand Palace, Silom, and Wat Pao, one gets to see blue or yellow lined Tuk-tuks; however, in the other parts of Bangkok, different colored tuk-tuks can be seen. In Phuket and Koh Pha Ngan, tuk-tuk is preferred over songthaew.
The most common mode of transport in Northeast Thailand, skylab, is a covered three-wheeler motorbike. It is slightly different from tuk-tuk in pattern and engine. It has a 50cc to 110 cc engine, which is marginally better than the tuk-tuk. Initially, it was for the transport of crops and other agricultural stuff, but over time became a full-fledged means of Thailand transportation.
Udonthani, Nong Khai, Panom, Surin, Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Saket, and many areas of Northeastern Thailand love to commute by skylab. In addition, Bangkok, Phuket, Sami Island, Pang Nga, and Krabi people and tourists love skylab.
Its unique name comes from the time when it was launched US Skylab orbiting made its re-entry to the earth.
It is a Thailand version of a three-tiered cycle rickshaw, which is hand-drawn. For a short distance ride, these are the preferred ones. Four passengers can ride on the samlorbut for safety reasons, it is advised to hire the one which will go for only two passengers. Samlors are the unmotorized version of Tuk-tuks.
In Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hua Hinsamlors are very popular among tourists and elderly women. The samlors are Thai Heritage, which has to be preserved for long. Rotary Chiang Mai promotes this heritage by assisting the drivers who paddle the samlor. To gain popularity in tourists, an English speaking guide accompanies the driver as a part of the Rotary Chiang initiative. The no fuel vehicle would ever get outdated.
The bus service for commuting is best in Bangkok, Udonthani Districts, and almost all the districts in Thailand. Most of the time, buses have fixed routes and have good connectivity. Bus services are either long routes or inter-city routes. Some bus services are State-run and some by private transport owners.
The bus service was started with the initiative that everyone has access to Bangkok from all parts of Thailand. The fares are cheaper and affordable. Long-route buses have toilets in them.
The metered taxi in Bangkok and app-based taxis have become very popular among locals and tourists too. Sometimes private taxis can be hired with negotiation in fares as they end up charging more. Taxi is among the best option for transportation in Thailand.
The bright colored taxis are popular in islands, cities, and every tourist spot in Thailand. The metered taxi is widening its network to other cities also. Taxi is a convenient and hassle-free mode of transport in Thailand.
Metro and Sky Train
The Bangkok mass transit system, BTS, or skylab is the synonym for the rapid above-ground transit mode in Thailand. It has 43 stations along the three lines. Only Bangkok has the facility of metro and sky train till now.
Metro and sky trains are the best option to beat the traffic blues in Bangkok. The air-conditioned sky train is well connected to the whole of Bangkok, which gives office goers and others a sigh of relief. There are token systems for the fare, but preloaded cards can also opt.
The MRT subway is also very popular due to its good connectivity in Bangkok city. Riding on the sky train would give the pleasure of traveling around Thailand capital.
In rural areas where modes of transit are limited, motorbikes have their ardent importance there. The drivers often opt for rash, so beware, but they are the ones who can pull you out of the traffic anyhow. It is called as taxi motosai in Thai.
The drivers wear colorful numbered vests like red, blue, or yellow to get distinguished from personal bikers. The price needs to be negotiated before the ride.
Ferry or Boat
The long-tail boats, ferry, river taxi boats, and rocket boats are the celebrated transports of Thailand. The beaches, rivers, island hopping, and shopping at floating markets are the most awaited funs when in Thailand.
The water-based transportation of Thailand is in great demand to explore the never-ending excitements of Thailand.
In Bangkok, the Chao Phraya River can be traveled by river taxi boats. Long-tail boats are best for commuting in the sea. They are called Gondolas of Southern Thailand.
The beautiful Archipelagos, islands, and seas can be roamed and enjoyed. Such is the importance of water transport that without them most of the attractions will go unnoticed. Ferry boats and long-tail boats are important in Thailand’s transportation.
There are both Domestic and International airports in Thailand. The Airports in Thailand are at Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Hat Yai, Chiang Rai, UdonThani, Pattaya, Chonburi, and Krabi.
There are budget flights in the Domestic domain. The country has excellent connectivity via air also. The Domestic flights are of Nok Air, Thai Lion Air, Thai Lion Air, Thai Orient, Thai Viet jet Air, and Bangkok Airways. These airlines are great for traveling around Thailand.
The lenient luggage allowance is their watermark. Most of the tourist hop is ideal for air-travel because of good connectivity.
This is an alternative for buses in Thailand. There is an alternative to avoid the rush of the bus; just opt for the minivan. It is a 13 seat air-conditioned vehicle but has less space for luggage.
The minivan can be booked for exploring the city and nearby for the whole day or on an hourly basis. The good thing about minivans is it can be booked for several days as per the requirement. Minivans are easily available at airports, tourist places other than car rental offices.
The advanced version of the minivan has come on the roads of Thailand that have more luggage capacity and leg space. The speed limit, tachograph, tougher licensing process, and inspections by Thailand transportation officials prevent the drivers from rash driving. Seat belts must be worn. There are toilet breaks at gas stations if you are on a sharing minivan.
Minivans have the best possible routes to almost all the tourists’ spots like Ayutthaya, Erawan National Park, Koh Mak, Lopburi, to name a few.
The train is a loved means to commute in Thailand. It has three main lines connecting all four corners of the country. These are slow trains that expanded across Thailand in the 4500km railway network. Hualamphong Railway Station of Bangkok is the center of all train travel in Thailand.
There are cities like Lopburi and Ayutthaya, where traffic is there, the train journey is best. The slow train journey will take you to the visual tour of scenic Thailand and the joys of traveling around Thailand.
Based on the hierarchy of comfort and fare, the train has first, second, and third-class rankings. Bookings start before 60 days. The countryside ride at Mae Khlong-Maha Chai railroad is not to be missed. The historic imp Death Railway must be traveled. The train is good for tourists and locals to nearby smaller interior places.
These can be seen in the countryside where they are used as transport. Often crops, luggage, rice, and people are seen boarded on Etan-trucks.