When it’s time to think about getting around Bangkok, the glass is either half-full or half-empty. Pessimists will complain about the traffic and the limited train network - and yes, they have a point. But let’s look on the bright side: traveling around Bangkok, especially for the first-time visitor, can actually be a fun, eye-opening experience. Just think of it as an adventure, not a commute!
Plus, Bangkok does have a wide range of transportation options. From the city’s iconic BTS Skytrain and underground MRT to tuk-tuks and shuttle boats, here are the best ways to get around Bangkok - brought to you by the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport to downtown Bangkok
The first question on many visitors’ minds when arriving in Bangkok is how to get from the city’s main airport into downtown, which is around 20km away. Whatever time of day, the quickest and cheapest way will always be the Airport Rail Link. After collecting your bags, head down to the basement floor of the airport to find the train terminal. A one-way ticket to Phayathai (the most central station connecting to the BTS) costs 45 baht and takes approximately 25 minutes.
If you have heavy luggage or young children, getting a taxi from outside the airport is another option. The total taxi journey into downtown should cost between 300-400 baht plus a 50 baht service fee.
Getting around downtown
Perhaps the most popular way to get around the city center is the BTS Skytrain system. The two lines easily connect (most) of the built-up areas of Bangkok, including Sukhumvit, Thonglor, Asoke, Silom, Siam, Mo Chit, Sathorn, the Riverside and Thonburi. In addition to this, there is also an underground MRT network stretching from Hua Lamphong Train Station across Sukhumvit and into the north of the city. Both of these methods of transportation are cheap (tickets between 15-45 baht) and easy to use with air conditioning and signs in English.
A more simple but perhaps more time-consuming option is again the Bangkok taxi. They are easy to flag down at any time of day and journeys begin at 35 baht.
Exploring Bangkok from the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel
Guests staying at this Bangkok riverside hotel are able to take full advantage of the most exciting means of transportation in the city: the Chao Phraya shuttle boat! Guests can travel upstream to reach Rattanakosin and the Old City area - home to many of Bangkok’s top attractions such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Khao San Road and Wat Arun just across the river. Fares cost between 5-25 baht. In fact, the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel offers a complimentary boat service exclusively for guests from the hotel’s private pier which connects Saphan Taksin Pier (next to the BTS).
Other ways to get around Bangkok
Finally, we come to Bangkok’s three and two-wheeled options of transport. While tuk-tuks might not be the most cost-effective or comfortable way to get around, a ride in one of these symbols of Bangkok is undeniably fun - and you do get to see the city up close as you dart through the streets. Tuk-tuks are mostly found around Bangkok’s Old Town area and by major tourist attractions, with journeys usually costing between 60-200 baht (do agree on the price before you set off).
For those in a rush, the city’s trusty motorcycle taxis (or motorsai) are perhaps the fastest and cheapest way to travel short distances, especially if it is rush-hour and you need to cut through the traffic. Again, negotiate the price beforehand and ask them to provide you with a helmet to be on the safe side.