Landing in a new city, even if you’re feeling adventurous as an expat new to your city can be daunting…this is particularly true if you’re moving to one of the major Asian hub cities, like Bangkok, Thailand. Expatriates in Bangkok have their work cut out for them if they plan to truly learn to love their city.
On the huge plus sides though, transportation in Bangkok is a bit of a cinch — the city is continually investing in their transportation infrastructure and that means more public transportation options are being built and designed on a regular basis to continue to accommodate the growing city.
Taking Public Transportation in Bangkok
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) is your go-to one-stop-shop for finding routes and public transportation options in the city. This includes the Skytrain and metro system throughout the city-center, as well as buses and rail. The site is fully accessible in English, so expats and travelers visiting Bangkok can simply type in their routes and view the options on the map.
This transit system is quite handy if you live in the city because you can quickly navigate to hub spots and then grab a quick taxi or motorcycle taxi to navigate the smaller streets.
Also rest assured that this is a quick and effective way to journey from the airport to the city-center without risking an over-priced cab ride (particularly the case if you’re new to the city and speak no Thai).
Motorcycle and Car Taxis for Fast and Cheap Transport
This is the middle ground where a lot of your transport in the city will take place, particularly if you’re an expat off of the BTS line and therefore mostly unable to take advantage of the public transportation. Car taxis abound in the city and always ask for the meter (sometimes you might need to demand the meter) and you will have an inexpensive way to get from point A to point B.
Consider motorcycle taxis if you know your destination is close, or if you’re in a particularly trafficky area of the city. Motorcycle taxis are able to weave through the traffic and don’t cost too much. Just note, there’s a very good chance they’ll be wearing a helmet and not you, so take that into consideration before you decide to take a motorcycle!
Should You Take a Tuk-Tuk in Bangkok?
Only take tuk-tuks if you are fully aware that you’re about to get ripped off. This is not the ideal form of transportation in the city, which can seem counter-intuitive at first because they are by far the most popular way to get around in Asia’s smaller cities. But, in Bangkok, these tuk-tuks can most often be found near Khao San Road and are just waiting to offer you a super-low fare before they cart you around the city to various shops and friends, pimping out your time and pressuring you to buy things you don’t need.
Take the taxis or public transportation whenever possible.
That should get you started whether you’re a tourist or a new expat looking for information about your home!