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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bangkok Public Transport - Safety, Dangers and Annoyances

Travelling in Thailand is safer than most people think. As long as you follow some common sense rules then you shouldn’t have any problems during your holiday.

Skytrain (BTS) about Baht 40 and above.from airport to pratunam at makasan station about baht 40 (Sin$1.60)

The Skytrain is an efficient and convenient way to navigate around the inner city, at a cost low enough to relax and enjoy the ride. It is an elevated train that runs through the main business districts, but doesn’t go ’everywhere’ (i.e taxis and tuk tuk rides are still needed). Many hotels are just a short walk away from a stop so check your map to see if the Skytrain is your best option for returning to your hotel.

Taxis (if taxi refused to switch on meter, take the next taxi). if no choice make sure price is for whole taxi and NOT per person.
normally baht 100 can travel very far.  i suggest do not take the highway route, sometimes distance is long (additional toll about Baht45)

Taxis are cheap and fares start at 35 Baht. Make sure the meter is on and showing 35 baht. All taxis are metered but some drivers will try to negotiate a fixed fare with tourists. This is not allowed and should not be done.

Tuk Tuk (local thai pay about baht20-40)Your Bangkok trip is incomplete if you do not ride just once in a Tuk Tuk. This is a motorized three wheeler which is seen all over the city. Since it does not have a meter, all the price has to be negotiated.  For tourists a taxi is cheaper, safer, and has air-conditioning!  Most Tuk-Tuk drivers are not honest.

Chao Phrya River Express BoatChao Phrya Express boats that run along the river in both directions. A boat runs every 20 minutes, but in the rush hours they run about every 5 minutes. For 20 baht you could ride the express boat from the "Central Pier" (Ta Sathorn Pier, under the Saphan Takin BTS station) all the way to the end of the line at Nonthaburi, a fascinating journey of about an hour. It's also a fast way to get to the Grand Palace at Ta Chang Pier, and other interesting locations. Here is their English language website:

Motorcycle TaxiThis is helpful especially for accessing the Skytrain or the Subway. Prices normally range between 15 and 40 Baht. However as a foreigner you are 99% likely to be overcharged.  If you want to go to the subway or skytrain use either “BTS” for the Skytrain or “MRT” for the subway. These are the short names that the drivers will understand. The driver is supposed to supply you with a helmet and you are supposed to wear it.

The following “Cautions” have been issued by the Tourist Police in Thailand.
  • Never believe street touts. Promised jewelry bargains are scams.
  • Never purchase jewelry with the unrealistic expectation of reselling it for two or three times the original purchase price.
  • Never mail precious stones home.
  • Always exercise common sense. If something appears “too good to be true” it probably is “too good to be true”.
  • Please be aware the Thai government does not own, operate, subsidise or authorise any jewelry stores, except The Thailand Duty Free Shops.
  • Disregard all offers of shopping or sightseeing assistance from strangers. They invariably take a big commission on a high surcharged price.
  • Please avoid in any habit forming drugs and avoid being induced into any form of gambling, since the penalties in Thailand are very severe.
  • Always select reliable Tour operators and Travel agencies or Guides with official licenses issued by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Please contact the bus terminal directly for your ticket. If you purchase the ticket from other agencies, please be sure to obtain all necessary information before using their services to avoid the subsequent problems.
If you have any problems contact the TOURIST POLICE immediately on 1155

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