Getting Around

Bangkok's Chao Praya River at night.

Thailand covers an area of 514,000 square kilometres, roughly the same size as France. Bangkok is a sprawling city of more than eight million inhabitants. Large though the nation and its capital are, you will not have any problem getting around. Transport for travelling across town or across country is equally convenient and inexpensive.

In Bangkok, airconditioned taxis with meters are plentiful and can be easily hailed wherever you happen to be in the city. An alternative type of taxi is the samlor or tuk tuk, a three-wheeled vehicle taking two passengers (three or four at a squeeze). They are rather noisy and are open to traffic fumes, though they are extremely popular with visitors who find them quaint. The fare should be negotiated in advance.

Taxi in ThailandTaxis that are even more unusual, though equally convenient, are the river taxis that ply the Chao Phraya. Some are just cross river ferries, but others serve the many landing stages on both banks and cover a route that goes up as far as the northern suburb of Nonthaburi.

With regards to public transport, Bangkok has a comprehensive bus service with routes serving every area of the city. There are both airconditioned and non-airconditioned vehicles and although they get crowded during rush hours, they do provide an extremely cheap way of getting around town.

At the other end of the transport scale, hotel limousines and car hire are readily available.

For upcountry travel, THAI operates a domestic air service connecting Bangkok with more than 20 provincial cities and towns. On trunk routes, such as to Chiang Mai or Phuket, there are several flights daily.

Train in ThailandTrain travel is also convenient on the main northern and southern lines, and to the northeast. Air-conditioned first-class sleepers are ideal for long journeys, though there are also second and third class carriages.

The most comprehensive domestic transportation network is the Government-operated long distance bus service. There is scarcely a town in the entire country which is not served either on a direct Bangkok route or a feeder service from a provincial centre.

If you want to go your own way, there are many car hire firms in Thailand, including international rental companies such as Hertz and Avis. The road system is good and well sign-posted.

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Thailand in Brief
Distinctive Textiles
A Natural Escape
Festival Occasions
Staying in Style
Planning Your Trip
Signing my Guestbook
Delicious Dining
Bangkok-Old and New
Delicious Dining
An Exotic Kaleidoscope
Shopping Treasures
Classical Dance to Disco
Sporting Options
Tropical Resorts

Amazing Thailand '98
Background 's name is Pum Thep-panom Kan-yaeng.