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The Essential Guide to Transportation in Thailand


Aug 27, 2021 · 10 mins read

Thailand, in all its glory, is one of the best tourist destinations in Asia. Its many seas, hotels, temples and natural sceneries never disappoint those who choose to go there. And if travelling there is already on your bucket list, one of the most important things you could learn about is Thailand's transportation system. If “How do people get to places there” is a question that’s nagging you, this article is here to answer it!

To put it simply, Thailand’s transportation system is an extensive one. To get to your destination, you may take a train, a bus, or even one of those often-seen-in-Asian-travel-vlogs Tuk Tuk rickshaws! That being said, let’s have a look at all the long and short distance transport options in Thailand;


  1. Plane
  2. Train
  3. Private Bus
  4. Metro or Subway
  5. BTS
  6. Bangkok Airport Link
  7. Intercity Bus
  8. Taxi
  9. Tuk Tuk
  10. Motorcycle

Long-Distance Travel

1) Plane

BANGKOK-MARCH 18 2018Docked away flights in Suvarnabhumi Airport. Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of two international airports serving Bangkok, Thailand. @ I Viewfinder / Adobe Stock

Planes are one of the fastest mediums of travelling worldwide. Thailand is no exception, and it has a range of air travel options to add speed and convenience to your journeys. Many airline companies operating on Thai soil offer domestic flights, meaning you can simply fly down to the Thai city of your choice.

Airlines that Offer Domestic Flights:

Where is the Airports in Thailand?

BANGKOK, THAILAND - CIRCA JUNE, 2015 interior shot of Suvarnabhumi Airport. @ Heorshe / Adobe Stock
  1. Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Central Region
  2. Chiang Mai Airport, Chiang Mai
  3. Don Mueang, Bangkok
  4. Phuket International Airport, Phuket
  5. Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport, Chiang Rai
  6. Hat Yai International Airport, Songkhla
  7. Krabi Airport, Krabi
  8. Samui International Airport, Surat Thani
  9. U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, Rayong
  10. Ubon Ratchathani Airport, Ubon Ratchathani
  11. Khon Kaen Airport, Khon Kaen
  12. Nakon Si Thammarat Airport, Nakon Si Thammarat

Price & Operating Times

Plane ticket prices are just one of those things that fluctuate with demand. In the high-demand season of November to March, you might have to pay more to fly. However, these prices usually drop by April, and remain there till late October, when not a lot of tourists are making their way to Thailand.

The operating times for major Thai airports such as the Suvarnabhumi Airport are 24 hours, whereas the Chiang Mai Airport remains open from 6 am and closes by midnight.

2) Train

trains running on death railways track crossing kwai river in kanchanaburi thailand this railways important destination of world war II history builted by soldier prisoners @ banjongseal324 / Adobe Stock

The Thai transportation system is incomplete without the country’s trains. The numerous options when it comes to speed, destinations, and even comfort level let you choose what’s best in your budget.

If a plane won’t go to a certain Thai spot, one or another train definitely will, and this is why you should consider them for getting around Thailand.These are the main train types of Thailand:

All 4 of those train types come in 3 seat classes:

Price & Operating Times

Prices of tickets differ according to first the train type, and then the class of seats selected. For instance, you will pay more for a super express train ticket than an express train ticket and so on. Next, the fare will change if you choose the first class on your super express train.

The operating times for train stations are long and you can expect to catch a train at most hours of the day.

3) Private Bus

Man bus of Transport government company. 15 Meter Bus. @ nitinut380 / Adobe Stock

Private buses in Thailand are a lot more advanced, clean and safe than public buses. These can be taken if you’re done with seeing one of the Thai cities on your list, and can’t wait to get to the next. The following are the 2 types of private buses in Thailand:

You get reclining seats on an Express bus, as well as toilet facilities. The frequent stops also give you the chance to relax and stretch your legs, keeping you from getting tired on long journeys.

VIP buses have 3 seats per row with full air-conditioning as well as a toilet. Drinks and snacks are also provided, with a meal voucher for one of the stops, so you’re comfortable and full the whole way.

Price & Operating Times

Prices for buses depend on the bus type, as well as the company. Slower buses that make more stops will come cheaper, and vice versa.

The operating times are also different for different companies. You may visit official websites to learn more about bus hours.

Travelling Within a City

4) Metro or Subway

Bangkok subway @ joyt / Adobe Stock

Subways, just like other Asian countries, are also a common mode of travelling within Thai cities. One of the biggest subway metro systems in Thailand is the Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) in Bangkok. It has 2 main lines.

Price & Operating Times

The prices for both the MRT lines differ according to the distance and even passengers. A child, for example, can ride the metro at a discount, as well as students. Adults have to pay the highest fares among all.

Operating times for MRT lines can start from as early as 5 am, and end by as late as midnight.

5) Bangkok Transit System (BTS)

Skytrain @ Graham / Stock Adobe

The Bangkok Transit System involves an elevated skytrain that takes you above the hustle bustle of Bangkok, showing you the dream-like views of the blue Bangkok sky. The skytrain is your chance to fly without paying the hefty prices of a plane ticket.

These are the lines operating under the Bangkok Transit System:

  1. Silom Line: This starts at Kheha Samutprakan Station and ends at Wat Phra Sri Station
  2. Sukhumvit Line: This starts at Bang Wa Station and ends at National Stadium Station

Moreover, these 2 lines are planned to extend in the future. The 4 extensions that will be made will include a 5 mile extension towards the north to the Sukhumvit Line, with another 4 mile extension towards the east. Plus, the Silom Line will also be upgraded by 4 mile towards the south, and another extension to the western section.

Price & Operating Times

The prices for the Skytrain depend on the distance you travel. The operating times can be found on the official BTS website.

Airport Rail Link Phaya Thai Station Motion Of Airport Rail Link At Phaya Thai Station An Elevated Track Between The City And Suvarnabhumi Airport In Bangkok Thailand. @ anonymous6059 / Adobe Stock

The Bangkok Airport Link acts as a link between downtown Bangkok and the Suvarnabhumi Airport. It’s a convenient and modern substitute to the crowded buses and taxis in the region, making 6 stops and giving you that hassle-free ride after a long exhausting flight.

Price & Operating Times

The prices for the 2 types of tickets are different. You should purchase the single-trip token if you’re only looking for one trip. Smart Passes are more suitable for frequent visitors.

The Airport Link runs from 6 am to 12 am each day.

7) Intercity Bus

Bus transportation In Bangkok, Thailand, 10 June 2020 @ thanakorn / Adobe Stock

Public buses are another affordable and easily accessible transport option in Thailand. Among these buses, the Bangkok bus system is the most extensive one of all. The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) manages this bus system, providing convenience to locals and foreigners alike. The following are types of buses available in Bangkok:

Price & Operating Times

Air-conditioned or cream-blue buses charge about 8 baht. Cream-red or all-night buses charge over 9 baht, while yellow-orange buses are more costly and charge anywhere between 13-25 baht depending on the distance you travel.

Most buses run from 5 am to 11 pm on a daily basis.

8) Taxi

Taxi Meter with traffic jam in Bangkok @ maodoltee / Adobe Stock

Taxis are a widespread transport method in Thailand. They come in bright, attractive colors of pink, yellow and green. Taxis are the best way to travel in Thailand if you value privacy and comfort.

How to Use Taxis in Thailand

First and foremost, always make sure that if it’s a metered taxi that you have just stepped into, the meter is on. If it isn’t, ask the driver to switch it on, as this will keep them from overcharging you. However, in smaller cities, taxis come unmetered, so you can calculate the fare yourself based on the miles you travel.

Price & Operating Times

Taxi fares are calculated by installed meters. These fares can vary according to the season. You may find taxis at a stand, or even hail one by flailing your arms wildly, you know how they do it.

The operating hours for taxis begin early in the morning, and go late into the night.

9) Tuk Tuk

Tuk-Tuk Thaland. @ areeya_ann / Adobe Stock

Get away from the bustling city by paying an outdoor visit to Pulau Ubin, one of Singapore's last remaining villages, known as kampongs. The island of Pulau Ubin is situated on the northeast coast of the country, which was once a granite mining hub but is now rich in forests and greeneries.

Prices for Tuk Tuks usually start from 60 TBH for short trips. Agree on the price beforehand so you don’t get stuck arguing with a frustrated driver at the end of your journey. This will also prevent them from charging you higher than the fair prices.

The operating times are also extensive for these Tuk Tuks, and you might be able to sit in one throughout the daytime.

10) Motorcycle Taxi

Bangkok, Thailand- March 01, 2021 thai motorbike taxi driver wearing orange vest, sitting on motorcycle.Transfer passengers to and from the village at Bangkok, Thailand. @ bubbers / Adobe Stock

Motorcycle taxis are basically motorcycles that act as taxis. You can take these to the smaller nooks around Thailand and find them in smaller cities. Motorcycle taxis are also quite cheap, and are a whole different travelling experience!

Price & Operating Times

The prices lie between 20 and 100 baht, increasing with total distance travelled. Motorcycle taxis can easily be booked throughout the day.

That was all you needed to know about transportation in Thailand.

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