Destination Guide

Central (Bangkok)

Bangkok was founded in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri Dynasty.  It is now the country’s spiritual, cultural, diplomatic, commercial and educational hub.  It covers an area of more than 1,500 square kilometers and it is home to approximately eleven million people or more than 10% of the country’s population.

Over the past few decades, Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, has changed into a modern, exciting and sophisticated city.  It offers visitors not only the cosmopolitan amenities they would expect from other major cities, but also a unique treasure trove of cultural attractions.  Thailand, in the heart of Southeast Asia, was never colonized and thus kept its unique culture and heritage intact.  Bangkok offers visitors a fascinating glimpse of Thailand’s gentle culture amidst the bustle of a great and dynamic metropolis.  This great city has had astounding success in combining the ancient and modern worlds.  For tourists, Bangkok has a feast of attractions to offer.

The city is dotted with 400 glittering Buddhist temples of great beauty and fascination, magnificent palaces, classical dance extravaganzas, numerous shopping centers and traditional ways of life, especially along the timeless canals known as the "Venice of the East" and the Chao Phraya River, the "River of Kings", winding through the city.  It is worth taking a trip along its waters before exploring further into different canals for a glimpse of old Bangkok.

Satun (Lipe Island)Suhkothai (Historical park)SongklaSurat Thani (Samui, Phagnan, Tao Islands)Trang

Central & East South North North East
Kanjanaburi Krabi (PP, Lanta Island) Chiang Mai Buriram
Nakhon Pathom Nakhon Si Thammarat Chiang Rai Loei
Phetchabu Phang Nga (James Bond Island) Lampang Nakhon Rarchasima
Ayutthaya Phuket Mae Hong Son Nong Khai
Prachuab Khiri Khan Ranong Phitsanulok  
Ratchaburi Satun (Lipe Island) Suhkothai (Historical park)  
Samut Songkhram Songkla    
Chonburi (Pattaya) Surat Thani (Samui,
Phangnan, Tao Islands)
   
Rayong (Samed Island) Trang    
Trat (Chang Island)      

BANGKOK TRANSPORTATION

Public transportation in Bangkok, which currently has more than 14 million inhabitants, is increasing every year.  Here are the most common public transportation options:

BTS (SkyTrain) There are currently three SkyTrain lines:

  • Silom Line - from National Stadium to VongVienYai Station
  • Sukhumvit Line - from Onuch Station to Mochit Station
MRT (subway) From Chatuchak Station to Hualompong Station
(Operates 5:00 am to midnight)
Bus Bankok is a large metropolis, with a large local population, most of whom travel by bus.  Most of the time, you will find standing-room only.

  • Aircon bus: Metro and Euro bus - price: 12 to 24 Baht
  • Normal aircon bus (dark blue color) - price: 11 to 22 Baht
  • Open-air bus (red, blue, white); green minibus - fixed price: 7 Baht
Metered taxi Bangkok has approximately 50,000 metered taxis.  Prices start at 35 Baht.
Note: some drivers will quote flat rates to your destination; it will almost always be cheaper if you can find one that will use the meter.
Tuk-Tuk Taking a trip by Tuk-Tuk, a motorized three-wheel open-air vehicle, is an experience not to be missed.  Originally imported from Japan more than 50 years ago, there are currently more that 35,000 Tuk-Tuks in Bangkok.  Tuk-Tuks have no meters; it is up to you to negotiate the price for each trip.  They can accommodate up to three passengers (though three might be a bit cramped), and there is limited space for luggage.
Warning: Avoid Tuk-Tuk or taxi drivers who will offer to take you around for a very cheap price.  You will most likely end up at a shop where they expect you to buy something.
Express boat
There are three kinds of express boats:
 
  • Local lines - single deck for 90 passengers
  • Orange Flag - single deck for 60 passengers
  • Yellow Flag - single deck for 150 passengers

Routes on Chao Phraya River in Bangkok are as follows:  Start from Pakkred Pier (Nonthaburi province), Wat Poramai, Wat Klang Kred, Irrigation Dept, Pra Nangklao Bridge, Pibul 4(Talad Kwan), Nonthaburi (Pibul 3), Wat Kien, Wat Khema, Pibul1, Rama 7 Bridge, Wat Soi Thong, Bang po, Kiak Kai, Irrigation Dept, Payab, Krung Thon Bridge, Thewes, Visutkrasat, Pra Athit, Prapinklao bridge, Railway Station, Wang Lang, Tha Chang, Tha Tien, Rajinee, Memorial Bridge, Rachavongse, Habour Dept, Si Phaya, Wat Muang Kae, Oriental, Sathorn, Wat Vorachanyawas, Wat Rajsingkorn and Rajburana (BigC).

Long-tail speed boat Well-known from one of the early James Bond films, these boats are normally used by locals who live along the river and canals.  Tourists can rent one for a one-hour tour of the river and canals (1000 Baht).
Motorbike taxi This is one of the quickest ways to get around in Bangkok as they are able to go between the cars stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  You shouldn't have to go far to find a "station" (they congregate on many corners in the city).  The drivers wear brightly colored vests (most commonly orange) to denote the region in which they operate.  It is up to you to negotiate the price before you depart.  If your destination is far, they can sometimes cost more than a taxi because it is unlikely they will have a passenger for the return trip back to their home base.