In a previous article, I told you about the best ways to travel around Thailand and to and from surrounding countries. If you are relocating to Thailand to live and work it will be helpful to know the best was to get around for your day to day transport. I will now tell you about your daily options of transport in Bangkok and Chon Buri province. You won’t need to break the bank to get to work and back as the Thais are pretty inventive when it comes to daily transport options.
Looking for how to travel around Thailand between cities? Check out Transport in Thailand.
Getting around Bangkok on the sky train is not only a great way to travel but it was a great way to sightsee and get used to the city layout. If you stop by any tourism counter or office scattered around Bangkok they will be able to give you a map of the Sky train routes and costs in English. The system runs through most main hubs of Bangkok as well as to both airports which is great. It’s named the Sky Train because it runs slightly above the city, which gives you amazing views over and around Bangkok. Ask for the different ticket cost options as I have only travelled a few times so I bought a once off ticket, but I saw people with monthly travel cards which I’m sure are cheaper.
The metered taxis are everywhere but are also the most controversial form of transport. These guys are real go-getters, and that means go get the tourists money, so watch out for a few things when using them. Before getting in make sure you agree with them that the meter is running, as many of them don’t run it and charge you whatever they feel you will pay. The next challenge is to make sure they understand where you need to go. Even if you show them the Thai address or hand them the Thai directions to your hotel many will not understand and you risk being taken on a wild goose chase. If you are going to an uncommon place then make sure you have your maps out to double check you going the right way. These taxis may seem super convenient – you will see them everywhere – but they often turn out to be a lot more hassle than it is worth.
This is a fun experience and must be done. The tuk-tuk drivers will also try and hike up the price so make sure you know the price per distance and how far you’re going. Even if you only use this option once, it’s worth the great experience, especially at night.
The busses are very affordable but you need to know Bangkok bus routes and numbers before doing this. Have a look online or ask for a bus map at any tourist centre – once you get used to the routes it’s a breeze and really cheap. One word of advice is not to ask the guy on the street for help, everyone will be very helpful but everyone will come with a different answer and I promise it becomes a comedy of errors.
Chon Buri Province
Air Conditioned Vans
AC vans run around the province of Chon Buri and other parts of Thailand but I have only used them within Chon Buri province. This includes places such as Pattaya, Rayong, Siracha and Sattahip where you are able to take the AC vans all along the main high way Surkumvit, which runs through the province up to Bangkok. The vans are well air-conditioned, seat 9 people comfortably and are very affordable. For a one-hour trip, it’s 80 baht ($2) and if you need to get into Bangkok from Pattaya then you pay a small cost of 150 baht ($3.50) so as I said travelling around once you’re here is really easy and inexpensive. You can catch these vans by hailing them down on the highway or from one of their stops in the areas. They are referred to as
Songhtaew / Baht Bus
If you are staying local and want to travel around Pattaya or another smaller city in the area then just jump on a baht bus or in Thai songthaew ( translates to two rows, google them to see what they look like ) these go from one side of Jomtien into Pattaya for only 10 baht ($0.30). I use these to get to and from work every day. They run up and down three main central routes, which you will only figure out from experience cause the names on the baht bus mean nothing, the route he takes is all up to the driver at the end of the day. Once you’re used to the routes then it’s pretty simple to catch them as they run every 10 mins. Try to avoid asking the driver how much a trip will cost because then he will charge you as a private customer which can be up to 200baht, just hop on go along with the rid and buzz ringer above your head to get off when you’re close to your destination. It is normally 10baht for the full length of each route but if you have maybe gone too far for some reason they may ask for 20.
These guys are everywhere. They clap at you when you walk by and call out ‘taxi motorbike’ they will get you wherever you need to go locally for 100-160 baht. It’s a bit more but they are quick and get you straight to your locations doorstep. If you are not yet familiar with the area then make sure you have a Thai address of where you need to be.
There are many options to get around the local cities for not a very high cost. Just get to know the area and the costs so you don’t get ripped off. If you’re not sure, ask someone local who isn’t making money from the transaction. Once you get used to the way things work it is very easy to live here. In this article, I have focussed on transport options in the Chon Buri province because this is the area I work in. Shane English Schools have many branches in the province including in Chon Buri district, 2 in Pattaya, 1 in Sattahip with another 2 on the horizon. If you are interested in moving to these areas then check out what positions are available on the recruitment page.
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About the Author
Tatum Condon a 27-year-old South African girl with Irish family. Her dream growing up was to be a mechanical engineer for Formula One’s Team McLaren. Any sport which is in water, she does it. Even if the water is frozen, count her in. She is currently teaching and living in the land of smiles, Thailand, while sharing stories of my life adventures and experiences. She hopes you enjoy.