Transportation in Thailand: Getting Around the Country

January 24, 2023 10:07 am73 commentsViews: 113

Thailand has a good transport infrastructure and moving around the country is relatively easy and fast, even for visitors with no personal vehicle. Additionally, traveling by land allows tourists to catch some rare glimpses of traditional Thailand.

Transportation in Thailand: Getting Around the Country

Traveling Around Thailand by Air

Several domestic airlines exist in Thailand and an airport can be found in most provincial capitals as well as, of course, in Bangkok. Amongst those airlines, two could be considered as “budget airlines”, Nok Air and Air Asia. They both connect different cities in Thailand and visiting their web sites is usually the best way to find out about routes and fares. It is also possible to buy your ticket or get information at various brick and mortar places, such as stalls in shopping centers or travel agents.

In Bangkok, Nok Air operates from Don Muang Airport, the old International airport located to the North of the city. Air Asia flights, on the other hand, depart from the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport located in Bang Phli, to the South-East of Bangkok. From the city center, reaching this new airport takes about 90 minutes while reaching Don Muang can take as less as 45 minutes.

Using the Thai Railways System

Trains in Thailand are notoriously slow and chronically late. However, they are probably the cheapest method of transportation and they also tend to offer a pleasant experience to travelers who are not in a hurry.

It is possible to reach most cities in the Southern peninsula as well as major cities in Isaan (Chiang Mai, Udon Thani) by train. It is even possible to reach international destinations such as Vientiane, Kuala Lumpur and even Singapore by rail.

When buying a train ticket, it is usually possible between three different classes as well as between regular seats and sleepers. Buying a first class ticket is usually the best option for long journeys because of the extra comfort, especially in sleeper cars.

Traveling by Bus Around Thailand

By far the most popular method of transportation amongst Thais, the bus is also the fastest land travel option. Every city or town in Thailand has its own bus station where buses depart hourly to neighboring provinces or daily to Bangkok.

Second class buses should be avoided if possible, due to the cramped seats and the frequent stops made by drivers in order to pick up new passengers. First class buses, on the other hand, are quite comfortable. On most routes, a light snack is provided to travelers and buses only stop at designated bus stations. A more expensive option, the VIP bus, also exists on certain routes. Those buses offer more legroom and more comfortable seats but tickets come at a much higher price.

Tickets can be bought at any bus station. However, for popular destinations, it is advisable to book in advance.

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