ArroyoCityNews spent the last three weeks in Bangkok, Thailand. We won’t bore you with a “what we did on holiday” travelogue, but we thought you might be interested in the ways to get around the city – some conventional and some not so conventional. The city suffers from permanent gridlock, so street transportation can take forever.
Taxis are colorful and cheap. We’re not sure why Pepto Bismol pink and John Deere yellow and green are the colors of choice, but it makes for easy recognition and a bright journey.
For a fun ride, our first choice would be a Tuk Tuk. These are motorized tricycles that are more agile than taxis and get through side streets inaccessible to cars.
If you want a “put your life in danger” hair-raising zip around the city (mostly on the wrong side of the road) – hail a moped and jump on the back. Not recommended for the faint of heart, but dirt cheap and way faster than any other street vehicle. They are easily recognizable by the orange jacketed drivers. We are definitely too old for this.
Lastly, buses are available, but are hot, busy, intermittent and slow. They are, however, cheap.
Now to the quick and reliable methods – the MRT (metro) and BTS (skytrain). While busy and usually packed, especially at rush hour, they run frequently and punctually. If a station is near your destination this is the way to go.
For the old city and Chinatown areas, boat travel is fun and reliable. There are traditional cross-river ferries, hop-on hop-off express boats, regular ferries and of course the long tail river boat. There is no experience to compare with being propelled over the water in a long skinny flat bottomed boat powered by a gleaming V8 perched on the stern. A ride not to be missed.
All in all, getting around Bangkok can be frustrating, exhilarating, slow, scary or wild – but always interesting and an adventure.