Capital Bangkok is the major gateway of Thailand. Other well-known international airports are Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai. Bangkok's Don Muang Airport is connected by daily flights to all parts of the world. Flights from lesser airports operate for neighbouring states like Malaysia and Singapore.
Domestic air transport is far from expensive. 26 domestic airports provide necessary service. All premier tourist destinations are connected by air services.
Bangkok and Singapore are linked by regular rail services. Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth and major southern Thai towns are intermediary stops.
There are regular trains between important towns and tourist destinations. Bangkok's Hua Lamphong railway station is the biggest and busiest in the country. From here, one can get trains to a number of Thai towns, including Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Khorat, Nakhon Pathom, Surat Thani and Ubon Ratchathani. Frequent service runs between Bangkok airport and the station.
Bangkok Mass Transit System
Bangkok has two mass rapid transit projects: Bangkok Metro and Bangkok Sky Train.
Bangkok Metro or the Underground Train has made the public transport in Bangkok more comfortable and fast. The 21-kilometer 18-station Metro, travelling at the phenomenal speed of 80 km/hr carries thousands of passengers daily, between Bang Sue and Hua Lamphong stations. State-of-the-art stations provide all necessary facilities.
Sky Train is an elevated Metro, with 23 stations along 2 lines. The Sukhumvit line terminates at Mo Chit and On Nut respectively, while the Silom line ends at the National Stadium and the Taksin Bridge. Both the lines interchange at Siam station.
Buses are the most commonly used means of transport. Regular bus services connect the important towns and tourist destinations of the country. City buses are available in the larger towns.
Tuk-Tuk or three-wheeled vehicles are mainly seen in Bangkok and larger provincial towns. Their ways of operating are pretty similar to the taxis. But do remember that Tuk Tuks are open and the passenger is exposed to the road dust. Moreover, Tuk Tuk is a public transport. One doesn't normally use it as a private transport.
It is better to negotiate the fare before boarding the taxis. Hotel taxis have fixed tariffs, and it is normally higher than the normal fare.
These are mini vans with a covered but not closed load area, fitted with benches.
Samlor, the three-wheeled bicycle, is the cheapest and simplest means of public transport. One would sit at the back portion having two wheels.
A product of the perpetual traffic jams of Bangkok, these are a unique Thai innovation. If one is ready to ride on speeding motorbikes driven by a Thai youngster, one can move around in Bangkok quickly.
One can hire cars at the arrival lounge of the Bangkok airport. Prominent car hire companies in Thailand are Budget, Hertz, Avis and Europcar. Many local companies also provide car hire services.
Ferries transport the tourists and the locals alike between hundreds of islands and mainland, as well as across navigable rivers, such as Chao Phraya and Mao Khang. A number of international ferries are also in service.
In Bangkok, Chao Phraya river serves as a transportation route.