Thailand is a big country filled with tons to see and do! Whether you're planning a quick city escape to Bangkok or embarking on a journey from Phuket to Chiang Mai, read up on how to get around during your trip.
Yes, these are the little open-air, toy-looking taxis you've seen in the movies. Tuk Tuk drivers price according to distance, and they are often much cheaper than actual full-size taxis. With that being said, drivers know that tourists love to take Tuk Tuks, therefore they might try to rip you off. Drivers price according to distance, but it's completely okay to try to bargain the fare down a bit. In general, you may want to avoid peak (rush) traffic hours if you're looking for a really cheap ride.
Okay, you may need a little help to actually find city bus stops, but once you do, you'll find that buses are a great way to get around Thai cities! In Thailand, buses don't stop unless they see passnegers waiting, so be sure to make yourself present and flag them down. Once you're onboard, you'll pay an attendant a small fare.
If you're traveling through Don Muang Airport, you might want to avoid taxi scams and take the A1 or A2 bus. Running day and night, these buses are how locals get home from the airport. Check the schedule and see if these buses stop in a convenient place for your trip.
Taking a long journey between cities? The long distance bus is the least expensive way to travel far. Although these buses do make local stops along the way, they're usually air conditioned and comfortable. Keep in mind: some of these buses do not have luggage storage spaces, so make sure you either take a different bus or pack light.
What better way to see Thailand than to glide around by boat? Spot the main sights of Old Bangkok from the seat of the Chao Phraya Express Boat, hop on the Khlong Commuter Boat, or relax on a traditional Long Tail Boat. Commuter ferries are also a great way to hop between cities and towns. To rent a private boat may cost a pretty penny, but zipping around on the express or commuter boats will only cost you between 10 and 30 baht, based on distance. Waterside views and convenience at a cheap rate? Deal.
For an extra cultural thrill, take one of Thailand's serene Bamboo River Raft rides! Tourist attraction? Maybe; but it's still a beyond-beautiful way to get around. Spot amazing caves, lush vegetation, and other surprises around every bend!
In Bangkok, keep your eye out for the BTS Skytrain, an immaculate, quick, air conditioned way to get where you want to go - and a perfect way to appreciate Bangkok's breathtaking city skyline. There are many options, in terms of pricing: you can pay per ride, or purchase a refillable card.
According to locals, the MRT, Thailand's underground subway system, is seen as the most convenient way to get around the city. It even connects to the BTS Skytrain at Asok and Saladeng! In order to find out which train works best for your trip, take a look at the schedules and plan away.
Now, if you're venturing off on a longer haul, let's say, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, the overnight train is a great option. These trains are so clean, many Thai people think of them as "hotels on wheels." You can snag tickets in advance at the Hua Lamphong Train Station, online, or at other select locations.
Thailand is a whimsical wonderland of picture-perfect landscapes, turquoise waters, bright green forests, and colorful cities and temples. Some first time travelers, however, find that visiting any country with a vastly different language and culture can be overwhelming. If you'd rather sit back and relax while a guide takes you around, an escorted tour is the way to go. This way, you'll see main sights, enjoy tours, and you won't have to worry about transportation. Take it as practice - your first time in Thailand might be on an escorted tour, but you'll venture on your own when you return back.
Ready to go? Here's our Travel Editors picks on the best places to visit in Thailand.