Getting around Thailand
Getting around Thailand
There are many ways to get around Thailand. Although most travelers choose to fly between the major tourist centers of Bangkok, the North and South, there's something to be said for the alternatives. There are still some special and out of the way places you can't get close to by plane, not to mention that most tourist cities have been turned into something which is not quite Thailand. To see the "real" Thailand you need to get outside the major tourist areas. The multiplicity of travel options within the country is one of the country's pleasures: Planes, Trains, Air-Conditioned Buses, Motorbike Taxis, Long-tail Boats, Ferries and Water Taxis, Tuk-Tuks (the national mode of transport for Thais) and Taxis Cabs.
In Bangkok, means of public transport are the Express Boat Service, the Skytrain, and the Metro. Another good way to travel is by water. Fresh air and different types of boat makes travel wonderful, especially in sunny days. There is a number of car rental companies operating in major tourist destinations, but renting a car would not be a good idea. It is important to be sure the driver knows where you're going, some drivers do not speak English and additionally you must also agree cost before boarding.
Here's your overview and links to the major transportation methods for inter-city travel. For information on getting around specific destinations, see my city guides.
The extensive network of airports and its regular domestic flights make the major visitor attractions very accessible to tourists. Although there are still some particular places you can't get close to by plane.
Travel by train is surely a pleasant way to travel around the country; Thailand takes pride in a excellent rail system which reaches almost every corner of the Kingdom, the railway system can be used for a number of evoking journeys such as rides to national parks, the route from the capital Bangkok to the South is a popular route for foreign visitors. The only train access to Thailand is from Malaysia.
Thailand has a well organized network of inter-city buses that connects all parts of the country. Buses are a good mode to access all provinces in Thailand, running both to and from Bangkok and between each other. There are comfortable buses providing service to every province and all the major towns, the cost generally is inexpensive. As an advice you should be sure to watch the bags unloaded at intermediate stops. The bus company BKS (known most commonly as the Transport Company) is the best option for both price and comfort, this company has a terminal in every town of the country. You can buy tickets at every bus terminal, in major hotels or contacting any local travel agent.
Thailand has, depending of the season, up to 1, 6000 km of navigable inland waterway. Travel to Thailand by sea is possible from Malaysia; there are also ferry crossings from China, Laos and Cambodia.
The Kingdom of Thailand has a reasonably good road network of well-maintained highways and roads between all important areas. There is 52,000 km of national and provincial roads, all major roads are paved. Thailand uses the left-hand system. Road signage’s usually are in Thai and English. The maximum speed limit in urban places is 60km/h (35mp/h) and varies between 100-120 km/h (60-72 mp/h) on highways and country roads. There are a four-nation ring road through Thailand, Laos, China and Myanmar.
There are numerous international and local car rental companies. Larger companies have offices in Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Hat Yai and other main towns and cities.
Rent a car isn't the most popular option for travel in Thailand, however is safer than renting a motorbike. You will need an international driver license. There are also a larger number of mini-vans available for those traveling in groups.