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Transportation in Thailand

Publictransport.

The bus is the most common means of transportation in Thailand. Bus networks cover main cities and offer intercity routes as well.

Bus lines are numerous, but vehicles are very crowded, which makes them unbearable in the heat. For instance, in Bangkok one pays about 3,5–6 baht for a single trip on a bus without an airco, whereas the same travel on a air-conditioned bus costs 6–16 baht.

In line buses (микроавтобусах) charges of 30 baht may apply for the same distance, but this is a comfortable trip. There are also special buses “for women only”, where members of the fair sex feel more secure.

Railway.

Train trip usually cost cheaper than buses, but cabins are often overcrowded and the schedule is rather irregular.

A well-established rail network connects the capital with all main cities in the North and North-East Thailand. International railway connections to Malaysia and Singapore stretch to the south. High-speed trains are usually divided into first, second and third classes, while the slow passenger trains belong to the third class and have seating space only. Thai state railway company offers reductions for one- and two-day trips on holidays and weekends. There are also organized tours to Surat Thani (next to Samui Island), Chumphon and Chiang Mai. Information about train schedules can be obtained on the Bangkok railway station or by phone.

Taxi.

Hoteltaxisoperateatfixedfees. Street taxis are subdivided into two categories. First are based on a direct agreement between the driver and a passenger about the payment. Second have Taxi-Meters installed that charge 35 baht for the first kilometer and 5 baht for the next. It is usually difficult to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with the driver if he realizes you are from Russia and want to get to a rich hotel, then the price hits the sky. The taxi payment in Bangkok usually ranges between 50 and 300 baht. It depends strongly on the season, and in the high season tourists have to empty their pockets.

Motorbikes and Thai taxis are the most popular means of transport.

Tuk-tuk is a cyclo that is very convenient for short trips in Bangkok. A ride costs from 30 to 150 baht. One has to discuss the price with taxi and tuk-tuk drivers before hopping on. Usually it can immediately decrease by 2 or 4 times, but in this case the vehicle may be so full with people that you feel yourself like on a regular bus.

Water transport.

Many boats and barges sail the river and channels with stops on the opposite shores. “Chao Phraya Express” boats go up and down the river on the territory of Big Bangkok: the ticket costs from 5 to 15 baht.

Prices on each means of transport vary in every city and town.

Car rental.

This option is available only for owners of international driving licenses. Driving in Thailand is strenuous since the street layouts are very different from European ones. All road signs and road maps have translations into English. The list of car rental offices can be found in the Bangkok phone book.

Car fuel is very cheap in Thailand, so that does not have to be cheap in choosing a vehicle for rent, be it a moped, a motorbike (150-500 baht per day), a passenger car or a jeep (500-1500 baht per day). The technical condition of cheaper cars is, as a rule, very poor, while the driving situation on Bangkok roads is quite stressful. In order to find your way in a chaotic street maze, you will need extraordinary patience, significant driving experience and the skill of orienting yourself in darkness, since the streets are not well lit up in the evenings. It is particularly not recommended to drive a moped in the beach outfit, since in case of an accident, which are unfortunately not so rare in here, the driver can be severely damaged.

In Thailand one has to drive on the left and comply with several ultra-modern rules. Even if you have rented a regular bike, you have to be extremely cautious while driving, since in case of an emergency the other parties will likely try to make you responsible for it all.

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