Getting There & Getting About

International Airports

Internal Transport

There is an excellent domestic flight network in Thailand, and the country is served by a number of airports, including Phuket, Chiang Mai and Ko Samui. There is a 100 Baht departure tax payable for all domestic flights, and a 300 Baht tax for flights leaving from Samui Airport.

There are ferry services operating between the mainland and several islands including Trat to Ko Chang, Phuket to Phi Phi and from Surat Thani to Ko Samui, Fares are relatively low. However, there is a reduced level of service during the monsoon season from November until January on the Gulf coast, and from May through to October along the east coast and Andaman coast, and the more remote spots may become inaccessible during these periods.

Thailand has up to 1,600 km (1,000 miles) of navigable inland waterway, and taxi-boat ferries along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok offer services between Rajburana and Nonthaburi.

The country's impressive railway network extends over 4,600 km (2,860 miles), and links all the major towns with the exception of Phuket. There are several daily services on each of the four main routes, which travel to the northern, eastern, southern and northeastern regions. The southern line stops at Surat Thani for those who wish to continue by bus and ferry to the islands off the east coast. There is also a line serving River Kwai Bridge, Thon Buri and Nam Tok.

Thailand also has a good paved road network comprising many highways, national and provincial roads. The speed limit is 90 to 100 kph (52 to 60 mph) on expressways and country roads, and 60 kph (35 mph) in towns and cities. Car hire is available in all main towns and cities from both international and local companies; the minimum driving age is 21.

There are cheap, somewhat crowded, inter-urban coach routes to all provinces. Comfortable, moderately priced, privately-owned buses are also available.

Travel within Bangkok may be undertaken using the Skytrain (BTS), an elevated mass transit system. The Metro also runs from Hualamphong to Bang Sue, with trains leaving every 5 to 7 minutes.

There are also a number of different taxis available in Bangkok: samlors or tuk-tuks (three-wheeled taxis without a meter) and standard metered taxis displaying the TAXI-METER sign. Samlors are cheaper than taxis but are only suitable for short distances and the fare should always be agreed on in advance.

There are conventional bus services operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority in Bangkok, as well as private minibuses. The ordinary buses are white and blue or cream and red and charge a flat rate regardless of distance travelled. Premium fares are charged for air-conditioned (cream and blue buses) and express buses.

There are ordinary, rapid and express motorboat services on the Chao Phraya River between Rajburana pier in southern Bangkok to Nonthaburi pier to the north of Bangkok. The rapid orange flag flying boats are cheaper than the express boats, marked with a yellow flag. The ordinary flagless boats are the cheapest.

In Chiang Mai, public transport is limited to rickshaws, tuk-tuks and red minibuses (songtaews), although taxis with meters have now been introduced.