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Bangkok - Saving time and money on public transportation

Bangkok is a bustling capital city of Thailand, a very popular holiday destination.  Being caught in a jam during peak traffic hours or having to queue up line after line for train tickets can be a pain in the neck, loosing the precious minutes and hours of vacation time.

Having been to the country 4 times, I have learn a few things while using the public transport. I felt that it would be great if I could pay it forward by sharing what I have learn in hopes of making another person's travel experience a more pleasant one.

Tip number 1 - Saving on transport. 
First things first, when you aim to save on transport you could use the money you saved  for other things  such as enjoying a good massage, feasting on food and who could forget shopping !

 My dear friend Adrian taught me during one of my trips; when you travel on a budget try to follow the BMW philosophy.

What does BMW stands for you say ?  

No I am not asking you to arrange for an expensive luxury car to ferry you around, possible if you have deep pockets... 

The acronym in this case stands for:  
B - Bus
                    M - MRT aka Train 
                                   W - Walk whenever possible.

Buses and Trains are the most cost efficient way to travel around. I had once taken a bus from Pratunam to the Grand palace, Bus 60. The locals and bus conductor were very kind in helping us figure out the route we should take. Saving us the taxi fare. 

The trains system is fantastic, linked or situated close to many attractions and shopping malls.  The three main lines in the system are:

  • MRT 
  • BTS
  • Airport rail link - great way to travel from Suvarnabhumi airport  to your hotel. I usually book hotels located near Phaya Thai or Rachathewi stations because it is closer to the pratunam shopping district.    

Tip number 2 - Get a Rabbit Card when you are using the BTS.

Spare yourself the annoying task of queueing up to purchase train tickets ride after ride, the rabbit card is a prepaid card that you can easily top up and is valid for up to 5 years.

How do I get a rabbit cards ? 

Easy, just proceed to any BTS glass counters and request for one, a deposit is required for each purchase, a small price to pay if you ask me. They have special rates for students and elder. 
It is mainly used by the residents of bangkok but as a tourist you could pass it on to your friends or relatives who are heading to bangkok after you return from your trip. 

It can also be used to buy items at some outlets of Black Canyon, McDonald's, Starbucks and a few other retail outlets.

Tip number 3: Tuk Tuks, Taxis and Motorcycle taxis.

Although more expensive, it is one of the most covenant way of getting around. Before getting on a cab check if they go by their meter. If you are heading for the out skirts of bangkok a negotiation of the pricing would be a wiser choice because jams can get really bad.

For Tuk Tuks and motorcycle taxis, the local pricing and tourist pricing may defer a lot so do try to negotiate the price before you hop on one. 

Well that is all I have for you, I hope this information have proven useful one way or another. Thanks for reading. 

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