If you are travelling on a low-budget or just want to experience the local life, taking the bus is definitely the way to travel around Bangkok for you! It might be a little confusing to understand how the bus system works, but don’t worry, it is not that complicated actually!
Which bus should you take?
There are about 200 bus routes in Bangkok! Knowing which one you should take might be…useful! Bus routes maps are available for free at the Tourist Information Center, guesthouses and hotels but you can also find it on internet on the Transit Bangkok website. But the most likely, you will be interested by taking the line 47. Indeed, it runs through many tourist attractions:
- Lumphini Park and its Boxing Stadium
- Sala Daeng/Silom
- Snake Farm
- MBK Shopping mall
- Wat Saket (Golden Mount)
- Khao San Road
- Amulets Market
- Grand Palace
- Tien Pier (number 8) –Wat Arun
- Wat Pho
What’s the price?
Taking the bus is DEFINITELY the cheapest way to travel around Bangkok. Tickets are bought on board and consist of a little piece of paper. Just sit down (if seats are available) and pay to the fare collector. To know the prices, please see below but as it may be complicated to remember all of them! The easiest way for you is to give a 20 Bahts banknote and wait for the change back to see the price.
- Orange air-conditioned buses: 11-24 Bahts depending on distance
- New yellow air-conditioned buses: 10-12 flat fee
- Non-air conditioned buses: 8 Bahts
- Red buses (non-air conditioned): 7 Bahts
- After 10.00pm: 1.5 Baht extra
- About half of the red buses are free (if no one comes to you for paying, it means it’s free!)
- All kinds of buses operate all routes
Regarding the 47 line, I have only seen red buses without air-conditioning but if you can sit next to a window, it is totally fine. As well, I think that this route is free on the weekend as I always paid the 7 Bahts fare except on saturdays and sundays.
So how to use Bangkok bus system?
- When your bus is approaching, wave your hand. You have to show your intention to the driver to go on board otherwise he won’t stop.
- Go on board fast! It’s funny to see people running to catch the bus that stopped few meters away.
- Monks, pregnant women and seniors get priority seats. Anyone can sit but if any of those people enter, be courteous and give the seat up.
- To get off, just press the button and the driver will drop you at the next stop.
- If you don’t really know how your stop looks like, just ask the fare collector and he/she will let you know where to do so. Therefore, Thai people in the bus are most likely not able to speak english. Use your best smile and hands language for communication and it will work perfectly!
Additional tips & information:
- Buses usually run from 6am to 11pm
- Some lines though have 24 hours services: 2, 4, 22, 23, 25, 29, 34, 59, 76, 91, 145, 203
- Be patient: if you go on the wrong bus, no big deal, you are here to visit and it’s cheap! Just take the route back. Remember as well that people may not be able to speak English and plus that some places names are different in Thai and English. Writing down your destination might be helpful so. And in any case, just relax, it’s Bangkok!