Getting around Thailand is easy and inexpensive, because the country has a modern transport network. The Kingdom of Thailand has a large network of highways and smaller roads and a good rail system complemented by a extraordinarily cost-efficient city bus services.
The multiplicity of travel options within the country is one of the country's pleasures: Planes, trains, elephants, air-conditioned buses, motorbike taxis, long-trail boats, ferries and water taxis, tuk-tuks (the national mode of transport for Thais) and taxis.
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 are a number of car rental companies (such as Hertz and Avis) 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.
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.
The Suvarnabhumi International Airport and the Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok are important gateway to Thailand. There are daily flights to Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. Thailand has an extended domestic flights network which connect most important cities directly or via Bangkok.
An airport departure tax is required at domestic departures.
Booking in advance is essential when traveling during high season and during holidays.
Low cost Thailand domestic flights
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.
The network extends over 4,600 km linking the major cities with the exception of Phuket, This is run by State Railways of Thailand.
There are many comfortable daily services on each direction. The majority railways timetables are available in English.
The largest railway station and gateway to most of Thailand is the Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok, located near the intersection of Rama IV and Krung Kasem. To buy a ticket, you have to ask a local agent or visit the local train station; it is suggested to buy your ticket a few days ahead.
The State Railway of Thailand operates trains that link the major towns throughout Thailand. This rail system is inexpensive and comfortable; travel by train can be an amazingly cheap way to get around the country, if you have enough time.
The State Railway of Thailand provides three distinctive options of service, first class will get you a private two-person air-conditioned cabin, second class has reclining seats and often air-conditioning and third class offers wooden benches, is extremely cheap but not recommended for long distance journeys. Most people tend to buy a sleeper train. Washing facilities are located at the ends of carriages on all trains.
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 signages 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
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.
From Malaysia it is possible to take a long tail boat between Kuala Perlis (Malaysia) and Satun (Thailand); there are also ferry services from Langkawi(Malaysia) to Satun and Phuket in Thailand. There is a little car and passenger ferry connecting Kota Bharu (Malaysia) and Ban Taba (on the east coast of Thailand).
Thailand can be reached from Laos by crossing the Mekong River, only in the allowed border points: Nakhon Phanom (opposite Tha Khaek), Chiang Khong (opposite Huay Xai) and Mukdahan (opposite Savannakhet).
Ferries operate connecting the mainland and popular islands including Surat Thani to Koh Samui, Phuket to Phi Phi and Trat to Koh Chang.
Long-tail boat is a thin, long and made of wood boat with a long “tail”. Strong competition on all of the main routes guarantees that fares are kept low.
Protection measures are basic and ferries and speedboats do sink sporadically, so keep away from overloaded boats in poor water, and scope out the nearest life jackets while on board.