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Help! Detailed Commuting Tips - Bangkok

Tokyo, Japan
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117 posts
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Help! Detailed Commuting Tips - Bangkok

Hi, everyone. I've read the FAQ on transportation but I'm still wondering about a few things. We are traveling for three days in a group of 10 adults and one baby, so we need to sort out how best to go around if cabs are not available, or if trains seems like the best option.

My pegs for commuting are:

(a) Hong Kong, where you can buy a three-day pass that covers all the MTR lines. Essentially, if you get that pass, you don't have to worry about shelling out money for a three-day trip since you get unlimited rides on the three-day pass.

(b) Singapore and Seoul, where having an SMRT/T-Money stored value card will allow you to ride any train and some buses as long as you charge it.

I suspect, though, that Bangkok will be more like Manila, except that Bangkok has a train that connects to the airport.

I read that, like Manila, Bangkok trains have a stored value card.

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Is the Bangkok stored value card like (a) the Hong Kong MTR card or (b) the SMRT/T-Money card -- that is, can be used in all train lines and some buses?

Can it be used in cabs and convenience stores?

Is it worth getting it if we are staying for three days and not likely to return to Bangkok? I am thinking of the cost of the card, which is in addition to the charge used for actually riding the trains and buses.

Is recharging the card with value or purchasing one-way tickets difficult? In Manila, it the lines to get train tickets are extremely long and ticket area so crowded I wouldn't put a baby through that.

Can we recharge stored value cards or purchase one-way tickets with coins, bills or credit cards?

I hope someone answers! Thanks in advance!

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: Help! Detailed Commuting Tips - Bangkok

Oh, and one more thing -- what is ticketing like for buses and boats?

Bangkok, Thailand
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2. Re: Help! Detailed Commuting Tips - Bangkok

Buses and boats have conductors who will come to you and collect the money once you are inside. Cash only, no travel cards are available. They give you a ticket which shows the price.

You need to be able to tell where you are going since the bus fares depend on the distance. The Chao Phraya Express boats chaophrayaexpressboat.com/en/…fares have different fare structures: some have a fixed fee and others have different prices depending on the distance. The Saen Saeb canal boats have fares depending on the distance. Usually the tickets are sold on the boat, but during rush hours they sell tickets on the pier at the termini (e.g. Wat Sriboonrueang).

BTS, MRT and Airport Rail Link are separate systems with different fares and separate travel cards. In all systems the fares depend on the distance. BTS fares are explained in www.bts.co.th/customer/en/01-ticket-type.aspx . MRT tickets are explained in www.bangkokmetro.co.th/ticket.aspx… . About ARL tickets www.srtet.co.th/en/03_ticket/01_ticket.html .

The Rabbit card http://www.rabbit.co.th/en accepted in BTS trains can also be used in a number of shops, not in cabs. Cabs are cash only, anyway.

The lines for exchanging coins and/or topping up stored value tickets can be fairly bad during the rush hour, so it will be much more convenient not to use single tickets if you use the trains several times during your visit.

With such a large group trains are actually more expensive than taxis, but they do not get stuck in traffic jams.

BTS ticketing machines accept only coins. MRT and ARL can also handle bills. I have never considered using credit cards, so I cannot say if they are accepted. As far as I know, value can be added to stored value cards only at the cashiers.

Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: Help! Detailed Commuting Tips - Bangkok

Excellent! Thanks.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Help! Detailed Commuting Tips - Bangkok

Jenny, I use a Rabbit Card when in Bangkok and it works well for me as I travel alone. Do remember though that every adult in your group will need to purchase one if you decide to go with it.

5. Re: Help! Detailed Commuting Tips - Bangkok

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