Transportation in Thailand: How to get around Thailand

auto rickshaw outside store at raining season

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As one of the most popular tourist spots in the world, the exotic country gets millions of visitors every year and has to make it easy for them to get there and move around once they’re there. This means making it easy to get to hotels, restaurants, public transportation, and other places of interest. In fact, there are many ways to move within the same region or to another part of the country. We will do our best to help you figure out all of your options.

Travel by plane to Thailand and out of that country

Flight is the most common and easiest way to Thailand, and most of the time it’s the only way. What used to cost more than $1,000 can now be found for as little as $500 if you know when to look and how to plan ahead. There are many airlines that offer regular flights, either nonstop or with one or more stops in between. Flights that used to cost more than $1,000 can now be found for as little as $500.

Even though the best deals are usually only available months or even weeks before a flight, you might still find one in the last 90 minutes. Also, a flight with one or more stops along the way will almost always be cheaper than a flight with no stops. When looking for flights, you should use more than one search engine because different websites offer different flights and routes.

People who live in the Far East will be able to get to Bangkok quickly and easily from almost anywhere at a price that fits any budget. They won’t even have to buy their tickets ahead of time.

Get into Thailand by land bordersĀ 

People who are already in Thailand don’t have this option, but people who are traveling in Burma, Laos, or Cambodia can reach Thailand by land and enter through one of the borders. This is a choice that is obviously not open to people who are already in Thailand when they come to visit. You can take public transportation or a taxi to the border. From there, you can take regular buses or shuttles to the major cities, but you’ll need to book them in advance.

If this trip has been planned ahead of time, it is important to make sure that the border crossing is close to where you want to go in Thailand, and it is also important to have all of the necessary paperwork ready ahead of time.

Please be aware that if you enter Thailand through these border crossings, you will only get a stay visa that is good for 15 days. Tourist from many countries who arrive by plane automatically get a stay visa that is good for 30 days. This page has a section about how to get a visa for Thailand. In that section, you’ll find detailed instructions on how to get this kind of visa.

Thailand by sea

This method is the least common of the three, mostly because the other two are much easier to use. In any case, it’s important to know that people from nearby countries can also get to Thailand by water (sailing), but the trip will be longer, less pleasant, and, in most cases, not worth it.

Mobilization and movement inside Thailand’s borders
There are many ways to cross the borders of the United States, and they can be done at any time of day and on a budget that fits almost any situation. Most of them don’t need to be booked in advance, and the main benefit for travelers is that they can check in real time to see which of the available options is the most convenient, interesting, and valuable for them at that exact moment.

It’s important to know that most tourist areas have a good highway network, unlike the remote islands, where the only way to get around is on bumpy dirt roads that can be dangerous. There are also many air routes and sailing routes between the islands, so it’s easy to get around by air, land, and sea. In general, it’s important to know that most tourist destinations have good highway networks. Even inside the country’s borders.

Flying to Thailand

This is definitely the most convenient way to get there, but it may not be the cheapest. This is because there are many airports in Thailand used for flights within the country (but often not much more expensive compared to other convenient alternatives). On the other hand, since time is worth money, the amount of time that will be saved should also be taken into account when making this decision.

There are many airlines that fly all over the country, and each one has a different ranking for availability, comfort, and safety (it is very important to check!). Some of these hotels also offer extra services, like the chance to use lounges, earn airline points, and much more. Most of the time, these extra services don’t cost anything. All you have to do is sign up for a free membership in the customer club of that company. Most of them also come with a mobile app that can be accessed easily from a mobile device.

Domestic flights usually take about an hour and cost anywhere from 1,500 to 3,500 baht. There are times when you can find cheaper tickets, but it’s usually at times that aren’t convenient for you. The average trip takes about an hour. It could be very helpful for people who are flexible about where they go and when they do it.

Traveling by Bus

A cheap and easy way to get to most of your destinations, except for the islands themselves, which can only be reached by air or water.

Even though you should check this information ahead of time, most buses in Thailand are nice and have bathrooms, air conditioning, and in some cases even a “canteen” (a nice way of saying that you can buy snacks and soft drinks from the bus driver). Long-distance buses often have seats that can be leaned back halfway between sitting up and lying down.

This way of getting around is often a lot cheaper than flying, and it’s also one of the most convenient ways to get around on land. Still, it’s important to think about the possibility that tourists will have to wait, as well as what we call the “successful approach” to getting more money out of them. In other words, you should be ready.

It is best to compare the prices and services of the different companies and agencies that offer the same trips, and to buy a ticket at least one day before the trip to make sure you have a spot and pay a fair price. This is because the travel times vary, from a few minutes to a half day or more. This means that the prices vary a lot.

Thailand by train

A less common way to get around because it’s more expensive than the bus and usually doesn’t go all the way to your destination, so you’ll need to take something else, like a bus, taxi, or tuk-tuk, either before or after.

It’s important to remember that, even with the exception, it’s still a much cheaper way to travel than flying, and that Thailand has a well-developed railway network with different ticket prices based on which class you ride in. For example, on night trains, you can buy tickets that include air conditioning and a bed on one of the two floors. Surprisingly, the beds are comfortable and not too crowded, and you’ll have a nicer trip than if you took a night bus, where you won’t be able to sleep continuously.


Compared to the next option (spoiler alert: it’s a tuk-tuk), taxis aren’t the cheapest way to get around. In fact, they’re often quite expensive, which is why they’re usually only used for longer trips or to get to and from the airport.

When there are three or four people in a cab, on the other hand, the trip might be more profitable, or it might not be that much more expensive than the other options. Plus, it’s usually better because it’s more comfortable and has more space.

It is the most important thing! Ask the driver to start the meter instead of haggling over the price, which will almost always lead to a much higher price. If you have the option, start Wise or another navigation program and follow the route. Some drivers go out of their way to drive for long distances or even in circles to get where they are going faster.

Taxis should be used for day trips for a number of reasons, one of which is that it can be cheaper or more profitable for a group of at least four people to pay a private driver to drive them between the different stops on a day trip than to pay for a group tour that follows a similar route.

Tuk Tuk

This is a common way for people in the area to get around, but it’s not very convenient. Considering the weather and air pollution in the country, this is a big problem. There is no air conditioning, and there are a lot of cars and motorcycles on the streets, so there is a lot of soot in the air.

Also, tuk-tuk drivers have a reputation for being “expensive,” and many of them are also dishonest. Because of this, it’s best to find out what the recommended price is before the trip, haggle for a lower price, agree on the price in advance, and pay at the end of the trip.

Important advice: If you think the driver is driving recklessly, if he says there is a traffic jam or roadblock ahead, if he stops in the middle of the trip and tells you there is a problem and suggests you switch to a neighboring tuk-tuk, or if he insists that you go into a store or agency with him, you should ask to get off and look for another option. Since it’s possible that he’s trying to get more money from you, it’s best not to work with him if you value your money a lot.

Car Rental

There are some of the biggest car rental companies in the world in Thailand, but there are also a lot of smaller ones (mainly for motorcycle rentals).

As a way to get around, renting a motorcycle is much more common than renting a car. This is especially true because renting a motorcycle from a smaller company is easy and doesn’t cost much. This is in contrast to the stricter rules that larger international companies have.

If you do decide to rent a motorcycle, here are some important things to think about and keep in mind:

  • In Thailand, people drive on the left side of the road, which is different from the rest of the world.
  • Even if some of your more knowledgeable friends try to persuade you otherwise, you must travel with a valid international driver’s license and the right insurance coverage, no matter what they say.
  • Even though there is a small chance that this will happen, it is still in your best interest to save a few shekels now.
  • After that, the insurance is for you, not the police officer, so you don’t have to worry about it.
  • Most of the time, the roads in remote areas are in bad shape, and even the most experienced drivers should avoid going there because dirt roads are inherently dangerous. Because of what has happened, a lot of travelers are seen with bandages.
  • Before you leave, you should be sure to take pictures of the cars while the company’s owner is around. People have said that they were threatened or forced to pay different fees for scrapes and bruises that were already there before they rented. In this case, your passport will be “held hostage,” and you will have no choice but to pay the large amounts that are being asked for.
  • Even if no one else around you is wearing a helmet, you should always protect your head.
  • Even if everyone else decides to jump off the roof at the same time, your safety should come first.


Because this is not a very safe way to get around (one of the first things people learn is to not talk to strangers), we are not quick to recommend it. However, it does exist and is possible, especially in more remote areas where it is not always possible to find other ways to get around regularly or often.

So, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that you should pay attention to who the driver is, that you should only do this for short distances, and that you should, if at all possible, join other passengers, preferably ones you already know, before you start the trip.


When going to some islands that don’t have airports, taking a sea ferry could save you time and in some cases be the only way to get there. There are many different kinds of ferries, and the main difference between them is how big they are. Some are small and can only hold a few dozen people, while others are huge and can carry huge boats and lots of cargo.

Usually, the size of the ferry is proportional to the length of the trip. As a result, the price range is wide (usually between 250 and 1,500 baht), and most of the seats are not reserved, so passengers can move around freely, change their position to see the sights, or just rest. On bigger boats, you can often get food service and, on rare occasions, other amenities (playgrounds for children, etc.).

Even though the trip is long, this is an exciting way to visit Thailand because it gives you a unique view of the country’s magical landscapes and, if you’re lucky, aquatic animals that will swim up to say hi.

It is the most important thing! Even if you don’t usually get seasick, it’s still a good idea to take an anti-nausea pill, which you can buy without a prescription. You never know what the weather will do, and it would be a shame to suffer needlessly because it could ruin your whole trip.

Boats, Speedboats and Longtails

Small boats, unlike ferries, are made to carry people over shorter distances. Larger boats, on the other hand, are better suited for rivers and canals. This way of getting from one place to another can be used to get from one place to another, but most of the time it is used as a tourist attraction that lets people tour between different historical sites, for example.

A word form the experts

No matter what kind of transportation you choose, you should always keep your personal belongings close by, lock them, and never let them out of your sight. If you can, you should also tie them to yourself or keep them in some other way. When going a long way, there is a higher chance of being robbed.

On any trip, except for flights or tickets booked in advance through a big, well-known travel agency, don’t pay with big bills. Instead, choose bills that are as close to the total cost of the trip as possible. There are plenty of stories about people going back to show that they brought a bigger bill or return money they lost.

Even though we’ve already written about it, we’ll say it again: please get insurance. Trust yourself, trust your equipment, be vigilant and responsible. It is much easier to keep problems from happening than to fix them once they have.

There are many ways to get around Thailand, and most of them can be changed to fit the needs of each visitor and their budget. But, even though the rates are low, it’s important to remember that time is money, so the choice that costs the least may not always be the best one. This is especially true when you only have a short amount of time to plan a vacation.

In this situation, there is no right or wrong answer. Instead, you should check ahead of time to see what options are available, talk to other travelers, visit the websites, compare the different agencies, and then make an informed decision about which option is most convenient, profitable, and will serve you best.


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