GETTING INTO TOWN SUVARNABHUMI (SU-WANA-POOM) AIRPORT Bangkok’s airport is linked to the city centre by the Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (SARL) which runs from 06.00 to midnight. The Express Service stops at Makkasan (which connects with the MRT) and Phyathai (which connects with the BTS). It takes 15 minutes, costs 150 baht (around £3.15) and departs every hour. The City Line takes 30 minutes, makes eight stops on the same route, including Makkasan, and ends at Phyathai and departs every 15-20 minutes. It costs between 15 and 45 Baht (55p-£1.60). The Airport Express bus stops at well-known hotels. For taxis, use the offi cial metered rank. Ask the driver to take the less congested Expressway toll road. www.airportsuvarnabhumi.com airportraillink.railway.co.th
GETTING AROUND: Public Transport
BANGKOK SPECIFIC BTS SkyTrain: Bangkok’s elevated railway, good for Sukhumvit Road hotels and shopping districts (bts.co.th
). MRT Metro: Bangkok’s underground connects with the BTS in three places (bangkokmetro.co.th
). OTHER LOCAL OPTIONS Tuk-tuks: motor-rickshaws for short stops – haggle on the price! Taxis: plentiful. Check the meter is on. Day rates negotiable. Sawngthaew: cheap local bus services in trucks with bench seats. Long-tail boats: small, open boat services on sea or river, also available for hire. LONGER DISTANCE Train: Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Malaysia can be reached easily from Bangkok (railway.co.th
). Bus/minibus: long-distance government buses and private minibuses connect major resorts. Ferries: to major islands and along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river.
Street wise on the ground prices Thailand is well known for being excellent value
for money. See what the average traveller's holiday staples cost below:
Three-course meal for two with wine £35.26
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Offi ce (FCO) website for information on arranging visas for Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. www.fco.gov.uk
• Chiang Rai (CEI) 1hr 20mins – 10 daily; • Trat (TDX) 1hr – daily; • Surat Thani (URT) 1hr – daily; • Koh Samui (USM) 1hr 10mins – 30 daily;
• Phuket (HKT) 1hr 10mins – 40 daily;
• Krabi (KBV) 1hr 20mins – 10 daily.
Flights are also available between islands such as Pattaya to Koh Samui, Phuket to Koh Samui and Koh Samui to Krabi, making it easy to enjoy a multi-centre Thailand holiday. Visitors can also fl y direct from Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand to both Phuket and Koh Samui in the south (Thai and Bangkok Airways) without a stop in Bangkok.
DOMESTIC FLIGHTS WITHIN THAILAND From Bangkok (BKK) to: • Sukhothai (THS) 1hr daily; • Lampang (LPT) 2hrs (via Sukhothai) – daily;
• Udon Thani (UTH) 1hr 5mins – 10 daily;
• Khon Kaen (KKC) 55mins – daily; • Ubon Ratchathani (UBP) 1hr 4mins;
• Chiang Mai (CNX) 1hr 10mins – 30 daily;
Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Bangladesh and the Maldives. And also by codeshare partnerships to Japan, Abu Dhabi and Oman.
• Discovery Airpass coupons (minimum three, maximum six), valid two months from fi rst use, costs from US$88 domestic, and from US$120 on international routes. • Bangkokair.com
Other airlines for transfers around the region include Air Asia, Nok Air, SilkAir, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and Virgin Australia.
Thai Airways/ Thai Smile
• Operates to ten domestic destinations across Thailand.
• Links Bangkok to other South East Asian destinations, plus Indochina, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Philippines, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Europe.
• Discover Thailand fares (approximate prices): fl y to three cities in Thailand for US$280 (excluding taxes and surcharges) – US$94 for additional coupons (maximum eight).
• Member of Star Alliance. • Thaiairways.co.uk
• Nine domestic destinations • Dedicated airport lounges • Links Thailand with Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Singapore,
Bottle of domestic beer £1.50
FROM BANGKOK’S HUALAMPHONG STATION TO: • Ayutthaya – 1hr 15mins (tickets from 50p);
• Chiang Mai – 12hrs (tickets from £12. Both day and overnight sleepers available, 1st and 2nd class coaches);
• Kanchanaburi (for the Bridge over River Kwai) – 4hrs (tickets from £2);
• Hua Hin – 4hrs (tickets from £8); • Chumpon (ferry to Ko Tao) – 8hrs (tickets from £10);
• Surat Thani (for the ferry to Koh Samui and beyond) – 9hrs (tickets from £11)
Coke or soft drink £0.33
Taxi start tariff £0.65
FROM BANGKOK AIRPORT OR CITY CENTRE TO: • Hua Hin – 3hrs; • Pattaya – 1.5hrs; • Kanchanaburi – 2.5hrs; • Surat Thani – 8hrs; • Chiang Mai – 8hrs.
One-hour Thai massage £4.00
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