Getting around Thailand


There are several means of transport available for travelling around the country; there are bus, train and air connections.

Roads and highways are in excellent condition and many large international car rental companies operate in Thailand.

Find hotel prices in Thailand

Domestic flights

Air travel is experiencing great development in Thailand, which is reflected in the very low airfares.

Air Asia is one of the most prominent and cheapest airlines, while Nok Air, Vietjetair and Thai Lion Air are also cheap.

Search for flights around Thailand

There are over 31 airports in Thailand with scheduled air services.

Flights between the largest airports are very frequent and fly several times an hour, for example on routes such as:

  • Bangkok - Chiang Mai
  • Bangkok - Phuket
  • Bangkok - Hat Yai
  • Bangkok - Krabi

When searching for flights to/from Bangkok, always pay attention to the departure or arrival airport. There are two airports in Bangkok.

Ticket prices and when to buy

Domestic one-way tickets can be purchased from 30 usd, especially from Air Asia or Nok Air.

The rule in Thailand is that the earlier you buy your tickets, the cheaper they will be. Generally buy at least 1 month before departure.

However, tickets are relatively cheap even if bought just before departure, with prices ranging between 80 usd and 100 usd for a one-way flight.

Buses and minivans

The bus network is extensive and reliable and is the most used means of transport.

Air-conditioned buses with adjustable seats are recommended for long journeys. On overnight services, there is a service on board the bus that distributes soft snacks or a blanket to cover up with (the air conditioning is really strong, so pack longer-sleeved clothing).

On shorter routes, less comfortable minivans often operate instead of buses. However, even these are always air-conditioned.

Where to buy tickets?

Long-distance buses can often be booked online in advance, or at least check timetables. There are several booking websites, of which we would recommend the two most used.

You don't need to print your ticket. When you arrive at the bus station, just show the QR code or the ticket in a PDF file from your mobile phone.

You can also often book tickets on local services outside major cities through the above websites.

Prices on long-distance routes across Thailand are usually between 650 thb and 2 000 thb.

By train

For those who want to travel cheaply, train travel is the best option. For example, the sleeper night train between Bangkok and Chiang Mai (northern Thailand) is very popular.

Thai Railways deploys modern carriages on the main lines from Bangkok to the north (Chiang Mai) or south (Surat Thani and Hat Yai), but on other lines you will often see very old trains with wooden seats.

These older trains are especially common on the daily services.

Tickets and timetables

Long-distance trains can be booked online via the official Thai Railways website, where you can also check timetables for all long-distance and local routes.

This website is only accessible via Thai IP addresses.

Train tickets can also be booked through the website.

Is it necessary to buy tickets in advance?

If you want to travel on a comfortable sleeper train, we recommend booking your ticket at least 2-3 days before departure.

If you don't care what type of carriage you will be travelling in or if you will be taking a regional train during the day, you don't need to book tickets online and just buy them at the station.

Rent a scooter

Travelling by scooter or motorbike is a very popular mode of transport for locals and tourists alike.

Riding a scooter is cheap, very flexible, but it also has its risks. Most tourist accidents happen on scooters. The local traffic is a little bit lively, very dense in the cities, and in the countryside the roads are often very winding and unclear.

In Thailand they drive on the left, which can be an additional obstacle for some less experienced drivers.

Prices and where to rent a scooter

If you decide to rent a scooter, you don't have to deal with booking online.

There are literally scooter rentals on every corner in all resorts and towns, including less touristy places in the interior.

Prices in the resorts range between 150 thb and 220 thb per day.

By ferry

Use the boat ferries to the islands, which are also used by local agencies for shorter trips.

We always describe specific information about regular boat services at the details of the locations.

Taxi, Grab, Bolt

For transport around the cities, it's by far the easiest and most straightforward to use the Grab or Bolt mobile apps. The Uber app doesn't do much in Thailand.

Most cities use the Grab app and only a minority also use the Bolt app (for example, Phuket or Bangkok), which is usually more convenient than Grab.

You can pay directly with your card through the app and not have to deal with haggling over the price. You always know the price in advance.

Public transport

In the capital Bangkok it is possible to use public transport, which of all Thai cities is the only one that meets modern standards.

You can use the metro, buses and boats. Detailed information about travel around the city can be found in the guide to Bangkok.

Other Thai cities do not have modern public transport systems and you can mostly only use songthaews, which are pick-up trucks or trucks with a converted body to carry passengers.

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