Bangkok’s busy roads and hot weather can make sightseeing a challenge. Yet it’s still easy to get around this vast city by using its above-ground Skytrain network and metro system, together with a mix of river cruises, tuk-tuk excursions, and hop-on-hop-off-bus, walking, and bike tours. Here are your options.
Bangkok’s comprehensive and inexpensive public transport system includes its elevated Skytrain (BTS) system, metro trains (MRT), and buses. The fast and comfy Skytrain network links with the MRT to cover the entire city. Both have their own ticketing systems covering everything from single journeys to single- and multi-day passes, mostly purchased at vending machines. Bangkok’s buses are cheap and cheerful, but the dense web of routes and sometimes unmarked stops can make them confusing for first-time visitors.
Tuk-tuks are one of the best ways to negotiate Bangkok’s roads and experience its atmosphere. Choose from numerous tours that hop between highlights such as the Royal Palace and the major temples. Evening tuk-tuk excursions are great for scouring Bangkok’s night and food markets—with the tiny, motorized rickshaws perfect for tasting stops and crowded alleyways.
A hop-on hop-off tour will help you find your feet and see Bangkok’s highlights at your own pace, without having to negotiate public transport. Tours typically stop at must-sees such as the Grand Palace and China Town, and you’re free to ride the full loop for an overview or disembark at different stops to create your own itinerary.
River and Canal Cruises
The Chao Phraya River bisects Bangkok, and a cruise along its waters provides wonderful panoramas of the Grand Palace, the 17th-century Wat Arun, and other landmarks. Dinner cruises are popular for combining the illuminated sights with an onboard Thai buffet and entertainment. Other options include daytime motorboat or rice-barge cruises along Bangkok’s klongs (canals) to see traditional waterside houses and shrines.
Walking and Biking Tours
Bangkok’s traffic and high temperatures aren’t particularly conducive to walking or biking tours, especially when it comes to touring the busy main sights. That said, they’re ideal for delving deeper into off-the-beaten-track neighborhoods. Join a walking tour to discover old Bangkok’s hidden treasures, book a guided walk around a street-food market to sample local dishes, or take to two wheels to admire the city by night or cycle along quiet canalsides.