Don’t be intimidated by Bangkok’s transport network.
When we planned our trip to Thailand & Cambodia, our greatest intimidating thought was: ” How will we get from the airport to our hotel?”. We felt we needed to understand the transport network before arriving. We did not want to feel intimidated by Bangkok’s transport network. When we last traveled to Thailand via Phuket on our first trip, we felt we needed the security of at least knowing where we were going to sleep on our first night. Securing our bed is convenient. We used bookings.com to decide exactly where we will be staying. The average traveler, backpacker, young or old, wants to know that arriving in a strange place at a difficult time, is not going to be an uphill battle schlepping around town. A battle trying to find accommodation. The bookings.com website and a bookings.com app on your celphone, really are a blessing.
Being new to overseas travel, with a relatively conservative & sheltered lifestyle, this kind of travel is rather daunting for us. A few basics help us feel in control. After all, we are not on a package tour. One thing that is important to us is having secured our bed & knowing how to get there. Well, we soon learnt that racking our brains to find out exactly where to go is confusing. How long would take, what turns & interchanges needed to be taken and what the costs would be. Seriously confusing when you are not accustomed to a first world public transport system. Thailand may not be all first world, but the transport network in Bangkok surely works like clockwork & is definitely a first world system.
We soon found out though that Bangkok’s Transport Network need not be daunting. Just get there and it will fall into place quickly.
My advice is as follows:
1.Don’t try and figure it out until you are actually in Bangkok.
2.Once there, determine where you are on a map.
3.Then, cross reference the point you are at, with the closest point on a schematic map of the BTS (Skytrain) & MRT (Subway), such as this one:
It was’nt long before Janneke & I were zipping around Bangkok’s MRT & BTS transport network. We were going anywhere we wanted in the city. The best of all is that compared to what we are used to, it’s really safe. It is well regulated & policed & generally everyone using the network seems respectful of the rules and regulations. For us, this is not just about getting around from place to place, but an adventure in itself. Yet another first for the Midlifebackpackers.