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Getting Around Thailand In 2020: Everything You NEED To Know!

Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last Updated:
March 27, 2020
Travel stories
Looking for everything you need to know about getting around Thailand? Then look no further, we've got all you need to plan your Thailand adventures below.
getting around thailand
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Thailand is truly a perfect destination for anyone seeking beauty, adventure and cheap cocktails! :P What’s also great about Thailand is the fact that it’s super easy to get around. The vast and convenient transport options available make it super easy to visit and perfect for any first-time traveller. 

So below I take you through everything you need to know about getting around Thailand including specific location guides to help make your life a little easier.

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Transportation options for getting around Thailand 

When it comes to the best way to get around Thailand, there are actually many options. The most popular travel options include getting the train, getting the bus, using tuk-tuks and if your island hopping in Thailand then using the boats!

Below I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about each of these specific transport options in Thailand. 

Getting around Thailand by bus 

You can easily get around Thailand by bus especially thanks to the super easy booking options via 12Go Asia. I’ll tell you now that we used 12Go Asia all throughout our travels in Thailand, I can’t remember using anything but that website. 

You can get buses to all the major cities that are typically tourist style buses that have nice chairs, air con, sometimes entertainment and toilets on board. If you’re using local buses within a city, then don’t expect such luxuries. 

This is the cheapest way to get around Thailand and perfect for the budget and “slow” traveller.

Book all your bus travel with 12Go Asia here.  

buses in thailand

Getting around Thailand by train 

Another popular option for getting around Thailand is via train travel. Thailand has quite a well developed rail network, so you can easily get from all the major cities on any typical Thailand backpacking route. 

Getting around Thailand by train will be a little more expensive than bus, but it typically tends to be quicker and of course train travel often provides stunning views. 

Book all your train travel in Thailand via 12Go Asia. 

Getting around Thailand by boat 

If you plan on doing any form of island hopping in Thailand (which is in the south) then you’ll be making use of the boats. Boats can range from slow and local to fast and more expensive! But getting between all the popular Thai islands will typically require a boat journey.

Again we booked our boat journeys via 12Go Asia, and I actually find booking the boat journeys a lot more convenient than trying to book on the day, especially in the high season when everything seems to sell out or be “overbooked”. 

Book all your boat travel in Thailand via 12Go Asia right here

beaches in thailand

Getting around Thailand by plane 

If you’re short on time when visiting Thailand, you can get between most of the major sightseeing spots via plane travel. Actually, flying in Thailand isn’t overly expensive thanks to budget airlines, like AirAsia. You can get flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai for around $30 when you book in advance which is a great price. You can also fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui for the Thai islands which is awesome too…

So if you’re short on time, then getting around by plane is a good option. 

Search Skyscanner for all the best plane prices in Thailand.

Getting around Thailand by taxi 

For shorter distances in Thailand it is possible to get from A to B with Taxi and it’s not too expensive. For example, I got a taxi from Bangkok to Hua Hin for around 2000 baht which is around $60 which when split between 3 people was only $20 each for almost a 3 hour journey. So if money isn’t an issue, then getting to and from particular places is possible via taxi. 

Of course in cities you can use taxis to get around, and tuk tuks for even cheaper prices. 

tuk tuk thailand

Guides To Getting From A to B in Thailand 

Below I’m going to discuss getting around specific areas in Thailand (these are specific places I’ve been to myself!)

Getting around Chiang Mai 

Chiang Mai is a brilliant city in Thailand located in North Thailand. It’s actually got an international airport so it is a popular starting point to backpacking Thailand. (You can book a cheap airport transfer right here) There are a variety of great ways to get around Chiang Mai. 

  • Moped: It’s easy to rent a moped in Chiang Mai to get around all the best tourist spots. 
  • Tuk-tuk: You can easily use a tuk-tuk to get around Chiang Mai, especially for destinations in the inner city. 
  • Local buses: You can use local transport to get around Chiang Mai
  • Ride Sharing Apps: Chiang Mai has Grab which is another cheap and easy way to travel around Chiang Mai. 

Getting from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai: Simply book via 12Go Asia for a great price and the most convenient way to get between these awesome spots. 

traffic in thailand

Getting around Chiang Rai 

Chiang Rai is famous for all it’s wonderful temples (the best in Thailand in my opinion) and again getting around is pretty easy and you’ve got a few options.

  • Moped: it’s easy to rent a moped in Chiang Rai and use it to visit all the temples and waterfalls in the area. This is what we did and we didn’t have any issues. 
  • Tuk-tuk: You can use a tuk-tuk to get around to the best spots in Chiang Rai too!
  • Local buses: If you’re the adventurous traveller, then opt for the local buses as the budget way to travel around Chiang Rai. 

Getting from Chiang Rai to Pai: Simply book via 12Go Asia for the best prices and availability between these spots. 

Getting around Bangkok 

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand so naturally there are LOTS of transport options. 

  • Tuk-tuk: The fun way to get around Thailand. Cheap, and cheerful and you can even do city sightseeing tours in a tuk-tuk too. 
  • Grab: Ride sharing apps are the easiest way to get around Bangkok and it’s very cheap. But it will be slow due to the wonderful traffic. 
  • Metro: The metro is a cheap and fast way to get around Bangkok and it’s very easy to use. You can get the sky train to and from the airport too. 

Getting around Hua Hin 

Hua Hin is quite compact which makes the area easy to get around. You can use the local transport, which are kind of like buses, but more like shuttles you jump on and off, or you can use tuk-tuks to get around too. 

Getting around Krabi 

Krabi is home to the beautiful Railay beach, which will require a boat transfer to get to and from, which you can book here. Expect to pay around 1200 for a private longtail boat to and from Railay beach, but if you’re sharing with others, then you will pay around 200 baht each way. 

When on the actual land of Krabi you can use tuk-tuks or even a moped to get around easily. 

Pssst, check out this 4 island day trip from Krabi for an excellent price! 

You can also book a high speed ferry from Ko- Phangan to Railay here. 

long tail boats in thailand

Getting around the Thai Islands 

I’ve done a whole guide to island hopping in Thailand which goes into detail how to specifically get from each island to island. You can check it out right here. But the best way to get around the Thai islands in general is via boat to and fro and on the islands you can either rent a moped, or use tuk-tuks! 

You can book boat transfers between the islands here.

Useful Apps and websites for Getting around Thailand 

Below are some useful apps and websites for helping you get around Thailand with ease.

  • 12Go Asia: This is the website we used for our trains/buses and boats around Thailand 
  • GoogleMaps: Use the offline tools for when sightseeing on your moped 
  • Skyscanner: Website we always use to search and book flights 

So there you have it, my ultimate guide to getting around Thailand. I hope you’ve found this post useful and if you’ve got anymore questions or comments then simply drop a comment below. 

Happy travels!

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