What do you think? any direct experience? or would you like to add some more tips! leave me a comment below, would be great to see how you managed the experience!


As Tolkien wisely said: “Not all those who wander are Lost”

public pus transportation in bangkok guide for tourists travelers. how to visit bangkok by bus
On the public Bus!

Turn right at the Burger King sign, and after 300mt you’ll find the big road (Picture here below)
Sometimes the best things happens when you are not looking for them. Don’t be afraid to risk a bit (always using your judgment of course, as don’t go to dodgy areas by night and always have a copy of your address and passport with you, and some money to grab a taxi in case of emergency).


TYPICAL-Bus-IN- Bangkok-colorful-pink-with-no-air-con-

1| Carry Small Change With You:



Giant Reclined Buddha at Wat Pho
Giant Reclined Buddha at Wat Pho

I am actually against using any map because it removes the excitement and the adventure out of my trips, but the bus one, provided by the BMTA website is pretty useful if you are too scared to jump into the unknown, without a small parachute.

3 | Always Tell Your Destination To The Driver/Ticket man: 

Read in: Italian German

4 | Call For The Bus When It’s Approaching: 

Contents – Open To Read

5 | Get Ready To Jump In And Out: 

After buying the ticket they will give you a small receipt. Keep it as sometimes they will ask you to show it again.

Ready to jump on!
Ready to jump on!

6 | Try To Ask For Directions: 

Disclaimer: This may not be the easiest way to reach Chinatown. I discovered it by accident. I went off from a public boat on a random pier (more about it on a separate post on public boats in Bangkok) and I found myself in the Silom area, after wandering around I tried to get back to Khaosan Road.
This way, you will pay according to it (this is valid on Air-conditioned buses) and they will also let you know where to get off. Don’t always count on it but usually they do it if you are the only foreigner on the bus.

7 | Grab A Map of The City:

Sometimes you might even find yourself surrounded by concerned people trying to understand where you need to go or to get off. All this may sound a bit “uncomfortable” for a normal tourist but it’s all part of the experience! Rejoice at the fact that people want to help you 🙂

8 |Find Out Where The Bus Stop Is. Possibly In Advance.

Talk to the locals on the bus, they will be in most cases, very friendly and happy to try to communicate with the only western person on the bus. Doesn’t matter if you don’t really understand each other. A smile goes a long way.
I decided to jump on the first bus coming my way. Bus number 1.  I had no idea where it would take me.

Get ready! not all the buses have a “proper” bus stop, so if you are not sure where your bus is supposed to stop, try to ask people on the streets. A good sign, especially on big roads is when you see more than 3-4 people waiting on the side of the road.

9 | Write The Name Of The Places And Roads In Thai:

Enjoy the ride, look around you, be curious, jump off the bus when you feel like exploring by foot. Go with the flow
I always wanted to jump on a random bus and see where it led. Well, bus number 1 was definitely my lucky one as it went through some amazing places, including the heart of Chinatown.
So learn a few basic Thai words and you’ll be in better shape to get around Bangkok by bus/Public Transport!


For 5 days I moved only by using  Public Transport and boats In Bangkok

How to get there: Same  Road from Khaosan, same direction as for the MBK (on your left). Bus numbers: 511, 60 or number 2.
Cost for the ride: 13 baht no air con (0.4$). 16/18 baht (0.5/0.6 $) with air con.
I had my Italian gesture for good luck in action, and I enjoyed the ride so much! it’s been one of the most freeing experiences of my life!

How to get there:For the temples (Wat Pho and the Grand Palace complex)  bus number 203 going to the  direction on your right. You’ll need to cross the road  and immediately on your right there is a  blue old Bus stop sign.

burger king khaosan road JPG

After my 7th time in Bangkok, I was quite tired of Tuk Tuks negotiations and scams and taxis with a taxi meter that is conveniently always “broken”. I simply wanted to try to move like a local.

Bus road bangkok OK PICASA

In this article I’ll show you not only how to not get ripped off by taxis and Tuk Tuks, but also to enjoy THE REAL THING. I’ll tell you which buses goes to the main attractions, how not to get lost (or why you should try to get lost at least once), fares and tips. All personally tested by me.
Pro Tip: Just say the name of the place you need to reach, don’t try difficult sentences. Even just a “WAT PHO??”(a famous temple in Bangkok) Including a clear question mark at the end, might be enough for the driver to understand and either let you in or not.
It is very unlikely that you’ll find anyone who speaks good English on a Thai bus in Bangkok, but from time to time there will be someone who understands a bit, and usually, these people will be very kind and willing to help the “Farang” (read: Stranger/Tourist).

Tip: bus number 1 is a safe choice if you want to make sure you stay in well known areas, but it will give you the thrill to see some very fascinating parts of Bangkok unknown to the “Public”.
Well let me tell you something: My plan worked wonderfully, now I love Bangkok and can’t wait to be back for more (very soon! I’ll be back by the 6th of December 2013).
Most of the buses don’t really stop fully and you need to run and jump in (and out) when they are still moving. A little balance and quick reflex will do the trick!




The driver will collect the fare (or a lady passing among the people with a small cylinder), always have small change with you.
A 100-baht note on an air-con bus might be acceptable, but not so much on regular or smaller buses (500 and 1,000 baht notes are a big no-no).


The revolving Roof deck in Pratunam bayioke bangkok by night bangkok view, bangkok by bus
The revolving Roof deck in Pratunam

Same advice as before: tell the driver where are you stopping (I always say, Baiyoke tower or “Shopping Centre” they understand that)

How many tourists/Travelers venture into Bangkok only by using public transport, especially the buses? I haven’t seen many.
Cost for the Ride: 13 baht no air con, 16/18 baht with air con.
Unless you are fluent in Thai, you better ask the Hotel/Hostel receptionist to help you out with that, and trust me, doing it might be a life savior if you want to get around by public transports among the locals!

Italian Gestures: signs against bad luck
Italian Gestures: signs against bad luck

My adventure went well after all. From the Grand Palace I took the usual bus number 203 (CAREFUL! I took it in the wrong direction because it goes around the huge grand palace complex and I got confused), but in the end, I arrived safe and sound at my hotel in Khaosan road! What an exciting ride!
Below is a practical list of how to get around Bangkok by bus / public transport. I will specify the bus numbers and where they can take you. Starting point: The Backpackers paradise Khaosan Road.
Cost of the ride by bus: 13 baht (0.40$) with air conditioning.
I once jumped on a bus and asked for the “Grand palace Temples”, confident that the driver would understand such a simple request. A blank stare on his face brought me back to reality: Thai people use their Thai names for streets and attractions. So what for me was a simple word: TEMPLE, in Thai is called WAT.
It doesn’t matter if you are right at the bus stop, when you see your bus coming, do like the locals do, either run towards the entrance or call it by waving your hand clearly! If you don’t do that, you are very likely to miss it.


DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS FROM 2013 WHEN I FIRST ARRIVED IN BANGKOK, but it has been updated in 2020 🙂
Embrace the adventure and enjoy it, even if you get lost! or may I say, you should hope to get a bit lost?
I can’t even start to tell you the incredible sensation of VICTORY when I realized that from Chinatown, the bus went straight to the Grand Palace! I felt like a lioness, I was literally roaring inside 😀
Cost of the ride by Tuk-tuk: at least 100 baht ( (if less, beware: there is a scam where the driver takes you to a shop and insists that you buy something, don’t fall for that. I did once and when I refused to go to the shop he just yelled at me to get off, leaving me in the middle of nowhere and in a dark street).

How to get there: From Khaosan Road, take the same road to Ratchadamnoen Klang  Rd, but this time no need to cross the road. Walk on your left and catch the Bus n. 79.  It will take around 20/30 minutes depending on the traffic, but it’s a very enjoyable ride with air-con. And you won’t find a single tourist on the bus. I promise.



Yaowarat at night (32455695783)
If you have a specific destination in mind, go to the closest main road and chase the first bus that stops there, run to the front door and ask the driver… good luck with that! 🙂

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