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Transportation in Bangkok

Most Asian countries have problems in their big cities, like Bangkok, with over-population, traffic congestion and pollution.  There are several modes of transportation in Bangkok, with the automobile being the most popular.  Taxis, samlors (three-wheeled taxis), buses, and boats via the canal are other modes available in Bangkok.   Traveling outside Bangkok and Thailand is possible due to roads and railways that go from Bangkok to Malaysia, Laos and Kampuchea (Cambodia).  Bangkok's port, which manages most of the imports and exports in Thailand, is actually a channel that has been made from the mouth of the river located seventeen miles away. 

The bus can be an inexpensive, but crowded, way to get around Bangkok, but without a map it can be totally confusing.  The air-con bus is easily confused with the regular public bus and costs a bit more.  As the name implies, the air-con bus is cooler and generally isn't as crowded as its counterpart.

Before going anywhere, a price must be agreed upon for a taxi ride.   Taxis are plentiful, so bargaining for a good price is not too difficult.  Most taxis are air conditioned and for the most part the drivers can speak English.  A 7% government tax is part of the cost of taking a taxi and depending on when a taxi is needed, the fares will jump up either late at night or in heavy traffic.  Tipping is not customary when taking a taxi.  Additional passengers are not charged, neither is baggage.

The tuk-tuk, a three-wheeled small taxi, is easily distinguishable by its blue and yellow cab.  It is not recommended for long distances, as it will end up costing more than a regular taxi, but are good for short trips.  Agree upon a price beforehand, if possible, but most drivers don't speak English.  The average cost of taking a tuk-tuk is 20 baht.

Bicycle/Motorcycle Taxi
This way of getting around is best during traffic congestion, as it is small and easily navigated.  The downside is that only one passenger is allowed.  Negotiate a price beforehand, there is no set fee.

Thailand's railway is excellent in that it reaches most major cities in the country.  Air conditioning is available on the diesel trains for first class passengers, second class passengers get fans to move the air.  The most popular route traveled in Thailand is from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. 

Domestic flights are available to the major towns in Thailand, with ten flights available to Chiang Mai and Phuket daily.  The airport tax is about 20 baht on domestic flights.  Thai International's domestic flights are centered in Bangkok.  Most major international airlines fly into Bangkok, which is the center for international discounted tickets.

 Denomination  Color  Denomination  Description
 1,000 baht note  gray  10 baht coin  brass encircled with silver
 500 baht note  purple  5 baht coin  silver encircled with brass
 100 baht note  red  1 baht coin  three coins, but only the smallest fits in public pay phones.
 50 baht note  blue  50 satang coin  two types available
 20 baht note  green  25 satang coin  two types available
 10 baht note  brown    



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