According to the official website, an average of 1.05 million people use Bangkok buses daily. With 108 routes and 3,509 buses, the service is frequent and can get you anywhere in the city. This guide will give you all the information needed to travel with confidence and master the public bus system in Bangkok.
How to use Bangkok’s public bus
1 Find the bus stop
Yes it looks like that. You can find the bus numbers on the sign. Sometimes.
2 Wave the bus
You will get this real quick when you look how the locals do it. Remember you are not in New York, if you try to wave a bus like you wave taxi in New York, it just doesn’t work. Moreover it can be even rude apparently. This is how you do it. To flag down a bus, hold out your arm, with your palm facing downwards, and wave your arm up and down.
note: In Thailand and its surrounding countries, this is how you do to wave a taxi, a bus, a song taew or a tuk tuk.
3 Take a seat, if you can
4 Pay the bus fare
The money collector will come to you. Pay the bus fare and the staff always give you the change back. When you are in a air-con bus the fare is based on distance and the collector ask you for your destination. They rarely speak English and communication is difficult. Just give 20 Baht and if it’s not enough they will let you know. Do not pay with a bank note bigger than 100 Baht. If you don’t have any, buy something in a 7 eleven to get change.
5 Keep your ticket
You may be ask to show your ticket again.
6 Get off the bus
Ring the buzzer to show you want to get off the bus.
Bus, buses and more buses
The most common and the cheapest is the red-cream bus. You can see how it looks on the first picture. To cool down open a window, there is only one fan, and it is for the driver.
Red-Cream bus fare: only 6.5 Baht or free
About the same as the red-cream but with fans.
Blue-White bus fare: flat 7.5 Baht
Now get a nice upgrade, air-conditioned!
Orange bus fare: 10 to 18 Baht depending on distance
Modern bus with air-conditioned.
Yellow bus fare: 11 to 23 Baht
Private buses come in many variations. Sometime they run the same routes and sometime not.
- Night bus gets a 1.5 Baht surcharge.
- Do not expect any of the staff to speak English.
- Monk should be seated wherever they want, please respect and concede your seat if needed.
Bangkok’s bus Route: