River and canals network
Bangkok has earned its epithet ‘TheVenice of the East’ primarily because of an elaborate network of canals known as khlongs, which were once the main source of transportation by boats. However, now most of the canals have been filled in and converted into streets. Although e many khlongs still exist with people living along them and markets often being operated along the banks, most are severely polluted.
Boats are a great way to get around the famous riverside area with its many historical attractions, and to explore the 'klongs' for a glimpse of the historical Bangkok. Several kinds of boats run up and down the Chao Phraya River, connecting with the local suburbs on the Thonburi side and along the river, while ferries can be used to cross the river at various points. A famous khlong market is the floating market in Taling Chan district. Through downtown Bangkok runs the Khlong Saen Saeb, which has a canal boat service. Chao Phraya, the wide river flowing through the city, has several cross-river ferries. The Chao Phraya Express Boat has many as thirty stops along the both banks extending as far as the northern suburb of Nonthaburi.
There is an extensive network of roads, newly built intersections and beautiful elevated highways. In spite of these, Bangkok is notorious for its long traffic jams. It is because the number of private vehicles keeps outstripping the development of the infrastructure.
The Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link or SARL, is a rapid transit line in Bangkok, Thailand. It links the city with the new Suvarnabhumi Airport via Makkasan city air terminal, to Phaya Thai station in central Bangkok.. Opened on August 23, 2010 the 28.6-km route is the fourth rapid transit line in Bangkok, after 2 BTS and 1 MRT line.
The elevated highway linking most road networks in Bangkok together, is another choice to cope with the rush hours. However, the motorists have to pay tax for utilizing the highway. This highway also leads to some outskirts of Bangkok including Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) provides a regular bus service. It operates throughout Bangkok as well as to adjoining provinces round the clock on certain routes. The public bus service is vast and cheap, with a minimum fare of 7 baht to most destinations within metropolitan Bangkok. Air-conditioned buses have the minimum fare of 11 baht while the maximum fare is 24 baht. There are air-conditioned micro-buses also which charge a flat fare of 25 baht on all routes. A bus route map can be purchased from any bookshops.
The BTS Skytrain is the safest, most comfortable and convenient way to get around Bangkok. It was opened on December 5, 1999, on the birthday of HM King Rama IX. it has transformed the face of public transportation in Bangkok. It not only offers both residents and visitors a comfortable ride through central Bangkok, it helps them avoid the chronic congestion, noise and pollution of the streets as is an elevated two-line syste.