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    Dec 2013

    Lightbulb Local transport in Thailand

    Motorcycle taxi

    Many cities in Thailand also have mawtoesai rp jang, 100cc to 125cc motorcycles that can be hired, with a driver, for short distances. They’re not very suitable if you’re carrying more than a backpack or small suitcase, but if you’re empty-handed they can’t be beaten for quick transport over short distances. In addition to the lack of space for luggage, motorcycle taxis also suffer from lack of shelter from rain or sun. Although most drivers around the country drive at safe, sane speeds, the kamikaze drivers of Bangkok are a major exception.

    In most cities you’ll find motorcycle taxis clustered near street intersections, rather than cruising the streets looking for fares. Fares tend to run from 10B to 30B, depending on distance. Some motorcycle taxis specialise in regular, short routes, eg from one end of a long street to another. In such cases the fare is usually a fixed 10B.


    A sǎwngthǎew (literally, ‘two rows’) is a small pick-up truck with two rows of bench seats down both sides of the truck bed. They sometimes operate on fixed routes, just like buses, but they may also run a share-taxi type of service or can even be booked individually just like a regular taxi. Sǎwngthǎew are often colour-coded, so that red ones, for example, go to one destination or group of destinations, while blue ones go to another.

    Sǎamlw & tk-tk

    Sǎamlw means ‘three wheels’ and that’s just what they are – three-wheeled vehicles. There are two types of sǎamlw – motorised and nonmotorised.

    You’ll find motorised sǎamlw throughout the country. They’re small utility vehicles, powered by horrendously noisy engines (usually LPG-powered); if the noise and vibration don’t get you, the fumes will. Tourists commonly know motor sǎamlw as tk-tk, because of the noise they make. Among themselves, the Thais still call these sǎamlw – the term tk-tk is strictly foreigner talk but it’s what most Thais use when speaking to Western tourists.

    The nonmotorised sǎamlw, ie the bicycle rickshaw or pedicab, is similar to what you may see in other parts of Asia. There are no bicycle sǎamlw in Bangkok but you will find them elsewhere in the country. With either form of sǎamlw the fare must be established by bargaining before departure.

    Those interested in pedicab lore and design may want to have a look at Lonely Planet’s hardcover pictorial book, Chasing Rickshaws, by Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler.

    Skytrain & subway

    Bangkok is the only city in Thailand to have either an above-ground or underground light-rail public transport system. Known as the Skytrain and the Metro, respectively, both systems have helped to alleviate the capital city’s notorious traffic jams. There has been much unfulfilled talk about building a subway in Chiang Mai but little action.

    Source Code: lonelyplanet
    Last edited by discoverythailandadmin; 12-27-2013 at 09:59 AM.

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