Getting around Bangkok

The best way to travel around the capital is in air-conditioned comfort. That means using either your hotel’s limousine service, generally Mercedes or Toyotas, or the thousands of cheaper but less comfortable, sub-compact taxis, usually Toyotas or Mitsubishis. Hotel transport offers reliability, safety and convenience. The drivers speak English, are used to guest requests and, since they’re on salary, will take you where you want to go with a minimum of hassles. Local taxis have no meters, so you have to bargain hard—a frustrating game when you’re unfamiliar with the city, laden down with shopping, and standing in the noon sun. The famous tuk-tuks (named after their stet two-stroke engine) might be fun, but these little three-wheelers are prone to capsize, they may not carry insurance, and they can be suffocating in a traffic jam. Try it once for the experience. Driving yourself around Bangkok will take years off your life and ruin your holiday. Thai driving conditions are “Wild West”—style, the biggest and fastest vehicle has right of way, and anything goes.