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How to travel within Thailand?

There is a lot written about Thailand, and after some research it is quite easy to build a great itinerary with tons of great places to go and visit, as well as what you are going to do while you are there. One of the more difficult aspect of organizing your trip is choosing the best options for moving between all these great destinations in Thailand. There are plenty of options available for travelers, from flights and public transport to private minibuses and taxis, so here are some of the best options for getting around Thailand.

By air

travelling thailand by air Bangkok itself has two airports, the main international airport is Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), which is the main airport for international flights. The second airport in Bangkok is Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), which although it is an international airport is the base of many of the low-cost carriers operating around Southeast Asia as well as many domestic flights within Thailand.

If you are heading to the north of the country, there are several options available. The main airport is the Chiang Mai international airport (CNX), which is conveniently located next to the tourist capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai. This airport has 19 airlines operating out of it, and is a secondary hub for the low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia.

For travellers heading to the tourist meccas in the south of the country, there are two main airports; in Krabi and in Phuket. The Krabi International airport (KBV), which opened in 1999, is the second major hub and gateway to southern Thailand. It is a great option for travelers heading further into the south of the country and the airport handles domestic flights as well as many international flights from around Southeast Asia. The Phuket International airport (HKT) is the third busiest airport in Thailand after the two Bangkok airports. It is the main avenue for tourists visiting Phuket, Khao Lak and other neighboring tourist destinations, a major domestic hub which also receives many international flights.

Airlines in Thailand

airlines in Thailand Many airlines operate in Thailand, the biggest being the national carrier Thai Airways. There are other low-cost options available for budget conscious travelers; they include Thai Air Asia, Lion Air, and Bangkok Airways. It is worth noting for travelers who want to head directly to the south of Thailand, and skip the whole Bangkok experience, that several major carriers operate flights directly to Phuket.

Trains in Thailand

Thailand has a reasonably well-developed rail network that gives access to most major cities in the country. The country is served by four main rail lines originating from the center in Bangkok. The north bound line heads up from Bangkok. There is a north-eastern line, and the eastern line heads out to the east of the country and curves down around the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Finally, the southern line services the south of the country and terminates at Sungai Kolok in the furthest south of the country.

Taxis and buses

taxi in thailand Perhaps the most widespread form of transport in Thailand, are taxis, public buses, and private minibuses and coaches. While taking a taxi for long journeys around the country is not the most cost-effective way of moving around, some travelers choose to. A much better option is the many public buses that crisscross the country. Alternatively, for more convenience there are plenty of private buses that are targeted at tourists; these tend to connect between tourist. You just need to find the hub in the area where you are.
Check out our Taxi service from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak.

Car and motorcycle rental

Motorbike rental Khao Lak While it is possible to hire a car and drive around Thailand yourself, this is not generally recommended. Firstly, Thais drive on the left which does take some getting used to (if you’re not used to it already!). Secondly, the country does not have the best road safety record, so opting to drive yourself around the country is not the safest of options. Needless to say, motorcycles are great for getting around specific destinations but should not be considered at all for any types of major journeys around the country.

To get to the south of Thailand is it best by air or by train?

While there are many options open, some of the key factors to consider are the individual traveller’s budget and time constraints. If you are pressed for time, then the best option is to catch a flight to either Phuket or to Krabi and then travel from there by road. It can be worth it even if time is not a factor since there are plenty of low-cost carriers operating flights around Thailand. For travelers who prefer a more scenic route, then taking the train is better, since the long journey meanders through the countryside and will give you a unique view of rural Thailand that you won’t get anywhere else.

What is the best option to skip Bangkok and head to the south?

Flying from Europe, there are various options you can take to head directly to the south of the country. Firstly, there are many charter flights from various European countries that have direct flights into Phuket. Flights are available from the UK, Germany, Russia, and most Scandinavian countries. If you can’t find a charter flight, or want to fly in a more comfortable cabin class, there are major carriers operating to Phuket including Turkish Airlines, Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad Airways; although these involve a stopover in their respective regional hubs. During the high season, Thai Airways also operates various flights to Phuket from European destinations.

What is the best way to reach Phuket or Krabi by train?

Opting for the scenic route to visit the south of Thailand can be a great choice. Sadly, there are no direct rail links from Bangkok to both Krabi and Phuket. To get to Krabi by train you first need to take the train from Bangkok Hualamphong Railway Station; you can choose to get off at either Nakhon Si Thammarat, or Surat Thani, Trang. From their, travelers can get to Krabi by either bus, taxi or minibus. To get to Phuket by train you need to take the same train as the one that heads to Krabi, but instead your best option is to get off at Phun Phin. From there you can take a taxi, private minibus, or even a bus to Phuket. There are 14 coaches a day to and from Phuket. One point worth mentioning is the length of the journey; the train journey from Bangkok is around 12 hours long, and the coach to Phuket after that is another 5-6 hours, the bus journey is somewhat shorter to Krabi. So, if you opt for a train journey, be prepared for the long haul.

What is the best option for getting around while avoiding public transport?

The best option for getting around while avoiding overcrowded public transport is by using the many private mini buses that are geared up towards tourists. These small buses cover almost every major tourist destinations, and can be booked either individually or in groups. The biggest hub for these private coaches is the Khaosan road in Bangkok. Here you will find many of these small buses departing several times a day to every major destination in Thailand.
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