The Bangkok bus system will get you anywhere you want to go, though you’ll content with traffic, difficult-to-decipher signage and crowds. This quick guide to Bangkok buses will get you started.
Bangkok’s public bus system is operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority.
There is no downloadable bus map available in English from the BMTA, but they do have a Travel Guide with a list of buses that pass major tourist destinations. Some Bangkok maps have common bus routes marked.
Bangkok buses are broken down into numerous classes of service and routes. Some buses only go short distances and have wooden seats and no air conditioning. Some buses are large, comfortable and air conditioned and travel on expressways.
Most buses run from 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. but popular routes have night bus service.
Buses run as fast as every 10 minutes during peak times and as slow as every hour during off-peak times.
Fares are from 4 baht for small local buses to 40 baht or more for air conditioned express buses.
Bus stops are generally well-marked but buses won’t stop at all stops unless you let the driver know you want to be picked up or let off. You must flag down buses at stops.
Do not pay the driver when you board the bus. Take a seat (or find a place to stand if it’s crowded) and a fare collector will find you. Tell him or her your destination and they’ll let you know how much to pay.