Getting around in Bangkok (1)

Bangkok traffic - Taxis
Bangkok traffic – Taxis

When you think about Bangkok and getting around in this big city, 2 things come into your mind.
“Tuk-tuks” and the dangerous moto-bikes.

But there are far more ways getting around in the city of angels known as Bangkok.

 

BTS Sky train

this is a train service that runs through many parts of the city.

Bangkok - Nana BTS station
Bangkok – Nana BTS station

It runs on tracks above the streets. The fares start at 10 baht for a single journey.  Take the stairs from street level to the station.

Go to a ticketing machine select the fare for your route and pay, receive your paper ticket, go through the fare gate.

Next take the stairs or escalator up to the trains. Board the train, get off and exit the station through the fare gate.

Day passes are also available for 150 baht. You can purchase them only at the ticket counters located at some stations.

There are currently 2 lines running through the city, you can use your ticket on all lines.

The government of Bangkok is still working on extending the existing ney network. E.g the trains don’t run to the northern districts yet.

MRT

Bangkok also has an underground/subway train service.

There’s an interchange with the BTS Sky train at the Asok BTS station. The MRT network is still very simple. There’s one line and it runs from the north to the south.The Bangkok goverment is still expanding the network.

Taxi

There are two different types in Bangkok. Taxis and metered taxis.

The metered taxis work like in most other countries. But you can also find taxis without meter. Then you have to know the price for they journey and know how to negotiate with the driver.
You can recognise the difference by searching for a sign on the roof of the car. As Thai people write things differently in english, look for “Taxi-meter”.
If you just want to get around, take a metered taxi. Please make sure that the driver starts the meter. Otherwise you may end on a jewellery and tailor shopping tour through the whole city. 😉

Bus

Bangkok traffic - Buses
Bangkok traffic – Buses

Getting around by bus can be a unique experience in Bangkok.

There are not only modern air-conditioned buses, you may see some of the older ones that look like, they’re from the 1960.

Get on the buses at bus stops that consist of signs with the buses’ numbers on them. Make sure you give a sign to the driver that you want to get on the bus.
Tickets are bought on board the buses. Show the driver you want to get off the bus by standing up approaching the doors.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of Bangkok – Getting around, in which I write about more Bangkok styles of getting around.

Dark alleys of Chinatown – Singapore

Singapore Chinatown
Singapore Chinatown

Singapore has much more than just beautiful gardens and shopping arcades. Singapore has some dark secrets. One of the best places to learn about Singapore’s history and dark secrets is Chinatown.

If you can spare two hours on Friday nights, do a the Official Singapore walks tour starting right next to the MRT station ” Chinatown” (North East line).

A local will walk you through Chinatown and its surroundings. You will learn something about its past, taste some local cuisine and find some stuff you didn’t expect in Singapore.

 

Learn more on the official website.

5 Things I Love About Singapore

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay

Gardens By The Bay is a brand new attraction in Singapore.

About 1 year ago Singapore finished the construction of a garden with gigantic super trees and two fantastic flower domes.

The entrance to the garden is free, but if you want to either visit the flower domes or go on top of the super trees then you have to pay admission.

Tip: You get a discount when you present a Singapore airlines boarding pass at the ticket counter.

 

Chinatown

This is a must visit district in Singapore. Chinatown has a unique atmosphere. lots of little shops and restaurants. It can be conveniently reached by the SMRT on the North-south line.

Tip: Do a “Original Singapore walks” tour on Friday nights. It’s amazing!

Singapore Flyer

The tallest Ferris wheel is not in London. It’s in Singapore! Welcome to the Singapore Flyer – the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. It’s located across the Marina Bay Sands hotel. On top you can enjoy a view of Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade and the Singapore Skyline. Breathtaking views – worth the admission fee.

 

Concert at The Esplanade
Concert at The Esplanade

The Esplanade

The Esplanade (Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay) is  an amazing event location with indoor concert hall and outdoor theatre. The outdoor areas often feature free concerts and plays.
There are also retail and food spaces at the Esplanade Mall.

You can visit this place easily by SMRT,  look for station CC3 – Esplanade. 10 minutes walking from there.

 

Changi Airport

Singapore Changi Airport - Terminal 3 - Shopping area
Singapore Changi Airport – Terminal 3 – Shopping area

Singapore Changi Airport is one of the most awesome airports.

It features lots of leisure and business facilities. Also, you can dine and shop at over 300 stores and restaurants. All terminals have several gardens.

For example you can visit the butterfly garden in terminal 3. It contains more than thousand different butterflies.

Other highlights are free WiFi, phone charging stations, TV and entertainment areas, free movie theaters and a swimming pool on the roof of terminal 1.

Tip: if you have at least 5 hours, do a free Singapore city tour. Counters can be found in all terminals.

 

Free WiFi at Singapore “Changi Airport” (2012/2013 Edition) – How to

[note color=”#FFCC00″]Info: Updated guide! Changi Airport now offers 3 different ways for free WiFi.[/note]

The team of Changi Airport offers international travellers free WiFi  in all terminals. Just connect to the WiFi and you’re online? There are several ways. Read this guide for details

Method 1 (December 2012)

On my latest stopover 2012 I discovered another option for Free WiFi at Changi Airport. It’s much better to use than the other options.

Changi is calling it a beta test when you login. I tried it and it’s amazing!

  • Connect to the network “#WiFi@Changi”
  • Read the terms and conditions
  • Click on the big button below the terms & conditions
  • You’re online!

 

Method 2 (January 2012, verified in Dec. 2012)

step 1 – check requirements:

  • You need your passport
  • Your Netbook/Notebook/Tablet/Pad/Smartphone oder other WiFi enabled device

Okay, let’s start.

Free WiFi at Singapore Changi Airport
Free WiFi at Singapore Changi Airport
  • step 2:
    Go to any information desk in the transit area, you can find them every few hundred meters in all terminals.
  • step 3:
    Ask for the “Free WiFi Pass”.
    The staff of the information desk will eventually ask you for your passport to note the details.You get a piece of paper with login details.
  • 4th step:
    Connect your WiFi device with the access point “Wireless@SG” (SSID). As soon as you want to visit the first website, you will be redirected to a login form.
  • 5th step:
    Enter your the login details from the paper and submit. Now you’re online!
    Select as service provider “M1net”. The username contains @m1net.com.sg. The password is uppercase.

I’ve used this WiFi in Terminal 3 at Singapore Changi Airport a couple of times. It should work the same way in the other terminals.

[note color=”#FFCC00″]Info: The access for each Username/Password combination is limited to a few hours.[/note]

Method 3

Method 3 requires a Singaporean Sim card. I haven’t tried it, but it’s not as easy as the methods 1 and 2.