Travellers' Tips: Safety on Public Transportation

image by teothai.com 
Mass transit systems:

  • Both the BTS elevated system and the MTR subway system are clean, modern and safe.
  • The only precautions you need to take are the same as you would on mass transit systems in other major cities worldwide - be aware of your surroundings and watch your personal belongings, especially when travelling during peak times.
  • Only take registered taxis, which are clearly identified with official markings and have black-on-yellow number plates. Beware of unmarked taxis with black-on-white number plates, which are not registered.
  • Have both the name of your destination and the place you are staying written in Thai if possible to help ensure you end up at your desired destination.
  • Some taxi drivers may advise you that the destination to which you are going is not open or accessible, and may suggest alternate destinations. You should be firm with such drivers that you want to go to your original destination.
  • You may encounter taxi drivers and others who tout gem stores or entertainment venues. These touts receive kickbacks or commissions for bringing you to these places. Travellers should not accept tours or other offers from them.
  • Do not hesitate to ask to be let out of a taxi immediately if the driver is acting suspiciously or driving erratically.
image by kapook.com 
  • As these vehicles have no meters, make sure you clearly establish the fare with the driver before departing to avoid disputes when you arrive at your destination.
  • Tuk-tuks are open vehicles - be sure to keep your arms and legs within the passenger compartment, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Keep hold of items such as backpacks and purses to avoid losing them.
  • The same advice as with taxis applies in terms of having your destination and hotel written down and being firm about having the driver take you where you actually want to go.
Passenger boats:
  • These boats can become crowded during peak times. Try to ride them after the morning rush hour or before the evening rush hour to have a more relaxed journey.
  • Many boat services stop at floating docks and jetties. Be ready for these platforms to shift due to waves or as passengers move around on them.
  • Some of the stops these boats make are very brief. Be prepared in advance to get off at your desired destination.
  • The speed at which BMTA buses travel can vary greatly due to Bangkok's constantly changing traffic conditions.  Make sure you hold on to the handrails and be prepared for sudden stops.
  • Some of the stops these boat buses make are very brief. Be prepared in advance to get off at your desired destination.

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