Taweethapisek School, Bangkok

Saipanya School, Bangkok

By Taweethapisek School, Bangkok

Sarot Kunnawoottiporn

In my country, Tuk Tuks are the common vehicles. The original Thai Tuk Tuk is founded in many places in Thailand. Tuk Tuks are often found in tourist areas, around markets, or cruising the streets for fares. It is common to see 4 or 5 people in one Tuk Tuk, such as students heading home from school, or a single person riding a Tuk Tuk full of boxes and bags being taken home from the market. Tuk Tuk has become a symbol of Bangkok.
Tuk Tuk has come a long 60 years history, and along its way there have been changes. At the beginning people adapted the bicycle by attaching on one side a seat. Then put one more wheel to keep the balance. So it was called “Samlor”. After that, “Samlor” was combined with rickshaw and bicycle. It was founded in 1933 at Nakorn Ratchasima province. Later “Samlor” was improved to make it faster. In 1960, a Japanese vehicle was introduced to Thailand and was run for public transport. It has got the name "Tuk Tuk" after the chugging sound of the engine. Today the latest model of Tuk Tuk is called Samlor Thai Chaiyo. It is a modification with the use of modern technology. They are mainly used for promotional shows.
Tourists are usually very interested about the Tuk Tuk. They always take a photo with Tuk Tuks. Tuk Tuks are safe, stable and yet open, allowing a free passage of air and it is cheap. In Bangkok, it is not always a good idea to sit in Tuk Tuks due to the heat and the exhaust pipe of the other cars during traffic jams. I always go home from school by Tuk Tuks because it is safe and cheap. My family always goes around by Tuk Tuks too. I like Tuk Tuks because it is very fast.

Pawat Teetipsatit

Thailand has much transportation, for example bus but in Thai, we called it “Rod May”. This car has many things different from the other countries. But in the other countries they do not say “Rod May”, just Thailand says it. Sometimes, foreigners say a bus. In Thailand, we used the Rod May more than the other transportations. Because it is easy and a little bit fast and when you go in the Rod May, they will have a people keep your money and they will give you a ticket. In the other countries, they will have a machine and you put your money inside the machine and the machine will give you a ticket. In Thailand, if you pay the money, you must keep this ticket until you get down from Rod May. The history of Rod May is : first we used the horse to put the car and not used the fuel. “Pra Ya Pak Dee Na Ra Saed” (Mr. Lerd Sedtabud) is the first people that began the enterprise in 2450 (1916). And he thinks it is not a good thing as there is not service for everybody in 2456 (1922). He has the idea to have motor on Rod May. In 1971, a study of Bangkok traffic by a team of German experts recommended merging together the 24 private and two state bus companies, a total of 3 773 buses, into a single entity, to be operated by a private company or by the state, or alternatively by a joint private and state enterprise. The team also suggested that if no private company was able to handle the merger, the government should do it by buying all the buses and not renewing licenses which were due to expire on September 30, 1975.
Water transportation : we have taxi boats.

By Saipanya School, Bangkok

Sirawan Fuengfoosin
Chaturaporn Charoenwalrawat

Doing a similar job to the taxi is Thailand's ubiquitous tuk-tuk. So named because of the sound of their engine, these are motorized rickshaws and are popular amongst tourists for their novelty value. They are occasionally faster than taxis in heavy traffic as weaving in and out is easier, but generally about the same or slower. Without any luggage, 3 people can fit into one fairly comfortably - it's possible to fit more in but it gets a bit cramped. Fares always have to be bargained for, and it is sometimes possible to bargain tuk-tuk drivers down to less than the taxi flagfall of 35 Baht when they make good value. Most times, they offer no savings over a taxi except perhaps if you're good at bargaining and can speak good Thai. The initial price they quote is likely to be well over the going rate, but it's easy to bargain it down to a more reasonable one if you know roughly the equivalent taxi fare.

No shortage of taxis in the city that never sleeps. They're cheap and available virtually 24 hours a day. Meter taxis now predominate, but you may have to politely ask them to switch on the meter to save negotiating later. They charge a minimum of 35 Baht, for the first 3 kilometres, then around 5 Baht for every following kilometre. Since taxis are cheap and the drivers work all hours in traffic that is legendary, a small tip is often appreciated.

Green Mini Bus : This is a private joint-venture bus. Ticket fare is 5.50 Baht for the entire route.
Red Bus : This is a new bus service, providing better ventilation with electric fans. Ticket fare is 6 Baht for the entire route.
Blue Bus : En route on Express Transit Authority (ETA) Express Way, ticket fare is 7 Baht for the entire route.
Euro Bus : A fully air-conditioned bus service. Ticket fare ranges from 12-24 Baht depending on the distance.

The Initial System Project, the Blue Line (Hua Lamphong-Bang Sue Section), which has now been named the M.R.T. Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line, first entered the public consciousness when H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej graciously designed H.R.H. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to lay the foundation stone at Hua Lamphong Railway Station on 19 November 1996. Later, on 9 August 1999, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej graciously bestowed the name "Chaloem Ratchamongkhon" on this, Thailand's first underground line. The name means "Celebration of the Auspicious Kingship".

Sky Train
If you only have 3 or 4 days, the sky train will get you to many of the city's main attractions. Major shopping malls, Chatuchak weekend market, and even the river are accessible by sky train. So if you're new to Bangkok, it's a great way to find your way around and see a large part of what the city has to offer. Trains run every 3-6 minutes from 6.00-12.00 midnight daily (last train around 11:50). At peak hours (7am-9am and 5pm-8pm), they run every 2 minutes. They cost 10-40 Baht, depending on distance and include free BTS Shuttle Buses which link various routes to the system. Great deals with unlimited 1 to 3 day travel passes exist. If you're planning to stay longer or return to the city later, buy 10 trips for 250 Baht, valid at any time.

There are different types of boats offering different services, and some of the express boats only stop at the main piers. If you simply want to cross the river, there are ferry boats which cost 2 Baht available from almost every boat landing. River taxis operate up and down the river and cost around 6 Baht (Ruan Duen) depending on the journey and a special Chao Phraya Tourist Boat offers a day pass for 75 Baht with departures every 30 minutes from Sathorn Pier. On the opposite bank to the Grand Palace (Thonburi side), there's a network of large canals (klongs) which offer a glimpse of local life. Hire a boat for a peek. If you want a more informative visit, take a group or private tour. Water taxis also operate along some of the main klongs on the Bangkok side of the along Klong Saenseap.

Though road travel is extremely well organized in Thailand, train travel is still the most comfortable way to get around for those who do not like to fly. Train travel is cheap (about the same as travel by bus), fast (though typically some 50% slower than buses) and reliable (by large trains arrive with tolerable delays of around 5% of the travel times). This may well be challenged in 2004 with the opening of several "low cost" airlines providing domestic and regional services. Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station on Rama IV Road is the central hub for all rail travel in Thailand. From there, railway lines reach out much as a star to all four directions. When travelling from the south to the north, or the east to the west, one will not only have to pass through Hua Lamphong Station but also change trains as all lines end in Bangkok.







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