While some might say Thailand’s busy, bustling big cities are best navigated with your feet firmly on the ground, there’s nothing like a fast and furious scoot on two, three or four wheels through the heavy traffic to plunge you feet first into the heart of city life. In true Thai style, there are many different modes of transport in this crazy country of contradictions – everywhere you go there are extremes to behold – this is where Buddhist monks and lady boys coexist happily; where people eat the freshest green curries and healthy stir-fries and follow them with fat-laden syrupy desserts!
As with all hot, Asian countries, it’s easy to rent a small motor-scooter in Thailand, whether you’re on a city break or a Thailand beach holiday. Quick and convenient for snaking through traffic jams, they can navigate even the narrowest side streets, making city sightseeing very convenient. And on the islands they come in handy for finding hidden coves and beaches that regular bus and tour routes don’t go to. However they are not for the fainthearted and should only be tackled by experienced riders – and make sure you wear a helmet!
One of the best ways to get around Bangkok is in Thailand’s trademark mode of transport, the Tuk Tuk. These three-wheeling dinky-cars have become a tourist attraction in the country’s capital and therefore, it’s always best to negotiate the taxi fare with the driver before jumping in, as they can hike the prices up for foreigners. Being open-sided, fumes from the heavy traffic can also make travelling in built up areas uncomfortable – but they are great for getting from A to B and a lot of fun!
However, if the incessant traffic and noise gets overwhelming, why not take a long tail boat ride along the vast Chao Phraya river? There is a small pier next to the Shangri la Hotel where boats can be rented, and plenty of places along the river bank to disembark and explore, including the temples of Wat Arun and Wat Rakhang.