As is to be expected from the most visited city in the world in 2019 (as per the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index), Bangkok is full of exciting and intriguing attractions. Crafting the perfect itinerary can be a challenge for some, or the most fun part of planning a trip! But things are changing up in the Big Mango, with the advent of many Bangkok hop on hop off bus tours offering tourists a new way to explore. This guide will give a brief overview on how you can make the most of what’s on the market for a fun and memorable trip.
See what you want, when you want
While a convenient and hassle-free way to discover a new destination, traditional tours can feel too restrictive for some. The appeal of being able to control your itinerary and explore on your own terms is clear. With our hyper-personalized world already affecting traveller tastes and purchasing habits, this was a natural progression. Tourists looking for the best-suited Bangkok hop on and hop off provider can pick and choose from the main players at their leisure. Additional tip: Most providers have special deals for 24 – 48 or 72 hour passes, along with special flash sales and other value-add offers. It always pays to double-check to nab the best possible deal.
The main players
- Siam Hop: Featuring two types of bright orange buses and guided commentary, they offer a wide range of themed routes that criss-cross throughout Bangkok. With a whopping 57 stops in total, tourists can choose from one of four recommended routes. These include a heritage route, CBD route, entertainment route and shopping route with a one day pass costing THB 799/adult. Their heritage route passes by the hotel.
- Elephant Gogo: Double-decker buses in cheerful red are the signature of this provider. Guests can choose from indoor or open-air seating while listening to audio-guides available in 8 languages. One day tickets start at THB 800/adult.Their main route covers the following 16 stops:
- Mahanakhon Skywalk
- Patpong Night market
- Siam Paragon
- MBK Center
- Samyan Mitrtown/Wat Hualumphong
- Golden Buddha Temple/Wat Traimit
- Chinatown (Yaowarat)
- Dragon Temple Kammalawat (Leng Noei Yi)
- Loha Prasat
- Khaosan Road
- Giant Swing
- Wat Pho
- Sanam Luang
- Wat Rakhang Kositaram
- Wat Arun
- Giants City Tour: “The original sightseeing tour of Bangkok” offers day passes starting from THB 850/adult. GPS-based audio-guides are available in 4 languages. Their buses boast an eye-catching “yak”/Thai giant design and run from 8:45 am onwards. Their route covers these 15 stops:
- Siam Paragon
- Hua Lamphong
- Chinatown (Yaowarat)
- Little India (Pahurat)
- Chao Phraya river walk
- Museum Siam/Wat Pho/Grand Palace
- Giant Swing/Tiger God Shrine (+ Sanam Luang)
- National Theater
- Banglamphu/Khaosan road
- Wat Benjamabophit/Marble Temple
- Ratchadamnern Boxing Stadium
- Golden Mount (Wat Saket)/Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall
- Patpong & Silom
Make your own Bangkok hop on hop off
Like the freedom of the “hop on, hop off” concept but not quite ready yet to spend most of your Bangkok trip on a myriad of buses? There are other options available with the city’s other transportation options. All it takes is a little bit extra planning and research!
- Chao Phraya Tourist Boat: While single trips cost THB 60/person, there are day-passes available for THB 200/person. This allows tourists full use of the boat service that runs every 30 minutes from 9 piers along the Chao Phraya river. From 9 am – 8:30 pm, day pass holders could technically tick off the key cultural and shopping attractions of their choosing.
- Key cultural attractions: Wat Arun, Chinatown, the Flower Market, The Grand Palace & Wat Pho
- Key shopping attractions: Tha Maharaj, IconSiam, Lhong 1919, Asiatique (via Sathon pier)
- BTS day pass: While there are no current day pass options, there is another choice for those with plans to stay in Bangkok longer or return in the future. Investing in a standard Rabbit card means you can keep refilling your balance and even use it in lieu of cash payment at selected businesses. Purchase your Rabbit card at all BTS ticket offices. They cost THB 200 inclusive of THB 100 initial stored value. There are special options available for students and senior citizens as well. The BTS runs through most notable neighbourhoods in Bangkok, making it a convenient way to see the city without being stuck in traffic jams. Try to avoid the crowds of commuters during morning and evening rush hours though!
- MRT day pass: Unfortunately, there is no day-pass option available for using the underground train. However, by planning your routes carefully and comparing coverage with the boat network and the BTS skytrain, you can make the most of every trip. The MRT-BTS interchange stations are MRT Sukhumvit (BTS Asoke), MRT Silom (BTS Sala Daeng), MRT Chatuchak Park (BTS Mo Chit) and MRT Phahon Yothin (MRT Ha Yaek Lat Phrao).
Stay where all the action is
All planning for the perfect Bangkok hop on hop off experience aside, don’t forgot to book the best Bangkok hotel for all this sight-seeing! Guests staying at ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai can truly make the most of a convenient location and comfortable yet utterly stylish accommodation. An added bonus: the hotel is nearby most stops for key Bangkok buses offering the hop on hop off tours. But back to the hotel: 215 rooms and three room types ensure a suitable fit for the needs of every traveller. The striking outdoor rainbow pool and ample dining options at Streats Bangkok Khaosan add to the holiday convenience. Sign up for free to become an ALL (Accor Live Limitless) member today to be eligible for members-only rates and special perks.