Walking is an ideal and relatively safe way to explore Bangkok, but be aware that the weather will be hot and the traffic extremely heavy, making crossing major roads an adventure. The best bet is to use a mass transit option to reach your district of choice before you wander around. Early mornings are best for longer walks – it’s cooler. Politely ignore touts.
The Skytrain and underground rail system (MRT) have made a huge difference to getting around downtown Bangkok and will deliver you safely to the major shopping, sightseeing and entertainment districts with little need to negotiate choked roads. Discount passes are available for both services, but they are not compatible.
There is no shortage of taxis in Bangkok and if you must go to your destination by road, take a cab rather than a tuk-tuk. The tuk-tuk might be iconic, but scams abound. Cabs are metered but make sure your driver turns it on at the start of the trip – and be prepared for rush-hour gridlock.
Bangkok has the busy Chao Phraya River at its heart and is well served by boat traffic of every shape, size and purpose. A public “express” boat runs a 21-kilometre route with different stopping-off points depending on service. The central pier is close to Saphan Taksin Skytrain station.