Views #1518 | Intermediate (B1)

Bangkok Transportation - Part 1

Jerri talks about the many different ways to travel around Bangkok.

Todd: Okay, so, I'm here with Jerri, and we are in Bangkok, Thailand, and she's Thai. And I thought we would talk about the interesting transportation systems of Bangkok.

Jerri: Yes, very interesting.

Todd: Yeah, Bangkok has so many ways to get around. So, the most common, of course, is the BTS.

Jerri: Right.

Todd: This is the over rail train, right?

Jerri: Yes.

Todd: And then there's the MRT? Okay, can you talk about them?

Jerri: Yeah, so, these two are the new forms of transportation in Thailand. Well, not so new. I think about ten years now we've been having them. But they're probably the most common way to travel into the city. The sky train station is now expanding quite fast, so it's going to, like, other parts that are outside of Bangkok for the outer cities - for people from the outer city to travel into the main business district areas. Yeah, and the price range from 30, 35 baht to, like, 100 baht depending on how many stops you have to take. But it's becoming more and more popular, and so the rush hour, it's quite - it gets quite hectic. I think it can be regulated a little bit better. But I think, yeah, they're working on that.

Todd: Yeah, I work in Tokyo and Bangkok both, and when I - when I first came here, the trains were empty. The BTS...

Jerri: Right.

Todd: ...and now they're like Tokyo.

Jerri: Yes.

Todd: They're on the same level of packed-ness. It's crazy.

Jerri: Right. Yes, yes.

Todd: Okay, so then how about the world-famous Thai taxis and tuk-tuks?

Jerri: Okay, yes, for sure. So, I'll start with the tuk-tuks. The tuk-tuks are probably the most interesting way to get around town. You see them a lot in Bangkok because they attract tourists. So, you can get them - yeah, they usually - the thing to be careful with is that there's not really a fixed price, so you can get a little bit...

Todd: Scammed.

Jerri: Scammed, yeah.

Todd: Yeah.

Jerri: But, yeah. So, I would recommend just asking the locals, like, how- how much would it cost, like, from to get here to there, so you know, like, a little bit about the price range. But if you're - if you're here in Thailand for the first time, it's definitely the way to travel around. You get the wind in your face and, yeah, it's really nice. And then the taxi meters are also - there's more and more every day. And, yeah, it's - it's - it's, like, any other country, I guess. It's air-conditioned, and then the meter starts from 35 Thai baht.

Todd: It's true. It is like any other country, but I would say they're very unique in their colors. So...

Jerri: Oh, right. Yes, yes, yes.

Todd: ...they have the very beautiful Technicolor that you only see in Thailand. Yeah.

Jerri: So, it goes from pink, green, bright-yellow, and they're all very bright, so...

Todd: And orange, correct?

Jerri: Yes, yes, yes.

Todd: And they look so beautiful, actually. Yeah. Actually, going back to the tuk-tuks, one thing that's - I think - is interesting is that, obviously, they're used for tourists, but also local Thais I see use them kind of to transport a lot of bags and stuff. So, like, if they need to move a bunch of stuff...

Jerri: Yes.

Todd: bags, or they need, like, I don't know, supplies for a restaurant or something like that...

Jerri: Right.

Todd:'ll see tuk-tuks moving things around.

Jerri: Yeah, absolutely. And there's like different - different tuk-tuk sizes. So, some of them are - are more for like transportation, as you mentioned, and then we have more of, like, the bigger - similar to tuk-tuks, they're called songthaews, which you see in, like, the small little streets in certain neighborhoods that people need - just need to get to the main road.

Todd: Can - now, can you describe what a songthaew looks like?

Jerri: Yes, absolutely. It's like a truck but with a big open area in the back for people to hold onto the rails, so, yeah. I'm not sure if you can imagine the picture but - in a tuk-tuk - you get to sit - it fits about three people max...

Todd: Yeah.

Jerri: ..but songthaew - the back, the open-air area fits about 20 people.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

business district


People travel into the main business district.

A business district is the financial and commercial section of a city. Notice the following:

  1. Wall Street is in the business district of New York City.
  2. During lunch hour in the business district, you will see many people wearing suits.

rush hour


So the rush hour gets hectic.

Rush hour is when there is a lot more traffic than usual. Notice the following:

  1. During holidays, rush hour traffic sometimes doesn't move.
  2. Sometimes people work late to avoid rush hour.

same level


They're on the same level.

The same level is when two things are very similar to each other. Notice the following:

  1. The population of China is on the same level as India.
  2. The college entrance exam was the same level of difficulty as his job interview.

attract tourists


Because they attract tourists.

When a place attracts tourists, tourists like to go there. Notice the following:

  1. The beautiful beaches attract tourists and become crowded.
  2. I think that new fusion restaurant will attract tourists.

fixed price


It's not really a fixed price.

A fixed price is what everyone pays all the time. Notice the following:

  1. The bus charges a fixed price whether you ride for one stop or 20 stops.
  2. The zoo charged a fixed price for children.

price range


Tell me about the price range.

A price range is the lowest price to the highest price. Notice the following:

  1. The price range of a taxi ride depends on the distance you go.
  2. What is the price range at that restaurant?

Vocabulary Quiz

business district • rush hour • same level
attract tourists • fixed price • price range
  1. Traffic is very slow during .
  2. Everyone paid the same for their meal.
  3. The warm beaches from all over the world.
  4. He is rich, so we are not on the with money.
  5. The of shirts depends on the brand.
  6. I work downtown in the .
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Related Video - One Minute English

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Video 1518
How often do you use public transport?
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1518 Bangkok Transport
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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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