Transportation in Thailand
Coming to Thailand for teacher training certification courses will expose you to a number of traveling options easily available here. Bangkok is the hub of all international and domestic flights.Bangkok is the main entry point for most visitors to Thailand and the second largest terminal building in the world. It is well connected to almost parts of the world as well as to its own cities. The TESOL trainees can be easily connected to all airports in Thailand and most major regional and global destinations.
If you are choosing Chiang Mai as your TEFL program location then you would be happy to know that Chiang Mai too is well-connected to Bangkok, Samui, Phuket, Mai Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Mae Sot, Phitsanuliok and Sukhothai by domestic flights.The city supports many international flights as well along with direct flights connecting with Singapore, Taipei, Kumming (China), Vientiane and LuangPrabang (Laos), and Yangoon and Mandalay (Myanmar). The airport is only 2-3km from the city centre.
Once you have chosen TESOL course Phuket, you must know about their transport system. Phuket International Airport is the second busiest airport in Thailand. Millions of passengers each year visit Phuket to enjoy a wide range of tourist services, natural beauty of the world famous Phuket beaches and fascinating tourist attractions. It plays an important role in promoting travel and tourism in the southern region as well as throughout the kingdom.
In Pattaya there is a local airport with a small local airstrip with limited facilities. While choosing Pattaya as your TESOL location, one generally arrives at Bangkok Airport and from there it is about 3/4 hours' drive from there. The airport now has international status but was formerly a very busy airbase during the Vietnam War era and indeed played a hand in Pattaya's rise.
The licensed taxi services all over in Thailand provide comfortable cars that can take up to four or five people and their luggage. For having ESL career here the local Thai cabs make it comfortable for the English teachers who can easily access all parts within each city. They come in different colours though the green-yellow and red-blue ones are the most common. The air-con cabs are the quickest and most comfortable ways to get around.
For the TESOL trainees from Bangkok's Northern bus terminal (also known as Mo Chit), there are a variety of luxury buses that make the 12 hour journey to Chiang Mai or Phuket or Pattaya. Classes range from rough non-air-conditioned buses to air-conditioned VIP buses with reclining seats. Best to buy your ticket at the Mo Chit bus station directly to ensure that you get the bus that you want and the right price.
Trains are the most common means of transport in Thailand especially in Bangkok and mostly in demand by people for traveling around the city. In order to visit the TEFL schools for teaching English, there are a variety of trains available. The Special Express trains having two daily evening departures, provide 1st class private cabins with a sink and individually controlled air-conditioning, and 2nd class sleeper with or without air-con. Rapid trains and Express diesel rail cars offer 2nd and 3rd class seating, with two departures each in the morning and evening. These are generally available in Bangkok and run to Chiang Mai. Public transport within urban Chiang Mai is by songtaew (essentially converted pickups with bench seating) samlor (Pedi cabs or tricycles) and tuk-tuk (motorized tricycles). Hoards of red songtaews ply the streets looking for passengers and this is very popular amongst our candidates who come for TEFL programs here. Just flag one down, state your destination and if it's going that way, you can ride for a few baht (usually around 10-60 baht, depending on the distance). Tuk-tuks work on a charter basis at around 30-60 baht per trip. After midnight, tuk-tuks charge a flat rate of around 50 baht, no matter the distance. Samlors cost around 20-40 baht for most trips.
If the TESOL trainees want to rent a vehicle, cars, 4WDs and minivans are readily available at several locations throughout the city. Be sure that it is covered by insurance - ask to see the documents and carry a photocopy with you while driving.
The TESOL students will generally find minibus has a service along Pattaya Bay at Bt5 / person / trip. There is no bus stop. Just stop it and hop in. To get off, just ring the bell. The fare to Nakhua on the North is Bt10 while it is Bt30 across the hill to Chomtien Beach. To the hilltop is Bt40.
Motorbike is a convenient way to explore around in Thailand while taking the TESOL teacher training in Thailand or teaching English in Thailand. TEFL candidates must keep in mind that a driving license is needed. Wearing a helmet is required by law. Insurance is recommended. Beware of cheats. Check the bike for malfunction, brake, scratches, and damages and make sure they are recorded and you have a copy of it. Contact Tourist Police if you are cheated. Motor Bikes are availability at beach road vendors. Rates: Bt150 - 600 / day for 100 cc to 1100 cc bikes.
Bicycles can be an enjoyable mode of transport for the young TEFL trainees while coming here for the TEFL certification programs and they are available from street vendor at Bt100 / day or Bt20 / hr.