While songtaews in Bangkok are not as common as they are in Chiang Mai, many areas of the city do still have them. In Bangkok, instead of being free-roaming like many in Chiang Mai, however, most songtaews run around certain neighborhoods and are used by the locals to get to work or the shops, or for Thai children to get to school.
Traveling in songtaews in Bangkok is just as cheap as in Chiang Mai, however, with a typical trip being 10-20 baht (33-67 cents) depending on how far you go.
I don’t see many songtaews around my area of northern Bangkok, as I live close to the skytrain and underground stations and on a major bus route. We do occasionally get one running up my soi on its way somewhere but, this weekend, I saw more songtaews in one place than I’ve ever seen before. Them being in my neighborhood, it was even more odd.
There’s a parking lot next to my apartment building, which the owners rent out to businesses who need to temporarily park their vehicles. That’s why, on any given day, there are Coca-Cola trucks, milk vans and, occasionally, even taxis with new ones coming or going every day. When Bangkok flooded in 2010, the parking lot filled with water and, at that point, we even had motor boats sailing through it.
Last weekend, it was Bangkok songtaews that needed somewhere to park and, from what I could see, these songtaews were brand new ones. All shiny and polished and bright yellow, which was again unusual as most songtaews in Bangkok are blue or red.
Yellow or not, from up above, where I took this photograph, these Bangkok songtaews looked quite spectacular and really kind of cool.
By the way, Chiang Mai is the place where most people take songtaews as they are the easiest and cheapest forms of transportation. If you’re planning on heading there, don’t miss reading about how to take a songtaew in Chiang Mai before you do. It’ll make your travel around the city that much easier.