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Author Topic: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok  (Read 556 times)

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Ratsima

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Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« on: July 18, 2018, 04:14:18 PM »

My wife and I will make our monthly visit to Cha Am this weekend. This trip we need to stop in Bangkok to take care of some business. We always take the Eastern Ring Road having found that it is quicker and less stressful than other routes.

Neither one of us is willing to drive in downtown Bangkok. The business is at the Land Office in Phra Nakhon.

What we plan to do this time is something we've done before: Park at Mega Bang Na, take their free bus to the Udomsak BTS station and take the BTS into town and vice versa. From there we'll continue on to Cha Am.

Anyone have a better idea?
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Coolkorat

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2018, 07:36:34 PM »

I really enjoyed driving in BKK: like any city, if you have SatNav (or better, know where you're going), city driving is just a series of local events: if you know the 'events', it's easy to deal with them. But I would not recommend it or do it regularly!

I understand your point! Why wrestle with BKK traffic when someone else can deal with it.

That's a complex route I really don't understand, but I think you probably have as good a "workaround" as is possible! If you've got time to make a graphic...!
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Ratsima

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 07:48:23 PM »

We used to try and drive in Bangkok but we've had enough disasters that we've both vowed, "Never again".

Last time we were on the Don Mueang Expressway. We mistakenly got off and ended up on the service road below the tollway. The SatNav thought we were still on the elevated highway. The routing it gave made no sense. We finally parked the car and walked until we found someone who could explain how to get out.

Never again.
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happylarry

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2018, 08:31:40 PM »

Couple of times that I got lost in Bangkok my wife just got out and got into a taxi and I followed close behind...lol
HL
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caller

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 09:41:18 PM »

What we plan to do this time is something we've done before: Park at Mega Bang Na, take their free bus to the Udomsak BTS station and take the BTS into town and vice versa. From there we'll continue on to Cha Am.

Anyone have a better idea?

Nope. But Because I know the roads, I would turn off highway 9 onto the Ram intra toll road, signposted Ekkamai (2nd exit after the toll before the Bang Na one) and follow that road until you see the exit to Ekkamai, then as you come down from the tollway, just continue to follow the road you join to it's end, where it hit's Sukhumvit, do a left and you are at Ekkamai BTS, take the first u-turn and double back on yourself and park at Gateway, which is directly linked to Ekkamai BTS.

When you turn left into Sukhumvit  from Gateway, go past Thonglo BTS and then immediately after you pass Phrom Phong BTS, turn left into Soi24 (traffic lights at junction). Follow to the end and you have no option but to turn left on to the Rama IV road for no more than a couple of hundred metres, giving you time to get over to the right to turn right at the lights immediately in front of you. When you turn right, about half a km down and past another set of lights you will physically see the tollway you will turning right onto (again controllled by traffic lights). You are now at Port. Once up on the toll road keep to the left as your exit is immediately ahead, maybe 200-300 metres. Turn left at that junction, follow the toll road to and over the river and you are in effect on highway 35 that will take you past the junction with highway 9 and onto Cha am.

Easy - lol!

I stay in Thonglor when in Bangkok and take the ram intra tollway to and from highway 9, when heading to Korat. When I'm not taking the bus from Hua Hin to Bkk, my drive to and from Thonglor is the route I described from Gateway, apart from the fact I turn off Sukhumvit at Thonglo BTS.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 10:10:11 PM by caller »
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Ratsima

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2018, 05:41:41 AM »

Couple of times that I got lost in Bangkok my wife just got out and got into a taxi and I followed close behind...lol
HL

I understand. Once I made the mistake of turning at Rama IX Hospital instead of Rama IX road. We got hopelessly lost trying to recover. Finally, my wife got out of the car and flagged down a taxi. The drive was kind enough to show us how to get back on track.
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Ratsima

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2018, 05:45:29 AM »

Nope. But Because I know the roads, I would turn off highway 9 onto the Ram intra toll road, signposted Ekkamai (2nd exit after the toll before the Bang Na one) and follow that road until you see the exit to Ekkamai, then as you come down from the tollway, just continue to follow the road you join to it's end, where it hit's Sukhumvit, do a left and you are at Ekkamai BTS, take the first u-turn and double back on yourself and park at Gateway, which is directly linked to Ekkamai BTS.

I understand this. It's the route my sister-in-law uses. Trouble is, you make one wrong turn (or fail to make a turn) and you're SOL.

I'm tempted to try it, though. This time we're on a tight time schedule, so I guess we'll opt for the method we know. Next time….
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StephenP

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2018, 05:25:21 PM »

If I have business in Bangkok I drive into Bangkok on the Sirat Expressway and get off at the Silom exit and make my way to Purita Service Apartments near Sathorn which is about a 5 minute drive from the expressway. From Purita Serviced Apartments it is a 5 minute walk to BTS Surasak.

To then head to Cha-am from here you get back on Sirat Expressway.
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Roger

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2018, 08:51:41 AM »

Myself I stay at King Keaw Rd close to the Airport and take a Taxi.  ;)  (an expensive but stress free trip that way). My alternative would be park at Suvanabhumi and take the Sky Train.

Ratsima if you know that route, that's best for you. Re. SatNav, how good is it generally in BKK and in English ? I don't think I'd want to rely on SatNav myself.

Caller you know your way around. I wouldn't want to try that route ! I'm sure I'd end up following a Taxi like HL.

Stephen your route sounds simple if you know those roads - is it OK to park at 'Purita' and what does it cost ?

Re. BKK I take the view that the traffic is so slow and the congestion so bad with most of the road signs without continuity and in Thai - I don't want to try. IMO unless you need to enter BKK frequently, stick with your own 'compromise'.



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Ratsima

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2018, 12:39:50 PM »

For the uninitiated, driving in Bangkok has many pitfalls.

SatNav/GPS - This seems like it would be great, but with the tall buildings and elevated highways and BTS, it’s often hard to get a decent satellite signal. If you’re using a phone and there’s no satellite signal it will use WiFi/Cellular/BlueTooth to fix your position. This is slow and not very accurate. So, by the time your phone tells you to turn, you may have already passed the intersection.

Another problem with navigating by phone is that both Google and Apple maps contain major errors. Once we were trying to find a house in a Moo Baan near Hua Hin Google guided us for several kilometers down a rutted muddy road. When we finally reached our destination, the Moo Baan we were seeking was on the other side of a three meter concrete wall. Yes, we had to double back on that miserable "road".

Signs - Sometimes there are too few, sometimes there are too many and sometimes there are none at all. Once we were on the elevated highway trying to get to Sukhumvit. There were many signs pointing the way, until we got to a fork in the highway and there was no sign. Left or Right? We guessed wrong and were lost for an hour.

I don’t know where Din Daeng and Chaengwattana are, but every highway seems to have signs indicating that you’re headed their way. If I ever want to go, I’ll know how to get there.

What you won’t see are any signs for the Eastern Ring Road, even though that’s the term many people use. I really got burned on that the first time I wanted to drive on, oh yeah,  Kanchanaphisek.

Bangkok Driving Etiquette - Well, what could I possibly add?

It turns out my wife’s plans changed, so she took the bus to Bangkok today, without me. Thus our trip to Cha Am will be delayed until tomorrow, with a one night stopover in Chonburi. Yes, it’s work-related.
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dereklev

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2018, 01:01:59 PM »

I have always found Google Maps to be pretty accurate.

The first time I went to the current Immigration location it was accurate within a few metres.

Not bad for a free app ;D
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Coolkorat

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2018, 04:25:23 PM »

For the uninitiated, driving in Bangkok has many pitfalls.

SatNav/GPS - This seems like it would be great, but with the tall buildings and elevated highways and BTS, it’s often hard to get a decent satellite signal. If you’re using a phone and there’s no satellite signal it will use WiFi/Cellular/BlueTooth to fix your position. This is slow and not very accurate. So, by the time your phone tells you to turn, you may have already passed the intersection.

Another problem with navigating by phone is that both Google and Apple maps contain major errors. Once we were trying to find a house in a Moo Baan near Hua Hin Google guided us for several kilometers down a rutted muddy road. When we finally reached our destination, the Moo Baan we were seeking was on the other side of a three meter concrete wall. Yes, we had to double back on that miserable "road".

Signs - Sometimes there are too few, sometimes there are too many and sometimes there are none at all. Once we were on the elevated highway trying to get to Sukhumvit. There were many signs pointing the way, until we got to a fork in the highway and there was no sign. Left or Right? We guessed wrong and were lost for an hour.

I don’t know where Din Daeng and Chaengwattana are, but every highway seems to have signs indicating that you’re headed their way. If I ever want to go, I’ll know how to get there.

What you won’t see are any signs for the Eastern Ring Road, even though that’s the term many people use. I really got burned on that the first time I wanted to drive on, oh yeah,  Kanchanaphisek.

Bangkok Driving Etiquette - Well, what could I possibly add?

It turns out my wife’s plans changed, so she took the bus to Bangkok today, without me. Thus our trip to Cha Am will be delayed until tomorrow, with a one-night stopover in Chonburi. Yes, it’s work-related.

In all seriousness, perhaps there should be an "Uber for drivers"; i.e. a way to hire a private driver who drives you through BKK for a fee. You agree on the meeting point through an app, and the driver has insurance that covers your car and third parties included as part of their cost. The drivers could be rated on a number of criteria, and have reviews of their work.
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happylarry

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2018, 05:04:43 PM »

For the uninitiated, driving in Bangkok has many pitfalls.

SatNav/GPS - This seems like it would be great, but with the tall buildings and elevated highways and BTS, it’s often hard to get a decent satellite signal. If you’re using a phone and there’s no satellite signal it will use WiFi/Cellular/BlueTooth to fix your position. This is slow and not very accurate. So, by the time your phone tells you to turn, you may have already passed the intersection.

Another problem with navigating by phone is that both Google and Apple maps contain major errors. Once we were trying to find a house in a Moo Baan near Hua Hin Google guided us for several kilometers down a rutted muddy road. When we finally reached our destination, the Moo Baan we were seeking was on the other side of a three meter concrete wall. Yes, we had to double back on that miserable "road".

Signs - Sometimes there are too few, sometimes there are too many and sometimes there are none at all. Once we were on the elevated highway trying to get to Sukhumvit. There were many signs pointing the way, until we got to a fork in the highway and there was no sign. Left or Right? We guessed wrong and were lost for an hour.

I don’t know where Din Daeng and Chaengwattana are, but every highway seems to have signs indicating that you’re headed their way. If I ever want to go, I’ll know how to get there.

What you won’t see are any signs for the Eastern Ring Road, even though that’s the term many people use. I really got burned on that the first time I wanted to drive on, oh yeah,  Kanchanaphisek.

Bangkok Driving Etiquette - Well, what could I possibly add?

It turns out my wife’s plans changed, so she took the bus to Bangkok today, without me. Thus our trip to Cha Am will be delayed until tomorrow, with a one night stopover in Chonburi. Yes, it’s work-related.


I have never had a problem with the satelite signals for my garmin satnav except when driving into a carpark......under the BTS seems to make no difference whatsoever.
However regarding your muddy track and concrete wall. Are you aware that if you enter the settings on your satnav you can input various requirements. I set mine up wrong once and put in the most direct route. I then drove to suvarnabhumi airport and on the way back the satnav took me down all sorts of rough tracks through the middle of countryside etc. Simply because that was the most direct route....like the crow flies.....lol.
What I should have inputted was the quickest route which would then take you on all the expressways etc. whichever was deemed to be the fastest way from a-b.
So maybe you had yours set up wrong as well reference the muddy track....lol
HL
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caller

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2018, 09:01:12 PM »

I still prefer to use my brain when navigating, although Bkk can he difficult at times. When I need to double check, google on my phone does what I need.

Din Daeng is between Phaya Thai to the West and Huai Khwang to the East and just north of the Rama IX road. I guess it's signposted as it's the location of a major junction where many people leave and join the Don Muang toll road, primarily to head East or West across Bkk.
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Ratsima

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Re: Driving to Bangkok Without Driving in Bangkok
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2018, 05:48:35 AM »

I have never had a problem with the satelite signals for my garmin satnav except when driving into a carpark......under the BTS seems to make no difference whatsoever.

Well, yeah. A standalone GPS receiver has a much better antenna than the one in a phone. So, I'm not surprised that it gets better reception.In my phone (iPhone 6s), the GPS receiver and antenna are all on the same chip as the cell phone radio. It's a compromise to reduce size and weight that sometimes doesn't produce the best results.

That said, I recently used my iPhone to navigate while hiking through some fairly dense jungle in the hills west of Cha Am and it was spot on.
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