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Tuesday 19 February 2019

A new way to discover the delights of Bangkok

No visitor in their right mind would dream of driving in Bangkok; a city where traffic chaos is the norm.

The SkyTrain is a good option but only covers certain parts of the city. 

Taxis are a possibility but the meter can tick over rapidly when trapped in gridlock. The brave might try tuk tuks or motorbike taxis, but now there is a new option for novice sightseers wanting to take in the city's highlights in a more relaxed style.

Siam Hop is a new hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus service that covers many of Bangkok's major tourist sights and entertainment, business and shopping locations.

Siam Hop says its service is designed to help tourists plan trips in Bangkok with comfort and safety, as well as making better use of their time.

There are four different routes available with HOP Heritage having 15 stops taking in landmarks like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.

HOP CBD comprises 10 stops exploring the Silom, Suriwongse and Charoen Krung business districts, while HOP Entertainment has 10 stops and makes its way through the Ratchadaphisek and Ladprao areas.

The final route is HOP Shopping with 14 stops along the Sukhumvit shopping strip.

Tourists can choose from three packages, including a one-day package for 799 Baht ($35), two-day package for 1,300 Baht, and three-day package for 1,700 Baht. Flexibility is provided with the tickets having a validity period of six months.

The Siam Hop app provides useful information on the different routes operated and their schedules, details on tourist attractions in the eight languages of English, Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German and Thai, and updates on hot dining and shopping spots at each location.

Free wifi and USB ports for smartphone charging are also available on the buses, which are air-conditioned, certified by the Department of Land Transport and recommended by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The service would certainly be ideal for first-time visitors nervous about taking taxis or public transport, and also visits some destinations not covered by the SkyTrain. 

Yet to be discovered is how the service will work during one of Bangkok's rain storms, when the city grinds to a standstill.

See for details.

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