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Airport link Is HUGE

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Airport Rail LinkThe new airport link is hugely important. Bangkok has grown a lot, and having a modern airport farther out is essential. And to make it work for millions of travelers there must be modern ways to commute into the downtown areas.

But this is much more. Suvarnabhumi is as good an airport as any I’ve seen, and the BTS skytrain might be the best system of it’s kind in what might be the best public transportation infrastructure anywhere. Both are being expanded, although the airport expansion ran into a bit of bureaucratic slowdown.

This really should be a source of pride for Thais. Many wealthier nations have failed to plan, invest in and build great public transport systems. Bangkok continues to invest in transportation, and really is the premeir hub in Southeast Asia as a direct result of it.




Moreover, Bangkok is not a city choked on fumes and avoided at all cost like some of the other regional megalopolises in the world. Sure traffic is still rough, and there is still too much pollution in the air and waterways, but that commitment to improvement means optimism for the future is warranted.

Thai traveling

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Traveling in Bangkok is great. Not if you’re driving a big vehicle of course, but if you need to get around the city you have a world-class infrastructure to take advantage of. The tickets for BTS (elevated “skytrain”) and MRT (subway system) are relatively cheap, and the service is reliable and convenient. The upcoming new lines represent the city’s ongoing commitment to providing mass transit to the population, and shows a deep understanding of the importance of choosing and executing great public works projects.

Traveling to Thailand from the United States is another matter altogether. Tickets are currently ranging from about $1500 – $2000 US. And there are less choices available for flights, as airlines cut back on every possible flight that’s not sufficiently oversold. The direct flight from New York to Bangkok that I was looking forward to taking has been discontinued too. It’s not a situation conducive to tourism.