There are many means of transportation as we all know. Lets assume you are a seasoned traveler, so you can setup a flight inbound. Airport is a great place to start, and lets save some headache, cash, and raise the safety bar from transport experts just waiting at the exit like hungry sharks. Get through the immigration point, you have your bags in hand, running shoes on, a bit jet lagged, this will help. Head right out the front, look for the sign Sky Train, the first safe and low cost way direct into Bangkok, and no traffic problems at all. It is scheduled to open 100% by this August 2010.
By Sky Train you will go downtown Bangkok to near Sukumvit road. You can get off just about anywhere desired. Find your destination point, hotel location or other. Plot a course, and look up the Sky train stop nearest your destination. You can also e-mail your hotel in advance, ask the right questions, away you go, almost a seasoned expert at this point, and a survivor. Taxis are every where. They start at 35 baht/ approximate 1 us dollar for about 5 minutes, or 2 kilometers. Sometimes just nice to take an air conditioned break. He will ask you in Thai Ba-Ni’, which means where do you want to go. Best to have a hotel name, or card with a map on the back.
Inner City travel. My favorite is the Sky Train, built back about year 2000. From the upper level, not only is it cheap around the main city, but good for the budget, one way about $1.50 US Dollar, or 50 baht. Not only do you stay above the city and traffic, you get a bit of a view, and notice tall buildings which will help get your bearing straight for next time. Also within the city, you can take a 3 wheeled Tuk-Tuk. Now they are not cheap, start at 40 baht, but you have to experience this once in Bangkok, night is best, much cooler, a short distance is advised.
General safety tips, passports are worth gold, there are serious pick pocket folks about in the crowded malls. Be smart. Gold necklace also a nice grab and go item, easy to change to baht, just use common sense. Food is great, every where you go there is food. The best, is the wide range of travel cost from simple guest houses, to 5 star hotels located everywhere. You can travel extremely reasonable for those on a tight budget. Enjoy your travels to Bangkok, be smart be safe.