Though Bangkok sprawls across over 1,500 square kilometers, we are fortunate to be located at the heart of the city in the Asok business district. Sukhumvit Road, the largest thoroughfare in Bangkok, runs past the school and extends all the way down the coast of eastern Thailand. Even more convenient, Asok intersection serves as a transportation hub, with stations for both the BTS Skytrain and the MRT subway system.
The central location of the school makes it easy to reach via public or personal transportation, though it’s important to remember that the city’s traffic congestion ranks among the worst in the world. Most teachers tend to live in the areas around the school to avoid the worst of this. When traveling to and from school, or to other locations in Bangkok, several options are available.
The BTS is one of the most convenient modes of transport around the city and there are two BTS stations right near the school: Nana (near Sukhumvit Soi 11) and Asok (near Sukhumvit Soi 19). Walking to the school from either station takes approximately 15 minutes, and motorbike taxis less than five. The school provides free shuttles to the campus from the Manhattan Hotel just inside soi 15 and from Robinson’s Department Store past Terminal 21.
The MRT is Bangkok’s underground subway system. The Sukhumvit MRT Station is the closest to NIST and is linked directly to Asok BTS Station. From Exit 3 (near Terminal 21) or Exit 1 (on Asok Montri Road), it takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to walk to the school. Alternatively, motorbike taxis can be taken for THB 20, and the school provides shuttles between the campus, and Robinson’s Department Store and the Manhattan Hotel.
Taxis are very common in Bangkok and are a direct, inexpensive way to travel. The meter begins at THB 35, and fares rarely climb above THB 100 or 200 unless traveling a great distance. However, the danger in taking a taxi – or any full-size vehicle – is risking traffic jams. For example, taking a taxi to work from the Sukhumvit Soi 31 to 39 area (where quite a few teachers choose to live) can take anywhere from a mere 10 minutes if you leave home between 6:00 to 6:20 AM, to approximately 30 – 45 minutes if you leave later.
Motorbike taxis can be found all over the city and are a great mode of transportation since they can weave through and around traffic. In most cases prices are fixed based on the destination, but can be negotiated for longer distances. From the entrance of Sukhumvit Soi 15 to the school, expect to pay THB 10-15, while it will cost THB 20 from Nana or Asok BTS Stations. It’s important to remember that many drivers do not carry extra helmets, so you may want to carry one with you for safety.
Nana Chard is a khlong (canal) boat pier that is at the end of Soi 15, just a minute or two away from the school. Members of the community who live near Petchaburi Road (a main thoroughfare that runs parallel to Sukhumvit) often find the khlong to be a very convenient and quick way to travel. At the very least, it is a very unique way of getting to school in the mornings, and there are never traffic issues.
If you opt to purchase a motorbike or use a motorbike taxi outside the NIST campus, it’s important to remember that drivers and passengers are legally required to wear helmets. This is particularly important for the Sukhumvit area due to the heavy traffic.
In line with this legal obligation and our own school values, we ask that all members of our community who choose to use a motorbike purchase a helmet or use one of the school helmets that are provided free of charge.
Buying a Vehicle
Some staff members choose to purchase their own bicycles, motorbikes or cars. Motorbikes seem to be much more common than cars, and can be purchased new or used. The Royal Thai Police are often very diligent in stopping motorbikes for more reasons than one, so be sure you have an international or Thai driver’s license on hand, as well as your registration papers, if you plan to purchase one.
- Craigslist: Buy, sell or trade vehicles and motorbikes, as well as household items. It is highly recommended that you carefully examine any purchases before handing over payment.
- Baht & Sold: A regional alternative to Craigslist with an equally large number of categories. Again, be cautious when purchasing vehicles or motorbikes, and ensure that the proper registration documents are included.