Our original plan was to go from BKK to Amphawa, but we thought we had to go through Bangkok and that we would not be able to get through. Is that true, or is there an easy way to do that safely by train, bus, or taxi? We would rather not change all our plans, if possible.
Do you have an idea of how much the taxi fare would be from BKK to Samut Songhkram? Also, is it possible to take a train to that area from Bang Sue (to avoid going to Hualamphong) or a bus directly from BKK?
Anne, the only train going there is the one you catch at Wong Wian Yai in Thonburi (which would be well clear of the trouble areas), with the connection in Ban Laem. There is no need to go to Hualamphong. You can't get to Samut Songkhram from there.
If you go to Hualomphong and head south (from your earlier post), "the closest you can get is Phetchaburi." If you did that, you'd have to go into the areas that you're trying to avoid, take a longer train trip than necessary, and then catch a bus from Phetchaburi to SS.
Otherwise, you can get a direct bus there from the southern bus terminal, and as mentioned in that same earlier post by Mikethediver, you can get a bus from the airport directly to the southern bus station.
Thanks Tilapia. I did not realize that we could get to Thonburi or the Southern bus stn without having to go through Bangkok. Are you sure about that? I took it for granted that we would have to pass through Bangkok city to get to the other side, and spent a marathon weekend trying to plan for Chiang Mai, which was not on our original itinerary - then we read that there was a possibility of trouble in CM, so I came back to our original plan for the first weekend in Amphawa and thought I'd check on this. This trip is certainly not going as we have been planning for months. We are still uncertain about what we want to do after Amphawa, but at least we have this weekend somewhat planned.
We just want to be able to travel with the least amount of stress at this point.
The taxi fare from Suvarnabhumi to Amphawa should be 800-1000Baht.
If you want to save money and do some adventuring:
Get Bus Nr. 558 from Suvarnabhumi Transport Centre to Central Rama2 for 35 Baht.
Get a motorcycle Taxi to Wat Singh Railway Station for 20 Baht.
Take the Mahachai Train mentioned by Tilapia; currently for free.
All you need to know about that train here:
Remember that you have to cross the river.