Is Bangkok Really The World’s Second Most Congested City?

Bangkok’s traffic system is certainly congested.

We’ve all been unceremoniously stuck at the Asoke intersection for what feels like hours on end, or taken 3 hours to travel the 25 kilometres to Impact Arena for a gig on a weekday evening.

But a new study has found that not only is Bangkok the second-most congested city in the world, its traffic moves slower than anywhere else at its peak congestion hours.

The study, conducted by navigation firm TomTom, found that on average, Bangkok’s traffic moved 57 percent slower than a clear road situation, according to Mashable.

It was just pipped to the number 1 post by Mexico City, where traffic moves an average 59 percent slower.

But while traffic in Mexico is worse in the mornings – peaking at 97 percent slower than a clear road situation – Bangkok’s evening rush hour takes the proverbial biscuit by travelling a mighty 114 percent slower in its peak hours.

That’s pretty slow.

According to the TomTom figures, Bangkokians can expect to spend 61 extra minutes per day travelling compared to an hour of driving on a clear road. That adds up to a whopping 232 hours of extra driver per year.

The most congested day Bangkok has experienced in the past year was on Thursday 30 April 2015.

Hate the #traffic love the city #bangkok at #dusk #picoftheday

A photo posted by Srflyer (@shartzie) on

But while it’s impossible to deny Bangkok has a serious problem with traffic congestion, many of the city’s residents are questioning whether it’s really as bad as the survey suggests.

Other cities in the region seem, at least anecdotally, to experience far more severe traffic jams on a day-to-day basis: Jakarta and Manila are the most obvious contenders.

But the only other city to break the top ten was Chengdu in China, which experiences 41 percent slower traffic than a clear road situation.

Here’s the TomTom top ten congested cities for 2016:

congested cities

What do you think? Is Bangkok’s positioning fair?


Featured image is by Mark Fischer and used under a Creative Commons licence