Like many big cities, Bangkok suffers from congestion issues and trying to get around by bus or taxi can be a real nightmare sometimes! Fortunately, the BTS and MRT networks provide a fast and efficient way to get around. Don’t get confused with the Boy Band BTS. While the last one is a kind of cool, the first one comes in handy when travelling through Bangkok. The transport systems are ideal for people who want to take a walking tour of Bangkok, as these networks have stations close to most major landmarks in the city.
Getting Around on the BTS
There are just two lines to negotiate, which take travellers high above the road and provide interesting aerial views of the city along the way.
MRT and BTS Average Fares
The average journey costs just 16-59 baht, which is much cheaper than taking a taxi or a tuk-tuk. You can buy tickets at each station using automatic ticket machines. Most of the machines only take 1, 5, 10 baht coins, you make sure that you carry coins with you. Change is also given at the cashier windows, while people who are planning to use the BTS regularly can save time and money by purchasing a special travel card known as a Rabbit Card. One-day travel cards are also available. As the name suggests, they offer unlimited travel on the BTS network for one day and cost 120 baht.
BTS Lines with Multi-Lingual Signs for a Quick Move Around
The BTS is also known as the Skytrain, and this network covers most areas of Bangkok. The name of each station is written both in English and Thai, while an automatic recording announces the name of the station in Thai and then in English as the train approaches.
The Sukhumvit line starts at Mo Chit and runs all the way through the heart of the city to the suburb of Bearing. Mo Chit is located close to Chatuchak Park and also provides easy access to Chatuchak Market and the nearby bus terminal. Some of the main stations on this line include Ari, Victory Monument, Nana, Asok, Phrom Phong, Thong Lo and Ekkamai.
The Silom line is the other BTS line. It intersects with the Sukhumvit line at Siam, which is also known as the Central Station. Siam Bangkok’s main retail district and there are numerous large shopping centres in this area as well as cinemas and other entertainment options and shopping is one of the most popular things to do in the city.
Siam is the Main Transit Sky Train Station in Bangkok
The Silom line begins at National Stadium, which is one stop before Siam. The line then continues through the Silom district and across the Chao Phraya River, providing easy access to the suburbs that can be found on the far side of the river.
People who want to explore Bangkok by boat can take the BTS to the Saphan Taksin station. Public and tourists ferries depart from this stop every few minutes and take passengers all the way along the river to the northern suburb of Nonthaburi.
Don’t Drink and Drive. BTS and MRT Easy Access to Nightlife Areas in Bangkok
Many of Bangkok’s most popular nightlife zones such as Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy and Patpong are located just a short stroll from BTS stations, which makes visiting them extremely convenient.
- The BTS usually runs from 05:00 until midnight each day
- It takes less than five minutes for trains to travel between each station
- Carry a selection of 1, 5 and 10 baht coins to feed ticket machines
- Check out local area maps at main stations
- Connects with the MRT and airport link lines
Exploring Bangkok by MRT
Get around Bangkok in comfort and style by riding the MRT. This underground train system transports passengers underneath the city and connects with many of Bangkok’s major districts and attractions.
The MRT runs from Hua Lamphong to Bang Sue in a horseshoe shape and there is just one line, which makes it pretty hard to get lost. As you arrive at the platform of your chosen station you will be faced with a choice of two trains running in different directions. Simply select the right train and you will be whisked away to your next destination.
It can get pretty chilly on the MRT though as the air-con is turned up to the max. If you’re planning on travelling far, it might be a good idea to take a light jacket along for the ride.
The MRT connects with the BTS at several points, which makes it really easy to explore the city using these transportation networks. Change at the Sukhumvit station to the Asoke BTS station, connect with the Sala Daeng BTS station at Silom or get off at Chatuchak Park to gain access to the Mo Chit BTS station. The Hua Laumphong MRT station is situated conveniently close to the Bangkok Train Station, where overland trains run to a large number of destinations in Thailand.
Some of the major stations along the MRT line include Bang Sue (closest stop to Khaosan Road), Lad Prao (stop here to explore the Ratchada Night Market), Phahon Yothin, Samyan and Suttisan.
Exploring Bangkok by MRT is fast, easy and fun. Trains run regularly and it takes just a couple of minutes to travel between each station. Passengers purchase special tokens using either coins or notes. Each station features a number of automatic token machines, and maps of the route are displayed in both English and Thai. Simply place your finger on your destination of choice and the required fare will be stated.
Each station also features several exits, which lead passengers to different parts of the area. Detailed maps of the areas are provided in the stations to help guide passengers to the correct exit. Tunnels lead under the city and can also be used to help get across busy intersections.
- Open 06:00 to midnight
- Trains arrive in five minutes or less during peak hours
- Fares range from 16 to 42 Baht
- Carry small coins and notes to make the token purchase quick