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How to use the BTS Skytrain and MRT in Bangkok?

How to use the BTS Skytrain and MRT in Bangkok?

BTS Skytrain and MRT are two major public transportation systems in Bangkok. The BTS, or Bangkok Mass Transit System, is an elevated train system known for its speed and convenience, with trains running frequently above the city streets. The MRT, or Mass Rapid Transit, is an underground train system that covers different areas of the city, including the downtown area and suburbs. Both systems are popular among locals and tourists for their efficiency in navigating Bangkok’s busy streets and offer a convenient way to explore the city’s attractions, shopping centres, and cultural sites.

How does Bangkok BTS Skytrain work?

BTS is a Skytrain system that runs across Bangkok that operates from 6 am to midnight. It has 3 lines: the Sukhumvit line, the Silom line and the Gold line.

BTS Skytrain Bangkok

The Sukhumvit Line has 47 stations and is 54.25 kilometres long. This line has many important stations as the line covers the whole of Sukhumvit Road. Important stations on this line include Mo Chit, Ari, Siam, Chitlom, Pleonchit, Asok, Phrom Phong and Thonglor.

In comparison, the Silom line has 14 stations and is 14 kilometres long. It runs from Siam crossing the river and stopping around the Thonburi area. Important stations in this line include Sala Daeng, Chong Nonsi, Saphan Taksin and Krung Thon Buri. You can transfer from the Silom or Sukhumvit line at BTS Siam.

As for the Gold line, it serves as a feeder line from the Silom line to ICONSIAM. You can get on the Gold Line by getting off at Krung Thon Buri and transferring to the Gold Line.

Price of a BTS ticket

The price of a single journey ticket ranges from 17 baht to 62 baht. This is depending on how close or far your destination is. Another option is to buy a one-day pass for 150 baht if you think you will use the BTS a lot on that day. This pass will give you access to unlimited rides on only the Sukhumvit Line.

Other than that, If you would like to save time you can purchase a Rabbit Card for 100 baht by asking about the rabbit card to the station officer at the counter. This card will allow you to top up whatever amount of money into the card so that you don’t have to wait in the long queue at the counter or ticket vending machine.

How to buy a BTS ticket

Option 1: BTS Ticket Vending Machine

BTS. Skytrain Ticket Station in Bangkok

  1. Touch the screen. Clicks on an area where your destination station is
  2. Swipe to find your destination then click on the destination station. If you chose the wrong station, you can press cancel to go back and choose again.
  3. Choose the amount of tickets you want (Machine max out at 4 tickets per use). If you didn’t select any amount, the machine will automatically dispense 1 ticket.
  4. You have 2 options to pay for the ticket. The first is coins or banknotes.
  5. The second option is to scan the QR code using any mobile banking application.
  6. After payment is made, a ticket will be dispensed in the tray below along with the change (if any)

Option 2: The Station Officer will issue the BTS ticket

BTS. Skytrain Ticket Station in Bangkok

  1. Head to the cashier
  2. Tell the station officer what is your destination and how many tickets you would like
  3. Pay the requested fee
  4. Receive the ticket from the station officer

Best BTS stations for shopping malls

Siam and Phrom Phong are the best BTS for shopping malls.

  • BTS Siam: Stopping at Siam will give you walking distance to Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, Siam Square One and the whole area of Siam Square although this is not a shopping mall.
  • BTS Phrom Phong: Emsphere, EmQuartier and Emporium are easily accessible as these malls are all linked to the BTS station itself.

Best BTS stations for nightlife

The best nightlife is located along the Sukhumvit Road and Sala Daeng Road. If you are more on the budget and love the red light district then BTS Nana (Sukhumvit Soi 11), Asok (Soi Cowboy) and Sala Daeng (Patpong) are perfect for you. In contrast for people interested in fancy, trendy and Instagram-able nightlife then BTS Thonglor & BTS Ekkamai is the spot.

The most important BTS stations in Bangkok

BTS Siam



How does the MRT work?

MRT Station in Bangkok

Metropolitan Rapid Transit more commonly known as MRT is an underground train line that runs through some of the main areas of Bangkok for example, MRT Silom and MRT Sukhumvit. However, it covers the suburbs and old town of Bangkok more thoroughly.

The MRT operates roughly the same time as the BTS 6 am till Midnight. If you are thinking of travelling to the other parts of Thailand then MRT can be very helpful as MRT Bang Sue and MRT Hua Lamphong are each directly linked to the 2 Central Terminal Station in Bangkok.

MRT has 2 lines, The Blue Line and The Purple Line. The Blue Line has 38 stations spanning 48 kilometres long. This line has many stations in important places like Bang Sue, Hua Lamphong, Silom, Sukhumvit, Chatuchak, Rama 9, Old Town and the whole of Thonburi side.

In contrast, The Purple Line is an extension of the Blue Line. It serves as a feeder line for Bangkok’s periphery, Nonthaburi. You can transfer to the Purple line by getting off at MRT Taopoon station.

Price of an MRT Ticket

The price of MRT ranges from 17 baht to 49 baht depending on how close or far your destination is. The price for a top-up card will be 180 baht for the card. You can top up with whatever amount you like. This benefits people who will stay in Bangkok for a long time and know that they will use the MRT often as they will be saving a lot of time by not having to queue up to buy tickets whether at the ticket vending machine or with the station officer at the counter.

How to buy an MRT Ticket

Option 1: The Station Officer will issue the Single Journey Token

  1. Tell your destination station, the number of travellers to the Station Officer.
  2. Pay the following fee
  3. Collect the token

Option 2: Ticket Vending Machine

  1. Touch the screen and click on your destination station
  2. Choose how many tickets you would like to purchase
  3. Pay the fee that shows up on the screen
  4. Collect the token

MRT Station for Shopping Malls

The best MRT station for shopping malls is MRT Sukhumvit as this gives you walking distance to Terminal 21. Furthermore, You can even walk from MRT Sukhumvit to Emsphere, EmQuartier and Emporium from this station. Another option is MRT Kampheng Phet and MRT Samyan.

MRT Samyan is where you will find Samyan Mitrtown, a relatively new shopping mall in Bangkok. Samyan Mitrtown has a very young vibe, lots of good food and is a very classy small mall. As for MRT Kampheng Phet, you will find Bangsue Junction or you may have heard of it as Red Building. This is the spot for you if you are into antique items and vintage clothing.

MRT Station for Nightlife

For the best nightlife, MRT Sukhumvit and Silom are the best because the 2 red light districts of Bangkok are located within walking distance from these 2 MRT stations. At MRT Sukhumvit, you can explore Soi Cowboy whereas at MRT Silom you will find Patpong.

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