Avoid Bangkok’s traffic-clogged streets by using the BTS Skytrain, a cheap, quick and easy way to get around parts of the city. The elevated rapid transit system consists of 34 stations along two lines, which connect at Siam Station.
The stations are close to many of downtown Bangkok’s main areas and the network also connects with other forms of transport, including the MRT subway system, buses and boats. The first trains leave the terminal stations at 06:00 am and the last trains depart at midnight. And as you travel, you will enjoy some wonderful aerial views over Thailand’s capital.
Buying a Ticket
There are several ticket types:
The magnetic journey ticket, which includes the single journey ticket and the one-day pass. Single journey tickets are valid on the date of purchase and are priced according to the chosen destination. The lowest fare for a single trip is 15 baht, while the maximum is 42 baht. Tickets can be purchased from ticket vending machines. They accept 1, 5 and 10 baht coins. If you don’t have coins, you can obtain change from any BTS ticket office. With a one-day pass you can make as many trips as you like on the date of issue or registration. The passes are available at all BTS ticket offices.
The BTS SmartPass, which includes the BTS Sky SmartPass, the BTS 30-Day Student SmartPass and the BTS 30-Day Adult SmartPass.
The Rabbit card, which is Thailand’s first e-money service. It can be used on other mass transit systems as well as in some shops. There are three types of card – adult, senior and student. Rabbit cards can be purchased at all BTS ticket offices. The minimum value that can be added to a card is 100 baht, while the maximum value that can be stored is 4,000 baht.
The Sukhumvit Line
The Sukhumvit Line serves 22 stations spread across a 22-kilometre route. It starts at Bearing Station and ends at Mo Chit Station.
The 22 stations are:
Bearing, Udom Suk, Victory Monument, Bang Na, Punnawithi, Mo Chit, Bangchak, On Nut, Phra Khanong, Ekkamai, Thong Lo, Phrom Phong, Asok, Phloen Chit, Chit Lom, Ratchathewi, Siam (Interchange station), Nana, Phaya Thai, Sanam Pao, Ari and Saphan Khwai.
The Silom Line
The Silom Line serves 13 stations across a 14-kilometre route. It starts at Bang Wa Station and ends at the National Stadium Station
The 13 stations are: National Stadium, Siam (Interchange station), Chong Nonsi, Bang Wa, Sala Daeng, Saphan Taksin, Krung Thon Buri, Wongwian Yai, Talat Phlu, Pho Nimit, Ratchadamri, Wutthakat and Surasak.
Each BTS Station has three levels:
The street level, which provides access to the stations via stairs and escalators.
The concourse level, where you will find the ticket booths, access gates and a small selection of shops.
The platform level where you board the trains.
Boarding a BTS Skytrain
Wait behind the platform’s yellow lines. When a train comes into a station it will stop so that its doors are in front of the yellow arrows. When the doors open, wait for the passengers to disembark before you enter the carriage.
Travelling by BTS Skytrain to Key Sites
The BTS Skytrain links to many of Bangkok’s temples, shrines, shopping malls, parks and other places of interest. Here’s a quick guide to the stations to travel to in order to arrive at some of the city’s key attractions.
The Grand Palace – to visit this impressive complex of buildings, go to Saphan Taksin Station (S6 Station), which is on the Silom Line.
Vimanmek Mansion – to get to this magnificent former royal villa travel to Victory Monument Station, which is on the Sukhumvit Line. This is also known as N3 Station.
Ananta Samakom Throne Hall – go to Victory Monument Station (N3 Station).
Phya Thai Royal Palace – also go to Victory Monument Station (N3 Station).
Wat Pho – travelling to this Buddhist temple complex is easy. Make your way to Saphan Taksin Station on the Silom Line. This is also known as S6 Station. From here, walk to the Chao Phraya River Express Boat Pier. At the pier, get on a boat to take you to Tien Pier.
Dusit Zoo, also known as Khao Din Wana – take a train from Victory Monument Station (N3 Station). After disembarking, walk through Exit No.3 facing Rajavithee Road. Then take one of the buses that goes to the zoo.
Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium – head to Mo Chit Station (N8 Station) on the Sukhumvit Line. On arrival, walk through Exit No.3 then stroll past the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Alternatively, after exiting the station, take a bus to Kamphaengphet 3 Road.
SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World – go to Siam Station. After disembarking, walk through Exit No. 5 to enter the Siam Paragon shopping mall. You will find the aquarium in the basement level.
Bangkok Planetarium – make your way to Ekkamai Station on the Sukhumvit Line. Walk through Exit No.2 and you will find the planetarium near the Ekkamai Bus Terminal.
Robinson Bangrak shopping mall – to shop at this popular destination, go to Saphan Taksin Station (S6 Station) on the Silom Line.
Silom Complex shopping mall – head to Sala Daeng Station (S2 Station) on the Silom Line.
Chatuchak Park – to relax in these beautiful green surrounds, travel to Mo Chit Station (N8) on the Sukhumvit Line.
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden – delight in the scents and colours of this lovely garden after leaving Mo Chit Station (N8) on the Sukhumvit Line.
Lumpini Park – revel in this pastoral haven after leaving Sala Daeng Station (S2) on the Silom Line.
Safety Features of the BTS
- Each train is equipped with Automatic Train Protection (ATP), which ensures that they maintain a safe distance from each other and travel within the speed limits.
- In case of emergency, passengers can communicate with the train controller via the intercom system located beside the train doors.
- BTS has installed yellow emergency stop buttons on the platforms to stop trains from entering a station in case of an emergency situation, such as a passenger falling on the rails.
Four Essential Facts about the BTS
1) No pets are allowed. Exceptions are guide dogs and noiseless pets in containers without holes, such as fish.
2) Children less than 90 centimetres in height are exempt from paying fares.
3) Tourist information centres can be found at the following stations: Saphan Taksin, Phaya Thai and Siam.
4) Passengers can access the Airport Rail Link from Phaya Thai Station.