The City of Bangkok, Thailand is famous for its traffic jams and certain areas stay congested almost constantly. The answer to getting around Bangkok quickly, safely, and comfortably is the Bangkok Transit System Sky Train or commonly referred to by locals as the BTS.
You can get to most of the busiest areas in Bangkok by riding the BTS. Here is some information about this popular mode of travel for getting around the city.
Overview of the Routes
The BTS consists of two main lines: the Sukumvit Line and the Silom Line. The Sukumvit Line has terminal points at Mo Chit and Bearing while the Silom Line has terminal points at National Stadium and Talat Phlu.
Use the Sukumvit Line to reach destinations such as:
• Chatuchak Market
• Asoke/Nana Tourist Area
• Siam Paragon/Central World in the heart of the main shopping district
• Phrom Phong/Emporium Shopping Plaza
• Central Bangna Shopping Mall
• Airport link
The Silom Line will take you to such destinations as:
• MBK Shopping Mall
• Across the Chao Phraya River
• Silom Financial District
• Lumpini Park
• Siam Paragon/Central World (main shopping district)
The interchange between the two lines is at the Siam Station where you would change trains to get to a destination other than the one you are traveling on. For example, if you want to go from the Asoke Station to the Sala Daeng Station (in the heart of the Silom Financial District), you would ride the Sukumvit Line to Siam, change trains to the Silom Line (heading to Talat Phlu) and then get off at Sala Daeng. There are easy-to-follow maps posted at all ticket vending locations at each station.
There are vending machines at each station that accept coins for a one-way pass to ride the BTS. You check the map next to the vending machine and select the station where you want to go. The fare will be listed on the map. At the vending machine, press the fare button, put in the required coin change, and receive your ticket.
Some stations, such as the ones at Chongnansi and Asoke will accept bills and give change. Otherwise, take your paper cash to the window and the attendant will give you change for the vending machines. You don’t have to say a thing. Just lay the paper bills down and the attendant knows to give you change.
When you enter the gate at the start of your trip, insert the ticket with the punched hole toward the front into the slot. The gate will read it and feed it to you at the top. When you reach your destination, insert it to open the gate. You will not be fed the card again.
For those frequent riders on the BTS, there are the stored value cards, 30-day adult passes, and 30-day student passes. Stored value cards are for convenience only while the 30-day passes offer a slight discount per trip if used within this period. All you have to do with the cards is hold them above the designated area on the gate and the gate will open.
Trains run consistently daily between the hours of 6.00 A.M. and 12 midnight. There is no set interval between trains but usually you will have no more than a 10-minute, possibly 15-minute wait. Intervals depend on peak times.
Boarding and Safety
Arrows painted on the boarding ramp indicate the doors where you will enter. If you are waiting to enter, stand on the sides and keep the middle clear for offloading passengers.
Stay behind the yellow line until the train has stopped and the offloading passengers have cleared. There is a security guard on the boarding ramp who will blow the whistle at you if you move forward of the yellow line while waiting for the train to arrive and stop.
When inside the train, move to the other side so that other passengers behind you may enter. Don’t lean against any doors (even those on the other side of the boarding ramp) because occasionally they have been known to open prematurely.
The BTS has become a very popular way to commute in recent years thus during the morning and evening rush hours, it gets quite crowded. You can expect it to be crowded on the Silom Line going from the Siam Interchange between 7.00 A.M. and 9.00 A.M. weekdays and going to the Siam Interchange between 5.00 P.M. and 7.00 P.M. on the same days.
These are the rush hours. During these same hours, you can expect crowded conditions going away from Siam Station on the Sukumvit Line if heading to Bearing Station or coming from the Mo Chit terminal.
It’s hard to believe that at one time Bangkok did not have a BTS because those who live and visit here depend on it so much. In most cases, reaching destinations via auto will take at least an hour while the BTS takes less than 30 minutes in most cases. Don’t hesitate to use this valuable mode of transportation in Bangkok otherwise you will waste much time getting to your de