• How To Get Around Bangkok Using The BTS, MRT & Boat System

    If you are travelling to Bangkok and want to know how to get around, this guide will help you understand how the BTS, MRT and boat system around the Khlong works so you can get around the city easily.

    Every time I visit Bangkok, we always try to explore a different part of the city that we haven’t seen before. This is great because we can cover more of the city as it’s so large and we also get to see all of the different districts. We also get to use the different transport systems across the city to help us get around as well.

    HOW TO GET AROUND BANGKOK USING THEIR TRANSPORT SYSTEMS

    Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

    TRAVEL USING THE BTS & MRT TRAIN SYSTEMS

    BTS is the Bangkok Mass Transit System, commonly known as the BTS or the Skytrain. It is an elevated rapid transit system in Bangkok, Thailand. It connects various parts of Bangkok to each other to make it easier to travel across and around the vast city. It is extremly cheap and easy to use and is also air conditioned which comes in very handy on those super hot and humid days. The BTS is perfect for getting around different areas and seeing all of the excursions easily and cheaply. 

    The heart of the Skytrain (BTS) network is Siam Station which is were the Siam Shopping Mall is located. It has a massive interchange connecting two BTS lines: Sukhumvit (light green on maps) and Silom (dark green on maps). Using the BTS is a great choice for moving between bust areas especially when the road traffic is near enough at a standstill most of the time. The trains are also air-conditioned and are super cheap as well so it’s great if you want to save money.

    The trains run every 5-10 minutes from approximately 5:30am until midnight, schedules vary about 30 minutes depending on the station. Ticketing offices are open from 6am until midnight but public holidays may affect opening hours. Make sure you check before buying your ticket.

    Train ticket prices are so cheap, I couldn’t get over how cheap it was compared to the underground in England. Single journeys are calculated by distance and range from 16-59THB (between 35p and £1.29). The ticket machines clearly display the cost from your current station. The average cost of a one-way trip is usually a pound or less. A one day pass for 24 hours of unlimited rides and journets costs 140THB (around £3).

    The BTS tickets are a little like credit cards and are reuseable as they aren’t dated or timed. You can get them from ticket machines (which mainly accept coins) or the ticketing window (if it’s open which can sometimes take card payments). Tickets aren’t checked on trains but they are required to exit turnstiles at your destination so keep it on you. If you lose your ticket or exceed more than two hours on the “inside”, you will need to wait for an attendant and pay the maximum fine.

    Phaya Thai Station on the Sukhumvit line connects to the Airport Rail Link.

    Details about individual station schedules and fares can be found on the official BTS website.


    Open this map on your phone to help navigate your way to the various BTS and MRT stations across the city and the excursions near them. Hit the star to save it to your Google Maps for future use. Open the sidebar to navigate easier including my blog posts on Bangkok and other spots you need to see.


    MRT is the Metropolitan Rapid Transit system which is their equivalent of a subway or underground train system. The MRT system comprises two Medium-capacity rail system rail lines, with a further three lines (one heavy rail line and two monorail lines) currently under construction and due to open in 2021. 

    Over 400,000 passengers use the MRT daily to avoid the road traffic, so it might feel a bit slower than the BTS. The MRT currently has two lines: the Blue line (the busiest) and the Purple line. The interchange for the Blue Line and Purple Line is Tao Poon Station.

    Trains run from approximately 6am until midnight, with trains running every 5-10 minutes depending on the time of day. Prices are based on distance covered like the BTS trains and can range from 15-50THB (33p and £1.09) and an average lenght journey will cost less than a pound.

    Ticketing machines accept small denominations of Thai Baht and vend a RFID token which is like a big plastic coin that is tapped for entrance to the platforms. The token must be surrendered on exiting and they will be reused for other journeys. You can access the BTS trains via stations Sala Daeng, Asok and Mo Chit but you will need a new ticket to access the BTS lines as they won’t accept the MRT tokens.

    Phetchaburi Station is connected to Makkasan Station on the Airport Rail Link to Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).

    Details about individual station schedules and fares can be found on the official MRT website.

    Prices in this post are accurate as at 13/01/2022.



    TRAVEL USING THE BOAT SYSTEM

    Using the boat system can be a little confusing at first, but it’s actually free simple and fun to use. You get to see the city in a completely different way especially with the houses on the Khlong. There are a few different boat systems you can use across Bangkok, one of them is the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat which cost 150THB per person for an all day pass and you can jump on and off whichever stop you like as much as you like. It starts at Asiatique and finishes at Phra Arthit and then goes back down the stops again back to the start.

    There are 2 boats doing these trips up and down the river: Catamaran Boat with a capacity of 190 passengers and also the Monohull Boat with a capacity of 150. The boats depart every 30 minutes from 11 piers and run everyday from 8:30am to 17:30pm.

    This is the map of the route the boat takes:

    Taken from Chao Phraya Tourist Boat’s website

    The main stops on this route include Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Wat Pho (The Reclining Buddha), Wat Pra Kaew (The Grand Palace), Khao San Road and Asiatique (an open-air mall).

    Open this map on your phone to help navigate your way around the stops near the Chao Phraya river. Hit the star to save it to your Google Maps for future use. Open the sidebar to navigate easier including my blog posts on Bangkok and other spots you need to see.


    The other river boat system is mainly used by locals, but you can use it as well as a tourist. It takes you on a much more rural journey of the city, seeing the side streets, peoples houses near the river and small local businesses. These boats are 200THB per day per person as they cover a lot more stops and a lot more of the rivers in Bangkok.

    There are two routes that they do which covers New Town and Old Town. In New Town you can visit things like Siam Shopping Mall, Jim Thompson House Museum, National Stadium, Hard Rock Cafe and visit the Victory Monument. In Old Town you can visit things like Wat Saket (The Golden Mount), Khao San Road, Chao Phraya River and Prasumen Fort.

    This is the map of the routes these boats take:

    Open this map on your phone to help navigate your way around the stops near Old & New Town. Hit the star to save it to your Google Maps for future use. Open the sidebar to navigate easier including my blog posts on Bangkok and other spots you need to see.


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