Transportation Tips: BTS (Sky Train)

One fantastic way to avoid traffic in Bangkok is to take the Sky Train!

Sky Train Tips:

  • Get a BTS/MRT map! You can find them at each station’s info/ticket desk, or at tourist info spots.
  • Usually, you’ll probably have to take a bus, taxi, or the MRT (Underground) to get to a BTS stop.
  • You buy your ticket using the wall ticketing machines. You look at the map, determine where you want to go in relation to where you are, and choose the button for the correct fee.
  • The BTS shouldn’t cost you more than 40B one-way.
  • You must pay in coins! No change? Don’t worry. Just walk over to the nice fish-tank people and hand them a bill. They’ll give you coins. If it’s a large bill, they might want you to specify exactly how much of that money you want in change, and how much you want left in cash. Thai numbers come in handy, but they’ll understand if you speak English.
  • The stops are announced in Thai and in English, so it’s pretty clear when you need to hop off.
  • Bonus for not looking like a fool: If you’re at either end of the BTS, they might make everyone wait to board the train so they can clean it.

Bonus Train: The BTS Airport Rail Link.

This is a separate BTS line that goes to the airport. There are two trains – one that goes directly to the airport (red line), and one that stops in the city along the way (blue line). They’re both much easier, cheaper, and faster than taking a cab, and run until 12:00am (midnight). Keep this in mind when flying in/out of Bangkok – it’ll save you a headache or six.

The Airport Rail Link can also serve as a great traffic-bypass when you’re coming into the city. When I took a mini-bus from the Thai-Cambodia border, I got dropped off at the airport and took the BTS into town (probably saving about 2 hours in traffic time). I connected to the MRT (underground) from the BTS, got off at the Bang Sue station, and took a bus home.

Although food/drink isn’t really allowed on the BTS, there are a ton of food/drink stands to check out once you get off. My personal fave? Mr. Shake Bubble Tea! Aw yea.


BTS Website

Route Map – Including the Airport Rail Link