A Comprehensive Guide to Bangkok's Mass Rapid Transit for Tourists 2024
Bangkok, the vibrant capital of Thailand, continues to evolve its transportation infrastructure to enhance the experience for tourists exploring this dynamic city. The extensive mass rapid transit (MRT) system plays a crucial role in connecting popular tourist destinations. In this updated guide, we will delve into the key MRT lines, including the recently inaugurated Yellow Line and Pink Line, providing a seamless travel experience for visitors.
1. Bangkok Airport Rail Link Line:
For tourists arriving by air, the journey begins with the Bangkok Airport Rail Link. This swift and convenient line connects Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city center, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a seamless transition from the airport to their accommodations. The express service takes around 22 minutes to reach Makkasan station (interchange to MRT) and 26 minutes to reach Phaya Thai station (interchange to BTS), providing a comfortable and cost-effective alternative to traditional transportation.
Operating Hours and Frequency:
The Airport Rail Link operates daily, providing a reliable transportation option from 05:30 to 24:00. City Line trains depart every 9 minutes, ensuring swift and efficient travel.
Airport Rail Link Stations:
The rail link comprises the following stations, each strategically located to facilitate seamless transfers and convenient access to Bangkok's various districts:
- Suvarnabhumi Airport
- Lad Krabang
- Ban Thap Chang
- Hua Mark
- Makkasan (interchange with MRT Blue Line's Phetchaburi Station)
- Phaya Thai (interchange with BTS Sukhumvit Line's Phaya Thai Station)
For travelers seeking efficient interchanges with other transit systems, the Airport Rail Link offers competitive fares:
- Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phayathai Station (BTS – Skytrain interchange):
- Fare: 45 baht
- Suvarnabhumi Airport to Makkasan Station (MRT – Subway interchange):
- Fare: 35 baht
These reasonable fares not only make the Airport Rail Link an economically viable choice for tourists but also reflect the commitment to providing affordable and convenient transportation options in and around Bangkok.
2. BTS's Green Line:
The Bangkok Mass Transit System, commonly known as BTS or Skytrain, operates the Green Line, which traverses through key tourist hotspots. From the bustling Chatuchak Weekend Market to the shopping haven of Siam Paragon, the Green Line offers tourists a convenient means of exploring the city's vibrant street life, cultural landmarks, and shopping districts.
The Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Green Line consists of two routes: the Sukhumvit Line and the Silom Line.
The Sukhumvit Line begins at Kheha Samutprakan Station and ends at Khu Khot Station. This approximately 54.25-kilometer line offers 47 service stations. This route covers key areas such as Victory Monument, Siam (a major shopping and entertainment district), Asok (connecting with the MRT Sukhumvit Line), and ends at Kheha Samutprakan.
The Silom Line begins at Bang Wa Station and ends at National Stadium Station. Covering approximately 14 kilometers, the Silom Line covers prominent locations like Siam (interchange with the Sukhumvit Line), Sala Daeng (close to the Silom business district), and concludes at Bang Wa.
Note that there may be confusion with the "dark" and "light" green lines. Originally, the Sukhumvit Line was denoted as light green, and the Silom Line as dark green, following BTS's initial color scheme. However, an adjustment made by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning caused confusion by reversing the colors. To maintain clarity and accuracy, many still refer to the lines based on BTS's original color assignment, recognizing the Sukhumvit Line as light green and the Silom Line as dark green.
3. MRT's Blue Line:
The MRT Blue Line seamlessly connects major business districts, residential neighborhoods, and cultural hotspots in Bangkok. Tourists can easily navigate the city's vibrant attractions using this line, immersing themselves in a rich cultural experience.
The MRT Blue Line boasts a total length of 48 kilometers, spanning 38 stations. It comprises three distinct sections:
Hua Lamphong to Bang Sue: Spanning 20 kilometers, this section features 18 stations.
Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae: Covering 14 kilometers, this section comprises 11 stations, including 4 underground stations and 7 elevated stations.
Bang Sue to Tha Phra: Stretching across 13 kilometers, this section features 8 elevated stations.
The MRT Blue Line operates daily from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM, ensuring convenient travel throughout the day.
During peak hours, trains operate every 5 minutes, ensuring seamless connectivity for commuters. During off-peak hours, trains run every 10 minutes, maintaining efficient service.
Popular Tourist Destinations Served by the MRT Blue Line:
The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Chinatown: Immerse yourself in Bangkok's rich history and cultural heritage.
Chatuchak Weekend Market: Discover a treasure trove of souvenirs, handicrafts, and local delicacies at this iconic weekend market.
Siam Paragon, Central World, and Terminal 21: Indulge in a shopping spree at Bangkok's premier retail destinations.
The MRT Blue Line stands as a convenient and efficient mode of transportation, allowing tourists and locals alike to explore Bangkok's multifaceted charm with ease and affordability.
4. Purple Line:
The MRT Purple Line is a 23-kilometer rapid transit line that runs northwest from Tao Pun in Bangkok to Khlong Bang Phai in Nonthaburi. The line connects Bangkok's northern suburbs to the city center, providing a convenient and affordable transportation option for commuters and tourists alike.
Popular tourist destinations served by the Purple Line:
• Central Westgate: One of Southeast Asia's largest shopping malls, Central Westgate offers a wide variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options.
• Wat Lem Nee Yi II (Wat Bowon Ratcha Kanchanaphisek Anusarana): A Buddhist temple located in Nonthaburi, Wat Lem Nee Yi II is known for its beautiful architecture and vibrant religious ceremonies.
• The Purple Line operates daily from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM.
• During peak hours, trains run every 5 minutes. During off-peak hours, trains run every 10 minutes.
• The Purple Line connects to the MRT Blue Line at Tao Pun station.
The MRT Purple Line is a valuable addition to Bangkok's public transportation network, providing a convenient and affordable way to travel to and from the city's northern suburbs.
5. Red Line:
The Red Line is divided into two sections, the Dark Red Line (Bang Sue - Rangsit) and the Light Red Line (Bang Sue - Taling Chan). It has opened 13 stations, covering the central and suburban areas of Bangkok, with a total distance of 41.3 kilometers.
Dark Red Line (Bang Sue - Rangsit): Open for operation at 10 stations, spanning 26 kilometers, connects Bang Sue Grand Station to Rangsit in just 25 minutes. This route passes through Don Mueang Airport.
Light Red Line (Bang Sue - Taling Chan): Open for operation at 3 stations, covering a distance of 15 kilometers, connects Bang Sue Grand Station to Taling Chan in just 15 minutes.
The operation of the Red Line has made it more convenient and faster for people to travel from the suburbs to the city center. It has also helped to alleviate traffic congestion and promote tourism in the areas served by the line.
6. Gold Line:
The Gold Line connects the BTS Green Line from Krung Thon Buri Station to Khlong San Station. The route is 1.8 kilometers long and consists of three stations: Krung Thon Buri Station, Charoen Nakhon Station, and Khlong San Station.
The Gold Line is designed as a driverless train that uses rubber tires, which are suitable for running on concrete floors with steel rails in the middle between the left and right wheels. Rubber tires also help to reduce noise and vibration.
Passengers who want to go to Iconsiam can take the BTS Green Line to Krung Thon Buri Station, then transfer to the Gold Line and ride to Charoen Nakhon Station (Iconsiam).
7. Yellow Line:
The Yellow Line, a fully operational elevated monorail line, serves as a crucial link in Bangkok's transportation network, seamlessly connecting the bustling districts of Ladprao and Samrong. Spanning 30.4 kilometers and encompassing 23 stations, the Yellow Line offers a convenient and efficient mode of transportation for commuters and residents alike. It provides connectivity to the Blue Line at Lat Phrao Station and the Green Line at Samrong Station.
Lat Phrao is a vibrant residential area with a diverse mix of commercial and entertainment establishments. Srinakarin is home to Seacon Mall, one of Bangkok's largest shopping malls, and Suan Luang Rama 9, a sprawling park and recreational complex.
8. Pink Line:
The recently inaugurated Pink Line, an elevated monorail, connects Khae Rai in Nonthaburi to Min Buri in the east, adding another dimension to the MRT network.
Important locations such as the Nonthaburi Government Center, Muang Thong Thani, and Chaengwattana Government Complex can now be easily accessed. The Pink Line seamlessly connects to other MRT lines, including the Purple Line at Nonthaburi Government Center Station, the Red Line at Lak Si Station, the Green Line at Wat Phra Sri Mahathat Station, and, in the future, the Orange Line at Min Buri Station.
The BTS Skytrain: Your Express Passage through the Metropolis
The BTS Skytrain stands as an iconic symbol of Bangkok, a modern and sleek rapid transit system that gracefully traverses above the city's bustling streets. For tourists, it offers a convenient pathway to many of Bangkok's most sought-after attractions. The BTS Skytrain, renowned for its punctuality, is perfect for tourists as it covers most of the city's major tourist destinations and is incredibly user-friendly, with air-conditioned train cars for your comfort.
BTS Bangkok - a guide to travel around bangkok using the BTS Skytrain
The MRT Subway: Delving Underground
The MRT is an underground rapid transit system that complements the BTS (Skytrain) in providing public transportation in Bangkok. Together, these systems help alleviate traffic congestion and offer commuters and tourists convenient access to various parts of the city.
MRT Bangkok - a guide to travel around bangkok using the MRT Subway