all about the BTS Skytrain in Thailand

A Foreigner’s Guide To The BTS Skytrain in Bangkok

Bangkok is a city of mysticism and adventure with new attractions to discover around every turn and corner. While it is excellent to have some thrill for an adrenaline rush while you travel, having access to information about travel is a must. 

Being prepared with travel info can ensure that your fun-filled trip can get you to maximum destinations within your scheduled trip days. The information mentioned here can help you if you want to move to Bangkok and make this mystical paradise your overseas home.

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What is the BTS Skytrain in Bangkok?

The BTS Sky Train is one of the fastest modes of transport in Bangkok. The other fast mode of transport is the Bangkok BRT (Bus Rapid Transport). BTS Sky Trains cover the entire of Bangkok through stations also known as terminals via 2 map routes. Both lines connect at Siam station while the MRT subway can be easily accessed from the Asok station. 

The BTS Skytrain is one of the most essential modes of transport in Bangkok. The BTS Skytrain is used heavily by both Thai citizens and foreigners who wish to travel on this beautiful mode of transport with scenic views and at great speeds. 

What is the BTS sky train in bangkok

History of The BTS SkyTrain

In the year 1968, the BTS Sky train was established as a limited company under the name Tanayong Company Limited. In the year 1991, this company was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, and in the year 1991, this limited company moved its business emphasis to Bangkok RMT under the Bangkok Transit System Corporation Ltd. 

At this time, they signed a concession contract to design, build and operate the largest and also the first Mass Transit system. This came to be known as the core Skytrain network that moved on in the year 2020 to enter into a contract known as a PPA. This contract was in essence made to build a U-Tapao international airport, which is Bangkok’s third airport.

In December 1999 the BTS SkyTrain was inaugurated by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. For the first 5 years of the Skytrain being operational on the initial lines, Thai citizens were very wary of riding on this mode of transport but once they realized the ease, convenience, and speed of this scenic mode of transport, the train caught popularity very soon. 

The volume of people that travel on the BTS line has increased from 140,957,969 passengers in 2009 to a whopping 247,000,000 passengers in 2019. The peak hours of the BTS Skytrain network are between 7-9 am and also between 5-7 pm every day, it is best to plan to reach your chosen destination on time and not tired due to the transit.

Routes of the BTS SkyTrain

The initial core network of the BTS Skytrain line began in 1999 and the year 2009, the BTS Sky train limited company began the operation of the Silom Line extension. In the year 2009, the limited corporation began operations on the Sukhumvit line extension.

The Silom line has a total of 13 stations starting at the National Stadium and ending at Bang Wa, while the Sukhumvit line has a total of 22 stations starting at Chatuchak Park and ending at Bearing which is after the second last station Bang Na. Both the Silom and Sukhumvit lines have Siam as a common point to change between lines and at Asok station, it is also possible to move to MRT Underground or BRT lines.

Attractions Around the BTS SkyTrain

There is a multitude of attractions connected to the BTS Skytrain network and the top 7 of these Bangkok attractions are mentioned here. 

  • You can book the Grand Palace and Wat Arun which can be accessed via the Station Saphan Taksin
  • Siam Discovery, Siam Centre, and Siam Paragon can be accessed via the Siam Station
  • Central World can be accessed via the Chit Lom Station
  • Chatuchak Market can be accessed via the Mo Chit Station
  • MBK Centre that can be accessed via the National Stadium Station
  • Emquartier can be accessed via the Phrom Phong Station
  • Terminal 21 and Siam Niramit can be accessed via the Asoke Station
  • Dream World can be accessed via the Victory Monument Station

5 Fun Facts About Riding the BTS Sky Train

  • Always carry a jacket while riding the BTS Sky Train as the temperature on the train is 10 degrees cooler than outside, and on a chilly day, this can be a bit too cold to handle!
  • The BTS has a fleet of 52 trains, with each train running on a four-car system. The trains operate from 6.00 am every day until 12.00 midnight every day. Tickets can be bought in multiple ways, such as through machines at the station outside gates through coins. The tickets are valid only for the ride within the BTS system and change can be gotten for notes at the designated service desks. 
  • BTS Sky trains also offer transfer bus services between major airports, specifically the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang Airports. Between 5 am and midnight every day, one bus departs at a 1-hour interval from Sukhumvit airport at Gate 3 near the arrival hall. The departure at Don Muang is again outside the arrival hall. While these buses are free to travel in and do not need a pass, a valid flight ticket is needed to board these buses. 
  • There are two ways to travel on the BTS Sky Train, the first is to buy a ticket per journey which starts at 15 baht and goes up to 52 baht. The second is to buy a daily pass at 130 baht which is valid for unlimited journeys for 1 day. The time duration for the 1-day pass starts at 6 am and ends at 12 midnight for that day. Passes can be bought at stations through the Kiosk for tickets. 
  • While travelling on BTS Sky Trains there are three things that one should never do. These include eating Durian fruit, which is considered a pungent-smelling fruit and can cause you to pay a hefty fine, eating chewing gum which is frowned upon while travelling and the third is get into the train before allowing people to get out of the train first. Also, a good rule to follow is to always stand on the right side of the escalator, but walk on the left side of the escalator always. It should be noted that it is a good idea not to smoke in and around the BTS network and finally watch out for the slamming gates that use automated ticket systems to open and shut. The automated gates tend to close pretty quickly so walking briskly is always a good move. 

The Impact of The Bangkok BTS SkyTrain On the Economy

Bangkok is known for being a city of traffic and jams, however, this has changed since the BTS Skytrain became a preferred mode of commute. Moreover, the BTS Transport system has greatly lowered the time taken to commute, enhanced connectivity, and also impacted the economy positively in many ways. The network has given Thailand leverage in the ASEAN due to ease of commute through seamless connectivity for traders and commuters alike. This has directly impacted the real estate market as well making the city a must-live in place and also an investor’s paradise.

While Bangkok is not nearly as expensive to live in compared to other southeast countries like Hongkong, this city has both an old-world charm and a modern vibe to it! This perfect harmony of the best of both worlds has seen an influx of foreign buyers living and investing in the Thai real estate market. Read more about the average cost of living in Thailand on the informative Silk Estate Blog. 

If you are considering buying a condo, villa, or townhouse in Thailand it is important to remember that not all property types are for sale to foreigners, and having a realtor to guide you is the simplest way to get your dream Thai property registered in your name. To purchase a property in Thailand, contact Silk Estate today!

You may be interested in this post >>>The Best Areas to Live in Bangkok For Foreigners

You may be interested in this post >>> Things To Keep In Mind While You Buy A Condo in Bangkok.

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Chris Wyatt
Chris Wyatt

Chris is an knowledgeable real estate professional with many years experience in promoting and helping people find the right property to buy.

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Disclaimer: This article is not to be taken as legal advice in any form. The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. If you require legal advice in Thailand you should contact a professional.

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