Bangkok Underground – MRTKirsty Turner
The relatively recent addition of the Mass Rapid Transit network (MRT) has made traveling around Bangkok much easier and dramatically decreased the amount of traffic on the roads.
The MRT (also known as the Bangkok Subway or Bangkok Metro) is known as Rot FAI Die Din in Thai; ‘car with fire under ground’. It was opened by HM King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit at 19:19 on July 3rd, 2004.
The MRT is particularly useful for people traveling to/from Hualomphong Station as it runs from there round in a horseshoe shape to Bang Sue, which is also located next to a railway station.
The MRT comprises 18 stations and intersects with the BTS at three points: Chatuchak Park, Silom and Sukhumvit. It is impossible to get lost on the underground as there is only one line. Some of the most frequently visited stops include Kamphaeng Phet, Chatuchak Park, Silom, Asok (Sukhumvit) and Lumpini.
Single journeys are quite cheap, costing 15 baht for one station, whilst a ticket from one end of the line to the other costs 39 baht and takes about 25 minutes. You can also buy san unlimited one day pass for 120 baht, a three day pass for 230 baht and a thirty day pass for 800 baht. It is a good idea to carry a supply of 5 and 10 baht coins for the automatic ticket machines. You will be issued with a plastic disk, which you lightly press against the barrier to gain admittance.
The trains can carry 40,000 passengers an hour in each direction and arrive every five minutes during peak times – 07:00-09:00, 16:00-19:00 – and every seven minutes at non-peak times. There are also TV screens and soft music to entertain you while you wait.
Although traveling on the MRT is quite simple, you may want to bear the following tips in mind:
The MRT is air conditioned throughout, and sometimes gets so cold that it feels as though it were designed by polar bears! Take a sweater if traveling more than a couple of stops.
If you are visiting Lumpini Park, do not get of at Lumpini Station but exit at Silom Station instead. Lumpini Station is close to Lumpini Stadium and the Suan Lum Night Bazaar. Phaholyothin Station, rather than Lad Phrao Station, is also the closest station to Central Lad Phrao.
Although Chatuchak Park Station is the closest station to Chatuchak Park, Kamphaeng Phet Station is the most convenient station for Chatuchak Weekend Market (J. J. Market).
It is worth bearing in mind that the Thailand Cultural Center Station is actually quite a distance from the Thailand Cultural Center. Visitors to the center may want to get a taxi from the station.
See the MRT website.