5 tips to use MRT (subway) in Bangkok

MRT stands for Mass Rapid Transport and in Bangkok it means the subway. It has many similarities with other subways around the world, and even with the BTS (also known as Skytrain), so if you didn’t read our tips to use the BTS, go ahead now.

Commuting on the subway is not difficult, but these tips will help you to travel even more flawlessly.

1. Know your ticket

MRT Ticket machine

MRT Ticket machine

The ticketing machines are quite straight-forward and they accept both coins (1, 5, and 10 bahts) and banknotes. All you have to do is choose the destination and pay. You can change the language to English pushing the button on the corner.

Bangkok’s MRT uses tokens instead of cards as the BTS does. These small tokens are coin-sized, plastic, and quite easy to lose, so be careful and keep them properly during your journey. You will need them to exit the station.

You can also purchase stored value cards and day passes for one day, 3 days, 15 days, and 30 days. Unless you are going to use it extensively, just a normal token will suffice.

2. Take the right direction

BTS Direction

BTS Direction

Ok, this one is a no-brainer: just make sure that you are boarding the train on the right direction. It can happen that you get down to the train platform and as one of them arrives, you jump on it without thinking it twice.

The subway on Bangkok is very simple. So far there is only one line that goes from Hua Lamphong to Bang Sue. Trains on one side will go to one direction. On the opposite side, to the opposite direction. That’s easy.

3. Respect the queues

Queueing arrows painted on the floor

Queueing arrows painted on the floor

We said it for the BTS and we repeat it now: those arrows painted on the floor are not a fancy decoration, but a sign encouraging you to patiently queue while leaving space for the passengers on the train to exit first.

Bangkok’s MRT can get very crowded during peak hours, so a proper queue is important to make sure that everyone has the same fair chance to get aboard.

4. Prepare to exit, it’s fast


If you are not fast enough you might miss your stop

When you are on the car find a seat or hold onto something to make sure you are not going to fall or step into someone else’s foot. This subway runs quite fast, and the stops are often very brief, so make sure you are near the door to exit on time.

Don’t expect other passengers to leave you much way, as they normally don’t care that much about other people’s business.

5. Take the right exit

Subway exit

Subway exit

Unlike in BTS, in MRT you can actually walk from one exit to another without buying a new ticket. However, some stations are quite big so if you take the wrong exit you will need to walk all the way back.

The best way to know your exit is to read the signs, as they point the main landmarks of each exit. You will also find local area maps on the station, and on the website of Bangkok Metro.

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