How many different subways and trains are there in Bangkok?

We have talked before about transportation in Bangkok, but the topic can still be confusing for tourists. Especially for those coming for the first time and used to the convenient and well-managed transport system on their hometown.

Don’t be fooled by some maps showing what appears to be a quite well-managed and integrated system of transport. It doesn’t work that way, but on this article we will try to clarify just how many different transport lines can you find in Bangkok.

1. The Skytrain (or BTS)

BTS Skytrain

BTS Skytrain

BTS, or Skytrain, is one of the most convenient ways to get around in the city. It counts with two lines: the Sukhumvit line in light green and the Silom line, in darker green. Both lines intersect only at Siam station.

As the name indicates, The BTS it runs high on a dedicated railway built over pillars following main roads. The fares are not really cheap, but in exchange you get to enjoy some “view” and some stations are directly connected to shopping mall, buildings, and the skywalk.

It connects with other transportations here:

  • With MRT: in Mo Chit, Asok and Sala Deang
  • With BRT: in Chong Nonsi and Talat Phlu
  • With ARL: in Phayathai
  • With Central Pier: in Saphan Taksin

You can check more information, fares and trip duration on the official website of BTS.

2. The subway (or MRT)

MRT

MRT station

MRT is a quite standard subway system that, as such, runs underground. In this case, it is only one line, that goes from Bang Sue to Hua Lamphong.

The fares are a little bit cheaper than BTS, going from 16 to 42 THB, but with a few exceptions the route lays more on residential areas.

It connects with other transportations here:

  • With BTS: in Chatuchak Park, Si Lom, and Sukhumvit
  • With ARL: in Petchaburi
  • With SRT: in Bang Sue and Hua Lamphong

You can check more information on the official website of Bangkok metro.

3. The Airport Rail Link (or ARL)

ARL

Airport Rail Link station

Airport Rail Link is yet another train-like transportation that runs over a viaduct and connects Suvarnabhumi Airport with the city.

It used to offer an express non-stop service between the airport and the city, but the service is “temporary” suspended as this train still try to find its way. The city line still operates, with 8 stops.

It connects with other transportations here:

  • With the airport: in Suvarnabhumi
  • With BTS: in Phayathai
  • With MRT: in Makkasan

You can check more information on the official website of ARL.

4. The rapid bus (or BRT)

BRT bus at the station

BRT bus at the station. Photo from Wikipedia.

Catching a standard bus can be very challenging and not so safe, but this is an exception as this bus runs on a dedicated lane (sometimes) and it is kind of standard. However, with only one line surviving the original plan, it has a very limited reach.

It connects with other transportations here:

  • With BTS: in Sathorn and Ratchaphruek

5. The normal train (or SRT)

Train

Chooo chooo!

Of course Bangkok also has its own normal, traditional, and incredibly slow train. However, as a tourist, we wouldn’t recommend you to use it unless you are really on a tight budget and have a lot of time to spare.

The train to Chiang Mai from Bangkok costs only 121 Baht for third class, makes 40 stops and takes 15 hours. That’s fast.

It connects with other transportations here:

  • With BTS: in Bang Wa
  • With MRT: in Bang Sue, Hua Lamphong

You can check more information on the official website of SRT.

And each of them is different

You can change from one to another transportation in some specific stations, but bear in mind that you will need to exit one, enter another and buy a different ticket.

Another thing that can confuse you is the name of the stations and lines. For instance, BTS Sukhumvit line does not have any station called Sukhumvit (MRT does) and BTS Silom line doesn’t have any station called Silom (MRT does). Also, when transferring from BTS to MRT, the names don’t match and that can be confusing.

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