How to use Bangkok subway and line schematics

Bangkok subway. How to use the Bangkok subway.

Bangkok, with a population of about 10 million people, covers an area of 1500 square kilometers, the attractions of the city are scattered throughout its territory, but despite this, you can get to any point of interest in Bangkok quickly, cheaply and without too much trouble, and all thanks to the Bangkok subway, a convenient, reliable and practical type of transport.

Bangkok Metro. How to use the Bangkok Metro.
Bangkok’s elevated subway, a convenient, reliable and practical mode of transportation. Skytrain of the Sukhumvit Line.

Subways in different cities are different from each other, the Bangkok subway is no exception, and below will be written in detail about how to use the Bangkok subway, how it differs from our subway, how much tickets and passes, when the subway stations are open, and of course, will be laid out map of the subway as of the current year 2022.

How the Bangkok subway differs from our subway. Above-ground subway lines and zonal charging.

Before we get to the story of how to use the Bangkok subway, it’s worth listing its main differences from our subway.

  • The Bangkok subway is elevated . Of all the lines of the Bangkok Metro only MRT Blue line runs underground and only in part, in the center and the north of town. The rest of the Bangkok Metro is located above the highways of the city, on thick concrete pylons, 15 – 20 meters above the ground.
  • The Bangkok subway is served by two competing companies. Part of the Bangkok subway lines are served by the operator BTS, its subway lines are called “skytrain”, the other part is served by the operator MRT. One operator’s tickets are not valid on another operator’s lines, if you transfer to another operator’s line you must buy a new ticket.
  • Payment in the Bangkok subway is zone-based, like on our electric trains. Fares are posted next to the ticket vending machines.
  • Tickets in the Bangkok subway must be saved until the end of the trip. You will need them when leaving the subway.
  • Bangkok Metro tickets are different from ours. The BTS operator uses plastic cards and the MRT operator uses round tokens with a magnetic strip inside.
  • Some ticket vending machines do not accept banknotes, only coins. All of these machines belong to BTS, MRT machines accept banknotes. If you do not have enough change for the trip, you can change bills for coins at Metro ticket offices.
  • Some of the Bangkok subway stations do not sell single tickets, only change paper money for coins and sell passes for multiple trips. These strange ticket booths also belong to the operator BTS, in the MRT you can buy single tickets without problems.
  • Buying a fare in Bangkok will not save you money, it only saves time by eliminating the need to stand in line at the ticket booths and vending machines, in downtown Bangkok lines are not uncommon.

After you have listed the differences between the subway in Bangkok and domestic subway, it is time to talk about the Bangkok subway tariffs and working hours, and lay out a subway map of Bangkok, relevant to the year 2022.

Bangkok subway line scheme. Bangkok subway ticket prices and opening hours.

Ticket prices in the Bangkok subway start at 15 baht, when traveling through the center of Bangkok prices are usually at 30 baht – 45 baht, when traveling to the suburbs, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi, the maximum rate applies, up to 70 baht. Metro Bangkok operates every day from 6-00 to 24-00.

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Bangkok Metro Map
Subway line scheme of central Bangkok. Subway lines Sukhumvit line, Silom line, MRT Blue line and Airport rail line.

The above Bangkok metro scheme is clickable, by clicking on it you can get to a more detailed map where you can see not only the metro stations in the central part of the city, but also stations located in the suburbs. You can see a metro map of Bangkok with sights here: Bangkok Metro and Sightseeing Map.

How to use the Bangkok Metro. Step-by-step instructions for Skytrain and MRT lines.

For the Sukhumvit line and the Silom line, both operated by BTS, these step by step instructions are as follows:

  • Go to the ticket vending machine, look at the posted fare, and calculate whether you have enough coins to buy a ticket. If not, go to the cashier to change your bills.
  • If you’re faced with an old-style machine, like the one pictured below, select your fare, pay for it, get the change if necessary, and pick up a plastic ticket. Everything is quite simple and intuitive.
Bangkok Metro. How to use the Bangkok Metro. Ticket vending machine.
How to use Bangkok subway. A ticket vending machine, with instructions in English on the front panel.
  • If you are facing a new-style ticket machine with a touch screen, select “english”, point your finger at the correct metro station, and the machine will display the amount to be paid, then everything is clear.
  • Walk up to the turnstile and put your ticket to the reader, the turnstile will open. Where the reader is located is easy to determine, it is the place of the turnstile where the Thai who passed in front of you put his ticket.
  • Keep your ticket until the end of the trip, you will need it to exit the subway.
  • At the exit of the metro station put your plastic ticket into the turnstile slot. There is no need to put your ticket to the reader, as the Thais will do before you, they have a travel card – they put it, you have a single ticket – they put it down.
  • What happens if you mix up the fare and pay for a cheaper trip? No big deal. The turnstile will not let you out, you start waving your hands, the attendant comes up to you and takes you to the ticket office, where you pay the difference.

For the MRT Blue line and MRT Purple line, which are operated by an MRT operator, the steps are slightly different.

  • If you don’t want to bother with vending machines, go to the ticket office, name the station you need, listen to the cashier’s answer about the fare (all cashiers speak English), pay the fare, get the token and go to the turnstiles.
  • It actually makes sense to go to the ticket machines, because that’s where the subway scheme is posted. And at the same time, and pay the fare, if you have already approached the machines. It’s easy to do: you choose the dialogue language on the screen, put your finger to the right station and pay the fare displayed on the screen. After that you can go to the turnstiles with the token.
  • All the rest is exactly the same as with the BTS operator. You put the token to the reader, keep it until the end of the trip and at the exit put it into the turnstile slot.
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Bangkok Subway. How to use the Bangkok subway. Ticket vending machine at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Bangkok Metro. How to use the Bangkok subway. Photo of the subway ticket vending machine at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

It is worth saying a few more words about how to use the subway line connecting Bangkok with the airport, the Airport rail link. The procedure for buying tickets here is no different from the MRT line. Read more about this Bangkok metro line separately: How to get to Bangkok from the airport cheaply. Metro line from the airport to Bangkok.

Bangkok Metro passes. One-day pass and Rabbit card.

Operator BTS (Skytrain Sukhumvit line and Silom line) sells two types of tickets, the One-day pass and Rabbit card top-up. MRT does not sell One-day passes, only top-up cards.

How to use the Bangkok subway. Bangkok subway passes.
Bangkok Metro. How to use the Bangkok subway. Enlarge photo of skytrain pass, One-day pass, price 140 baht.

One-day pass costs 140 baht, the number of trips is unlimited. Refillable Rabbit card costs 100 baht (plastic price) plus you put a minimum of 100 baht on it for future trips. When you use this card you get a fantastic discount of one (1) baht per trip.

Bangkok Metro map with sights. Bangkok Metro map and Bangkok attractions.

Below you can find Bangkok Metro map with places of interest where you can see Grand Palace, temples Wat Pho, Wat Arun, National Museum, Kao San road and other places of interest in the Thai capital.

Metro and sightseeing map of Bangkok. Subway stations and major attractions on a map of Bangkok.

The lines on the map are depicted as follows: the Sukhumvit line (light green), the Silom line (dark green), the MRT Blue line (blue), the Airport rail link (red), and the railroad lines (black). Looking at this map of the Bangkok Metro, you can easily understand from which particular metro station it is easiest to get to the attractions you want.

Bangkok subway: Features of transport, how to use

The Bangkok subway is a comfortable and the fastest way to travel in the capital of the country of smiles. Regardless of the chosen direction and the type of subway, you will get to your destination quickly, and most importantly without traffic jams. The undoubted advantage of the subway in Bangkok – the ability to overcome the maximum distances in the minimum period of time and reach the desired attractions, even outside the capital. The only nuance that somewhat overshadows travel in the Bangkok subway is the high cost. Paying for a trip over long distances is comparable to taking a cab.

Bangkok Metro

Subway in Bangkok – a real salvation for the metropolis, which resembles an anthill. We will tell you in detail about the subway scheme, the operating lines, the cost of tokens, cards and tickets, the rules of transport in Bangkok.

Types of subways

Why does Bangkok need the subway so much? Construction in the metropolis has always been active and chaotic. This threatened transport collapse, to avoid problems, the government decided to provide residents with transport that:

  • connect all of Bangkok’s neighborhoods;
  • will reduce travel time as much as possible.

The first branch opened in 1999. Today, the Bangkok metro scheme covers all districts and is undoubtedly the most convenient urban transport.

The Thais are justifiably proud of their sky train. The elevated subway was built exclusively by local companies. Travelling in such a train is not just a way to get to your destination, but a great opportunity for a self-guided sightseeing tour. The fact is that the elevated trains ride over all urban transport.

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Bangkok subway

Good to know! If you want to enjoy the panorama of Bangkok, try to take seats in the outermost cars of the train, the windows of other cars are often covered with advertisements.

Peculiarities of overground trains:

Stops are announced twice, in local and English.

The diagram of the elevated subway is simple, intuitive, and marked in three colors: blue, light blue, and green. Recently, another line in purple has appeared on the scheme. Names of Bangkok subway stations are denoted by a letter, which means the side of the world, as well as a number – the distance in kilometers from the central districts of the capital.

Upper platform of Saiyam transfer station.


Nodal stop – Sayam, here you can change the direction of travel – to change from the dark green line to the light green line.

Good to know! Do you want to visit the entertainment district? Look for stop S2 on the map and take the dark green line.

Tickets for Bangkok's elevated subway

There are three types of cards in the elevated subway:

  • for a single fare;
  • day pass;
  • pass for a month.

Tourists tend to take advantage of the above-ground subway map because it covers almost all of Bangkok’s tourist attractions. The fare is determined by the number of stations to be traveled.

Good to know! Working time of Bangkok subway: from 6-00 to 24-00, the interval of trains – from 3 to 6 minutes.

Underground transport is used more and more often by locals, so if you are interested to join the life of Bangkok, make a few trips to the underground, but take care in advance and print the scheme of lines with the indication of the stations in Russian. On the Bangkok subway map, the underground line is marked in blue. It covers the northeastern districts of Bangkok, where there is a concentration of residential houses and almost no sights.

Bangkok Metro Map

  • The design of the stations is simple, minimalist;
  • the tunnel is separated from the lobby and passengers by a transparent partition;
  • two and, in some places, three levels are built at the junction stations.

End stations are located near major train stops. Tickets are purchased separately:

  • for single fares;
  • for one-day trips;
  • card with the ability to recharge;
  • 15-day pass;
  • one-month pass.

There are three stations on the subway scheme that intersect with the elevated subway.

Useful to know! Working schedule: from 6-00 to 24-00. Traffic interval is from 5 to 10 minutes.

On the scheme is a red line, it is also called – underground electric train. The journey from the airport terminal to the central districts of Bangkok takes only a quarter of an hour. Today there is only one branch on the scheme of the airport subway, so there are no difficulties with the choice of tokens and cards. The fare is determined according to the length of the route.

Airport subway layout (ARL)

Scheme of the airport subway.

  • Red. Use the red tokens for travel. Trains go from Makkasan station to the airport terminal without stops;
  • Blue (City line) – trains go to Phaya Thai. Payment is by yellow tokens. To get to the station you can do the following – go downstairs in the station building and follow the signs “To City” and “To Train”. Trains stop at all stations.
  • Yellow (Phaya Thai express). Trains go to Phaya Thai. Red tokens are required.
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The airport subway is part of the land subway, but you need to buy different season tickets. The thing is that the airport subway was built with funds from private investors, so this part of the subway system does not belong to the state company “BTS”.

Useful to know! Working hours: from 6-00 to 24-00, the interval of movement is from a quarter of an hour to 17 minutes.

Types of tickets and fare

Single ticket Price from 15 to 52 THB The price depends on the duration of the trip. It is not necessary to calculate the route specially – the stops are built at a distance of 1 km from each other. There is an interactive chart on the official website – click on the departure point and the arrival point and the system will show the distance and price. The token is valid for two hours. Penalty for improper use is 40 THB or more.
Daytime Cost THB 140. Can be used on the day of purchase, accordingly, it is not reasonable to buy it in the evening.
For a month Price from THB 345 to 900 Does not entitle to unlimited fare. Document allows a fixed number of trips per month:
Single ticket Price from 16 to 40 THB. Discount of 50% for children.
Accumulative Minimum price 230 THB. THB 30 out of that amount is card price, THB 150 can be spent on fare payment and THB 50 remains as a deposit.

Minimum top-up amount 100 THB.

Where to buy tickets and what to do

At all stations listed on the subway map, there are vending machines where you can buy tokens for a single trip. Documents for other number of trips are presented in the cashier’s office, they also operate in the subway stations.

Subway token machines

There are three types of machines that you can use to buy tokens for travelling on underground trains.

Machine type Pay Features of use
Ticket Issuing Machine (TIM) There are two kinds of coins: 5 or 10 THB. The machines give out 5 THB in change. Before you buy a ticket, you must find out the cost of the ticket. There are special tables for this purpose next to the machine. It is necessary to choose the button with the corresponding figure on the machine, only after that the money is deposited.
Integrated Ticketing Machine (ITM) You can pay with the following denominations of bills: 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 THB. There are 5 THB coins for change. The screens are touch screen machines. It is possible to select the English language, the necessary station, then to deposit money.
Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) There are THB 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bills. There are 1, 5 and 10 THB coins for change. The principle of use does not differ from the previous machine. The difference is in the functionality of the machine – you can purchase several tickets at one time.

Good to know! If you do not have banknotes of the required denomination, change them at the nearest ticket office.

You can buy a ticket for the subway as follows:

  • single fare tokens are bought at any ticket office, as well as in a special machine;
  • tickets are only available at the ticket offices in the stations;
  • only tickets for adults can be bought in ticket machines, and the document for children must be bought at the ticket office;
  • the machines accept the following bills: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 THB;
  • only coins are available for change in the machines.

Airport subway tickets can also be purchased from vending machines at the stations.

How to use the subway in Bangkok

It shouldn’t be difficult to use the subway in Bangkok. The machines are simple and intuitive even for tourists who do not know English.

BTS fare rules

First of all, you need to buy a ticket (travel card). All travel documents are valid for all overhead lines, you can also change branches.

The ticket (card) is used to pass through the turnstile at the departure and arrival stops that you specified when purchasing. If you try to use the document at the wrong stop, the turnstile will not work.

Useful to know! You will be able to get off at another station, provided that the fare is the same as the paid amount.

MRT rules

Subway is relevant when you need to get to the train station. To go down to the station will need a season ticket or one-time token. Where to buy them described above.

The control of the fare is also at the entrance and exit of the subway. That is why the ticket, token or card must be kept for the entire trip. Remember that each ticket provides a certain amount of time to stay in the paid metro area. The maximum travel period is 90 minutes. After this period, the passenger must pay a fine of 40 Baht.

Interesting facts and features of the metro in Bangkok

Despite the huge passenger traffic in the capital’s metro, the first thing that tourists and travelers immediately note – order and impeccable adherence to the rules. The work at all the stations marked on the scheme is orderly and subject to the approved regulations. You will never see passengers shoving and arguing in the subway. Boarding and disembarking are calm and orderly.

At an elevated MRT station while waiting for a train

Many platforms have hermetically sealed glass doors, sealed until the train arrives. Discounts are available for children as well as older passengers.

Riding the escalators in two rows

  1. The price depends on the length of the route selected on the scheme.
  2. All stops are announced twice – in local and English languages.
  3. Moving on escalators in two rows, passengers do not move on the stairs.
  4. If you want to go down into the underground, you will have to go through a metal detector frame and show your bags to a subway employee.
  5. It is always cool in the cars, of course, after the heat on the street is nice to be in a cool room, but after the rain you can even freeze.

Planning your trip, be sure to take with you Bangkok subway scheme in Russian. It will facilitate navigation in the capital and allow you to visit the maximum number of attractions.

Now you know what the Bangkok subway is a convenient and fast way to get around the capital of Thailand. Travel with pleasure and comfort.

Author: Julia Matyukhina

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