A Guide to the Bangkok BTS and MRT for Expats in Bangkok

A Guide to the Bangkok BTS and MRT for Expats in Bangkok

By Admin / May 09, 2024 / Living in Bangkok

Bangkok is a bustling city that blends tradition and modernity. For expats, navigating the vast network of roads can be a daunting task, not to mention the heavy traffic. Fortunately, Bangkok has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, including the BTS Skytrain, MRT, and Airport Rail Link. These systems provide convenience, accessibility, and efficiency, making it easier for you to explore the city's diverse neighborhoods and commute to work or school without the hassle of traffic congestion. Using the MRT and BTS is very simple and you can refer to our guide here to learn more.

What are the benefits of using the BTS and MRT?

The BTS Skytrain and MRT have transformed how people get around Bangkok. These train systems provide a convenient and affordable alternative to private vehicles or taxis. Expats can easily navigate the city, avoiding the notorious traffic jams, while enjoying the comfort of air-conditioned trains. The various transport lines also have English signage and announcements, making it easier for non-Thai speakers to find their way. With the integration of different routes, travelers can smoothly transfer between lines and reach more parts of the city. Since the BTS first started operating in 1999, the network has been continuously expanding, making it increasingly accessible to travel to various areas of Bangkok.


Bangkok transport map: Bangkok Tourism website

Be aware of when the last BTS or MRT train of the night is departing, as they don't operate as late as trains in other cities. The first and latest train times for each station are shown at the ticket booths.

One of the main reasons the trains are so clean is that food and drink are not permitted inside the stations.

How to Use the BTS Skytrain

Light Green BTS Sukhumvit Line

The Light Green BTS Sukhumvit Line is arguably the most useful for expats, particularly those associated with VERSO International School. This line runs from Khu Khot in the northwest to Kheha in the east, covering some of Bangkok's most vibrant neighborhoods and commercial districts. Key stations along this route include Siam, Chit Lom, and Asok, which are popular shopping and entertainment hubs. For VERSO International School families, the line offers convenient access, as they can take the BTS to Udom Sok station and then a short taxi ride to the school.


BTS Skytrain guide: Sawasdee Thailand

Dark Green BTS Silom Line

The Dark Green BTS Silom Line is another essential route for expats, running from Bang Wa in the west to National Stadium in the east. This line serves many significant areas, including Silom, Sathorn, and Lumpini Park. Expats working in the central business district will find this line particularly useful.

The main Siam interchange is the only station where the Light Green and Dark Green lines connect.

How to Use the MRT system in Bangkok

Blue Line

The MRT Blue Line is a crucial part of Bangkok's public transportation network, running from Tha Phra to Lak Song, in a semi-loop around many parts of the city. This line connects key destinations such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Chinatown, useful for expats interested in exploring Bangkok's rich cultural heritage and vibrant street markets.

Purple Line

The MRT Purple Line is a relatively new addition to Bangkok's transportation system, connecting Tao Poon in the west to Khlong Bang Phai in the east.

Yellow Line

The new MRT Yellow Line spans from Lat Phrao in the north to Samrong in Samut Prakan, catering to the eastern district and neighboring provinces.

Pink Line

The MRT Pink Line, again new, links Nonthaburi and Minburi suburbs, serving as a vital transportation link for expats living in these areas. This line provides access to various educational institutions, shopping malls, and residential neighborhoods.

How much are BTS and MRT Tickets?

Even though the BTS is among the priciest public transportation systems in Asia, people from many other nations—especially those in Europe and North America—often see that it offers great value. About once a year, the fares are updated. At the moment, a single ticket for one station on the Skytrain costs 17 Thai Baht, while a ticket for the entire system costs 62 Baht. 150 Baht gets you unrestricted travel for one day. The MRT costs between 15 to 40 baht and a day pass is 120 Baht. This is as of 2024.

Children under 90 cm travel free on the BTS and MRT, while those beyond this height must pay the full fee on the BTS and a discounted fare on the MRT (height charts are located at the ticket machines).


*Rabbit card is a must-have for most regular BTS or MRT users

For a 100 Baht deposit, you can get a stored-value Rabbit card, which will save you time standing in line. Then, you can fund it with cash to pay as you go or you can purchase a pre-paid trip set at a discounted rate, good for 30 days. The MRT has a similar system.

How about the other metro lines?

Dark Red Line

The SRT Dark Red Line, also known as the Bangsue-Rangsit Line, is a commuter rail system that connects Bangkok's northern suburbs to the city center.

Gold Line

The Gold Line is a relatively short line, connecting Krung Thon Buri and Khlong San. While not as extensive as other lines, it serves as a convenient transportation option for expats living or working in the western part of Bangkok, providing connections to the BTS.

Suvarnabhumi Airport Link

No guide to Bangkok's public transportation would be complete without mentioning the Airport Rail Link. The service connects Suvarnabhumi Airport to the Phaya Thai BTS station. It offers direct and hassle-free access to the airport.

Getting Around Bangkok

In this guide, we've looked at the expanding network of BTS Skytrain and MRT lines that crisscross Bangkok. This includes the Light Green BTS Sukhumvit Line, Dark Green BTS Silom Line, MRT Blue Line, MRT Purple Line, MRT Yellow Line, MRT Pink Line, SRT Dark Red Line, Gold Line, and the Suvarnabhumi Airport Link. Each of these lines serves different areas of the city, offering unique benefits for expats living and working in various parts.

At VERSO International School, we recognize the significance of reliable and convenient transportation for our expat community to provide a strong base to support our school’s goals. This guide is designed to provide you with the knowledge necessary to navigate Bangkok's public transport systems effortlessly. By understanding the available options, you'll be able to explore the city's vibrant neighborhoods, commute to work or school, and fully experience all that this remarkable city has to offer. We hope this guide is an invaluable resource, enabling you to make the most of your time in Bangkok.