A shopping mall in Bangkok
I have used the BTS Sky Train in Bangkok many times. It is very convenient for me and goes to many destinations that I am interested in. On the other hand, I feel like an awestruck tourist when I travel the new MRT Subway (also known as the Bangkok Metro). Compared to the sky train, I find the underground electric train to be less crowded and quieter though equally clean. However, I don’t think that the stations are as useful to tourists. Or are they? At present there are 18 stations along a route that covers only 20 kilometers. There are plans to extend the network to several hundred kilometers. But, the eventual completion will take many years. In the meantime, I want to give you some ideas of places you can visit. I will give you a tentative list today and then over the coming weeks I will explore the subway and give you more details on what there is to see.
1. Hua Lamphong Station – Exit 2 takes you right into the railway station of the same name. This is convenient for people wanting to catch a train north, south, east and northeast. This is also on the eastern edge of Chinatown. About ten minutes from here is Wat Traimit with the impressive Golden Buddha.
2. Sam Yan – Leave by Exit 2 for Sam Yen Market and the Snake Farm.
3. Silom – This has an interchange with the Sala Daeng BTS station. There are also many hotels and shopping malls nearby. For example Central and Robinson. The Patpong night market is not far. Take Exit 1 if you want to get some fresh air in Lumphini Park.
4. Lumphini – The park is also close to this station. Take Exit 3 for direct access to the popular Suan Luan Night Bazzaar (sadly to close one of these days). The Lumphini boxing stadium is not too far away.
5. Khlong Toei – This area is famous for the slums. It is also home to Bangkok Post!
6. Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre – Exit 3 takes you straight into the convention center. I come here often for the book fairs and holiday fairs. Parking is terrible so I like to come by MRT.
7. Sukhumwit – This has a direct access to the Asok BTS station. Not too far from shopping malls such as Robinson and Times Square. Exit 1 will take you close to The Siam Society.
8. Phetchaburi – Not much of interest here. I will have to go and take a look myself.
9. Phra Ram 9 – This is convenient for the large shopping mall at Fortune Tower and IT Mall.
10. Thailand Cultural Centre – There is a large Robinson here as well as Carrefour and Home Pro. The Cultural Centre is not far away. I visited there a few years ago and they had an interesting museum.
11. Huai Khwang – A number of major hotels but not much else.
12. Sutthisan – There is a night market here not far from the station.
13. Ratchadapisek – Not much here for tourists.
14. Lat Phrao – No, don’t get off here for the famous shopping mall!
15. Phahon Yothin – Exit 3 is a short walk to the popular Central Lat Phrao shopping mall. I quite like this mall. Sofitel Central Plaza is not much further.
16. Chatuchak Park – This is the interchange station for Mo Chit BTS. Chatuchak Park and Queen Sirikit Park is close by. The famous weekend market is also a short walk. In the area is also the Railway Museum and the Kids Discovery Center.
17. Kamphaeng Phet – This station is more convenient for the weekend market. Use Exit 2. The Farmer’s Fruit and Vegetable market is on the opposite side of the road.
18. Bang Sue – This is the last stop. Here you will find Bang Sue Railway Station.
There is probably more places of interest than that. I will get my walking shoes on and bring you some more reports soon. The cost for the MRT is about 15 baht per stop. So that will cost me 270 baht if I decide to get off at every stop. To go from one end to the other without stopping costs 39 baht. You can buy a one day pass for 120 baht.