Touring Thailand

 

Bangkok Skytrain - BTS

Currently one of the best ways of avoiding the jam-packed roads of central Bangkok. Officially known as the Bangkok Transit System but called the Skytrain.

Early Days

Distant Skytrain

Originally the lofty plans were to have the Skytrain extend from the inner city of Bangkok all the way north along the expressway up to Don Muang Station. Visually impressive and undoubtably futuristic comparable to Tokoyo or Singapore the sight of it leaves an impression with visitor and resident alike.
Construction was underway from 1992 but the project was expensive and causing horrendous traffic jams with sukumvit being notably affected.
Financing issues, insider politics and delays in general meant the construction of the BTS was a troubled one. There were even critics who proposed that the elevation piers and supports would block in the traffic smog and prevent air-circulation. The goal of having it completely present around the city was called into question. The Asian Crisis of 1997 had damaged Thailands coffers somewhat and blunted enthusiasm for mega-projects like the Skytrain.
All around Bangkok were half-built skyscrapers standing in mute testiment to those heady days.
Cost-cutting measures had to be brought in and eventually, although the Skytrain project was completed, it was only in place along specific high traffic density zones of the inner city. It opened for business in 1999.

Skytrain BTS

Initial revenues were not as high as had been hoped but passenger appreciation and independent reviews were promising. Extending the number of carriages is seen as one solution to the revenue problem and reducing the packed carriages during rush-hour.

It's relatively cheap to use, is elevated at a lofty 30 metres or so and is quiet. Rewarding and impressive views of the cityscape of Bangkok can be seen by passengers as the Skytrain wends and winds its way along.

As an added comfort bonus all carriages on the skytrain are air-conditioned. No smoking, food or drink is allowed so the areas are clean and tidy, no foul smells that may be present on ground level are present up here.
2007 saw the introduction of flat-screed TVs blaring out adverts and (pop) music in all carriages and most platforms. A move that is not universally welcomed by passengers.

Recently the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport has meant a new extension project for the Skytrain. It's being upgraded to run eastwards so it can ferry passengers to and from the international airport.

Bangkok MRT has linked into the existing Skytrain network in important areas like Sukumvit Road meaning smoother transitions between the two.


On The Road Thailand (OTRT) is the standalone information gateway to Bangkok. Unlike many websites which blatantly over-hype destinations we independently review many of Bangkok's attractions and night life so that you the guest are given a unbiased balanced opinion of a venue.

Central Bangkok

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