Whenever I visit Bangkok, one of my favorite cities, I try to utilize public transportation as much as possible. I particularly enjoy traveling on Bangkok’s elevated rail system known as the Skytrain or BTS. These modern electric cars whisk passengers through the business district's maze of skyscrapers several stories above Bangkok’s chaotic streets. Not only is it much less expensive then relying on taxis, it’s faster and much more interesting than being stuck in traffic. A single trip on the BTS can be had for as little as 43 cents, but for tourists, a day pass of unlimited rides is a fantastic bargain at $4 USD. Purchasing a pass is easy as each station has several ticket kiosks which are staffed by friendly, helpful English-speaking Thais.
The Skytrain system is composed of two lines named Sukhumvit and Silom after key neighborhoods in downtown Bangkok. They join together at Siam Station, the location of one of Bangkok’s largest shopping malls. In fact, if shopping is your pleasure, many of the city’s most popular malls, markets and districts, such as Siam Paragon Mall, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Patpong Night Market and Ratchaprasong Road can all be reached by the BTS.
To see Bangkok’s most iconic tourist sites such as Wat Pho and The Grand Palace, take the Silom line to Saphan Taksin station and connect to the Chao Phraya Express boat. Wat Pho is about a five-minute walk from Pier Number Eight, while The Grand Palace can be reached from Pier Number Nine.
Visitors utilizing the Skytrain can also connect to Bangkok’s underground metro system known as the MRT. Also convenient and inexpensive, the MRT can be used to reach Hua Lamphong Railway Station, China Town and must-see sites such as the Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit.