Why A Bangkok Hotel Near the MRT Is A Good Idea

Sunday, March 1, 2020

If it’s your first time in Bangkok and you’re not familiar with the Metro system, aka the MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit), we’re here to give you a quick and necessary orientation guide. Whether you’re staying at a Bangkok hotel near the MRT or not, getting around the city underground is a fast, convenient, cost-effective and comfortable (hello air-con!) means of travel. Over the past few years, the city’s rapidly expanding transit system has made it exceptionally easy to get around the city with ease and beat the congested traffic aboveground. So without further ado, let’s discover why ridin’ the MRT is a good idea.

Lines of the Bangkok Metro

There are currently two MRT (underground) lines:

  • The MRT Blue Line runs for 47 kilometers and comprises 38 stations; it operates from Lak Song to Tha Phra (Via Bang Sue). This is the MRT line of most interest to tourists as it covers some central locations and key tourist sites.
  • The MRT Purple Line runs for 23 kilometers and comprises 16 stations; it operates from Tao Poon to Khlong Bang Phai. This line mainly serves the greater Bangkok suburbs and is favored by local residents.

There are also extension plans for both the Blue and Purple lines afoot; in total, they will add 22 additional stations in the coming years. Furthermore, an additional four lines (Orange, Pink, Yellow, Brown) are also in the approved or construction phase; combined they will cover the whole city (126 kilometers) and add a whopping 103 stations to the network.

For visitors to Bangkok, the Blue Line is arguably the most interesting as it goes to Hua Lamphong, Bangkok’s central train station; Chinatown (Wat Mangkon station); and the Old Town (Rattanakosin), aka the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho (Sanam Chai station).

Schedule of the Bangkok Metro

Trains on the Blue Line run from 6:00 am – 12:00 am daily. The average wait between trains is 7 minutes. Peak weekday hours are between 6:00 am – 9:00 am and 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

Trains on the Purple Line run from 5:30 am – 12:00 am daily; except on public holidays, when they switch to 6:00 am – 12:00 am. The average wait between trains is 9 minutes. Peak weekday hours are between 6:00 am – 8:30 am and 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm.

Price of the Bangkok Metro

The cost of a Single Journey Ticket, which is valid for a single journey on the day of purchase, depends on the chosen destination. The MRT does not dispense these as a ticket, but rather as a round, black, plastic token, which you scan on the way into the station and insert into the slot on the way out. Fares start at THB 16 and go up to a maximum of THB 42 per trip. But if you change lines, the fare could rise to as much as THB 70. You can see the exact fare for your journey here: Online MRT Fare Calculator.

The most convenient way to buy your ticket is to use a Ticket Vending Machine (English available) in the terminus. All these machines accept coins and banknotes. But, make sure you have the right money handy as the machines only accept THB 1, 5, 10 coins and THB 20, 50, 100 banknotes. Satang (cents), THB 2 coins and larger banknotes (i.e., THB 500 and 1,000) are not accepted. Alternatively, you can also purchase a ticket from the MRT Station Ticket Office (handy if you only have larger notes).

If you plan to be in Bangkok for a lengthy stay, consider getting a handy Smart Card, which can be stored with value for multiple rides. These cards can be bought and topped-up at any MRT Station Ticket Office.


The subway is interconnected to the BTS Skytrain network at Chatuchak Park station (Mo Chit BTS station), Ha Yaek Lat Phrao (Phahon Yothin station), Silom (Sala Daeng BTS station), Bang Wa (Bang Wa BTS station) and Sukhumvit (Asok BTS station).

The subway is also conveniently connected to the Airport Rail Link (ARL) that goes to Suvarnabhumi International Airport at Phetchaburi Station (Makkasan Station).

However, be aware that if you change network – from MRT to BTS or MRT to ARL – that you need to buy a new ticket. There is no standardized ticket; the three rail systems are separate entities.

If your travel itinerary in the Land of Smiles has you heading to other parts of the country, then you’re in luck as the MRT is well-connected to several key transportation hubs. The Chatuchak Park MRT Station is only a fifteen-minute walk or 5 minutes taxi ride from the Mo Chit Bus Terminal (predominantly with buses headed northwards). And for those of you taking a train journey (all parts of the country), take the MRT to the end of the line and alight below Hua Lamphong Station.

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