Friday, August 16, 2013

Bangkok Metro Ride


In Bangkok we have had subway (MRT- Mass Rapid Transit) and skytrain (BTS – Bangkok Mass Transit System) for around a decade. They are an answer to going places in Bangkok for people like me who do not drive in this city. I like metro more than skytrain because it is cooler underground but the latter has wider network (and expanding) and you can take in more views. 

One Monday I had lunch appointment with a few friends and because of their work commitment, we had to meet in town. We picked a restaurant in Chamchuri Square, a newish residential/shopping complex next to my alma mater. My mother’s house is not far from Bangsue Metro Station which is the end of the line so it means you will have empty cars and loads of seats to pick from this station going into town. One thing I like about these mass transit systems is that you can time the trip fairly accurately whilst it is difficult to time if travelling by car through Bangkok traffic. It took me 40 minutes (could be 2 hours by car!) to get to the centre of Bangkok – plenty of time to read a couple chapters of The Game of Thrones on my kindle. Everybody in the car was more or less in their own world with smart phones and tablets, very tiny percentage with actual hard copy books.

You can buy single-usage token (for MRT) or strip (for BTS) or multi-usage loaded cards at the stations, either from one of the vending machines or ticketing counters. It is a shame that you have to buy tickets for metro and skytrain separately as they have not yet combined into one system. Loaded cards are more convenient and time saving if you plan to travel in Bangkok for several days.

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