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Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)

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Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) | The Thaiger

Bangkok Transit System, better known by locals and tourists as the ‘Skytrain’, is as ubiquitous in Bangkok as good street food and fake Viagra.

It is operated by Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC), a subsidiary of BTS Group Holdings, under a concession granted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

The system consists of 43 stations along two lines: the Sukhumvit Line running northwards and eastwards, terminating at Mo Chit and Kheha respectively, and the Silom Line which serves Silom and Sathon Roads, the central business district of Bangkok, terminating at National Stadium and Bang Wa.

Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) | News by The Thaiger

There is also the dedicated Airport Link from the city to Suvarnabhumi and soon a line will open to Don Mueang.

Besides the BTS, Bangkok’s rapid transit system includes the underground and elevated Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) railway lines. The growth in daily BTS traffic has been huge in the past ten years.

Before we get started, whilst it’s 35 degrees outside the BTS, it can often be at least 10 degrees cooler inside. Pleasant on some trips, can get icy cold on others.

Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) | News by The Thaiger

The Skytrain system was opened on 5 December 1999 by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Bangkokians avoided it like the plague for the first few years but slowly fell in love with the elevated trains. Now the BTS is a vital part of the Bangkok public transport system with growing numbers of passengers every year.

The BTS has a fleet of 52 four-car trains. Here are ten things to know before you travel on the Skytrain.

1. No one reads newspapers or magazines anymore, no one!

The future of marketing is in stark focus when riding on the BTS Skytrain. No one reads newspapers or magazines and it’s estimated that 86% of travellers will look at their smartphones at least once during any trip on the BTS. The actual carriages are adorned with marketing messages and branding, some of them completely ‘skinned’ in the branding of paying organisations. The stations feature a lot of screens and large format advertising as well as inside the carriages. Given the 663,000 daily users on the Skytrain, basically a captive audience, where are you spending your marketing baht?

The Bangkok Mass Transit System was making more from advertising revenue than ticket sales until 2013.

Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) | News by The Thaiger
2. One Day Pass is the way to go

At least for tourists who don’t have many days in Bangkok, one day pass is good for travellers who plan to go to at least 2 locations in 1 day. But if your destinations are less than 5 stations apart, then go with Single Journey Ticket. The one day ticket will save you A LOT of time especially in rush-hours when queues for tickets can add to your frustration.

To get single-journey tickets you have automatic dispensers where you’ll need to know your way around and have plenty of change with you. Every Skytrain station has helpful staff that are used to tourists and bewildered expats not knowing the system. You can also buy your day passes from these staff.

Also (and it could change anytime) there is currently no ‘seniors’ card or discount available on the BTS, although there is a discount currently available for over 60s on the MRT (underground).

3. Watch out for slamming gates

The automatic ticket gates open and close fast! So once you’ve popped in your ticket or touched your token onto the gate, those flipper doors will swing open. They slam closed again just seconds later. If you’re not ready to burst through the gate at this time you’ll miss your chance and have the gates grab onto your backpack as you try and get through.

4. No Durian!

Thais love their durians but not on the BTS or MRT. You shouldn’t bring anything stinky into the carriage, including yourself. There are security staff doing bag checks at many stations – they’ll detect your durian a lot quicker than they’ll get close enough to find any weapons.

5. Let passengers out before you get in

One of the most frustrating things when taking the BTS or MRT is when passengers start rushing in whilst you’re still trying to get off the train. Please let people get out first. BTS and MRT will give you plenty of time and sound an alarm before the doors close.

Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) | News by The Thaiger

6. Keep right

Keep to the right side if you want to stand on the escalator. Stay left if you want to walk up or down the escalator. Be assured if you stand on the left side of the escalator someone will give you a polite budge to move across.

8. Avoid peak hour

If you don’t like crowds then avoid the BTS at 7-9am and 5-7pm. It’s hell. Consider 10 millions people trying to get from one part of Bangkok to another. You may have to wait until a few trains come and go before you get a chance to get into the carriage. If you’re standing on a platform with thousands of other Bangkokians on a hot April day waiting in peak hour you won’t forget it fast.

Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) | News by The Thaiger

9. Know the first and last train time schedules

The BTS first train from Mo Chit and Bearing stations depart at 5:15am and the last train leaves the station at midnight. For the Silom line, the trains start from 5:30am and run to midnight. The MRT (underground) runs from 6am-midnight everyday. Keep in mind that the station gates will be closed approximately 10 minutes before the last train arrives at the station.

10. No bathrooms in the stations or actual carriages

There are no restrooms/bathrooms/toilets in BTS or MRT stations or trains. Luckily, there are so many malls by some stations that you can just use their public restrooms along the way. Although the MRT and BTS are the fastest ways to get around Bangkok, if your destinations are far apart, you may need to forward-plan your restroom visits.

10a. Not to be confused with the South Korean band

Type in BTS into your Google machine and you’ll get millions of entries about RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, V and Jungkook – the seven members of BTS (which comes from their name in Korean which translates as Bullet-proof Boyscouts – Bangtan Sonyeondan). If you want to find out about the Bangkok Skytrain, type in ‘BTS Bangkok’.

Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) | News by The Thaiger

The most popular stations for the BTS?

Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) | News by The Thaiger

 

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Bangkok

Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12

The Thaiger

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Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12 | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: AFP

His Majesty the King has ordered the Royal Barge Procession to be postponed to December 12, originally scheduled for October 24, as recommended by the organising committee chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngarm told Parliament yesterday about the official postponement.

After ten rehearsals and one dress rehearsal, he said the organising committee agreed that, if the procession were to proceed on October 24, the water conditions in the Chao Phraya River, currents and weather conditions would not be optimal. The committee then reported its concerns to HM the King, who subsequently agreed that the event be postponed until December 12, the beginning of the winter in Bangkok and the most settled weather of the year, according to Thai PBS World.

The committee will meet again on October 21 and a formal announcement will be made about the new schedule, said Wissanu, adding that December would be perfect timing for the event as there will be little chance of rain.

The Royal Barge Procession is the official finale of the King’s Coronation ceremony held in May this year. Their Majesties the King and Queen will ride on one of the 52 barges in the procession.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Here’s an example of what it will look like…

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Bangkok

BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok

May Taylor

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BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Tourist police in Bangkok have arrested a thief accused of pick-pocketing tourists on the city’s BTS Skytrain, along with an Indonesian couple charged with credit card fraud and card skimming.

Kasem Masan Jantaro, a 44 year old food vendor in the Huay Kwang market, says he started pick-pocketing when business became too slow for him to adequately support his family. The Skytrain security team alerted the police after several reports of tourists being pick-pocketed on the trains. Victims described the thief as middle-aged, with pale skin.

Kasem was arrested while trying to flee the scene at the Asok BTS station on Wednesday and was found to have 4,600 baht in cash and four stolen credit cards in his possession. Thai Residents reports that Kasem was previously prosecuted for drugs offences in 2015 and for robbery in 2016.

In a separate arrest, Bangkok police detained 32 year old Alexander Eddilias and 33 year old Estie Rusdiana, an Indonesian couple charged with being in possession of fake credit cards, stolen credit cards, and skimming devices used to steal credit card information.

The arrest comes after several banks notified police of transactions made using fake cards and the couple were tracked to a room in the Pratunam area of Bangkok. Officers also seized a computer, a skimming device, twenty two fake credit cards, two stolen credit cards, and twenty four credit card receipts.

The suspects say they bought the information on the Dark Web. The information was then recorded in the magnetic strip of the fake cards, which were used to make purchases worth approximately 2 million baht.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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