Taking the MRT (Underground) , Bangkok Subway – MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) offers the most effective and convenient way to get to the weekend market or to Suan Lum Night Bazaar. The MRT can also get you to Hua Lampong train station, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Lumpini park, Siam Niramit, Fortune Town (the excellent computer department store), and all the entertainment and shopping centers along the main, central street of Ratchadapisek road.
Since the MRT consists of one line, it’s very easy to find your way around and use it. The 2 train routes in the opposite directions are next to each other. Once you are in the hall, the train to your right travels in one direction, and the one to your left heads in the other. You should simply know the name of the final station in your route – Hua Lamphong or Bang Sue – and choose the train which heads in that direction.
The MRT is easy to use thanks to the clear, detailed English signposting; the travel cost is cheap (up to 39 baht from the first station to the last one; some 20 km.) and the price corresponds with the length of the ride (depending on your destination stop).
The MRT Route: the underground train runs from Hua Lamphong station on one end, to Bang Sue on the other. Throughout a large part of its route, the MRT runs underneath Ratchadapisek Road, a main street which cuts through the center of downtown Bangkok, from the south to the north. Along the road you can find many shopping centers, hotels, markets, night clubs and more.
Bangkok MRT Frequency: less than five minutes between trains during peak hours (06:00 – 09:00, 16:30 – 19:30), and less than 10 minutes between trains during off peak hours (from 6 AM to midnight).
* There’s a link between the MRT and Skytrain lines in 3 locations: Sukhumvit/Asok intersection, Silom road and Park Chatuchak (as you can see in the attached link which contains a map of the MRT underground and Skytrain routes, http://bangkok.sawadee.com/mrta.htm)
The MRT Stations
The subway stations are much fancier than the Skytrain stops; they are spacious, air-conditioned, and have clear, detailed signposting. All MRT stations are equipped with escalators and elevators (behold the pictures with the outside/inside looks at stations).
The MRT ‘ticket’, which is in fact a plastic token (as you can see in the picture), can be purchased in vending machines or at the designated counter which is manned by helpful English speakers, who can also provide you with information regarding your travel destination/s and prices.
In order to pass through the entrance gate, you have to touch the area which is marked by an arrow with the token, and the gate will then open. Once you’ve reached your destination, simply drop the token into the gate slot. The gate will open and allow you to exit the station.
All MRT stations carry clear signs with the destination name and number of the corresponding exit. The pictures were taken at an MRT station called Phra Ram 9 – right next to the excellent computer center – Fortune Town.
* An important note regarding the ride to the Chatuchak Weekend Market: Unlike the BTS Skytrain, whose station is outside the market, in a certain walking distance, the MRT subway gets into the market, which saves you the walking.
Please Pay attention! The Weekend Market Station is titled Kamphaeng Phet (and not Chatuchak park), so don’t get confused…
A Few Tips:
* If you want to get to Lumpini Park – don’t get off at Lumpini station, but rather at Silom.
* If you want to get to the lively, bubbly Central Ladprao shopping center (which serves locals and is unknown to tourists) – don’t get off at Lad Phrao station, but rather at Phaolyotin.
* If you want to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market– don’t get off at Chatuchak Park, but rather at Kamphaeng Phet.
* If you want to get to Thailand Cultural Center – get off at the station which carries the same title, but take a taxi from there as the distance is too long for a walk.
Have a pleasant ride!!