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Tips on Train Travel in Thailand

Travelers have various transportation options to explore Thailand, by land, by boat or by air. Rail transportation is the most popular and main choice to travel around Thailand. Bangkok is the main hub of the railway network. This page will show a brief introduction on rail transportation system in Bangkok, including BTS Sky Train and Airport Rail Link in Bangkok, as well as other useful tips on train travel in Thailand.

Bangkok BTS Sky Train

The BTS Sky Train was put into use since December 5, 1999. It provides safe, reliable and efficient electric train service which is the most comfortable and convenient way to get around Bangkok. The BTS Sky Train System is a standard high-capacity mass transportation system, using electric motor to drive and running on a pair of elevated tracks. It operates in 2 lines with a total of 52 stations, which can serve more than 1000 passengers per train and cover most of areas in the heart of Bangkok.
• Service Time: 06:00 – 24:00
• Tourist Information Center: 0 2617 7341
• BTS Call Center: 0 2617 6000

Airport Rail Link

Airport Rail Link covers the running distance of about 28 kilometers and its maximum speed is 160 kilometers per hour. It operates daily from 06:00 to 24:00 and passes through 8 stations including Phyathai Station, Rajprarop Station, Makkasan Station, Ramkhamhaeng Station, Hua Mark Station, Thab Chang Station, Lad Krabang Station and Suvarnabhumi Station. There are two options going to the Suvarnabhumi Airport.
1. City Line: The train travels between Phyathai Station and Suvarnabhumi Airport, and stops at every station along the way. The whole trip is about 30 minutes. It can transfer to MRT (subway) at Makkasan Station and BTS (skytrain) at Phyathai Station.
2. SA Express: Two kinds of train services are available which run different routes. One is from City Air Terminal or Makkasan Station to Suvarnabhumi Airport within 15 minutes without any stops along the way. Another travels a new route from Phyathai Station to Suvarnabhumi Airport within 20 minutes without any stops along the way.

Train Travel Tips in Thailand

• Boarding Procedure: Passengers holding different class of tickets are controlled to access to the trains in different ways. First and second class tickets should be checked before boarding the train. While if you hold a third class ticket, you can board the train firstly and find your seat. The train conductor will come to you and check your ID and ticket.  
• Train Departure and Arrival: Thai trains always delay, sometimes several hours later. In this case, do not trust the published timetable and leave at least 3-5 hours if you want to connect the next train. If you plan to connect a flight, leaving yourself more than 6 hours is suggested.
• Child Ticket: Children under the age of 3 with a height of less than 100cm are free of charge, but no seat is assigned and they should share a seat with an adult. Children under the age of 13 with a height of less than 150cm can get 10-20 percent discount, depending on the different train types, train class and carriages. Discount for students and seniors are not applicable for foreigners.
• Train or Bus: For a long distance travel, trains are generally a better option as the seating is more spacious and you can walk around on the train. For short trips, buses may be preferable as they are faster and cheaper. The combination of train + bus or train + ferry is also popular in Thailand travel. 

- Last updated on Oct. 20, 2020 -
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