Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...

It's Bangkok's BTS Skytrain!....Which we now can cross off our bucket list of modes of transportation to try. It's really just another commuter train system, but I love the name Skytrain. Sounds so futuristic and cool. [Who would have ever thunk that I'd have a bucket list about transportation? Since our arrival in Bangkok, we have traveled by bicycle, scooter, bus, and car, and still on our list to try are the water taxi, the tuk tuk, and the elephant!]

The Skytrain runs above the streets and all the traffic. It operates along with two other train systems: the MRT, which an underground train, and an express train for the airport. Unfortunately for us, the Skytrain's closest station to us is still a 15- to 20-minute taxi ride away, so it's not a very convenient way to travel downtown. It's very reasonably priced, though. From where we got on, our ride to downtown cost only 42 baht one way (about $1.30) for each of us. Compared to my $5-each-way trips into D.C. from where we lived in Maryland, this was a bargain.

The train was crowded, but when we got on, no fewer than three people offered my son and me their seats. So refreshing and different from the D.C. metro, where hardly anyone even makes eye contact, let alone offer up their seats.

It was a nice and pleasant ride. Announcements for each station were made in Thai and English. And they were spoken clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear! Those of you from the D.C. area understand why this is such a big deal....

The station where we got on.
A view of the streets below from inside the station.
Inside the station.
Map of the train route. Although the label indicates this is the Skytrain route, the map also includes the other train systems (the thinner lines). As you can see, it's not a complicated or elaborate system.

The ticket kiosk.
A height chart next to the ticket kiosk. If your child measures less than 90 cm., then s/he rides for free.
One of the prohibited activities on the train.

Besides a post office, the station also has a barber shop!

View from the platform.
There were trains arriving every few minutes, and they come even more often during rush hour.
Considering that the U.S. is so much more advanced than Thailand in so many ways, I don't understand how the Thais are able to line up its train doors with arrows on the ground to prevent people from pushing and shoving one another to be right by the door when the train stops, and we aren't!
There are even commercials playing constantly....No words.
Views of the city from the train.

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