How to use MRT in Bangkok

The MRT subway is a convenient way to get around. The fares start at 16 baht for a single journey.

Take the stairs from street level to the station. Upon entering you have to go through a metal detector like at airports.
Go to a ticketing machine. You will find there a touch screen with map that displays, how much the fare is when you select your journey. After you payed your fare you will receive a small plastic coin. This is your ticket.

Bangkok traffic
Bangkok traffic

Most ticket vending machines accept coins and also bank notes. Day passes are also available. You can purchase them only at the ticket counters located at some stations. Go through the fare gate by placing your coin/token on the scanner.

The system works similar to public transport in Europe, look for a sign that tells the name of last station of the line. This will show you in which direction which train will take you. Board the train. On the train they will make announcements about the next stop both in Thai and English. Get off at your designated stop and exit the station through the fare gate.

There’s currently 1 line running through the city. The government of Bangkok is still working on extending the existing network.

Here’s a video by DiscoveryThailand, which explains the system pretty detailed.

How to use BTS Sky train in Bangkok

The BTS sky train is a convenient way to get around. The fares start at 10 baht for a single journey.
It runs on tracks above the streets of this vibrant city. Take the stairs from street level to the station.

Bangkok - Nana BTS station
Bangkok – Nana BTS station

Go to a ticketing machine. You will find there a map that displays, how much the fare is for your selected journey. Also look for the name of last stop of this train line, this is important as you will see later.Press the button with the right the fare for your route, pay and receive your paper ticket.

Most ticket vending machines accept only coins. There are some machines that accept also bills, but only at selected stations. Day passes are also available for 150 baht. You can purchase them only at the ticket counters located at some stations.Go through the fare gate.

Next, take the stairs or escalator up to the trains. The system works similar to public transport in Europe, look for a sign that tells the name of last station of the line. This will show you in which direction which train will take you. Board the train. On the train they will make announcements about the next stop both in Thai and English. Get off at your designated stop and exit the station through the fare gate.

Some train stations are also connected to nearby shopping malls by a overpass.

There are currently 2 lines running through the city, you can use your ticket on all lines.

The government of Bangkok is still working on extending the existing network. E.g the trains don’t run to the northern districts yet.

Here’s a video by DiscoveryThailand, which explains the system pretty detailed.

Temples in Bangkok

Wat Pho

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the world and one of the most visited attractions in Bangkok.

Wat Pho
Wat Pho

At times the temple can be very crowded. Trust me, I’ve been there. It is a must see anyways.

The easiest way to get there is to board the BTS sky train (Silom line) and get off at Saphan Taksin (S6). Take Exit 2 and go to Chao Phraya River Express Boat Pier.Take boat heading to Tien Pier (N.8)
The boat ride costs 20 THB.

Please be aware of Tuk-tuk drivers in front of the temple, they offer “tourist rates” like at other popular tourist spots.

The Golden Buddha

Bangkok - Golden Buddha
Bangkok – Golden Buddha

known as Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon is the home of the world’s largest solid gold statue. Less visited than Wat Pho is it a good alternative.

You can get there by MRT and a bit walking. The MRT station is Hua Lamphong. From there you have to go west and follow the Talat Noi road. I recommend to use a map or a smartphone with Google maps app, because of MRT related construction sites it’s not as easy to find.

 

SilverKris Lounge – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Welcome to my review of the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge in the international area at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. It is a Star Alliance Gold lounge at Concourse A.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport - SilverKris Lounge
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport – SilverKris Lounge

After presenting your boarding pass and Star Alliance Gold member card to the lounge agent. You find yourself at the buffet section of the lounge. You can find here an intensive selection of hot and cold food. Hot tomatoes, bacon and eggs in the morning. Fresh fruits like water melons, papaya and pineapples and biscuits can also be found.

A selection of alcoholic, and non alcohol drinks in the fridge, are available.

There’s also a coffee machine which makes espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiatto and other.

Suvarnabhumi Airport - SilverKris lounge - Coconut
Suvarnabhumi Airport – SilverKris lounge – Coconut

There’s something special in the fridge: Coconut juice ready to drink from a coconut.

Want to  check your emails? Singapore airlines offers free WiFi throughout the lounge.

Also check out the view over the airport garden from your seat, while enjoying a cup of ice cream.
It is a small lounge, but it offers plenty of relaxing armchairs and a warm atmosphere.

Overall this lounge is a good place to spend some time before your next international flight.

Getting around in Bangkok (II)

After presenting you the “normal” ways Getting around in Bangkok (I), it’s time to show you the more unique ways of getting around.

 

Tuk-tuks

Bangkok - Tuk Tuk
Bangkok – Tuk Tuk

Tuk-tuk or auto rickshaw is a usually three-wheeled cabin cycle. You can hire them like a taxi.

Never ask for a price, otherwise they tell you a fantasy price or take you on a “shopping tour” across Bangkok. Tell them a price that you think is right.

When bargaining remember that transportation is cheap in Thailand. A ride across the city with the BTS skytrain costs ruffly 50 Baht.

 

Motocycle taxis

Bangkok motor bikes
Bangkok motor bikes

First of all, use this type of transportation only if you want to kill yourself.

Motorcycle taxis are for short distance journeys. They drive between car rows and there’s basically no safety/protection. Like with the tuk-tuks, you have to know the fare otherwise you pay the farang price.

You can recognise them by the orange vests they’re wearing.
They usually wait in groups near the same shops and restaurants and corners of main streets during daytime.

Have a look at the following video about Motorcycle taxis by Tony from Thai-faq.com

Stay tuned for more upcoming posts about Bangkok and Thailand.

Lufthansa Senator Lounge (international) – Munich Airport

Welcome to my review of the Lufthansa Senator Lounge in the non-schengen transit area at Munich Airport. It is a Star Alliance Gold lounge near gate H22. Unfortunately I can’t provide any photo, because the lounge was too crowded to take photos.

Upon entering and presenting your boarding pass you’ll find yourself in the dining section of the lounge. You can find here a great buffet selection with cold and hot delights like German meatloaf, pretzels, hot tomatoes and bacon, cheese and a selection of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.

Lufthansa Senator Lounge (international) - Munich Airport
Lufthansa Senator Lounge (international) – Munich Airport

There’s also a coffee machine which makes espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiatto and other.

When you go further you’ll find a huge bar including bartender who can mix you almost any drink I know.

There are two more sections. The first is a relaxing areas with leather chairs, a selection of newspapers and a TV set. The second is a work area with sockets and desks. The lounge offers free Wi-Fi.

 

Overall this lounge is a good place to spend some time before your next international flight.

 

Getting around in Bangkok (1)

Bangkok traffic - Taxis
Bangkok traffic – Taxis

When you think about Bangkok and getting around in this big city, 2 things come into your mind.
“Tuk-tuks” and the dangerous moto-bikes.

But there are far more ways getting around in the city of angels known as Bangkok.

 

BTS Sky train

this is a train service that runs through many parts of the city.

Bangkok - Nana BTS station
Bangkok – Nana BTS station

It runs on tracks above the streets. The fares start at 10 baht for a single journey.  Take the stairs from street level to the station.

Go to a ticketing machine select the fare for your route and pay, receive your paper ticket, go through the fare gate.

Next take the stairs or escalator up to the trains. Board the train, get off and exit the station through the fare gate.

Day passes are also available for 150 baht. You can purchase them only at the ticket counters located at some stations.

There are currently 2 lines running through the city, you can use your ticket on all lines.

The government of Bangkok is still working on extending the existing ney network. E.g the trains don’t run to the northern districts yet.

MRT

Bangkok also has an underground/subway train service.

There’s an interchange with the BTS Sky train at the Asok BTS station. The MRT network is still very simple. There’s one line and it runs from the north to the south.The Bangkok goverment is still expanding the network.

Taxi

There are two different types in Bangkok. Taxis and metered taxis.

The metered taxis work like in most other countries. But you can also find taxis without meter. Then you have to know the price for they journey and know how to negotiate with the driver.
You can recognise the difference by searching for a sign on the roof of the car. As Thai people write things differently in english, look for “Taxi-meter”.
If you just want to get around, take a metered taxi. Please make sure that the driver starts the meter. Otherwise you may end on a jewellery and tailor shopping tour through the whole city. 😉

Bus

Bangkok traffic - Buses
Bangkok traffic – Buses

Getting around by bus can be a unique experience in Bangkok.

There are not only modern air-conditioned buses, you may see some of the older ones that look like, they’re from the 1960.

Get on the buses at bus stops that consist of signs with the buses’ numbers on them. Make sure you give a sign to the driver that you want to get on the bus.
Tickets are bought on board the buses. Show the driver you want to get off the bus by standing up approaching the doors.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of Bangkok – Getting around, in which I write about more Bangkok styles of getting around.

Dark alleys of Chinatown – Singapore

Singapore Chinatown
Singapore Chinatown

Singapore has much more than just beautiful gardens and shopping arcades. Singapore has some dark secrets. One of the best places to learn about Singapore’s history and dark secrets is Chinatown.

If you can spare two hours on Friday nights, do a the Official Singapore walks tour starting right next to the MRT station ” Chinatown” (North East line).

A local will walk you through Chinatown and its surroundings. You will learn something about its past, taste some local cuisine and find some stuff you didn’t expect in Singapore.

 

Learn more on the official website.

5 Things I Love About Singapore

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay

Gardens By The Bay is a brand new attraction in Singapore.

About 1 year ago Singapore finished the construction of a garden with gigantic super trees and two fantastic flower domes.

The entrance to the garden is free, but if you want to either visit the flower domes or go on top of the super trees then you have to pay admission.

Tip: You get a discount when you present a Singapore airlines boarding pass at the ticket counter.

 

Chinatown

This is a must visit district in Singapore. Chinatown has a unique atmosphere. lots of little shops and restaurants. It can be conveniently reached by the SMRT on the North-south line.

Tip: Do a “Original Singapore walks” tour on Friday nights. It’s amazing!

Singapore Flyer

The tallest Ferris wheel is not in London. It’s in Singapore! Welcome to the Singapore Flyer – the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. It’s located across the Marina Bay Sands hotel. On top you can enjoy a view of Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade and the Singapore Skyline. Breathtaking views – worth the admission fee.

 

Concert at The Esplanade
Concert at The Esplanade

The Esplanade

The Esplanade (Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay) is  an amazing event location with indoor concert hall and outdoor theatre. The outdoor areas often feature free concerts and plays.
There are also retail and food spaces at the Esplanade Mall.

You can visit this place easily by SMRT,  look for station CC3 – Esplanade. 10 minutes walking from there.

 

Changi Airport

Singapore Changi Airport - Terminal 3 - Shopping area
Singapore Changi Airport – Terminal 3 – Shopping area

Singapore Changi Airport is one of the most awesome airports.

It features lots of leisure and business facilities. Also, you can dine and shop at over 300 stores and restaurants. All terminals have several gardens.

For example you can visit the butterfly garden in terminal 3. It contains more than thousand different butterflies.

Other highlights are free WiFi, phone charging stations, TV and entertainment areas, free movie theaters and a swimming pool on the roof of terminal 1.

Tip: if you have at least 5 hours, do a free Singapore city tour. Counters can be found in all terminals.

 

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