Bangkok is an intoxicating, fast-paced city that's always buzzing with activity. From busy night markets to high-end shopping malls to delicious Thai food, travellers have something to love about Bangkok. One of the best things about travelling in Bangkok is the BTS Skytrain, which has made traversing around the city significantly easier and faster. In fact, many of Bangkok's attractions are within walking distance of a BTS station. This is why rounded up Bangkok's best BTS stations that you should visit when you're planning for your trip:
Station code: CEN
Best for Attractions and Shopping
Siam has always been a tourist hotspot and Bangkok's shopping epicentre, which is why it comes as no surprise that Siam Station is one of the city's busiest BTS stations. There are numerous attractions just a stone's throw away from this station including SEA Life Bangkok Ocean World where you can find exotic marine life, Madame Tussauds where you'll likely find wax replicas of your favourite Hollywood celebrities, and KidZania where your kids can pretend-play as professionals for hours on end. The station is also surrounded by numerous shopping outlets, including the most popular ones like Siam Discovery Mall, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Square One... the list is endless!
Station code: N1
Best for Cafe-Hopping
Ratchathewi Station is one BTS station that's close to one of Bangkok's more popular cafes, B-Story. Described as something of a French/Gothic paradise right in the heart of the city, B-Story is definitely one of those iconic, Insta-worthy cafes. Other must-visit cafes include Caturday Cat Cafe and Chilling House.
Victory Monument Station
Station code: N3
Best for Attractions
Named after one of Bangkok's most iconic monuments, Victory Monument Station is where you head to if you want to visit attractions such as the Victory Monument itself which is an obelisk monument that commemorates Thai victory in the Franco-Thai war. You'll also find the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, as well as the 8-acre Santiphap Park which is a great place to relax and get some fresh air.
Station code: N5
Best for Cafe-Hopping
Dog cafes have been all the rage in Bangkok recently with one of the most popular ones being Dog in Town Ari which is very close to Ari Station. With the abundance of dog/pet cafes in Bangkok, it's become a must on any first-time visitor's itinerary to go to a dog cafe! If you're looking for a regular cafe near Ari Station, we recommend checking out Coffee no. 9.
Mo Chit Station
Station code: N8
Best for Markets and Day Trips
Chatuchak Weekend Market is probably Bangkok's most popular markets and the best way to get there is by riding the BTS to Mo Chit Station. The market is just a 12-minute walk from the station. There are other markets in the vicinity as well including Or Tor Kor Market, an indoor marketplace that sells fresh produce, meat, seafood, and kitchen supplies.
If you're looking to go on a day trip while in Bangkok, you might want to consider Erawan National Park or Khao Yai National Park. Located in Kanchanaburi Province just northwest of Bangkok, Erawan National Park is best known for Erawan Falls which cascades down a whopping 7 tiers. Aside from the falls, you can also go there to explore caves and simply immerse yourself in the wonders of nature! Khao Yai National Park, on the other hand, is a lush nature reserve that spans 2000 square kilometres and offers more than 50 kilometres of hiking and biking trails.
The best way to get to these national parks is to ride the minivans that can be found at Mo Chit Bus Terminal. You can ride the BTS to Mo Chit Station which is just a 6-minute taxi ride away from the terminal. The trip to Erawan National Park takes approximately 4 hours while the trip to Khao Yai National Park takes approximately 4 hours as well including the stop at Pak Chong.
Chit Lom Station
Station code: E1
Best for Shopping
Located right next to Siam Station, Chit Lom Station is the next best place to go for shopping. Some notable shopping outlets in this area include CentralWorld, Gaysorn Village, Amarin Plaza, Erawan Bangkok, and Mercury Ville.
Station code: E3
Best for Nightlife
Lower Sukhumvit is home one of Bangkok's most popular business and nightlife districts. Sukhumvit Soi 11 is where you'll find some of Bangkok's most famous nightclubs, while Soi Nana (also known as Sukhumvit Soi 4) and Soi Cowboy located at Soi Asoke intersection are two more of Bangkok's red light districts. To get to these places, your best bet would be to hop onto the BTS and get off at Nana Station, just a stone's throw away from these locations.
Thong Lo Station
Station code: E6
Best for Nightlife
If you're looking for a classier, more refined nightlife scene, Thong Lo is the place to go. Where the red light districts have crowded budget drinking spots, Thong Lo has fancy wine bars and cocktail bars that have a strict dress code. Thonglor Station is just within walking distance of popular hangouts like Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar, the popular Rabbit Hole, and more.
National Stadium Station
Station code: W1
Best for Shopping and Cafe-Hopping
National Stadium Station deserves a mention here primarily because it is connected to bargain-friendly MBK Center also known as Mahboonkrong. This sprawling 8-storey mall boasts over 2000 shops, restaurants, and service outlets. The station is also relatively close to Siam as well so the malls in that area are within walking distance of National Stadium Station. There are also a few noteworthy cafes near National Stadium Station which you should check out, including NAPLAB (co-working space/cafe) and A Journey.
Sala Daeng Station
Station code: S2
Best for Markets and Nightlife
Sala Daeng Station is surrounded by markets like Patpong Night Market which is located in Bangkok's red light district, Patpong. The market is always buzzing with activity and is an excellent place to find trendy clothes, souvenirs, and kitsch items. Other markets in the vicinity include Silom Night Market and La Lai Sap Market. Markets aside, Patpong also owes its popularity to its many bars and clubs that come to life at night while the rest of the city sleeps.
Chong Nonsi Station
Station code: S3
Best for Attractions
Head to Chong Nonsi Station if you want to visit the Mahanakhon SkyWalk; it is the perfect attraction for daredevils. Not suited for the faint of heart, Mahanakhon SkyWalk is 310 metres high and is where you can snap photos of the stunning cityscape.
Saphan Taksin Station
Station code: S6
Best for Markets
Saphan Taksin Station is close to Bangrak Bazaar where you can buy trendy clothes, accessories, footwear, tasty street food, and even get eyelash extensions! Saphan Taksin Station is also the closest BTS station to Asiatique, a large open-air mall that faces the Chao Phraya River.
Tips for using the BTS
Credit: Chainwit. / CC BY-SA 4.0
As you plan your journey to discover the many attractions surrounding Bangkok's BTS stations, here are a few tips to ensure that you get the best experience:
1) Pay with Singtel Dash - skip the queue to exchange for coins
Queuing to buy your BTS tickets is one thing, but queuing to exchange your notes for coins for the BTS ticketing machine is quite another. BTS is on the VIA network and you can take full advantage of it. Simply launch your Singtel Dash app and scan the QR code to pay.
2) Avoid rush hour if possible
Rush hour in Bangkok is from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm on weekdays. During these times, the BTS works at full capacity with more trains going around to cater to the influx of passengers. If you have to ride the BTS during your trip, try to avoid these timings.
3) Know which exit to take
If it's your first time riding the BTS or visiting Bangkok, you should know which exit to take to avoid getting lost. Similar to Singapore's MRT stations, the exits at BTS stations are numbered and there are maps available at the main hall which can guide you on exits you should take to get to certain attractions.
Bangkok is so diverse that it has something for everyone local or visiting. Whether you're there to shop, eat some good food, explore the markets, or go bar-hopping at night, you won't be disappointed. The best part is - you can travel to these places easily with the BTS Skytrain, which is as convenient as Singapore's MRT system! As always, make sure you are equipped with Singtel Dash app for convenient, hassle-free payments wherever you travel in Thailand — especially when you ride the BTS!