Bangkok is a wonderful and exotic travel destination, it receives more than 14 million visitors each year. There are plenty of reasons why people just can’t get enough of it.
Whether you are a foodie searching for a culinary experience in Bangkok’s endless array of international restaurants and traditional food shops, a history junkie looking to be amazed by the city’s temples and rich cultural heritage or a shopping addict hunting for deals through downtown’s modern malls, the city of Angels has something to offer everyone.
Choosing to stay at a Hotel Close to Skytrain/BTS is one of the most important factors to guarantee you have an enjoyable experience. The BTS, as it’s known by locals, is an elevated electric train that runs across the most important business areas in Bangkok,
It consists of 2 main lines: The Sukhumvit and Silom lines.
Learning to use the BTS (and staying in a hotel with easy access to it) will make your life a lot easier while in Bangkok.
Here are some of the main reasons why you should always stay at a hotel near the BTS Skytrain when visiting Bangkok:
Avoid Bangkok’s Infamous Traffic
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we?
Bangkok suffers from intense traffic congestion, it is not uncommon for people living in the city to spend hours stuck in traffic when moving around the city.
If you are visiting Bangkok as a tourist, the last thing you ever want to do is waste your precious time inside a cab stuck in a smog-choked street… possibly for hours!
Using the BTS (and making sure your hotel is located near a BTS station) will save you a lot of precious time so you can spend it enjoying the sights this city has to offer.
Avoid some of the well-known Bangkok Scams
Taxis and tuk-tuks, in case you haven’t heard yet, are well known for tricking and scamming tourists.
They have a few tactics up their sleeves like charging you without turning their meter on or taking you on ‘tours’ around the city where you are forced to visit tailor shops and jewelry stores (the tuk-tuk drivers get a commission for taking you there). These supposed ‘service providers’ are certainly not the most trustworthy people.
By using the BTS, you avoid having to rely on them for transport. Let’s say you are trying to visit the Grand Palace, instead of getting a taxi to take you there (and risk being taken advantage of), just go to any BTS station nearby, hitch an air-conditioned ride all the way to Sathorn Pier (BTS Saphan Taksin) and take a 20 THB boat ride along the Chao Phraya River to the Grand Palace.
Not only will you be avoiding a potentially upsetting situation, you will enjoy a very scenic journey as well.
Avoid getting lost
There’s nothing worse than forgetting the address of your hotel in a city you are not familiar with (especially when street names are so complicated).
By staying at a hotel near a BTS station you ensure you always have a reliable reference point. There’s no confusion when it comes to a BTS station: Every taxi knows it, every person on the street knows it, no matter where you are in Bangkok, there will always be a nearby BTS station you can go to and find your way home.
Stay in a hotel near a BTS station and write down its name, you will always find your way back with ease.
Access Bangkok’s main attractions easily
You can easily reach most famous Bangkok attractions by using the BTS. Here’s a quick list of some of the most popular places to visit by BTS:
Siam BTS station: You will find siam square, MBK, Siam discovery and other major shopping malls at this station. Siam BTS is also where you change between Silom and Sukhumvit lines, so you will be passing through this particular station very often.
Do take the time to walk around and explore, apart from the shopping, you will find hundreds of little restaurants that are worth a visit, some of these food shops at Siam square have been open for generations.
Nana BTS Station: Apart from soi 4 which has been made famous by sex tourist (you can Google Nana Plaza to get an idea of what I’m talking about here) there are some hidden gems on this station that you should definitely visit.
Sukhumvit soi 11 for example, is very popular with expats because of it’s bars, restaurants and clubs. Personally, I would recommend you check out Above 11, Nest Bar, Oskar and Levels. They will definitely provide you with an excellent night out and they are located in the same street.
Saphan Taksin BTS Station: You need to know this station because is where you can take the taxi boats along the Chao Phraya river. It will give you access to the city’s most famous temples: Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun (just to name a few) which you have to visit to believe, the intricate decorations and sheer size of these buildings will leave you speechless.
There’s a new tourist boat pass which allows you to use this service for the whole day at a fixed price, it won’t cost you more than 200 THB and is well worth it!
Travel to the Airport without problems
The BTS is also connected to the MRT (subway) and the Airport Link (another Skytrain line that goes directly to the airport).
You can take a direct train from Phaya Thai BTS station to Suvarnabhumi airport, the express train will get you there in about 17 minutes.
It is very hard to calculate exactly how long is going to take you to get to the airport by taxi as traffic is always a factor in Bangkok, by relying on the BTS/Airport link, you can actually plan your commute to the airport with a certain degree of accuracy.
Hope these reasons are enough to make you see the advantages of staying near a BTS station during your visit to Bangkok. Remember, it’s all about the location!
The last time I visited Bangkok I stayed at this Hotel Close to Skytrain/BTS which is conveniently located in Sukhumvit Soi 1, near Phloen Chit BTS station.
From my own personal experience, I really can’t stress enough how much better your stay in the city of Angels will be if you follow my advice and also choose to stay near the BTS.