Life Bites #1: BTS Madness!

The Bangkok Mass Transit System, also known as the BTS or Skytrain, runs on two lines – Silom and Sukhumvit, with links to the Metro and the Airport Express Line. It’s a fast, efficient way of getting around the main districts of Bangkok, and at prices as low as ranging from 15 Baht (around £0.30) for one stop to around 60 Baht (around £1.20) for the longest journey from Mo Chit to Bearing, or 120 Baht for a one-day pass, it’s not bad value either!

However, at rush hour, it’s an absolute shit-storm. Not kidding. Neither the London Underground nor the Delhi Metro are quite as claustrophobic, or as uncomfortably social. As Thai people tend to be fairly friendly anyway, usually this isn’t a problem. However, when you’re uncomfortably pressed into a throng of people on the Skytrain, you don’t necessarily want to be making conversation with them.

There I stood on the platform at 5.30pm, clutching my bubble-tea, staring in horror at the mass of people waiting to board. The BTS staff were stopping too many people from getting on, but even so, the trains were packed. One middle-aged man started talking to me; the usual, “Where are you from? What do you study? Ah, I know someone in [insert random place in England here]…”

Which was fine, for about two minutes. Until the train arrived and I was forced into the mass, said man only jut fitting into the train and ending up in a position where I was pretty much stood with my head in his armpit. Nice. And then he tried to carry on the conversation.

Thankfully I was only on it for three stops! Note to self; avoid BTS at rush hour…

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