Unknown to many tourists, there is a long-standing railway line in regular use by locals daily, which is not the popular BTS Skytrain or the underground MRT. Now what if I told you that you can get on for a train ride within downtown Bangkok only 2 Baht (~S$0.09/~RM0.28)?
Let me show you how.
The touristy places that the State Railway of Thailand Eastern Line can take you to is Bangkok Hua Lamphong for Yaowarat (Chinatown), Phaya Thai to interchange with the BTS and Airport Rail Link City Line, and Ratchaprarop for Pratunam and Platinum Fashion Mall.
As I was staying opposite Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station, I got on the train from here.
Train tickets for the next departure can be purchased from the dedicated ticket counters.
Ticket purchase is faster both in queue and in ticket supplying when you buy from these dedicated counters.
I got the Ordinary 391 from Hua Lamphong to Phaya Thai as I needed to get the BTS Sukhumvit Line.
My train is departing from Platform 6.
Trains on the SRT Eastern Line are formed of Third Class carriages only, but the non-air-conditioned train is a fair trade-off for an almost-free ride.
My Ordinary 391 from Hua Lamphong to Phaya Thai, which will continue on to Chacheongsao, about 1 and a half hours away.
There was a mixed carriage of second class and third class seats attached on the train, so I upgraded myself to second class with a reclining seat and facing the right direction of travel without hesitation. There are no seat numbers on Ordinary trains so sit or stand wherever you like.
The third class coaches are formed of padded benches.
The legroom on board the half-second class carriage.
The train departed from Hua Lamphong on time.
Departing out of Hua Lamphong Railway Station.
Crossing over the Khlong Saen Saep by Bobae Market.
The conductors on board check for tickets as the train departs from Hua Lamphong.
My checked 2 Baht (~S$0.09/~RM0.28) ticket for the short ride to Phaya Thai.
The railway line passes very close by local houses, so mind your hands and head.
Making a stop at Urupong first to pick up more passengers.
Heading on straight to Phaya Thai.
Arriving at Phaya Thai.
The journey from Hua Lamphong to Phaya Thai takes just 11 minutes, which makes it quite the fastest and cheapest transport option to get between these 2 places.
The staircase up to Phaya Thai BTS Station is just adjacent to the platform, making it a very convenient interchange. But of course, don’t expect 2 Baht fares on the BTS.
Returning to Hua Lamphong, the Phaya Thai station is the same, but there are no ticket counters at Phaya Thai, so you can simply pay the 2 Baht on board to the conductor.
The incoming Ordinary 368 to take me to Hua Lamphong.
The train stopped slightly ahead of where I was standing, so I made a rush to the doors as the train stops here for less than 1 minute.
This train is formed of Queensland coaches.
These coaches have extra standing space to allow for short trips like this.
Mind your head.
Making a brief stop at Urupong.
The beautiful sight of trains and skyline when entering Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station.
The journey from Phaya Thai to Bangkok takes 11 minutes as well.
To continue your journey onwards by public transport, there are many bus stops around, or you can take the MRT Blue Line which is directly connected to Hua Lamphong Railway Station. Exit to the left when facing the ticket counters.
Heading directly out after Platform 8 is possible too.
From here, head down to the MRT Blue Line Hua Lamphong MRT Station.
The SRT Eastern Line offers a fast journey time through Bangkok if you are able to catch the timetable of it, but of course, it does not run as frequently as rapid transit trains. If you find one that matches your travel time though, it might just be the cheapest and fastest way to get around Bangkok.
Have you tried this railway around Bangkok before? What other cheap transportation have you taken anywhere else around the world?
Leave your comments down below.