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posted by The Bangkok Consultant
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The best piece of advice I could ever give a traveller is always make sure you book a hotel near a BTS station. The same goes the world over, Skytrains and subways are the main veins of the city, and they are usually subsidised by the government making them inexpensive, quick and convenient.
The Skytrain is certainly one of the best ways to get around the city. It's cheap and, more importantly, it’s got beautiful, wonderful, lifesaving air-conditioning. Though, seeing as westerners are much taller than many Southeast Asian people, the dreaded sweaty falang armpit in the face can be a problem for many rush-hour commuters ... sorry guys!
The maximum you can expect to pay for a single journey is 52 baht, which is purchased one of two ways. A common way for tourists is to buy a ticket from one of the machines. It's a relatively straightforward process. You just look on the map to see where you wish to go and put in the appropriate money and then receive your card and change. This way of buying your tickets is common if you’re only in the city for a few days. There are a few machines that accept notes, but usually, most people just go up to the counter and hand the attendee a note, and they will give you change. The problem with this method is on scorching days, and at busy stations, you may have to queue up for coinage, then queue up again for your ticket, before offending the locals with sweaty pits.
A much easier, and game-changing, way is to purchase a Rabbit Card at the office at Siam central station. The cost of the card is 180 baht(100 baht credit comes with card) and is a real life-saver. When you've bought your card, just top it up with a few hundred baht. Swipe the card at the turnstiles and bish bash bosh ... you're ready to go.
Related Reading: What's the deal with Bangkok's rabbit card?