To date, only about 15% of the Sukhumvit Line boasts a SkyWalk. New sections are being added, albeit slowly, but the project still falls a long way short of the promises made by the former Bangkok Governor in an interview with the BigChilli back in 2010.
“Within a couple of years, you will be able to walk all the way from Siam to Bang Na,” said MR Sukhumbhand Paribatr. The promise of a pedestrian-only alternative to the cracked and busy sidewalks, motorcyclists and vendors below had great appeal to Bangkokians.
Well, that hasn’t happened, and it’s not unreasonable to believe it’s going to be a few more years to achieve that goal. To be fair to the former governor, shortly after that interview he had more pressing problems on his hands when Bangkok experienced one of its worst-ever floods.
Besides, and more importantly, financing for the SkyWalk and Skybridges comes from private businesses along Sukhumvit, and not the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority. Where they have been built, these
The BTS Skytrain map here shows where the various SkyWalks currently exist. Most are simply add-ons to stations. Indeed, the latest is an extension to the Asoke station walkway, which now stretches to the Sofitel Hotel between Sukhumvit 13 and 15.
A decent stretch of walkway extends from Punnawithi BTS station. This links into the giant True Digital Park before descending back onto Sukhumvit close to Soi 101/1, but is still several hundred metres short of Udom Suk station.
The longest uninterrupted walk is from Udom Suk to Bearing, taking in three stations and crossing the busy Bang Na road junction via a series of public bridges. None of the nine stations beyond Bearing have SkyWalks.
Apart from the financing, the SkyWalk faces another challenge: how will pedestrians transit BTS stations without paying for a train ticket? Despite falling short of the governor’s promise, the walkways that have been built are well-sued and popular.
Is this the world’s best travel bargain?
The answer, as many have discovered, is Bangkok and the BTS Skytrain’s ‘All Day Pass,’ which costs a mere US$4.5, or 140 baht.
By any standard, the Pass is an incredible bargain, especially when you intend making many stops around town. Compare it to the cost of paying-as-you-go with fares costing up to 44 baht a trip, and the potential savings if you’re planning a busy schedule are substantial – not to mention the time saved by not having to queue up to buy individual tickets.
BTS Skytrain stations are located in most of Bangkok’s most popular tourist attractions and nightlife areas. And the system links into the city’s underground train service at several key points. Trains are air-conditioned, frequent and amazingly clean.
Cities like London have a similar one-price ticket, but it costs roughly 520 baht.