Tha Phra by MRT

Yesterday 29 July was the official soft opening (technically it's still 'Under Testing') of the new MRT Blue Line extension.

Starting at Hualamphong underground it continues underneath Chinatown and the Chaophraya River: Wat Mangkon, Sam Yot, and Sanam Chai to Thonburi’s Itsaraphap and finally going above ground level until Tha Phra station (for now).

Great cover of BEM magazine to celebrate the extension!

This seemed like a good opportunity for Tim & I to try it out, only thing we hadn’t thought of that it was also an official holiday and loads of other people had exactly the same idea, the fact that free rides were offered helped probably as well…

We met underground in Hualamphong’s dungeons, braved the crowds and managed to squeeze on board.

Actually it wasn’t too bad, I’d experienced worse on the regular lines during rush hour.

5 stations don’t take up much travel time and soon we were wandering in and around Tha Phra Station in Thonburi.

Note the 'Under Testing' sign in the background.

Views from the station.

Since we started late we couldn’t explore much but at least found a local place whose owner was very happy to sell us beer and ice.

Back at Tha Phra Station we had an in-depth look at all the signage and noticed a few oddities, such as you’re not allowed to take photos at stations!

The ‘you are here’ maps are detailed enough and should be appreciated by the passengers.

Still plenty of work remains to be done for the next extension!

We got off at Sam Yot Station where we admired the wall historical photo decorations.

There too more opportunity for a closer look at some of the signs, don’t you dare to take your cat on the escalator???

More likely seems to be long dresses for women and transgenders are not allowed…

Outside it was nice to see the amount of effort taken to have the new station blend into Chinatown, well done guys!

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