Ekkamai BTS and surrounds
As noted in the last issue, we intend to try and work our way through the various BTS or Skytrain stations, giving an overview of what happens to be the local attractions, if any, or reasons why you might like to stop and wander the around the local environment.
We’ll start this series with what is almost certainly the most regularly visited of the BTS stations: Ekkamai.
If you’ve ever taken the bus from the north Pattaya bus station to the Ekkamai bus station (or more correctly, the Eastern Bus Terminal) then you’ll be well aware of the nearby presence of the Ekkamai BTS station. Most people coming from Pattaya and heading into the capital for a day or two will disembark at Ekkamai and it’s just a short stroll to the escalator to take you up to the BTS station.
While most people coming from Pattaya are likely to go straight up to the Ekkamai BTS and soon head off elsewhere down the line, nowadays there are actually a number of good reasons to stay at ground level and check out the nearby area.
Heading left from the entrance to the Eastern Bus Terminal is the Science Museum and Planetarium. If you like the idea of understanding why Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system or how a box full of transistors can emit the sound of the human voice, then this could be the place to find out.
If the wonder of scientific discovery is not on the agenda, then a right turn from the bus terminal and a short stroll will take you to yet another garishly designed shopping mall, albeit one that seems more designed for people to stop and eat mainly north Asian dishes.
On the opposite side of the road is a branch of the highly successful Coffee Club franchise. The food fare is right up with the usual standard expected in a Coffee Club outlet and the coffee is first class.
A visit to the nearby co-operative store might entice you to check out just what the store has to offer in terms of items to purchase.
Across the road from Coffee Club is a place called Ban Rie Coffee. It’s more of a Thai-style restaurant that has been around for a while. The general consensus seems to be that you don’t bother with the food (big portions yes, but prices a bit steep), just go for the creamy but quite strong Thai-style coffee (gafe boraan, which means, old coffee).
So, next time you have to go to Ekkamai, give yourself a little extra time and check out the surrounds, it’s worth the effort.