Phrom Phong BTS, offering a world of shopping and eating
The Phrom Phong BTS is not surprisingly one of the busiest of the many stations on the BTS and MRT circuit. Number E5 on the Sukhumvit line, Phrom Phong is surrounded by Western-style restaurants, bars, and hotels. Shops of all shapes, sizes, and price ranges abound.
It’s also a popular place for Japanese expatriates and tourists alike with numerous shophouse-style food outlets offering sushi and other Japanese fare.
Exit 2 out of the BTS links directly into the well-known Emporium shopping mall. This is intentionally pitched at the high end of the shopping scale. It also has the incredibly diverse and expansive Kinokuniya Book Store. Book lovers could spend a day in here and still not satisfy their literary hunger.
The original Greyhound Café is on the third floor, the perfect place to unwind after buying a book or 10, and maybe even start into a few chapters of your particular favourite.
If you take exit 6 from the station you come out near the entrance to Benchasiri Park. It’s nowhere near the size of Lumpini, but it’s a nice little escape place if you want to get off the concrete and pavements and surround yourself with a little greenery.
As with most places, it comes alive towards the end of the day when the sun is going down and exercise, be it Tai Chi, aerobics, takraw, or just walking around is not liable to end in sunstroke and heat exhaustion.
Further down in Soi 22, along which are French, Indian, Japanese and Thai-style eateries as well as a few massage parlours where customers may leave with a smile on their face, albeit having spent a little more than they might have originally anticipated.
Heading down past the flashy and plentiful restaurants located in Soi’s 24 and 26, you will come across the Dasa Book Café. This is arguably the best English-language used bookshop in Bangkok. So, if you’ve looked in Kinokuniya and failed to find exactly what you want, that hidden gem may well be sitting on the Dasa shelves.
If you head west out of exits 3 or 5, you’ll eventually come across Soi 33/1 which is a little oasis of Anglo-style pubs including the Robin Hood and The Dubliner. The latter is, as the name suggests, an Irish bar, and it is firmly run by people who hail originally from the Emerald Isle. It kicked off almost 14 years ago, albeit in another location, and has been one of the biggest successes in Bangkok.
Nearby is the Londoner Brew pub, a place that house brews its own ales.
As well, there is Villa Market, a popular supermarket stocking much that is familiar to Western faces, as well as a great selection of wines.