National Stadium BTS…sport, shopping and art, all in one area
The National Stadium BTS station is the last along the Silom line, which has its beginnings on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, at Wongwian Yai. National Stadium is the only stop to the west of the main interchange station at Siam. It’s actually quite close to the shopping and general ‘hang out’ mecca that is Siam Square, as well as being right outside the MBK shopping mall.
As the name implies, National Stadium also happens to be the jump-off point for entry into the National Stadium sporting complex. Opened in 1937, the National Stadium complex served as the main venue for the Asian Games in 1966, 1970 and 1978. A large number of top level football matches are still played at the venue.
In fact, you could quite happily look out from the BTS itself and watch say a five-a-side football match take place on one of the two courts fronting the Sport Science Bureau, one of the main buildings attached to the broader National Stadium complex. The games are often simple impromptu affairs.
Most people alighting at National Stadium BTS are usually heading into the MBK shopping mall. Opened in 1985, it was one of the first of the major shopping malls in Bangkok, and it remains a popular venue today. MBK can be reached via two skywalks, with the closest one taking you directly into the Tokyu department store. MBK is noted for its cheaper products, from souvenirs to clothes and electronics.
On the opposite side of the BTS from the MBK shopping mall is the exit which leads down to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Opened in July 2008, the centre is a contemporary arts venue which has exhibitions covering design, film, theatre, music, and the arts.
The National Stadium BTS is the closest station to the famous tourist attraction which is Jim Thompson’s House and Museum. Located on the Saen Saep canal on Soi Kasemsan 2, and open until 11:00pm each night, the former home of the man credited with turning the local Thai silk industry into a major export for the country, is now a tourist attraction in its own right. Thompson, a former OSS agent during the Second World War, mysteriously disappeared in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia in 1967, just a few days after his 61st birthday.
For the adventurous, walking west from the BTS for just over one kilometre will take you to Wat Saket, one of the oldest temples in the city, and the nearby Golden Mount.