From Bearing to Bang Chak: a mixed bag of the BTS
The Pattaya Business Supplement has been covering the various BTS stations each month for some time now, taking most stations individually and attempting to show what attractions there are nearby for the day tripper to the capital.
In this edition we will cover some of the newer stations, which, to be frank don’t really have a lot to encourage a traveller from disembarking for a closer inspection, unless they are seeking a better example of residential living. Most of the following BTS stations have all the attributes you would expect from a built-up area of a major capital city: shops, restaurants, residences, hotels, banks, and the odd unusual attraction.
This is E14 on the Sukhumvit Line. It’s either the end of the line, or the beginning, depending on where you’ve come from or where you are going. The next station is Bang Na. When the Bangkok Transit System (BTS) opened officially on 5 December 1999, Bearing did not exist. As the BTS has gained in popularity and patronage over the last 15 years, its operators have gradually extended it further and further into what used to be the outer reaches of the main centre of Bangkok.
The Bearing area is dominated by a number of schools with St Andrew’s International School, near exit 3, arguably the best known.
This is E13 on the Sukhumvit Line, between Bearing and Udom Suk. For many, the Bang Na area marks the real beginning of the run into Bangkok proper. The Meteorological Department is near exit 5, but the attraction for visitors to the area is the Meteorological Discovery Museum. Head out of either exit 1 or 2 and walk a few metres to the Bang Na canal, one of the few remaining examples of the ‘khlongs’ which used to be the lifeblood of Bangkok until the middle of the twentieth century.
This is E12 on the Sukhumvit Line, between Bang Na and Punnawithi. The Udom Suk Market is nearby but overall this is more a residential kind of area, and not a genuinely exciting place to stop off and explore for its hidden gems or tourist attractions.
This is E11 on the Sukhumvit Line, between Udom Suk and Bang Chak. Once again, this is more a residential style district, although it does have the International Music and Performing Arts Academy (close to exit 3) and the Imperial Bakery and Food Culinary School (near exit 6)
This is E10 on the Sukhumvit Line, between Punnawithi and On Nut. As with a number of other stations along the entire system, it is surrounded by residences, banks, stores, a few schools. There is no special attraction in the immediate area.