Huai Khwang, Sutthisan and Ratchadaphisek MRT stations
Last issue we finished at the Thailand Cultural Centre MRT station, and as we continue to head north the next stop on the line is the Huai Khwang MRT.
The only real reason to alight here is if you want to take in the sights, sounds and experience of the Huai Khwang market. Given the extraordinary range of foodstuffs, especially seafood, as well as more general goods for sale at this large market, it is well worth stopping by.
Although it operates pretty much all day, every day, the market doesn’t really start to come alive until after 6:00pm as the food vendors and the outdoor restaurants strive to take advantage of workers coming home as well as those who might be preparing to go out for the evening. And it stays open until quite late, and certainly well past the time the last train operates.
The Huai Khwang market is very much a local’s preserve and so prices are geared towards the regulars and, as a foreigner, you’ll not be looked upon as yet another walking wallet.
To reach the market from the MRT station, take exit 3 and once out on the street do a 180 degree turn and head down the first road on your left. If you are only looking for something to buy, say a souvenir or clothes, it’s not really a place that offers much variety, or quality.
The next station, Sutthisan, is basically a drop-off point for commuters who live and work in the local area near to the station. There’s not a lot that would really make most people want to stop and get off for a look around.
Continuing further up the line is the Ratchadaphisek MRT, one of the original stations to open back in 2004. Unlike Sutthisan, and even Huai Khwang, this is an area noted for its night entertainment.
That said, it also has enough during the day to keep people happy, from the largest indoor go-kart track in Asia (appropriately named PTT Speed Way) to ten-pin bowling alleys and cinemas.
It’s also the area famed for the entertainment district simply known as RCA. Royal City Avenue (RCA) is a pedestrian-only thoroughfare and over the years has gone through stages where it’s been the mecca for a night out in Bangkok for locals to being shunned because of under-age drinking and violence to coming back again as a place to go for a night out.
It’s also the area where many local males will come to for the kind of massage that will leave them with a smile on their face rather than sore muscles.