Chong Nonsi BTS
Last issue we looked at the vibrant Sala Daeng BTS on the Silom Line. Next station further down this line is Chong Nonsi. Perhaps the major reason for most people to alight here is that it connects with the Bangkok Rapid Transport (BRT) bus system. The BRT is meant to provide a fast (well, as fast as anything on Bangkok’s streets could ever be) bus service by way of a bus-only lane, linking Sathorn Road with Ratchapreuk Road on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. This is near the Wongwian Yai BTS, so it quite possible to alight at Chong Nonsi, take a bus that loops through Sathorn and along the river and then, after terminating on the Thonburi side, you could make your way to the BTS and start all over again.
Chong Nonsi, being between the high-rise offices of Sathorn Road and the more touristic Silom Road, has plenty to offer those prepared to take a stroll around the area.
The station is actually on the very busy Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road, and by heading south from inside Chong Nonsi you’ll come to a skywalk that traverses both the above-named road and Sathorn Road. That junction can give you a pretty good idea of just how busy Bangkok traffic can be.
For those in search of good street food, if you take exit 4 and head towards Silom Road you will pass plenty of restaurants and coffee shops and by keeping your eyes open you should be able to find the Salai Sap market. This spread out but somewhat hidden market is famed for its roast duck but also offers plenty of clothing, shoes and almost anything else for sale at reasonable prices.
Chong Nonsi BTS is the closest station to Soi Suan Phlu, which has a tree on the corner with Sathorn which often has office workers gathered in front of it offering merit, Just down the road is a museum which used to be the house of MR Kukrit Pramoj. Kukrit is one of the more interesting characters of modern Thai history, a respected author, poet, and playwright, he was also a politician and briefly became prime minister, for 10 months between March 1975 and January 1976. His most famous action was ordering US forces to quit the country. His brother, Seni Pramoj, was also a former prime minister and had been the Thai ambassador in Washington DC at the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941.
Further down Soi Suan Phlu is the Immigration Bureau building, and across the street is a store selling all kinds of official looking material, from police caps and badges to car sirens and flashing lights.