Phloen Chit BTS, the ‘embassy’ station
Phloen Chit BTS is number E2 on the Bangkok Skytrain line, making it just two stops to the east of the main Siam station. As with pretty much all of the stations along this part of the line, the main interest for many would be the shopping malls and the upmarket, and usually pricey, restaurants in the immediate vicinity.
Yet Phloen Chit BTS is also the closest station for many who have need of visiting their embassy for all-important paperwork; well, there’s no reason you’d want to go otherwise. Just around the corner from Phloen Chit, in Wireless Road, are the embassies of the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Vietnam to name probably the most important six for most readers. There are a few others along what is commonly known as ‘embassy row’.
Wherever there are embassies and their diplomatic staff on pretty good wages you can bet there’ll be some swanky, upmarket restaurants, and the Phloen Chit area certainly accommodates with eateries of class located inside the Plaza Athenee and Conrad Bangkok hotels.
Talking of eating, the area in Soi 3 (also reached by Nana BTS) is also notable for its number of restaurants specialising in Middle Eastern fare. To succeed and stay in business catering to those who know their ‘local’ food you have to be pretty good, so anyone looking to try some of the fabulous dishes from the Middle Eastern part of the world could go into any of the restaurants and be pretty sure of an authentic and tasty meal.
During the day and night the area is so obviously dominated by people whose home countries are dotted around the Middle Eastern region you could be forgiven for thinking you’d been suddenly plucked from the streets of Bangkok and deposited in downtown Beirut, Baghdad, or Amman.
Heading in the opposite direction, there is the incongruous site of a set of beer bars huddled alongside the railway track and underneath the First Stage Expressway. They have been there for far too many years, but clearly have sufficient custom to warrant staying in business. If you’re looking to go downmarket, then this is the place to be after the sun goes down.
Yet not too far away, in Soi 2, are such classy hotels as the well-known J W Marriott and not far away, the Majestic Grande. At the end of Soi 2 though is the Atlanta Hotel, a place which has a long and memorable history in this part of Bangkok.