Covering Phra Khanong, Ratchathewi and Surasak BTS
Last issue we took a short look at a number of BTS stations between Bearing and Bang Chak. As mentioned in that issue, some of the newer stations don’t really have a lot to encourage a traveller from making a special effort to disembark and go exploring. Similarly, while we will cover three different stations, two on the Sukhumvit Line and one on the Silom Line, in this issue, none of them are especially enticing for the day traveller. It doesn’t mean they’re not worth alighting if you are inclined to just explore the various nearby streets and sois, but none of the three have any special significance.
This is E8 on the Sukhumvit Line, between On Nut and Ekkamai.
Out of Exit 1 is the Jasmine Resort and Park Hotel. Nearby are the clusters of residences, banks, stores, and the odd school. There’s no single standout attraction. Other than a desire to check out the immediate area and gauge it for it local ambience, there’s no reason for a day traveller to disembark here.
This is N1 on the Sukhumvit Line, between Phloen Chit and Phaya Thai. It is also the closest BTS station to the renowned, or infamous -take your pick- Pantip Plaza. This iconic computer-centric store used to be better known for being the counterfeit capital of computer software and pirated videos and games. International crackdowns and improvements in software recognition by major companies have led to a serious dent in that marketplace, but even so, Pantip Plaza remains a popular place. To reach Pantip Plaza, use exit 4 and walk around the corner into Petchaburi Road. Pantip Plaza is opposite Soi Petchaburi 15 and past the Indonesian Embassy, a walk of about five or six minutes from the BTS station.
If you were really keen on a longish but possibly interesting walk, take exit 3 and head to the corner of Petchaburi Road and head west. You will eventually reach the likes of Khao San Road, the famed backpacker haven, and get to Sanam Luang, the Grand Palace and, of course, the Chao Phraya River.
This is S5 on the Silom Line, between Chong Nonsi and Saphan Taksin. It’s a busy part of the Sathorn Road area with high-rise offices and hotels and the well-known and long-established St Louis Hospital to the east of exit 4. For Australians it’s the nearest BTS station to the Australian Embassy, which is on South Sathorn Road and further to the east of St Louis Hospital. It’s also the closest for anyone interested in going to Kukrit Pramoj’s historic residence in Soi Suan Phlu.