Train Station Stroll: What to do around BTS Ari Station?
Let’s say you have just a few days to enjoy the perks Bangkok has to offer you and friends. In the city full of eateries, nightlife, and culture in every corner, it gets relatively easy to plan out the where to start and even how. You would probably want to hit every hot spot in the shortest time possible, while still being to revel in each location without any rush. Luckily, we have the BTS Skytrain.
The Bangkok Mass Transit System, or more commonly known as BTS or Skytrain, is a rapid public transit that has been with Thai people from way back in 1999 and has been growing ever since. It slowly became one of the leading transportation choices of the city, offering an alternative to Bangkok’s traffic infested roads. With now 35 stations strategically placed along the bloodline of Bangkok city like Sukhumvit and Silom Roads, we can be sure that most of these stops will conveniently drop you at a hotspot. Now we’ll look into one of the better-known stations frequented by both locals and foreigners.
BTS Ari might not be the station next to big shopping malls or old buildings, but that doesn’t make it any less attractive. With the area lined with office and residential towers, it wouldn’t be hard to guess that the area is filled to the brim with great eateries. From longtime street stalls to up and coming hipster bistros, Ari had always been known for the numerous selection of food. Saying that the area is a foodie’s dream would still be an understatement.
For those of you who may not be very proficient with Skytrain traveling, Ari Station is on the Sukhumvit Line, 2 stations away from the origin station of Mochit and the Chatuchak Weekend Market we all know and love. As you walk down from the platform, you will be greeted by a map like this. Exits 1 and 2 will lead you down Phaholyothin Road towards BTS Sanampao Station and the Victory Monument. We will focus on Exits 3 and 4 as most of our recommended attractions lie under this side of the station.
Exit 3: Street Food & Local Café and Restaurants
This exit will lead you down to the sidewalk where you will almost immediately be met with the sight and smell of street food. The amount of food you can find taking this path is just ridiculous. Starting off from the bottom step of the BTS, walk towards Soi Phahonyothin 7, and you will see a line of food on your left. Here we recommend Rungsaeng’s Hainanese Chicken Rice and Wat Dong Mun Lek’s Beef Noodles.
As you enter the Soi, there will be some many shops left and right that there is barely any space to walk. The area comes alive especially during the evening time when people get off work. If you can get past the goodness of it all, on the left, you will find Meng Noodles serving up one of the best crab and shrimp dumpling egg noodles in town.
As you walk straight ahead, you can take a detour into Soi Ari 1 and grab yourself some authentic Thai sweets from Maliwan Desserts. Come back out of the Soi and head across the street. If you are there during the evening time, you will see a bunch of people in line at a sidewalk stall for Seng Pan-fried Noodles and Chicken where every dish is made in a charcoal stove, giving it a nice char and aroma you can’t resist.
Last but not least stay on the same side of the of the Soi and walk further in. You will find a very great milk and toast shop called Pang-Ya Ari. They serve some of the best-buttered toast with sweet toppings like jams and chocolate here. You can also grab a nice cold cup of coffee or milk to go with it. The shop is also right beside the famous Nai Chui Fish Balls, so you might as well just come here for a full dinner meal.
Now that’s just the street food side of things. We will not do the area justice if we don’t mention the local restaurants and cafes. Only a few years back, Ari has seen an explosion of delicious local eateries in the area. Focusing on the ones within a 5-10 minutes walk from the BTS station we recommend:
Hor Hidden Café
Frank Cake Bar
JOHA Korean Restaurant
As we mentioned, the area is always booming with new venues to explore. Maybe that is why Ari is slowly becoming a hot spot for a hangout other than your regular Thonglor-Ekkamai area. Here are some new places that just opened in the area:
Good Day Café (Onedee Café)
Exit 4: Community Mall and Cocktail Bar
Exit 4 brings you to the entrance of La Villa Ari, one of the most frequented locations in the area. La Villa is a community mall where you will find restaurants, fashion shops, and a Villa supermarket. You will often see a crowd of office people coming around for a lovely meal and grabbing groceries on their way home. The big outdoor space in the middle of the mall will often see a rotation of local fashion brands, adding to the enjoyable ambiance.
La Villa Ari
The great thing about this place is that you can find pretty much anything you want to eat here. You can have your fill of tasty Thai food at Kub Kao Kub Pla, enjoy some pub food and an extensive beer selection at HOBS Away, and satisfy your sweet tooth at After You Dessert Café. Drop by anytime from 10 am to 10 pm and have your pick of what to eat from a collection of well-known restaurants and dessert shops La Villa has made available to you.
If you don’t feel like going home yet after dinner, you can pop up to the rooftop for a hangout session and a round of drinks with your friends and colleagues as well.
You might have heard the name Myst before. Yes, this is another location of the famous Bar & Restaurant in Thonglor. While this might not be as big, it has everything you need to have a good night out. Enjoy the beautiful scene from the 4th Floor of La Villa with your favorite drink with your favorite people. Chat the night away and pop out your phone camera once in a while to take pictures of the beautiful cocktails the bar has to offer. The venue is open every day from 5:30 pm to 1 am.