Photo: Bright lights, big city.

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Bangkok by skytrain: Chong Nonsi

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Chong Nonsi, station S3 on the Silom line, lies smack in between the high-rise office buildings of Sathorn Road and the hotels, nightlife and dining of Silom Road. The station itself is situated on Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Rd (usually shortened to just 'Naradhiwas'), and the area sees a good mix of businesspeople in power suits and tourists in shorts and flip-flops. While not as vibrant as the area surrounding nearby Sala Daeng (S2) station, Chong Nonsi has plenty to offer.

Head south inside the station and you'll enter a skywalk that crosses right over one of the busiest intersections in Bangkok. Two eight-lane roads (Sathorn and Naradhiwas) converge here, but you'll walk right over the traffic jams through an expansive and shiny platform that's all lit up at night and has become something of a Bangkok landmark. It's often used as the shooting site for Thai advertisements, so don't be surprised if you see a film crew and a few models milling about.

Continue all the way east over the platform and you can enter a Bangkok BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) station. The BRT is a bus route that runs on a sectioned off strip of road (so bypasses any traffic jams) and takes you in a loop southwards through the Sathorn area and then northwest along the Chao Phraya River before crossing the river and terminating near Wongwian Yai BTS station in Thonburi. Exit the platform before the BRT station then keep heading east on Naradhiwas Rd and you'll reach a clutch of Thai-oriented restaurants and bars on Naradhiwas Soi 15 after about a kilometre.

If you take the stairs on the southwestern side of the platform -- just before the BRT station -- and walk east on Sathorn Road, you'll pass a handful of high-rise residential buildings before hitting Soi Suan Phlu (Sathorn Soi 3) on your right. On the corner is Baan Khanitha fine dining Thai restaurant, and a walk south down Suan Phlu from here takes you past a few chain hotels. This is where the immigration bureau used to be located -- but you'll now find it here. While in this area, you might stop for some great Thai-Chinese vegetarian fare at Baan Bai Phlu.

Back at the BTS station, exit 1 leaves you in a position to walk west on Sathorn Road, but there's little of interest from here until you reach the next BTS station further down Sathorn, Surasak (S4). Exit 2 takes you to a McDonalds and Au Bon Pain, and you'll also want this exit if seeking a motorbike or taxi to take you to immigration, or anywhere else eastwards on Sathorn Road.

Back in the station, if you walk in the direction of Silom Road (north) and take exit 4, you'll emerge onto a strip of great seafood and kap khao restaurants and coffee shops right on Naradhiwas Rd. Continue east and take a right at the alley just before Top Charoen Optical and you'll enter the sprawling but hidden away Lalai Sap market, where outstanding street food -- including some of Bangkok's best roast duck -- can be sampled. On your way back to the station, stop in at Chocolate Tales Cafe for dessert.

Continue north on Naradhiwas past the alley leading to Lalai Sap and you'll see budget hostel YHA Bangkok Downtown just before hitting Silom Road. This vicinity is also home to several quality dental offices in case you need to take care of that toothache. Take a right on Silom and a bunch more restaurants, bars and hotels are within walking distance, with Sala Daeng station also not too far in this direction.

Take exit 2 out of Chong Nonsi station and you'll enter the sleepier western side of Naradhiwas Road, occupied by a strip of small businesses that include a Japanese tea shop, Zoom Camera Shop, a Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant and Om Yim Lodge and restaurant.

Walk north past all of that and hang a left onto Silom Road to access several southern Indian restaurants, a handful of Japanese restaurants (tucked behind the north side of Silom near the intersection), Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple, Kathmandu Photography Gallery , great street food on Silom Soi 20 and a host of accommodation choices including the high-end Sofitel Silom, the midrange Narai Hotel and flashy hostels Lub d Bangkok and Silom Art Hostel .

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Location map for Bangkok by skytrain: Chong Nonsi

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