Bangkok’s newest subway line, the MRT Purple Line opened to the public. The new line brings much-needed connectivity to the north of the city, extending 23km from Tao Poon, across the Chao Phraya river at the Phra Nangkhao Bridge, and terminating at Khlong Bang Phai.
Find your inner hipster at Siam Gypsy Junction (via Bang Son Station)
Siam Gypsy Junction is a cool night market situated underneath the giant slabs of concrete that form part of the Purple Line. Popular with both locals and tourists you’ll find a decent selection of vintage clothes, hipster accessories and trendy bars with live music. Not a tin can tuk-tuk in sight!
- Address: Siam Gypsy Junction, 95/20 Bangkok-Nonthaburi Road, Wong Sawang
- Open: Wed-Sun, 6pm-1am
- Contact: Facebook here.
Go back in time at Nonthaburi Museum (via Yaek Tiwanon Station)
Set in the glorious old Nonthaburi City Hall – one of Bangkok’s longest standing buildings that dates back the reign of King Rama VI – this museum offers two floors of exhibits detailing the history of the local area. Free to enter, you’ll find a small but fascinating display of paintings, artifacts, pottery, old household items and plenty of educational resources; enough to turn yourself into a Nonthaburi-history-geek. Nearby the museum is the iconic Nonthaburi clock tower and fresh market. Do note that this one will require a short five-minute taxi journey from Yaek Tiwanon MRT Station, but it’s well worth it.
- Address: Suan Yai, Nonthaburi
- Open: Tues-Sun 10am-6pm
- Contact: 0 2525 0622
Rediscover the slow life at Koh Kret Island (via Phra Nang Klao Bridge Station)
A few minutes’ taxi journey (and short boat hop) away from the MRT’s Phra Nang Klao Bridge Station you’ll find the quaint Koh Kret, an ‘island’ formed by the Chao Phraya River. You won’t find any sandy beaches here, but Koh Kret does offer lots of unspoiled greenery, a sleepy rural atmosphere and a thriving handmade pottery scene. Also worth checking out is the impressive Wat Bang Chak – a giant seated golden Buddha which looks majestically of the river.
Dine next to the Chao Phraya at The River House 1953 (via Phra Nang Klao Bridge Station)
This spacious riverside complex is a popular spot for hungry locals and offers some pretty sweet views across the water come sunset time. Styled around the concept of a traditional Thai home, the restaurant goes big on seafood; must-tries include the stir fried shrimps and whole steamed sea bass. They also have Hoegaarden on tap – always a bonus for those not driving. From the MRT Purple Line station by the river, it’s around 5-10 minutes by taxi.
- Address: Nonthaburi Soi 17 (on the river)
- Open: 11am-11pm daily
- Contact: theriverhouse1953.com
Marvel at the huge Wat Borom Raja Kanjanapisek (via Khlong Bang Phai Station)
This vast temple complex has been off the main tourist trail in Bangkok for years thanks to its slightly awkward-to-reach location in the suburbs of Nonthaburi. With the completion of the new MRT Purple Line, it’s now within touching distance of the final station, Khlong Bang Phai – about 10 minutes in a taxi to be exact. We found dozens of impressive temples on or near to the Purple Line, but none stand out more than Wat Borom Raja Kanjanpisek, the largest and most photogenic Chinese-style Buddhist temple in the whole of Thailand.
- Address: Soi Thetsaban 9, Bang Rak Phatthana
- Open: 8am-6pm daily
- Contact: 02 571 1155
Get lost at CentralPlaza WestGate (via Talat Bang Yai Station)
The penultimate and largest station on the MRT Purple Line has direct access to a feast of shopping centers, with the most famous of them all being the newly-built CentralPlaza WestGate. Anybody who’s ever been to one of Bangkok’s many Central malls will know exactly what’s in store here: shops, shops and more shops. There is also a cinema, kids’ playground and Virgin Active gym all found across 500,000 sqm of floor space.
- Address: Intersection between Kanchanapisek Road and Rattana Thibet Road
- Open: 10am-10pm daily
- Contact: centralplaza.co.th