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Bangkok/Sukhumvit

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Bangkok : Sukhumvit
Revision as of 04:43, 6 March 2008 by 203.144.143.9 (talk) (Markets)
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Bangkok/Sukhumvit

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Sukhumvit Road is Bangkok's main shopping drag.

Sensory overload at Siam Square

Understand

Sukhumvit is, in many ways, the center of modern Bangkok and not only one of the longest roads in Thailand, but one of the longest roads in the world. Towards the west end you have Ploenchit Road and Rama I Road, but to the east it runs most of the way to the Cambodian border!

The lowered-numbered sois are densely packed with shopping centers and hotels, including the gigantic Siam Paragon and the dense warren of Siam Square opposite it, while the upper sois are a popular residential area for resident expats.

The fleshpots of Nana (in Soi 4 Nana Tai) and Soi Cowboy (between Sois 21 & 23) are also just off Sukhumvit, as are plenty of more (and less) salubrious bars. Also, the sidewalks of Sukhumvit itself become a huge market carrying everything from luggage to fake Rolex watches, and then after midnight they turn into sidewalk cafes and bars.

Sukhumvit offers some of the best dining in Bangkok, From 5 star dining to street carts, The variety of choices and taste are almost overwhelming.

Get in

With the opening of the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Sukhumvit has become a far more central location. However, taking a taxi via Rama IX Road maybe be a faster way of getting into the area, rather than fighting your way through the traffic on Sukhumvit itself.

From other parts of Bangkok the area is easily accessible on the BTS Skytrain's Sukhumvit line, which runs from the National Stadium through the Silom line interchange at Siam Square up to On Nut on Soi 71, and the subway's Sukhumvit Station interchanges with the Skytrain at Asoke.

From the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport you can take the AE3 Airport Bus (150 baht) that runs up Bangna-Trad and along Sukhumvit all the way down Ploenchit to Central World Plaza (formerly World Trade Center) then loops back around to Nana and then back out to the Airport, or a number 552 bus to On Nut BTS Station. There are many stops and depending on traffic can take 1 to 3 hours to get to Ploenchit.

The canal boats running on the Saen Saeb Canal, initially parallel to Sukhumvit but diverging northward as it goes east, provides a cheap alternative means of escaping the traffic jams, particularly if heading west towards Wat Saket (the Golden Mount) and the rest of the Rattanakosin area.

Note that the sois on the north and south sides of Sukhumvit don't line up; for example, Soi 33 is opposite Soi 24.

See

  • Siam Square (Siam BTS Station) would like to be the Times Square of Bangkok, and it does a pretty good job. Despite the name this is in fact a warren of small sois filled with tiny shops and restaurants, mostly catering to upper class Thais, shopping-spree Malaysians, and working ex-pats (as opposed to your usual lay-about ex-pats). If you're not up for a trip to the Gap or a pink martini, it's still worth a visit just to see Bangkok-of-the-Future. The four movie theaters in the area are a good night out. You get a few hours in a plush theater house - complete with air-con and assigned seats (170/190 baht). Hollywood and Asian blockbusters are featured nightly, all with the mandatory standing ovation to the king.
  • Jim Thompson's House [10]. Soi Kasemsan 2 (near National Stadium BTS Station). Full of silk and mystery as well as a good dose of Thai history. The infamous OSS/CIA operative and father of the modern Thai silk industry had this house assembled from six traditional Thai-style houses. The tour costs 100 baht a head, but it's the only way to see the complex. Open 09:00-17:00 daily, get there early to beat the heat.
  • Erawan Shrine is at the intersection of Ploenchit and Ratchaprarop. Built to appease the spirits after a series of construction accidents occurred when the nearby Grand Hyatt Erawan hotel was being built, it's a small but photogenic and perennially packed shrine dedicated to Brahma (Phra Phrom) and named after his elephant, teak models of which are a popular donation. During the day you can see traditional Thai dancing.

Do

Massage joints abound around Sukhumvit. Some of the better ones include:

  • BODY Tune, Sukhumvit Soi 24 (10 mins walk from Phrom Pong BTS Station), [1]. Well-respected small chain offering an excellent traditional Thai massage for 350 baht/hour.
  • BODY Tune, 56 Yada Building, Silom Road (next to Sala Daeng BTS Station), [2]. Well-respected small chain offering an excellent traditional Thai massage for 350 baht/hour.
  • Center Point Massage, Between Sukhukvit Soi 29 and 31, [3]. Worth seeking out - they do nice, reasonably priced Thai, herbal, oil and foot massage, as well as aromatherapy.
  • Center Point Massage, 2nd floor, 266/3 Siam Square Soi 3 (across from Siam Paragon), [4]. Worth seeking out - they do nice, reasonably priced Thai, herbal, oil and foot massage, as well as aromatherapy.
  • Praiphana, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Soi 7 and 9, +66-2-392-6518. 10:00-23:00 daily. Offers traditional Thai massage, oil massage and aromatherapy, nail care. No funny stuff or happy endings here. 15 minute neck and shoulder massage just 50 baht.
  • I.Sawan Residential Spa & Club, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok Hotel, 494 Rajdamri Road,, +66 2 254 1234 (), [5].

Buy

Sukhumvit is the place to shop in Bangkok.

Malls

The glittering facade of MBK
  • Central World Plaza, corner of Rama I and Ratchaprarop (Chidlom BTS Station) [11]. Formerly the World Trade Center, this reopened in 2006 after a massive expansion and renovation, and is now the only mall in Bangkok that can give the Paragon a run for the money in both swank and size. Ice skating rink and a multiplex on the top floor, and contains large Isetan and Zen department stores.
  • Emporium Shopping Center , Sukhumvit Soi 24 (Phrom Phong BTS Station) is the top competitor to Gaysorn Plaza, with lower floors dedicated to brands like Louis Vuitton and Rolex, but (unlike Gaysorn) it has more affordably priced goods on the upper levels. Emporium also has a popular food court and a good selection of restaurants on the 5th floor. Go to the cinema on the top floor and you will find an amazing private library centered around design. You can get a free day pass. Spend the day reading amazing books, or just using the internet. Bring your passport.
  • Gaysorn Plaza, corner of Phloen Chit Road and Ratchadamri Road (Chidlom BTS Station) [12] positions itself as Bangkok's premier luxury shopping mall: this is where you can get your fill of Armani, Gucci and Tiffany. The top floors have a good selection of antiques and Thai handicrafts, of high quality but fairly high prices too.
  • Mahboonkrong, or just MBK (National Stadium BTS Station) [13] is a vast and always packed mall full of tiny stalls (2500 of them, to be exact) selling, well, everything. There's a heavy emphasis on clothing, especially the cheap and trendy teen type, but the floor devoted to electronics is Bangkok's best place to buy a mobile phone, MP3/4 player, digital camera and much much more. Gold, furniture and Thai, Asian & Western food, including Big John's Aussie Meat Pies and Burgers are also well represented (see food courts below), and a section of the 6th floor has been dedicated to handicrafts and souvenirs. The top floor has movie theatres and restaurants, and there's a large Tokyu department store bolted on the north side facing the BTS station. It's just across the street from Siam Square and connecting walkway through the perennially crowded Bonanza Center offers more of the same.
    • Champ (4th floor - near central escalator) is known for its excellent dried fruits and Chinese-style snacks like pork floss. Prices start under 100 baht.
  • Narayana Phand, 127 Ratchadamri Road, between Gaysorn Plaza and Big C. A Thai handicraft center run by the government, offering a wide array of traditional crafts. Prices are fairly high and not negotiable, but clearly marked. A good place to see what's on offer and find out baseline prices before hitting the markets. Open daily 10:00-21:00.
  • Pantip Plaza, 604/3 Phetchaburi Road. A six-floor shopping mall devoted to computer gear, and famous for its pirated media (the bootleg trade is much more low-key than it used to be, but software and DVDs are still widely available). Opens at 10:00. Closes at 20:00.
  • Siam Center (Siam BTS Station) [14] is one of the older malls in these parts, and has a good range of eating options.
  • Siam Discovery Center (National Stadium BTS Station) [15] is a newer, more upmarket addition to Siam Center.
    • Loft [16] (on the 3rd floor) is a large and quirky Japanese home decoration store, with among many other things, an array of bizarre plush toys on offer. Worth a browse.
  • Siam Paragon (Siam BTS Station) [17]. Incredibly massive shopping mall right at the heart of Bangkok, anchored by the Paragon department store and also featuring the Siam Ocean World aquarium, the largest in South-East Asia. The fourth floor has a very good (if pricy) selection of modern Thai arts and crafts, as well as a large Kinokuniya bookstore. Great eating options in the basement, including a gourmet supermarket, two food courts and a canal-lined strip of fancy restaurants.

Department stores

  • Tokyu (National Stadium BTS Station) []. At the top end of MBK. Every thing you'd expect in a department store, including a great selection of utensils for cooking Thai, Japanese and western food.
  • Emporium (Phrom Phong BTS Station) [18]. Upmarket department store, with good selections of everything designer, including watches, cosmetics and clothes. Numerous eating options too.
  • Central Chidlom (Chit Lom BTS Station) [19]. Upmarket department store, with good selections of pricy watches, cosmetics and clothes. Numerous eating options too.
  • Robinson's Department Store, Sukhumvit Soi 19.
  • Playground!, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Soi 18, [20]. So hip it hurts, this cool black three-level cube calls itself an "inspiration store" and has artsy clothes, records, books, furniture, restaurants and (of course) a Starbucks. Note that it's a fair hike (15-20 min walk) from Thong Lo BTS Station, so consider a cab or the red bus (6 baht) during the day or the free electric Red Limo in the evening.

Markets

  • Pratunam Wholesale Garment District. (corner of Phetchaburi and Ratchadamri). An amazing place to shop for clothes. Although it is geared towards exporters, anyone can shop there. Everything is cheap but cheaper still if you buy in bulk. Finding it is tricky, it is more a section of alleys all selling clothes than a real market area. Start at the North-West corner of Phetchaburi Road and Ratchadamri Road. Then walk west on Phetchaburi, you will see some clothing stores just go inside and start wandering, instead of exiting the way you came in, exit to the left and you should be in one of the alleys. You can also start at the Baiyoke Sky Hotel and wander south and east. The stores start closing around 17:00. The shiny new Pratunam center on the East side of Ratchadamri Road is mostly unoccupied.
  • Street market on Sukhumvit, between Sois 1 and 20, offers many of the same items as the Patpong night market (although usually at somewhat better prices). Haggling is generally expected. Many tailor shops can be found here. The most trusted one to head to is probably Crown Tailors inside of sukhumvit soi 8.
  • Villa supermarkets, Sukhumvit Soi 2, 11, 33, 49, 55 (Nana BTS Station, Phrom Phong BTS Station, Thonglor BTS) [21] has everything western you'd expect to find in a supermarket.33 is open Open 24 hours a day.
  • Foodland supermarket, Sukhumvit Soi 5 (Nana BTS Station, opposite Amari Boulevard) has everything you'd expect to find in a supermarket at reasonable prices. Open 24 hours a day. You can also find a Foodland on Sukhumvit Soi 16, close to Asoke BTS Station.
  • Fuji Supermarket, Sukhumvit Sois 33 & 39, is a Japanese supermarket specialising in imported foods and snacks that cannot be found in other supermarkets. Also has a small baker, Sushi restaurant, photo shop, and Takoyaki stand.

Eat

There is a huge selection of places to eat in and around Sukhumvit and its side sois, although prices tend to be on the high side by Thai standards. With practically every cuisine in the world represented, this is the place to break your phad thai diet and sample some of the best Japanese, Lebanese, or Indian food you will ever eat.

Budget eateries

  • Took Lae Dee, inside the Foodland Supermarket, Sukhumvit Soi 5 (Nana BTS Station) is a Bangkok institution: imagine a long bar counter, only with chefs and food instead of bartenders and drinks, and a colorful cast of characters thanks to Nana Plaza across the street. The name literally means Cheap and Good and indeed basic fried rice starts at 40 baht, but the cheap Western dishes, many less than 100 baht, are what makes this place popular. The American breakfast (two eggs, ham, bacon or sausage, juice, toast, coffee) in particular is a steal at 39 baht between 06:00-09:00, or 55 baht at any other time.
  • Hong Kong Noodle, Soi 10 Siam Square. Serves up cheap and tasty wonton noodles (30 baht), a selection of dim sum (20-30 baht) and more Cantonese favorites in modern if utilitarian surroundings complete with air con, table service, etc. Excellent value. Open 10:00-22:00.
  • Soi 38. Under Thong Lo BTS Station, opposite Sukhumvit Soi 55. Not a restaurant in itself, but you'll get the best street food in Bangkok. Just sit at a table and order whatever you like from the numerous foodstalls (they'll figure out the bill for you). You can find the most delicious mango & sticky rice (khao niow ma muang) in town.
  • Between Soi 1 and Soi 3 A set of street food stalls with the best one furthest from the street. Good things to order include "Crispy fish in Chili Sauce", Tom Yum Soup and any of their Thai salads (such as mixed seafood salad). Also any Chinese-style fried vegetables is also good.

Food courts

If you want cheap food and air-conditioning, head into the upper-floor food court of most any department store. Most food courts use some variation of a coupon system; unused coupons are always refunded. Some of the better ones include:

  • Big C, Ratchadamri, next to Narayana Phand, 5th floor. New, bright, airy and very cheap with mostly Thai dishes as low as 20 baht. Payment with a stored-value card.
  • MBK - spacious fifth floor "Fifth Avenue" food court was recently refurbished, has an assortment of Western, Asian, halal, and vegetarian dishes from 50 baht (electronic card system, pay as you leave); sixth floor food court is cheap (less than 50 baht per serving) and popular but noisy, mostly Thai food (pay by coupon).
  • FoodLoft, 7F Central Chidlom (connected to Chidlom BTS Station) [22]. Large and popular, a wide selection of food (Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Vietnamese) but fairly expensive with most dishes closer to 100 baht. You receive a 1000 baht token on entry and pay for what you've used on exiting.
  • Garden Kitchen, 1F Central Chidlom. Hidden behind the TOPS Supermarket in the same building as the FoodLoft, offers Thai fare (and English menus!) at much cheaper prices (20-30 baht).
  • Emporium, 5F. Comparatively small and hidden behind the other restaurants, but cheap and often packed - at peak hours it's difficult to get a seat if you're alone. Pay by coupon, but the prices have been increasing over the past year.

Thai restaurants

  • Once Upon A Time, 32 Petchaburi Soi 17, tel. 02-252-8629. In a dubious-looking alley opposite Pantip Plaza, but worth hunting down despite the unlikely location. The restaurant is in an old Thai house with a garden, filled with photos of classical Thai film stars, and serves very good Thai food. Check out the special rooms upstairs on your way to the bathroom. Mains 100-200 baht.
  • Lan Som Tam Nua, also known as Som Tam Paradise, Siam Square Soi 4. If Thai food isn't spicy enough or you have yet to sample som tam (raw papaya salad), check out this trendy yet very friendly and very Thai restaurant specializing in northern Isaan food. For the full-on Isaan experience, order raw mango salad (ตำมะม่วง tam ma-muang), spicy pork salad (ลาบหมู laap muu ), grilled chicken (ไก่ทอด kai thot) and sticky rice (ข้าวเหนียว khao nio) - which will cost less than 150 baht per head. No English menu, but the staff are glad to help. Warning: This is real Isaan food and thus very spicy!
  • Baan Khanitha, at 36/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (Asoke BTS Station). Well-known if mildly touristy restaurant in an old Thai house, the primary concession to Western tastes being the lack of chili. On the expensive side with most mains (esp. seafood) in the 200-400 baht range, but the food is generally excellent and the presentation spot-on. Best known for their pomelo salad (ยำส้มโอ yam som-o) and red curry with duck (แกงแดงเป็ด kaeng daeng pet).
  • Cabbages and Condoms, 6 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (between Nana & Asoke BTS Stations). Run by Thailand's Population and Community Development Association, the odd name referring to the founder's belief that condoms should be as cheap as veggies; and no prizes for guessing what you'll get after dinner instead of an after-dinner mint. The food is competent but toned down for the foreign palate, expect to pay around 300 baht for a full meal.
  • Lemongrass, 5 Sukhumvit Soi 24. A very good if slightly expat-oriented Thai restaurant. Pomelo salad and tom yam kung (ต้มยำกุ้ง) are both excellent.
  • Food Centre Soi 5 (Nana BTS Station). Simple, well visited restaurant serving Thai and western food. Thai dishes are reasonably original, with little concession to the western taste. Rapid service. Main dishes around 100 baht.
  • Ruen Mallika, 189 Sukhumvit Soi 22. A very good in an "antique" Thai house with a leafy outdoor section. The menu is a huge picture book which should help in ordering. One thing to watch out is that it is actually NOT on Soi 22, it is in a little street off 22, take a right at the 7/11 when you are heading from Sukhumvit towards Rama IV and it is about 200-300m on your right. The staff is very friendly and wear traditional Thai outfits to complete the ambience.

Fusion restaurants

For Thai food with a twist, the hip districts of Siam Square (See earlier) and the H1 complex on Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) are the best places to go hunting.

  • Bed Supperclub, 26 Soi 11 Sukhumvit, tel. 2651 3537, [23]. One of Bangkok's trendiest bar/club/restaurants with sparsely minimalistic yet jaw-dropping decor. Visiting on weekends is recommended, as you'll be treated to a 4-course surprise meal and a weekly-changing floor show. Reservations are essential (by telephone or online), as only a single serving is served nightly at 21:00; be sure to request a bed and arrive at least 30 minutes early. Dietary restrictions can be catered for if informed in advance. But the bill for all this is steep: the 4-course meal will set you back 1000 baht plus drinks at around 200 baht a pop.
  • Greyhound Cafe, Emporium 2F (Phrom Phong BTS Station) and also Central Chidlom 2F (Chid Lom BTS Station). An extremely modern restaurant of concrete and brushed steel, offering a fusionesque menu of food ranging from authentic Thai to Italian pasta to Elvis burgers. Mains usually 100 baht+, although lunch sets are quite cheap.
  • Holy Pizza, Soi 7 Siam Square, tel. 2654 6373. Siam Square at its best: hip, irreverent and innovative, with Thai pop art on the walls and thin-crust Italian pizza married to ingredients that would make the Pope blanch. Try the fairly conservative Vatican's Choice (mozzarella, Parma ham, rocket leaves; 240 baht), or get more experimental with chicken larb pizza.

Italian restaurants

Bangkok has a surprisingly large number of Italian restaurants, and the best are both very good and affordably priced (at least by Western standards).

  • Gianni, 34/1 Soi Tonson, off Ploenchit. One of Bangkok's best and most authentic Italian places. Formal but romantic atmosphere with shared couches and such, you'll want to dress up a little. Try the lunch sets at 270/320 baht, as dinners are considerably more expensive (figure on 1000 baht per head).
  • La Buca, Soi 1 Sukhumvit. This little Italian restaurant is possibly the most authentic in Bangkok. The Italian owner changes the Menu weekly, and a good selection of wine is available. Romantic, but on the expensive side, ranging 400-800 baht per person, without wine.
  • L'Opera, 53/1 Soi 39, Sukhumvit Road, +66-2-258-5606 (, fax: +66-2-258-5599), [6]. 11.30AM-2.30PM, 5PM-23PM. Established 1984, this is the oldest genuine Italian restaurant in Bangkok, and most likely also in Thailand. Though long established as THE Italian place to eat amongst the Thai stars, politicians and local business elite, the atmosphere is relaxed and caters as much to the tourists and middle class. The food prepared by the Italian chef is top class and they stock a wine selection to match it.
  • No. 43, At Cape House, Langsuan. A lovely Italian bistro that serves an a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. With quiet white wood floors, black and gold walls, and an illuminated open bar, the items are pleasantly affordable considering the restaurants elegant ambiance, and range from 120-220 baht for a main course dish. Quiet, reserved and gentle on the senses, this reataurant also offers great Thai food on request.

Japanese restaurants

Bangkok's Little Japan is located near Sukhumvit Soi 33 and across the street at Soi 24, with Phrom Phong BTS Station straddling the two. There is also a smaller concentration along Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55), notably the Nihonmura ("Japan Village") in Thong Lo Soi 13. (The other major outpost of Nippon is Soi Thaniya in Silom.)

  • Ichiban Ramen, Soi 24 Sukhumvit. An authentically Japanese greasy-spoon noodle joint specializing in ramen soup. A large bowl starts at 80 baht.
  • Grande Teppanyaki and Grande Ramen. Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55 - on the left, a short walk from Thong Lo BTS Station). Two small Japanese restaurants facing each other, popular with Thais and Japanese alike. Sub-100 baht Lunch menus particularly good value, but the beef curry with real steak (130 baht) is a deal at any time of the day.
  • Fuji. This Japanese restaurant chain can be found in Emporium, Siam Center, Central World Plaze, and Siam Paragon. A meal for two costs about 500-600 baht.
  • KABUKI Japanese Restaurant [24] has branches in Siam Paragon and Central World Plaza. Kabuki offers original Japanese cuisine in an upscale yet relaxing restaurant environment, inspired by Japanese Kabuki theatre themes that are also projected on a waterfall inside the restaurant. The food is excellent in taste and presented nicely. Kabuki has plenty of smaller private rooms suitable for 3-4 persons. Average meals are in the range of 600-1000 baht per person, excluding wine.
  • UTA-ANDON Japanese Restaurant [25] has branches in Emporium Shopping Mall and Isetan Department Store in Central World Plaza. Ambience and decoration are plain and straightforward. Food is original Japanese, excellent in taste and rich in portions. Particularly the set lunches are quite inexpensive in the range of 200-250 baht per person including green tea.

Korean restaurants

While Korean restaurants can be found scattered throughout town, a particularly heavy concentration lurks in Korea Town, the informal name of Sukhumvit Soi 12's Sukhumvit Plaza (a short walk from Asoke BTS Station). These are extremely authentic though and you may have a little trouble ordering if not familiar with Korean food.

  • Shilla. 4/10-16 Sukhumvit Soi 22, tel. 26634296. A Korean barbeque place aimed for Koreans, with self-service bulgogi grilled at your table and a large menu featuring all the Korean favorites.

Middle Eastern restaurants

Soi 3, a short walk from Nana BTS Station, is known as Soi Arab for the heavy concentration of Middle Eastern businesses in the area; in some spots you will see more signs in Arabic than in Thai! Thanks to a demanding clientele and heavy competition, the food here is some of the best this side of Lebanon.

  • Al Ferdoss, 1F Schiller's Inn, 77/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 3/1. It may have the ambience of a motel lobby (which it pretty much is), but the food here is amazing. Dips and salads (hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, etc) 80 baht a pop, kebabs 130 baht and up, and best of all is the excellent oven-fresh naan. Air-con indoors, but move outside for mint tea and some puffs of the shisha (water pipe).
  • Beirut Restaurant, Ploenchit Center B1F, Soi 2 Sukhumvit. In an unlikely location next to a supermarket in an otherwise nearly desolate shopping mall, Beirut gets negative points for ambience but serves up very good Middle Eastern fare. Basic shwarma in a pita less than 100 baht, set meals 220 baht and up.

Vietnamese restaurants

  • Le Dalat, Sukhumvit Soi 23. Two locations about a block apart and across the street from each other.

Other restaurants

  • Bei Otto, Sukhumvit Soi 20 [26]. Well-known German restaurant.
  • Bourbon Street, 29/4-6 Sukhumvit Soi 22 +66 2-259-0328, [27]. Surprisingly authentic Cajun food. Premium prices charged for dinner but the 2/3-course lunches at 230/290 baht are very good value. Second branch on Soi Tonson.
  • Check Inn 99, Sukhumvit. This place is straight out of a James Bond movie - dark and seedy with a midget doorman.
  • Charlie Brown's, off Sukhumvit Soi 11. Excellent Mexican food, maybe the best in Bangkok. Native English is available here, but you have to find the place first. Just down Soi 11, turn left at the first tailor shop, go past Cheap Charlies bar and around the corner and you will see it. 300-500 baht.
  • Great American Rib Company, 32 Sukhumvit Soi 36 +66 2-661-3801. Great southern style ribs and Mexican food. Best ribs in town and at a moderate price.
  • Larry's Dive Restaurant, Bar & Grill, Sukjumvit Soi 22 +66 2-663-4563. North American Style Gourmet Burgers, Mexican Food, Steaks and Barbeque Pork Ribs. All Day Breakfast.
  • Rang Mahal, 26F Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 +66 2-261-7100. Bangkok's best Indian restaurant, offering world-class Mughal (North Indian) food in surroundings fit for a maharaja. Fairly expensive (well over 500 baht per head), but the all-you-can-eat Sunday champagne brunch buffet at 499 baht is a steal. This 26th floor restaurant also offers great views of Bangkok, call ahead for reservations and request a window view.
  • Senor Pico's, Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18. Mexican restaurant.
  • Ronnys New York Pizza, Sukhumvit Soi 4, tel. +66-2-255-2626. Self-proclaimed as the first New York-style pizza place in Bangkok (thin crust, like in Europe, contrary to the pan pizza of the rest of America). Bring your laptop for free wi-fi.
  • Crepes & Co., Sukhumvit Soi 12, further down the street from Cabbages & Condoms. You can take the BTS, get off Asok station and walk a little. A French-Mediterranean crepes place. Average of 250 per crepe, both sweet and savory.

Drink

The Sukhumvit area contains more watering holes than can easily be counted, and touts are not as big of a problem here as in Patpong. However, the scene is oriented towards tourists and wealthy high-society Thais, for more of a local ambience (and local prices) head a bit north to Ratchadaphisek instead.

Sports bars

Looking for a place to watch your favorite Sport on a Big Screen? Sukhumvit from Soi 2 - 33 offers Numerous choices.

  • The Sports Corner, Cnr Soi 20, Sukhumvit Road, +66870845490 (, fax: +6623920846), [7]. 2.00PM-12PM. Locate just behind the 7eleven on the corner of Soi 20, The Sports Corner offers numerous LCD & Big Screens, both indor and outdoor, showing Sports from around the world, along with affordable drinks, great Thai & Western Food from and friendly, hassle free hostesses and a couple of pool tables and darts board, where local teams compete .
  • Bully's, Sukhumvit Road between Soi 2 & 4, +6626564609 (, fax: +6626564605), [8]. 2.00PM-12PM. Locate next to the JW Marriot Hotel and just around the corner from Nana Plaza Bully's is a hassle free Sports Bar/Restaurant & Pub with numerous LCD Big Screens, pool tables. ===Wine bars=== With a growing interest in foreign as well as local wines, there is a growing number of Wine Bars in Bangkok and many of these in the Sukhumvit area. Most of these are trendy establishments with selections of exclusive French, Italian, Spanish and other international wines. * <drink name="Opera Riserva Wineteque" address="53/3 Soi 39, Sukhumvit Road" phone="+662-2585601" email="[email protected]" fax="+662-258-5599" hours="5.30PM-12PM" price="" url="http://www.operariserva.com"> Opera Riserva is located in conjunction with L'Opera Italian Restaurant, fairly deep down Sukhumvit Soi 39, and can be a bit difficult to find for the first time visitor, however those who do are rewarded with a large selection of wine, ranging from the affordable to the very exclusive of mainly Italian and French wines, but also from other countries. The Opera Riserva wine bar is in two levels with a dozen or so tables and a large bar on ground floor, and on the second floor a more relaxed setting with several groups leather sofas, and some private rooms - one with a separate entrance for those who prefer to come and go unnoticed. Clientèle is equal part local and foreign, and local stars are often spotted here.

Beer gardens

In wintertime (recursively defined in Thailand as 'beer season'), very popular beer gardens pop up in front of Central World Plaza, serving up cold beer, hot food and loud Thai pop.

  • Beergarden, Sukhumvit Soi 7, is a nice place to relax from the trouble with moderate Western music and German and other beer including wheat beer (Franziskaner). You can eat European food at the tables or just have a drink at the bar.
  • Cheap Charlie's, Soi 11, is an outdoor beer bar, not a garden, that looks like it grew out of the side of the building. Pull up a stool anywhere on the Soi and enjoy a cold one.

Microbreweries

  • Coliseum Brew Arena, between Soi 40 & 38, (near Thong Lo BTS Station) is a large micro brewery with full stage show (costume changes, katoeys and midgets). Mostly Thai clientele, but the most flamboyant of all the brew pubs. (Unfortunately, now closed.)
  • The Londoner, Soi 33 [28] is a popular expat hang out, sports bar and occasional live music in an English pub setting. Buy one, get one free on Wednesday.

Clubs and bars

Thong Lo (Soi 55) and Ekamai (Soi 63) are full of trendy bars and night clubs. Mostly catering to the Thai and expat crowd.

  • Witch's Tavern Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Between Soi 8 & Soi 10 - Bangkok's original English Pub. Live music every night. Free drinks for ladies Wednesday 17:00-21:00. At least 5 English/Irish brews on tap.
  • Escudo Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - just past Soi 13
  • Booze Thong Lo Soi 10 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - near Ekkamai
  • Jet Thong Lo Soi 10 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - next to Booze
  • Gigabyte Thong Lo Soi 10 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - next to Jet
  • RAZBar Thong Lo 50m on the right (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - New Very Cool Club
  • Ana Garden Thonglor Soi 3 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - Lovely garden restaurant and cool and cozy club hidden at the rear.
  • Escobar, Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) - just past Soi 5
  • DuDe, RCA (Royal City Avenue), [29] open from 1am till very late just opposite to Route66
  • Remix Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) - just past Soi 18 in The Playground
  • Santika Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) - just past Soi 9 - Bangkok's hip hop club. Open until 02:00. No cover charge.
  • WeZa Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 56) Just past Soi 21
  • Narcissus Club, 112 Sukhumvit Soi 23, [email protected] [30]. A dance club with far too many disco balls. Paul Oakenfold's venue of choice.
  • Q Bar, 34 Sukhumvit Soi 11, [31] is a hip if rather un-Thai bar often likened to a New York cocktail lounge, renowned for its massive drinks list and always packed dance floor. Cover charge. Filled with middle-aged business men and expensive freelancers.

Go-go bars

Soi Cowboy (off Soi 21 Asoke) and Nana Entertainment Plaza (Soi 4) are packed full of go-go bars much like those in Patpong. Soi 33 is packed with hostess bars, which are more upscale than the Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza bars and do not feature go-go dancing. While the places all operate with more or less the same concept, the following two have been around for a while and are unlikely to rip you off.

  • Rainbow 4, Nana Entertainment Plaza 2F, Soi 4. Squeezes two stages into a small space, and is always packed with girls and punters. Beer 125 baht.
  • Suzie Wong, Soi Cowboy. Small and unprepossessing at first sight, the only hint of a Chinese theme are the cheongsams of the waitresses, but this gogo and its sister operation Sheba's across the street are famed for putting on some of the best shows in Bangkok. Beer 130 baht.

Sleep

Accommodation in almost all price ranges can be found within this area.

Budget

Not far from Siam Square proper is Soi Kasemsan 1. About ten minutes walk from Siam BTS Station, or just at the foot of the National Stadium BTS Station, directly across from the stadium itself, Soi Kasemsan 1 is very convenient and quiet. Jim Thompson House is on the sidestreet one block further down Rama I Road. There are several hotels, mainly down the left side of the street as you walk from Rama I.

  • A-One, Soi Kasemsan 1 (on the right). A-One also offers wi-fi access for anyone toting their laptop - 24 hours of access at 100 baht for guests, 150 baht for walk-ins. The rooms hover around 600-700 baht, and are functional, if less than inspiring.
  • Reno Hotel, 40 Soi Kasemsan 1, t: (662) 215-0026-7, 612-3096-7, f: (662) 215-3430 [email protected] - breakfast is included at this clean, remodeled hotel. There is a nice pool in the nothing-fancy patio area. The rooms on the front are dark and a bit noisy. Rooms by the back or pool are very pleasant. The friendly staff provide laundry, checked luggage, and a travel desk. 780-1100 baht (980 baht will get you a nice air-con double with TV and balcony).
  • Muangphol Mansion, 931/9 Soi Kasemsan 1, t: (662) 219-4445, f: (662) 216-8053 [email protected] faces onto Rama I, but enter from Soi Kasemsan 1. Internet and a 24 hour restaurant on the ground floor.
  • Patumwan House, Soi Kasemsan 1 (the high-rise to your left as you reach the bend in the road), t: (662) 612-3580-99, f: (662) 216-0180 [email protected] - this is mainly a residential apartment building with some studios or one-bedrooms for rent. There is a security card entry and elevator. Definitely not a backpacker place. 1000-1200 baht for a studio with air-con, TV, and full-size fridge. (300 baht weekly discount and larger rooms/suites available).
  • Wendy House, Soi Kasemsan 1. t: (662)-214-1149, (662)-214-1150. A bit cheaper, this hotel is very popular and seems to fill up quickly. International phones and phone cards and Internet are available in the lobby. The PCs are configured for English, Swedish, and Japanese.
  • White Lodge, 36/8 Soi Kasemsan 1, t: (662) 216-8867, 215-3041.

A few cheapie hotels can be found elsewhere along Sukhumvit.

  • Atlanta Hotel, 78 Sukhumvit Soi 2 (Tel. 02-2521650, 02-252-6069) [32] A dream from 1930s Los Angeles that appeared in Bangkok in the 1950s, The Atlanta never quite loses the quality of a mirage, but the beds are solid enough. The rooms aren't in great condition, it's a long walk up to the third and fourth floors, and the cleaning staff have sticky fingers, but every time you walk into the grand lobby or take a dip in the overgrown jungle pool (24 hours) out back, you'll be glad you're there. (And if you've spent any time on Sukhumvit, you'll appreciate the "NO SEX TOURISTS" sign out front.) Rooms with a/c from 550 baht; amenities include two computers with internet (and free wifi if you've brought your own), a helpful travel desk, decent restaurant and plenty of room for left-luggage.
  • Bangkok City Inn, 43/5 Rajdamri Road [33]. A comfortable 2 star hotel, has air-con, 24 hour reception, cable tv, etc. Located in the back streets near the Central World Plaza. 900-1350 baht.
  • Big John's, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Soi 9 +66 (0)870128720 or (0)392 0847 [34] [35] is an Australian run budget hostel. Restaurant specialities are "home-made" Aussie pies, pasties, sausages, burgers, pasta, pizza, etc. The Terrace and sofa pub has satellite sports. Free Internet for guests, free Wi-Fi for all. Roof-top hammocks from 80 baht, air-con dorm beds from 240 baht, private fan rooms from 490 baht.
  • Royal Nana, 21/4 Sukhumvit Soi 4, (02)656-7577-9. Standard double room with A/C runs 660 baht per night. Turn into a small alley off Soi 4, across from 7-11. The rooms are quiet, clean, pleasantly decorated, and serviced daily. Decent bathroom with hot water, refrigerator, in-room safe, & tv. Wood and tile floors. A good budget option, centrally located near Nana station, especially if you are not bothered by nearby hotspots for sex tourism, and staying in a hotel that does also offer an hourly rate.
  • Soi 1 Guesthouse, 220/7 Sukhumvit Soi 1 +66 2-655-0604 [email protected] [36] is a Top Rated budget hostel with Thai/Western restaurant, air-con rooms and bar, pool table, Internet (1 baht/min), free wi-fi, clean, no curfew. All Beds have Air-con and cost 350.
  • YHA Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit Soi 38, is very clean, has beautiful chill out areas and friendly staff. Mixed dorm 250 baht, girls/boys only 300 baht, single 600 baht, double or twin 800 baht, ensuite double 850 baht. All with air-con 18:00-08:00.
File:Nanahotel.jpg
Nana Hotel, just across from the Entertainment Plaza

Mid-range

There are many good quality but cheaper places on Sukhumvit. It is possible to book on a weekly basis and get a large discount at many places.

  • Ever Rich Inn (sometimes spelt Everich Inn), 113 Sukhumvit (between Soi 5 and Soi 7 across the road from the Landmark Hotel) Phone: +66 2253 4250. A nice, small, quiet and clean hotel only metres from the Nana BTS Station escalator. The best and largest rooms are at either end of the building (either facing Sukhumvit or facing north) as these have windows. Rooms with window are about 1500 baht, rooms without window are 200 baht cheaper.
  • Grace Hotel, 12 Soi Sukhumvit 3 (Nana), tel. 2254-9021. Located in Soi Arab, excellent Middle Eastern and Indian food can be found nearby.
  • Majestic Suites, 110-110/1 Sukhumvit (corner with Soi 4) [email protected] [37] from 1250-1950 baht/night. This hotel is directly around the corner from Nana Entertainment Plaza and one of the very nearest to Nana BTS Station. Hotel is modern and facilities and service are first rate and a bargain, but larger people may find the "single studio" 1250 baht rooms are small. There is ample space for 100 baht more in the "single superior" rooms. The hotel rooms are very well maintained and have in-room safes. Not to be confused with the newer/pricier (beginning at 2990 baht) Majestic Grande nearby on Soi 2.
  • Royal Asia Lodge, 91 Sukhumvit Soi 8, [38] 1170 baht/night. About 800m from Sukhumvit, so a little quieter and cheaper than others, however there is a complimentary tuk-tuk service that runs to Sukhumvit 24 hours a day.
  • The Davis, 88 Sukhumvit Soi 24 [39]. Run by massage parlour magnate-cum-politician Chuwit Kamolsivit, this is one of the best deals in Bangkok: a new fully equipped luxury boutique hotel at midrange prices, as low as 1400 baht/night for a month's stay (although shorter stays will set you back more). Each room is furnished differently yet tastefully. The primary negative is the location deep down Soi 24, quite a hike (15-20 min) from Sukhumvit itself.
  • Unico Grande Sukhumvit, 27 Sukhumvit Soi 1 [40].[41] The newest boutique hotel under Unico Grande Hotels & Residences [42], good location and valued for money in Bangkok: the Hotel closed back to Bumrungd International Hospital walkable to popular area for Tourism "Nana". Room is combine between European and Contemporary with new furniture and facilities. From 2,000 baht.

Omni Tower Residence, Sukhumvit Soi 4, 150 metres down from Nana Plaza. 2000 Baht per night if booked through asiarooms.com, cheaper on some other sites. Very nice apartment building with same services as hotels, daily cleaning, pool, restaurants, security, reception etc. Great size, comfortable and modern rooms and no fee for taking guests back to your room.

Somerset Lake Point, Sukhumvit Soi 16, 200 metres from the corner of Sukhumvit and Asoke. 2400 baht per night through most web sites. Four to Five star apartment building, has two swimming pools, gym, sauna, spa, security, reception, restaurants, excellent breakfast (included in price) and free tuk tuk to train stations and shopping centre. Excellent rooms and service and for some reason they almost always upgrade to a 2 bedroom apartment ( they must be short on studio suites) Not to far from Soi Cowboy, and a couple of excellent restaurants just up the road if you like Thai food, also has a supermarket close by with a couple of nice places to eat. Nice peaceful area, but close enough to all the action, restaurants and shopping. No fee for taking guests back to your room.

Splurge

Several of Bangkok's luxury hotels are concentrated on and near Sukhumvit. Your options include:

  • Amari Boulevard, Sukhumvit Soi 5 (Nana BTS Station) [43] Distinctively triangle-shaped and conveniently located four-star hotel with two wings, the Krung Thep wing being newer, better and pricier than the older Siam wing. Rates US$80 and up.
  • Amari Watergate, 847 Petchaburi Road [44] Modern four-star hotel with all the facilities you'd expect, including a few restaurants good enough to draw non-guests (esp. the American-style Henry J. Beans bar/restaurant downstairs; try the chicken fajitas!). A stone's throw off the beaten track in Pratunam, across the Saen Saep canal from Sukhumvit. Rates US$80 and up.
  • Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, 494 Rajdamri Road (close to the Erawan Shrine), +66 2 254 1234 (), [9]. checkin: 12:00pm; checkout: 15:00pm. 5 Star hotel at 5 Star prices. But if you are visiting the Erawan Shrine on the corner you should take a look at the hotel. The lobby is very impressive. Spassos, a popular upscale lounge/bar is located in the lower level. If there's more than one person per room, it is worth the extra US$20/night for the "club room" as you end up with a better concierge and free breakfast.
  • Holiday Inn Bangkok, 971 Ploenchit Road (Chid Lom BTS Station), tel. +66-26561555, [45]. Opened in May 2005, this sparkling new hotel in contemporary Thai style is amazingly swanky for a Holiday Inn and the location is very central. Small but sufficient gym and pool. Rooms from US$85 are good value.
  • Inter-Continental Bangkok, 973 Ploenchit Road (Chid Lom BTS Station), tel. +66-26560444, [46]. The lobby of this hotel is among the most extravagant in Bangkok if not the world. Very central location and all the facilities you'd expect, but the rates are US$130 and up.
  • JW Marriott Hotel, 4 Sukhumvit Soi 2, [47]. Marriott's flagship in Bangkok, right next to Nana Plaza (which explains the colorful clientele). Opened in 1997 and decorated in Thai style, complete with bellboys wearing pith helmets and funny pants. Room rates from US$100 and up.

Contact

Sukhumvit is packed with Internet cafes offering access at rates as low as 1 baht/minute, but the following stand out from the crowd.

  • TNET, Ploenchit Road (Chid Lom BTS Station). Squeaky-new clean and airy Internet cafe offering exceptionally fast broadband Internet access for 40 baht/hour, 70 baht for 2 hours.
  • True Urban Park, Siam Paragon 3F (Siam BTS Station), tel. +66-2-610-8888. Built by Internet-mobile-cable conglomerate True at a cost of US$1 million, this is not just an Internet cafe, but also a flower shop and bookstore, complete with iPod listening stations with sonic bubbles hanging over your head and a live DJ. Try the Iced Cafe Mocha. Connection on the slow side.
  • True Thonglor, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55) Soi 10. Also built by Internet-mobile-cable conglomerate True this is no joke Internet cafe either.
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