Sukhumvit (Thai: สุขุมวิท) is an exclusive district in Bangkok. It is home to fancy apartments, villas, restaurants, bars and clubs. Popular among foreign visitors and expats, it becomes more and more a Thai residential neighbourhood as you follow the road southeast. Khlong Toei is also dealt with here, which, by contrast, is one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Bangkok.
Sukhumvit Road is not only one of the longest roads in Thailand, but one of the longest roads in the world. Towards the west end it changes name to Phloen Chit Road and Rama I Road as it enters the Siam Square area, but to the east it runs most of the way to the Cambodian border. The sois are numbered from west to east, with odd numbers north and even numbers south of Sukhumvit Road. The sois on the north and south sides of Sukhumvit don't line up; for example, Soi 33 is opposite Soi 24. Confusing is that these sois also have names of their own (for example, Soi 55 is better known as Soi Thong Lo) and these sois can also have sois of their own (such as Thong Lo Soi 1).
Looking at the high-rise apartment buildings, the Skytrain and the perennial traffic jam on Sukhumvit Road, it is hard to believe that this area used to consist of rice fields until World War II. After the war, this area became developed with large contemporary villas catering to the upper class. As property values kept rising, developers have been buying more and more land and cashed them in by constructing big apartment high-rises. The construction of the BTS Skytrain in 1999, covering most of Sukhumvit Road, has increased the popularity of this district even more.
The lowered-numbered sois (roughly between Soi 1 and 63) are a popular residential area for western expatriates and affluent Thais. It is densely packed with shopping centres, restaurants and hotels. The fleshpots of Nana Entertainment Plaza (in Soi 4) and Soi Cowboy (between Soi 21 and 23) are also in this area, as are plenty of more (and less) salubrious bars. Also, the pavement of Sukhumvit itself has become a huge market carrying everything from luggage to fake Rolex watches, and after midnight they turn into roadside bars and pubs. Sukhumvit offers the best dining in Bangkok, from five-star dining to street stands, the variety of choices and tastes are almost overwhelming. Japanese nationals can be found in the area Soi 21 and upwards, but most tend to congregate around Soi 55. Indians have settled around Soi 12, while Arabs are grouped at Soi 3/1, which informally is known as Soi Arab. After Soi 63, Thais take over again, though this might change when the Skytrain extension is completed in late 2011.
South of Sukhumvit's sois lies Khlong Toei, which, if recognised at all, foreigners only know for the Khlong Toei Market. Khlong Toei is a borough, a market and a port, all named after the canal that flows through the area. It means "canal of pandan" as that plant used to grow along the southern bank of the canal. A large part of it was filled up to make way for Rama IV Road in 1947. South (and under) the Chalerm Maha Nakhon Expressway are the infamous Khlong Toei slums, generally unexplored by even the most adventurous travellers. At the banks of the Chao Phraya river is the Khlong Toei Port, which has a history dating back to the ninth century, when it connected Bangkok with the cities upstream the river. Since 1981, it has lost most of its economic relevance when the larger Laem Chabang Port near Pattaya took over business.
By public transit
The BTS Sukhumvit Line runs, as the name suggests, over Sukhumvit Road from west to east. Sukhumvit can directly be reached by Skytrain from Siam Square or Phahonyothin. The journey from Mo Chit takes about 25 minutes to reach Asok station, while from Siam station takes about 10 minutes. If you're coming from Silom, you'll need to take the Silom Line north and change onto the Sukhumvit Line at Siam station. It takes about 20 minutes for a ride from Saphan Taksin station to reach Asok station, including the transfer at Siam. Trains leave every 5–10 minutes for a fare of about 15-40 baht.
The most important BTS stations are (from west to east) Nana, Asok, Phrom Phong, Thong Lo, Ekkamai, Phra Khanong, On Nut, Udom Suk, Bang Na and Bearing. Each station serves the neighbourhood of the same name. Asok is the most convenient station as it is in the centre of Sukhumvit and has a direct transfer with Bangkok's MRT metro system. In the following years, the Sukhumvit Line will be extended southwards to Samut Prakan and eastwards to Suvarnabhumi Airport's proposed second terminal.
If you're coming from Silom or Ratchadaphisek, you can directly reach Sukhumvit by Bangkok's MRT metro system. The most convenient station is Sukhumvit, which is right in the middle of the district and you can transfer onto the BTS Sukhumvit Line. The other stations in the district are Khlong Toei and QSNCC. The metro ride from Silom takes about 10 minutes, while the ride from Ratchadaphisek takes about 15 minutes. Trains leave every 5–10 minutes for a fare of about 15-40 baht.
Airport Rail Link
The Airport Rail Link provides a direct connection between Suvarnabhumi Airport and Phaya Thai station, a ride that takes 17 minutes. At Phaya Thai, you have to switch onto the BTS Skytrain. As the systems are not integrated, you will have to buy a new ticket. Take a train in the direction of Bearing and get out at the station of your choice — Nana and Asok are the most widely used stations.
The Saen Saep Express Boat service is a rough, but entertaining way of getting in and around Sukhumvit. The Saen Saeb canal forms the northern boundary of Sukhumvit's sois and is a cheap alternative means of escaping the traffic jams if you're coming from Khao San Road, the eastern side of Rattanakosin or Ramkhamhaeng.
There are two lines: The Golden Mount Line runs from Panfa Leelard near the Golden Mount in Rattanakosin east to Pratunam near Ratchaprasong intersection. The NIDA Line runs from Pratunam all the way northeast along Ramkhamhaeng Road to Wat Sriboonreung. A single trip from Panfa Leelard to Nana Nua takes about 35 minutes and costs 13 baht. You must switch boats at Pratunam. Other stops along Sukhumvit's northern sois (from west to east) are Nana Chard, Asoke-Petchaburi, Prasanmit, Italthai, Wat Mai Chonglom, Baan Don Mosque, Soi Thonglor, Charn Issara and Vijit School.
If you're coming from the Grand Palace area in Rattanakosin, there are two ways to get into Sukhumvit. The fastest way is to take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Sathorn pier in Silom. From there, continue your way north using the BTS Skytrain Silom Line. You'll need to switch trains at Siam BTS station and continue your way east onto the Sukhumvit Line. The whole journey from Rattanakosin takes about 40 minutes. Alternatively walk for about 30 minutes, or a 5 minute taxi journey, to Panfa Leelard pier and continue your journey using the Saen Saep Express Boat.
This first tip on bus travel is one to remember: do not do it! Sukhumvit Road is probably the most congested road of Bangkok and traffic jams exist the whole day until late in the evening. Also, it is difficult to find out which bus goes where or where to get out. Better take the Skytrain, metro or express boat, even if it costs a little more.
If you insist, there are many bus routes through the Sukhumvit area. The most important one is ordinary and air-conditioned bus 25, which starts far southeast of Sukhumvit Road. From there, it goes all the way northwest along Sukhumvit Road and then rides over Ratchadamri Road and Rama IV Road to Silom. It then continues its way to Hualamphong Train Station, through either Charoen Krung Road or Yaowarat Road (depending on direction) and finally on to Tha Chang in Rattanakosin (for the Grand Palace).
From the new Suvarnabhumi Airport, you can take bus AE3 for 150 baht to Sukhumvit. It runs up the Bang Na-Trat Expressway and along Sukhumvit all the way up to Siam Square. It then loops back around to Nana and then back out to the airport. Another option is bus 552, which heads on to On Nut, where you can continue your way with the Skytrain. There are many stops and depending on traffic the ride can take from 1 to 2 hours.
- Benchasiri Park (สวนเบญจศิริ), Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong). 05:00-20:00 daily. This compact park was built to commemorate the 60th birthday of HM Queen Sirikit in 1992. It features a huge sculpture of a commemorative coin illustrating an image of HM Queen Sirikit and 12 pieces of contemporary sculptures including children's works. Free.
- Benjakiti Park, Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre). 05:00-20:00 daily. When the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly moved all its factory operations to Chiang Rai in 2008, the lake and some adjoining land that were part of its compound, previously enjoying semi-wild vegetation, were turned into a public park. Many splendid old rain trees were cut down in order to landscape the park, in which young trees were planted instead. Adjoining the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, it is a neat park with dedicated cycling and walking paths, fixed exercise equipment and several monuments. Free.
- Kamthieng House Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์เรือนคำเที่ยง), 131 Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asok Rd) (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . Tu-Sa 09:00-17:00. Ban Kamthieng is a 19th-century ancient Thai stilted teak house where you definitely wouldn't expect it: right in the middle of Bangkok's high-rises. It was transported from Chiang Mai in pieces and assembled in Bangkok in 1964 to function as the headquarters of the Siam Society, an organisation that has the goal of preserving the cultural heritage of Thailand. Beside the house itself, on display are traditional tools, arts and crafts used by Lanna farmers and fishermen from northern Thailand in olden times, as well as a large selection of Thai flora in its yard. There is a heavy focus on the cultural heritage of northern Thailand, as that's where the house and most of the tools on display came from. The only downside of the museum is that it's quite small, so don't expect to spend here longer than 30 minutes (or even 15 minutes if you're quick). 100 baht.
- Museum of Thai Pharmacy (พิพิธภัณฑ์เภสัชกรรมไทย), 40 Sukhumvit Soi 38 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . M-F 10:00-16:00. The museum is on the third floor of the Pharmaceutical Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage Building. It was established to publicise about traditional Thai medicine from past to present, so that later generations would learn and treasure it. The exhibition features various topics, such as the birth of pharmacy, the evolution of oriental pharmacy and basic wisdom, the evolution of western Thai pharmacy and the evolution of herbs and natural products. Make contact in advance if you are visiting with a group. Free.
- National Science Centre for Education (ศูนย์วิทยาศาสตร์เพื่อการศึกษาแห่งชาติ), 928 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Ekkamai), ☎ . Tu-Su 08:30-16:30. This is an exhibition centre about the variety of scientific knowledge. Among the attractions are a planetarium, an aquarium as well as a permanent exhibition on sports science, communication technology and natural environments. One-hour shows at the planetarium start at 11:00 and at 14:30 with additional shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 and 13:30. 20-40 baht.
- Thailand Creative and Design Center, 6F, Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . Tu-Su 10:30-21:00. There couldn't have been a better place for this design gallery, at the Emporium, the most fashionable shopping mall of Bangkok. The TCDC, as abbreviation-loving Bangkokians call it, seeks to show and promote Thailand's design innovations. There is a permanent exhibition addressing the question, "What is design, and how it is influenced by factors like society, history, politics, economics, geography and religion?" There is also a temporary exhibition that often changes. If you want to enter the resource centre and the library, you can get a free one-day pass. You can only do this once and you must carry your passport with you. Spend the day reading amazing design books, or just using the Internet. If you want to visit the resource centre and library again later, you'll need to pay for a subscription. Free.
Focus on yourself and get pampered at one of the many massage establishments around Sukhumvit. If you want a more upmarket experience, you could head for a spa. Some of the better ones include:
- Bliss Massage & Spa (บลิส มาสซาจแอนด์ สปา), Sukhumvit Soi 33 (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . 10:00-00:00 daily. Offers traditional Thai massage, head and foot massage along with a "fish spa" — wherein you immerse your feet in a tank of water and little fish nibble away at the dead skin.
- Center Point Boutique Spa (เซ็นเตอร์พอยท์ มาสสาจ บูติก แอนด์ สปา), 2/16 Sukhumvit Soi 24 (BTS Phrom Phong exit 2), ☎ . 10:00-01:00 daily, last booking 23:30. Offers excellent traditional massage in a soothing environment. 400-1,900 baht.
- Happy Feet, Sukhumvit Soi 7 (BTS Nana, behind The Park Hotel), ☎ . 10:00-23:00 daily. This massage parlour offers excellent traditional Thai massage, oil massage, aromatherapy, foot massage and nail care. 300 baht/hr.
- Hatthai Massage, Sukhumvit Rd (near exit 1 of BTS Thong Lo, close to the 7-eleven). A traditional two hour Thai massage is given upstairs, where patrons are separated by curtains, which are often opened up so masseuses can chit chat. A 90 minute reflexology foot massage is done at ground level, opposite a large television; try not to doze off. It is popular with Japanese businessmen staying at the nearby Grand Tower Inn. Beware when searching for it, as there are now two places across the street with exactly the same name. 350-400 baht/hr.
- Leyana Day Spa and Garden, Soi To Sak, 33 Thong Lo Soi 13 (BTS Thong Lo, walk into Soi Thong Lo, take a left into Thong Lo Soi 13, then a right into Soi To Sak), ☎ . M-F 11:00-22:00, Sa-Su 10:00-22:00. This spa is specialised in half-day packages designed for couples. Getting there is quite a hike, but you can get a free transfer from the BTS station if you request this beforehand. 5,500 baht/3 hr.
- Praiphana, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS Thong Lo, across Thong Lo Soi 8), ☎ . 10:00-23:00 daily. Another massage parlour, this one offers a traditional Thai massage, oil massage and aromatherapy, manicures and pedicures. For 15 baht, you can get a 15 minute neck and shoulder massage. 300 baht/hr.
If you are one of the more sporty types who like to keep active on your vacation, the national sport of Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is a great way to stay in shape. Other learning activities include cooking and meditating.
- Chacrit Muay Thai School (โรงเรียยน ชาคริตมวยไทย), Sukhumvit Soi 22 (BTS Phrom Phong, at Washington Square), ☎ . M-Sa 09:00-20:00. Accredited Muay Thai school teaching Muay Thai to novices and professionals. Academic visas can be arranged for long term foreign students. 500-5,500 baht.
- World Fellowship of Buddhists, 2F, 616 Benchasiri Park, Soi Methi Niwet (BTS Phrom Phong, off Soi Sukhumvit 24), ☎ . First Sunday of the month 14:00-17:30. Offers meditation classes in English every afternoon on the first Sunday of every month. The office also provides information on places to learn and practice meditation in Thailand. Classes and information are free of charge. Free.
As Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok's main thoroughfares, the long road is lined with shops, boutiques and modern shopping plazas ranging from Soi 3 (Soi Nana Nuea) up to Soi 63 (Soi Ekkamai). Most shops and restaurants are concentrated between Soi 3 and Soi 21 (Asok Rd) and along shortcuts between Asok and Ekkamai.
Shopping in Sukhumvit starts on the street. The pavement is cramped with endless roadside stalls that offer many of the same items as the Patpong Night Market, such as souvenirs, accessories, knock-off clothes, pornographic DVDs, pirated films and other junk. Prices are somewhat better than in Patpong. The stalls are open most of the day, and only seem to close late in the evening. The stores are at the main thoroughfare from Soi 1 till Soi 20. The part between Nana and Asok stations is particularly a hard walk, as many pedestrians queue up at the stalls to take a look. Haggling is generally expected, but it'll only save you a few more baht.
- Khlong Toei Market, Rama IV Rd (MRT Queen Sirikit National Convention Center). 24 hours. Huge and surprisingly central, this market is definitely off the tourist trail. The stalls sell goods for Thais, at Thai prices. It is basically a food market with meat, seafood and farm products on sale, accompanied by the usual second hand clothes stalls. It is always open, but best experienced in the early hours of the evening.
Malls and department stores
There are plenty of malls and department stores throughout Sukhumvit Road. The best ones are Emporium and the recently opened Terminal 21, but you might as well hop on the Skytrain to Siam Square. At Thong Lo, all things are cool, be it clothing, gadgets or interior design. It could be called the "Siam Square of Sukhumvit" with its hip fashion boutiques, trendy designer stores and overall swanky appearance.
- Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . 10:00-22:00 daily. This upmarket mall, with selections of everything in design, including watches, cosmetics and clothes, is the top competitor to Ratchaprasong's Gaysorn Plaza. The lower floors are dedicated to brands like Louis Vuitton and Rolex, but (unlike Gaysorn) it has more affordably priced goods on the upper levels. Kinokunyia book store has a large selection of English language books, including travel-related ones. The top floor is home to one of the nicest cinemas in the city after Siam Paragon (and somewhat less pricey than that one) and the Thailand Creative and Design Center. Emporium also has a popular food court and a good selection of restaurants on the fifth floor. A very upscale happening (and crowd), this place challenges the idea of food courts as being simple places to have a snack after shopping. Park Food Hall serves an extensive three-course meal with wine in a dimly-lit atmosphere. You can also go to the regular food court, which is 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. The prices have been increasing over the past years though.
- J Avenue, 323/1 Thong Lo Soi 15 (BTS Thong Lo). 07:00-00:00 daily. Opened in 2004, this four-story upscale "lifestyle mall" that is typical for the swanky Thong Lo neighbourhood. It is an open-air mall with giant rain trees inside. Its modern architecture and hip designer shops are catering to Thong Lo's Japanese crowd (that's what the J stands for).
- K-Village, 93-95 Sukhumvit Soi 26 (BTS Phrom Phong, then taxi), ☎ . 10:00-22:00 daily. The so-called "lifestyle malls" are the new hype in Bangkok, and the newest one is K-Village, which has been around since 2009. Touted as a "neighbourhood lifestyle mall", apparently this should be a small village where you can meet and know people. In practice, it's just another upscale mall with supermarkets, restaurants, cafés, spas and (of course) a lot of fashion stores.
- Nana Square, 49 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Nana), ☎ . 10:30-22:30 daily. Quite a generic shopping mall, but at a convenient location. It has everything you would expect from a typical Bangkokian mall, including a food court, Starbucks, Watsons and dry cleaner.
- Ploenchit Center, 2 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phloen Chit), ☎ . Although the name might suggest otherwise, this shopping centre is not on Phloen Chit Road, but can be found at the western edge of Sukhumvit Road. The ground floor has the typical chain stores (Starbucks, McDonald's, Boots), as well as lower-priced clothing outlets, jewellery shops and a supermarket. Most tourists don't make it out this far, so most of the visitors are local office workers from surrounding buildings. The sixth floor is one of the cheaper food courts in the area with a good selection of Thai dishes. It uses with a coupon system.
- Robinson, 259 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . 10:00-22:00 daily. Robinson is the well-known department store that is spread all over Bangkok. Its food court, while still decent, is a bit more expensive than the others, and you may need to order twice to get full. It's in the basement floor of the building.
- Terminal 21, 288 Sukhumvit Soi 19 (BTS Asok), ☎ . 10:00-22:00 daily. The curvilinear glass-and-steel façade resembles a 21st-century airport. The basement level has a Caribbean theme and is where you will find the gourmet market, take-away food outlets, market-style food vendors as well as banks and bookstores. The ground floor is named Rome, with international and local fashion labels such as Kipling, Fox, CC:OO, Nike, Jaspal, Adidas and Levi's. Paris on M floor takes you to a faux Champs-Élysées. The 1st to 3rd floors are home to smaller shops by local independent labels. Women's fashion is on the 1st floor (Tokyo) and men's fashion is on the 2nd floor (London). The 3rd floor (Istanbul) is for gifts, jewellery, fashion accessories, toys, beauty products and home décor. San Francisco is on the 4th and 5th floors, with more than 50 restaurants and cafés. If you like food courts, head up to Pier 21 on the 5th floor. This is perhaps one of the best food courts in Bangkok for price, taste and variety: dim sum, grilled seafood (fast food style), Hainanese chicken rice, delicious pad thai, roast duck noodles and vegetarian options. Desserts include mango sticky rice, shaved ice dessert and ice creams. SF Cinema City operates an eight screen cineplex on the 6th floor. Two screens have digital 3D capabilities.
If you know where to go, Sukhumvit offers some of the best bespoke tailoring in Bangkok. Never go to custom tailor shops that get your suits and shirts ready in 24 hours or less. If you want quality, go to a reliable tailor which will ask for two to five sittings. The entire process will take about a week. For more information on bespoke tailoring, see the Buy section of the main Bangkok article.
- Crown Tailor, 13 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana, just inside Soi 8), ☎ . M-Sa 10:00-20:00. Highly regarded as one of the best places to get a suit on Sukhumvit Rd. It is definitely worth the visit for good quality material at affordable prices.
- Elite Book House (ร้านหนังสือเอลิด), 593/5 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong exit 5, between Soi 33 and 35), ☎ . 10:00-20:00 daily. If you don't have time to go to Khao San Rd, Elite Book House is a worthy (or better) alternative for buying second-hand English-language books. They have all the usual genres, including fiction, non-fiction and travel guides, all for decent prices. They also have smaller quantities of books in Japanese, Thai, Chinese, French, German and Swedish.
- Jhasper Fashion, 155/32 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana exit 3, walk 50 m into Soi 11), ☎ . M-Sa 10:00-20:30. Good tailoring store for men's and women's suits, trousers, shirts, dresses and more.
- New Landmark Boutique, 102 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Nana, at the corner with Soi 4), ☎ . M-Sa 11:00-22:30, Su 14:30-20:00. A favourite among European flight crews. The owner visits Europe about once a year for orders. Very good advice, high quality and fair prices. Across Sukhumvit there is another "Landmark Tailor" not affiliated with this one.
- Rajawongse Clothier, 130 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Nana, near the Landmark Hotel), ☎ , fax: +66 2 253-8390, e-mail: email@example.com. M-Sa 10:30-20:00. To quote Denis Gray, from The Associated Press: "A stop at Rajawongse Clothier has over the years become a must for visiting statesmen, ambassadors and generals, along with some of the world's top spies and secret service agents."
- Savile Row Tailor, 625 Sukhumvit Soi 22, ☎ . M-Sa, 09:00-21:00. Savile Row fabrics range from cottons and linens, to cashmere and merino wool. They can also can use kid mohair for suits, and Egyptian cottons and Oxford for shirts. Overcoats can be sewn from Italian cashmere.
- Sombat Permpoon Gallery, 12 Sukhumvit Soi 1 (BTS Phloen Chit), ☎ . 09:00-20:00 daily. Sells both paintings and sculptures by established artists and those of the new generation. There are more than 10,000 artworks by Thai artists on sale.
- Tailor On Ten, 93 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana exit 4, walk down to the end of Soi 8, on the left), ☎ . M-Sa 10:00-19:00. Good quality tailor, owned and managed by a Canadian who produces beautiful suits, shirts and more. Their prices are competitive and they carry a wide range of fabrics.
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Budget||Under 100 baht|
|Splurge||Over 500 baht|
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 pad thai diet and sample some of the best Japanese, Lebanese or Indian food you will ever eat.
While not as much an institution as in Siam Square, the food courts in any mall or department store are a good option if you're trying to survive Sukhumvit on budget and want air-conditioning. Just like in Siam Square, food courts come in many varieties, from basic snack places to more upscale dining. The Emporium Mall, Ploenchit Center and Robinson all have decent food courts (see Buy). Most food courts use some variation of a coupon system; unused coupons are always refunded.
There are some cheapie sois with excellent street food if you know where to go:
- Soi 38 Night Market, Sukhumvit Soi 38 (BTS Thong Lo exit 4). 20:00-03:00 daily. Soi 38 gives you some of the better street food in Bangkok. Not a restaurant in itself, 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 and sticky rice (ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง khao niow ma muang) in town. Also try the herbal fish ball noodles. 30-60 baht.
- Talat Na Sukhumvit Soi 1 (ตลาดนัทสุขุมวิท ซอย1), Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phloen Chit). Between Soi 1 and Soi 3 is a set of street food stalls with the best one furthest from the street. It is called Oowan Im (literally 'fatty is full'), but is sign-posted in English with just the word "Seafood" on an otherwise Thai sign. Seafood is their specialty — good things to order include the "crispy fish in chili sauce", tom yum soup and any of their Thai salads (such as mixed seafood salad). The Chinese-style fried vegetables are also delicious.
Budget restaurants are generally hard to find, but the following are favorites among Bangkok's large expat population:
- Ramen Ichiban, 3/7-9 Sukhumvit Soi 24 (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . An authentically Japanese greasy-spoon noodle joint specializing in ramen soup. For less than 100 baht, the large bowl is a good value. 80-150 baht.
- Took Lae Dee (ร้านอาหาร ถูกและดี), Nai Lert Bldg, 87 Sukhumvit Soi 5 (Soi 5, up the street ~50 m in the Foodland store), ☎ . 24 hours. Took Lae Dae is a Bangkok institution. Imagine a long bar counter, only with chefs and food instead of bartenders and drinks, and a colourful 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, fruit juice, toast, coffee) is particularly good value at 47 baht between 06:00-09:00, or 58 baht at any other time. 50-100 baht.
Thai food with a modern twist has become particularly popular the last years. Fusion restaurants are centred around the H1 complex on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Soi Thong Lo).
- Be your Guest' Café, 24 Sukhumvit Soi 53 (BTS Thong Lo exit 1), ☎ . 11:00-18:00 daily. Delicious diverse cooking experience with dishes from all around the world. Soup, salad, sandwich, mains, as well as a selection of typical French, Thai and fusion food are served. The café also provides a large choice of food for take away and delivery. The Villa is also a three-bedroom guest house in a relaxing tropical garden with private pool. 300 baht.
- Greyhound Café, 2F, Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . 10:00-22:00 daily. 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 are around 300 baht, although the lunch sets are cheaper. 300 baht.
- Minibar Royale, Citadines Bldg, 37/7 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . Su-Th 11:00-00:00, F-Sa 11:00-01:00. If you're looking for a hip New York or Paris-style brasserie, this is definitely the place. The French decor is well done, and service is OK. On the menu are a mix of French and American comfort food. Drink it down with one of their cocktails and you'll have a fun night out. Prices are at the upper mid-range end. 450 baht.
- Thyme Bistro & Martini Bar, 1F, Kingston Suites Bldg, 39/3-7 Sukhumvit Soi 15 (BTS Asok), ☎ . 06:30-23:00 daily. A brand new restaurant located in Kingston Suites Bangkok, its dishes could be described as "fusion", as it offers local, international and some popular Mediterranean dishes. The asparagus rolls are recommended, as are the Martinis. 300-400 baht.
- Cabbages and Condoms, 6 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (BTS Asok), ☎ . 11:00-22:00 daily. Run by Thailand's Population and Community Development Association, the odd name refers to the fact that the NGO promotes agricultural production as well as condom use; 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. A bit expensive for what you get but its for an excellent cause. 300 baht.
- Check Inn 99, Sukhumvit Soi 5 (BTS Nana, tucked away between Soi 5 and 7, look for the white sign with black letters that direct you into a passageway entrance), ☎ . 17:00-02:00 daily. Previous reviews said this place was straight out of a James Bond film. However, it's closer to Rick's Café in Casablanca. Check Inn Garden (no longer 99) is an oasis amidst the chaos of the Nana area. Good Western and Thai menu, a friendly and attentive staff, and terrific entertainment every night courtesy of three delightful Philippine singers and a backing musician. At 20:45, the music starts — often light and relaxed — but the band then gradually winds up the tempo throughout the evening. Happy hour is from 18:00-20:00. The steakhouse style restaurant, while small, serves both European and Thai food, and has pretty good steaks. The new management throw in theme parties on most Saturdays—so don't be surprised if you come in finding the staff in pyjamas or Hawaiian grass skirts. 300-450 baht.
- Kinnaree, 43 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 11:30-15:00, 18:00-00:00 daily. Very nice Thai ambience and decoration, great in the evening. Lounge bar and private rooms upstairs. The different sets of lunch menus are reasonably priced. The food is excellent and includes dishes hard to find elsewhere. Some dishes could be more spicy by Thai standards though. 200-400 baht.
- Lemongrass, 5/1 Sukhumvit Soi 24 (BTS Phrom Phong, opposite the Emporium), ☎ . 18:00-22:00 daily. This is a very good if slightly expat-oriented Thai restaurant. Located in an old tea house, the ambience is very charming and eclectic. The pomelo salad and tom yam kung (ต้มยำกุ้ง) are both excellent. As is usual with popular expat places, the spiciness has been toned down somewhat. Also, the service can be a bit hasty. 350-450 baht.
- Ruen Mallika, 189 Sukhumvit Soi 22 (BTS Phrom Phong, a far hike into Soi 22, take a right at the 7-11 and after about 300 metres it is on your right), ☎ . 11:00-23:00 daily. A very good restaurant in an "antique" Thai house with a leafy outdoor section. The menu is a huge picture book which should help in ordering. The staff are very friendly and wear traditional Thai outfits to complete the ambience. 450-650 baht.
Finding your way around the mindblowing variety in Sukhumvit might feel a bit daunting at first. One way to approach the area is to visit its ethnic food neighbourhoods. Little Japan is located near Sukhumvit Soi 33 and across the street at Sukhumvit Soi 24, with Phrom Phong BTS station straddling the two. There is also a smaller concentration of Japanese restaurants along Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Soi Thong Lo), notably the Nihonmura ("Japan Village") in Thong Lo Soi 13.
- Akiyoshi, 2F, Taksin Square Bldg, 1521/1 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phra Khanong), ☎ . M-F 11:00-14:00, 17:30-22:00, Sa-Su 11:00-22:00. The two must-tries here are the Japanese-style sukiyaki and the shabu shabu. The employees will light up a burning pan on your table and you can just throw in the ingredients yourself. The food is really delicious, and they will serve until you're full. The ambience is best-suited for a group of people. But better make a reservation if you're coming after 18:00, as it's often packed. 400-500 baht.
- Grande Teppanyaki and Grande Ramen, 25/17-19 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . Two small Japanese restaurants facing each other, popular with Thais and Japanese. Sub-100 baht lunch menus are particularly good value. 130 baht, subs 80 baht.
- Le Dalat, 47/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . 11:00-14:30, 18:00-22:00 daily. Two Vietnamese restaurants, two locations about a block apart and across the street from each other. When it's a nice day outside, take a seat in the beautiful tropical garden which is wonderful. The traditional interior You can get lunch for about 250 baht, which is a good value. Service can be rough, be especially wary for the overcharge at the end. 450 baht.
- Nihonmura (นิฮมมูระ), 87 Soi Thong Lo 13 (BTS Thong Lo). Nihonmura, commonly known as Japan Village, is a dining complex with about a dozen quality Japanese restaurants. Uomasa (☎ +66 2 392-6575) is the best in the area for sashimi (raw fish). You can order the "Iso" menu, a plate full of sashimi priced at 1,600 baht. It seems expensive, but it's similarly priced to the generic Japanese chain restaurants, but the sashimi here is much fresher and of better quality. 350 baht.
- Nobu, 414 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS Thong Lo, between Thong Lo Soi 12 and 14), ☎ . 11:00-14:00, 18:00-00:00 daily. This is a nice local restaurant. They are very good for lunch with a large selection of Bento (boxed lunch) specials. Getting dinner here is a lot more expensive than lunch. It is focused on fresh seafood and dishes from the Osaka region of Japan. It's always crowded with Japanese expats that live in the area. 300 baht.
- Sukhumvit Plaza (สุขุมวิทพลาซ่า), 212 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (BTS Asok), ☎ . Korean restaurants are scattered throughout Sukhumvit, but a particularly heavy concentration lurks in Korea Town, the informal name of Sukhumvit Plaza. There are about a dozen Korean restaurants on the ground floor of the complex. These are authentic though and you may have a little trouble ordering if not familiar with Korean food. Price-wise they are on the steep side — Arirang (☎ +66 2 654-0177, ) is among the more fairly priced ones. 300-500 baht.
- Tenderloins, 9 Sukhumvit Soi 33 (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . 10:00-01:00 daily. This Australian barbecue restaurant calls itself a "contemporary upmarket sports bar and steak house", and even they have to admit that it is a weird combination. They serve up a good grill, although a bit on the pricey side. Their 250-baht lunch sets might be a better idea. Reserving a table is recommended, especially at weekends. 250-500 baht.
- Xuan Mai, 351/3 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS Thong Lo, across the street from Mercedes-Benz Thong Lo), ☎ . Tu-Th 11:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00, F-Su 11:00-14:00, 17:00-00:00. Excellent and varied Vietnamese menu, served by the owner, a charming lady who was a former Vietnamese beauty queen and FBI operative before moving to Bangkok to open a restaurant. It has an open kitchen, so you can see the cooking in action. 250-450 baht.
- Vientiane Kitchen, 8 Soi Napha Sap Yaek 1, Sukhumvit Soi 36 (BTS Thong Lo, at the corner of Soi 36 and Soi Napha Sap Yaek 1), ☎ . 12:00-00:00 daily. This relaxed-looking Lao restaurant serves very good Lao food. It has a nice ambience featuring a band playing music from Laos. 150-300 baht.
Indian and Middle Eastern
Soi 3 and Soi 3/1, a short walk from Nana BTS station, are 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.
- Akbar, 1/4 Sukhumvit Soi 3 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 09:00-00:00 daily. Being two decades old, this mid-sized Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern restaurant is one of the most established restaurants in Bangkok. It serves good quality food at reasonable prices. Its location next to Soi Arab is ideal as you can compare with other restaurants in the area. Try the Akbari Chicken. 150-200 baht.
- Al Ferdoss, 1F, Schiller's Inn, 77/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 3/1 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 09:00-00:00 daily. This Lebanese restaurant may have the ambience of a motel lobby, which it pretty much is, but the food is amazing. Dips and salads (hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, etc) 80 baht each, kebabs from 130 baht, and best of all is the excellent oven-fresh naan. Air-conditioned indoors, but move outside for mint tea and some puffs of the shisha (water pipe). 130 baht.
- Beirut Restaurant, B1, Ploenchit Center, 2 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Nana), ☎ . 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. The basic shawarma in a pita is a nice simple snack. Don't confuse this one with the Lebanese restaurant on the ground floor (Café de Beyrouth), which is much more expensive. 90-220 baht.
- Indian Host, 30 Soi Sukhumvit 22 (BTS Phrom Phong, next to Grande Mercure Hotel), ☎ . 11:30-23:30 daily. This restaurant has contemporary North Indian cuisine and Indo-Chinese fusion dishes. Its food is authentic and much like you'd taste in India. The tender lamb Raan is their signature dish. 200-400 baht.
- Khana Khazana, 153 Sukhumvit Soi 11/1 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 11:00-00:00 daily. Pure Indian vegetarian restaurant with North Indian, South Indian and Gujarati food. 200-500 baht.
- Masala Art, Unit-L 205, 2F, Thonglor Eight Building, 88 Thong Lo Soi 8 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . 11:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00 daily. This is a luxury North Indian restaurant with its own philosophy. Masala is the Indian word for spice, and the "art of spices" means that there should be a natural balance of spices to get healthy, herbal and delicious food. This restaurant offers a fixed lunch and dinner special. It boasts a great decor, as well as authentic (and spicy) Indian food. Prices can be steep though, especially if you opt for a three-course meal. 220-450 baht.
- Mrs Balbir's, 155/1-2 Sukhumvit Soi 11/1 (BTS Nana, next to Business Inn Hotel), ☎ . Tu-Su 11:30-23:00. Note that after 35 years of operation, the restaurant has moved to a new location only a few doors away. The curries are still some of the best in all of Bangkok, and a good value compared to other Indian restaurants along Sukhumvit. It has less than ten tables, but that just gives it a cosy and personal feeling. Try the chicken tikka, it's delicious. 250-400 baht.
- Namuskaar (นมัสการ์), 9 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana, walk down Soi 8 about 20 metres, then take the first dodgy side-street on the left), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 11:00-23:00 daily. This restaurant is known among ex-pats as providing one of the closest approximations of British-style Indian food. It is definitely worth it to venture out here as the curries simply are delicious. It doesn't look super fancy or romantic, but it is clean and comparatively cheap. Try the chicken korma, or ask Tony, the owner, for advice. He can make anything you request. 200-250 baht.
- Shahrazad, 6/8 Sukhumvit Soi 3/1 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 10:00-02:00 daily. Great Middle Eastern, Malaysian and Indian food. Its dishes are well-served by hijab-clad Thai waitresses with many Arab expats hanging out here. It's been open since 1983 and one of Soi Arab's oldest and most respected restaurants. Its decor is very basic, but the food is amazing. 150-350 baht.
- Crepes & Co., 18/1 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (BTS Asok), ☎ . 09:00-00:00 daily. French-Mediterranean crepes place. Extensive selection of crepes, both sweet and savoury. There are also Spanish tapas and some Greek and Moroccan menus on offer. The atmosphere is homey, as is the garden. Friendly service. 400 baht.
- Heidelberg Restaurant and Bar (ร้านอาหาร ไฮเดลเบิร์ก), 21-21/1 Sukhumvit Soi 4 (BTS Nana, down Soi 4, then on the left across from 7-Eleven), ☎ . 24 hours daily. A Swiss-German restaurant. Pricey but food is good and ample. Drink elsewhere, except if you want a drink at 04:00. The Thai offerings can be had much cheaper, but some of the European offerings are difficult to find elsewhere. Free Wi-Fi. Also has a few nicely appointed rooms from 1,850 baht. Breakfast 120-180 baht, dinner 170-400 baht.
- Limoncello (พิซเซอเรีย ไลมอนเซลโล), 17 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 12:00-14:00, 18:00-00:00 daily. A bright, airy pizzeria; the best Italian-style pizza in Bangkok, very thin and crispy with a great range of toppings. Amazing desserts too (try the profiteroles!). Avoid the house wine, though. As is usual in Thailand, wine is very pricey, and at 1,300 baht it is not worth it. 250-450 baht.
- Stable Lodge, 39 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana), ☎ . Daily, 07:00-00:00. Unlike other places, this restaurant (and hotel) focuses on traditional Danish and Scandinavian food, though some Thai and international cuisine is available. There's a Scandinavian all-you-can-eat lunch buffet with open sandwich selection on Saturdays and Sundays between 12:00 and 15:00. Every evening from 18:00 is an all-you-can-eat international barbecue buffet. Aside from these discount offerings, a la carte is overpriced and not worth it. The hotel is a well-known meeting spot among Scandinavians with a nice family atmosphere. It costs about 1,800 baht for a clean and quiet room with swimming pool. 300 baht.
- Tapas Cafe, 1/25 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 11:00-late. Good Spanish food in a nice atmosphere and area. The place is a little off-shoot of Soi 11 (look for the signs at the entrance on the left, next door to Charley Browns Mexican Restaurant). It is quite a popular place, good Spanish food and good sangria. Owned and managed, surprisingly, by a Brit. 400 baht.
American and Tex-Mex
- Bourbon St, 9/39-40 Soi Tana Arcade, Sukhumvit Soi 63 (BTS Ekkamai), ☎ . 07:00-01:00 daily. This place serves some surprisingly authentic Cajun food. Premium prices are charged for dinner but the two or three-course lunches at 230-290 baht are a good value. On Tuesday evenings they have a Mexican buffet starting at 18:00 which is somewhat cheaper than regular prices. The original location at Washington Square off Sukhumvit Soi 22 has closed. 230-690 baht.
- Charley Browns Mexicana, 1/23 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana, walk up Soi 11 and take a left at the first tailor shop into the small side-street and around the corner you will see it), ☎ . M 17:00-00:00, Tu-Su 11:30-00:00. Certainly the oldest Mexican restaurant in Bangkok and probably one of the best. They have special offers on most days, including half priced margaritas and sangrias on Tuesdays and Cheap Charley Brown's night on Sundays (they match the cheap prices at Cheap Charlies who is closed that night). A tip are the 150-baht lunch sets, which is a steal. Free WiFi. 400-500 baht.
- The Duke's (เดอะดุ๊กส์), 5F, Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . 10:00-22:00 daily. Recently re-branded making it similar to the popular The Duke's restaurant in Chiang Mai. It is a popular place for American food, like "falling off the bone" ribs, fresh crisp salads, gourmet burgers and home baked pizzas with excellent value for money. 200-475 baht.
- Great American Rib Company, 32 Sukhumvit Soi 36 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . 11:00-23:00 daily. Great American Southern-style ribs, steaks and seafood. Probably the most authentic ribs in town, smoked on low heat for 5 hours. Some menus are moderately priced, but others are very pricey, especially the steaks that don't cost more than 600 baht. 195-800 baht.
- Ronny's New York Pizza, Sukhumvit Soi 4 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 13:00-03:00 daily. 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 the United States). It's open till late, so that's good, but generally the place is not special. The staff are pleasant, but the quality of the pizzas leave much to be desired. Bring your laptop for free Wi-Fi. 300-450 baht.
- Senor Pico's, 1F, Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . 17:00-01:00 daily. One of Bangkok's few Mexican restaurants. It is on the expensive side, but every day of the week (except Mondays) there is a live Latin American band playing. 300-500 baht.
- Sunrise Tacos (ซันไรซ์ทาโก้ แม็กซิกัน กริลล์), 236/3-4 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Asok), ☎ . 24 hours. Mexican grill with traditional favorites like nachos, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas and satisfying salads. The meals are fresh and they have 24 hours delivery available. It is a popular expat place. They have another branch in Emporium. 100-250 baht.
- Baan Khanitha, 36/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (BTS Asok), ☎ . 11:00-14:00, 18:00-23:00 daily. Well-known if mildly touristy restaurant in an old Thai house, the primary concession to Western tastes being the lack of chili. It is on the expensive side with most mains (especially seafood), 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). 1,000-1,500 baht.
- Basil, 1F, Sheraton Grande Hotel, 250 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Asok), ☎ . 18:30-22:30 daily. Exceptional traditional Thai food with a twist in this trendy and sophisticated restaurant. It is definitely expensive, but the food is very good and there's a romantic ambience. Try the massaman curry, a delicious dish from southern Thailand. Bring your wallet though. 1,000 baht.
- Face, 29 Sukhumvit Soi 38 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . 11:00-01:30 daily. Face has established itself as one of Thailand's leading dining venues. It is actually three restaurants in one: Hazara for Indian, Lan Na Thai for Thai and Misaki for Japanese. The interior of these restaurants look nothing less than stunning. Especially Lan Na Thai is a treat, as it has cultural artifacts all over and is surrounded by wooden Lanna-style teak houses that rival Jim Thompson's House. The complex also has a chic cocktail bar, a spa and cooking classes. The spa is particularly is well-loved, a Thai massage or "royal" massage cost 900 baht/hr. Cooking classes are 3,000 baht for two hours, you must book at least one week in advance. 400-800 baht.
- Indus, 71 Sukhumvit Soi 26 (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . 11:30-14:30, 18:00-23:00 daily. The food is mainly authentic north Indian with a wide range of spicy Indian tastes. An impressive list of vegetarian dishes is also available, as well as wines from around the world. Its impressive sandstone walls and wood carvings make a great interior. Or go outside, experiencing an amazing world of your own, not even noticing it is right here in downtown Bangkok. It is recommended to make a reservation by phone. 1,000 baht.
- L'Opera, 53/1 Sukhumvit Soi 39 (BTS Phrom Phong, walk into Soi 39 and continue until the second red light, the restaurant is on the corner on your left), ☎ . 11:30-14:00, 18:00-22:30 daily. 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 to tourists and middle class as well. The food prepared by the Italian chef is top class and they stock a wine selection to match. It is expensive by any means, 1,500 baht is a normal price for a bottle of wine. 1,500-3,000 baht.
- La Buca, 220/4 Sukhumvit Soi 1 (BTS Phloen Chit exit 5), ☎ . 11:30-14:00, 18:00-22:30 daily. This little Italian restaurant is possibly one of 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, even without wine. 500-800 baht.
- Le Beaulieu, 50 Sukhumvit Soi 19 (BTS Asok), ☎ . 11:30-14:30, 18:30-23:00 daily. This French restaurant is probably one of the best in the city. The chef cares about quality and is willing to make changes to the menus at the customer's request. The atmosphere feels welcome and relaxed at the same time. This all goes for a high price though. The lunch sets are a lot cheaper, about 525 baht for a three-course menu and coffee. 1,500-3,500 baht.
- Maru, 95/5-6 Thong Lo Soi 3 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . 17:00-00:00 daily. A highly praised Japanese restaurant. Prices are extremely high although between 17:00-19:00, they offer reasonably priced dinner sets for around 500 baht. 500-3,000 baht.
- Rang Mahal, 26F, Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . 11:30-14:30, 18:30-23:00 daily. Mughal (North Indian) food in surroundings fit for a Maharaja. Fairly expensive, but the all-you-can-eat Sunday champagne brunch buffet at 499 baht is good value. The restaurant is at the 26th floor, offering great views of Bangkok. Call ahead for reservations and request a window view. 500-700 baht.
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 Western ex-pats and wealthy high-society Thais, for more of a local ambience (and local prices) head a bit north to Ratchadaphisek instead.
Go-go and beer bars
Soi Cowboy (off Asok Road) 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. Since the establishments are jammed side by side on the streets (or along the interior courtyard, in Nana Plaza), it's easy to go go-go bar hopping: they all come in different sizes, music, lighting and dancer physiques. You'll probably find one to fit your preferences.
While the places all operate with more or less the same concept, the following have been around for a while and are unlikely to rip you off:
- Angel Witch, 2F, Nana Entertainment Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 4 (BTS Nana). 19:00-02:00 daily. A single stage, with choreographed shows most evening at 22:00 until 00:00. Not as heavily packed outside of showtimes, nor the best place for a single man on the hunt, but an excellent "gentler" introduction for couples and those merely curious to see the sights. Beer 150 baht.
- Beer Garden Soi 7, 15 Sukhumvit Soi 7 (BTS Nana, about 100 m up the soi on the left), ☎ . 10:00-02:00 daily. Not a go-go bar, but basically a pick-up joint where men easily get numerous young and not so young ladies for a night, particularly at weekends. It is popular as there is no "barfine" here. It can also be a nice place to relax with moderate Western music, if you tell the ladies to go away. They serve German and other beers, including wheat beer (Franziskaner). You can eat European food at the tables or just have a drink at the bar.
- Long Gun (Lucky Star), Soi Cowboy (BTS Asok). 19:00-02:00 daily. Not the largest or flashiest bar — indeed, it has seen better days — but is reputed to be the oldest bar in the Soi and by extension the oldest go-go bar outside of Patpong. It's got a somewhat less frenetic atmosphere than some of the bigger bars, and may be worth a visit as well as a piece of (possibly apocryphal) history. Beer 120 baht.
- Rainbow 4, 2F, Nana Entertainment Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 4 (BTS Nana). 19:00-02:00 daily. Squeezes two stages into a small space, and is always packed with girls and punters. Beer 160 baht.
- Suzie Wong, Soi Cowboy (BTS Asok). 19:00-02:00 daily. Small and unprepossessing at first sight, the only hint of a Chinese theme are the cheongsams of the waitresses, but this go go and its sister operation Sheba's across the street are famed for putting on some of the best shows in Bangkok. Beer 130 baht.
Bars and pubs
Looking for a place to watch your favorite sport on the big screen? Sukhumvit from Soi 2 to 33 offers plenty of choices. The stereotypic bars here are British pubs with rugby on, selling lots of beer and pub grub (be it grill menus or other simple snacks). The workers are young Thai hostesses in tight outfits who serve Western ex-pats that generally are older than 40.
- The Australian (เดอะออสเตเลียนผับแอนด์บาร์บีคิว), 38 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 09:00-01:00 daily. Good food; excellent but expensive wine, and attractive waitresses. Aussie Rules football on various TVs.
- Bradman's Sports Bistro, 4/6 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . 10:00-02:00 daily. An Australian bar and bistro with many TVs everywhere for watching different kind of sports. There are several sound rooms, so customers can watch different sports at different parts of the bar. The owner is actively involved in the business, and sometimes asks his customers which sport should be on.
- Bully's (บลูลี่ส์์ ผับ), Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Nana, next to the JW Marriot Hotel), ☎ . 14:00-00:00 daily. A typical Sukhumvit-style bar with drinks, food, pool table and football screens. Beer is averagely priced and always cold, but a bottle of water is expensive at 80 baht. They recently changed management and employed a new chef. Excellent pub-style food.
- Cheap Charlie's, Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 16:30-01:00 daily. 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. It's a good place to start the night as the beer starts at 60 baht, a lot cheaper than elsewhere in the area. Seems to mainly attract the young expat crowd and is a good place to meet people.
- Gulliver's Traveler's Tavern, 6/1 Sukhumvit Soi 5 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 12:00-01:00 daily. A large, western sports bar with English-speaking staff serving Western and Thai food and drinks. There are large flat screen TVs all around, so a variety of sports are shown simultaneously (baseball, football, rugby, golf, etc). Plenty of pool tables are in the rear, with female Thai players ready beat you.
- Old German Beerhouse, Grand President Tower III, 11 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 08:00-01:00 daily. The only place that looks like a German Brauhaus. The beers served are Warsteiner and Erdinger, but they also have the Frankfurter Apfelwein (a sort of German cider). Along with the beer go their simple Thai or European dishes for 120-200 baht. Free WiFi is also available.
- Singha Beer Park (Singha Beer House), Asok Rd (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . M-F 17:00-02:00, Sa-Su 16:00-02:00. This is a modern open-air beer garden. If you choose to sit inside, you'll see its flashy interior and its laid-back couches on which you can enjoy a cold beer. Also have the usual Thai dishes.
- The Londoner, Basement B, 591 UBC II Bldg, 104 Sukhumvit Soi 33 (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . 11:00-01:00 daily. Thailand's only pub that brews its own beer. It has a good atmosphere that's nice for watching sports, and is targeted at ex-pats and tourists. Happy hour every day at 16:00-19:00 and 11:00-01:00. "Quiz night" every Tuesday night at 20:00. Free WiFi.
- The Office, Sukhumvit Soi 33 (BTS Phrom Phong, walk into Soi 33 and take the second street to the right), ☎ . M-Th 15:30-late, F-Sa 12:00-late. Another bar on Sukhumvit with beer, music, live sports, pool tables, hostesses and grill menus. Heineken is on draught for 75 baht.
- The Robin Hood, P.B Building, 597-597/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 (BTS Phrom Phong, across the Emporium), ☎ . 09:00-00:00 daily. English pub with pub grub and daily happy hour specials. Australian and British sports on large flat screen TVs. Popular with ex-pats.
- The Sport Corner, 394/2 Sukhumvit Soi 20 (BTS Phrom Phong, at the corner of Soi 20 just behind the 7-11), ☎ . 14:00-01:00 daily. The Sport Corner offers numerous big flat-screen TVs, both indoors and outdoors, showing sports from around the world. Friendly, hassle-free hostesses, along with affordable drinks, Thai and Western food, make it a fun place to cheer your favourite team on.
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 are in the Sukhumvit area. Most of these are trendy establishments with selections of exclusive French, Italian, Spanish and other international wines.
- Opera Riserva, 53/4 Sukhumvit Soi 39 (BTS Phrom Phong, next to L'Opera fairly deep down Sukhumvit Soi 39), ☎ . 17:30-00:00 daily. Opera Riserva can be a bit difficult to find for the first time visitor, however those who do are rewarded with a large selection of wine. They range from the affordable to the very exclusive. Mainly Italian and French wines, but they also offer a selection from other countries. The Opera Riserva wine bar is set on two levels. There are a dozen or so tables and a large bar on the ground floor. The second floor has a more relaxed setting with several groups of leather sofas and some private rooms — one with a separate entrance for those who prefer to come and go unnoticed. Clientèle is equally local and foreign and local stars are often spotted here.
Soi 11 and 23 have some of the trendiest clubs in town. These venues are all about seeing and being seen, popular among the well-to-do Thai and expat crowd. Soi 55 (Thong Lo) and Soi 63 (Ekkamai) also have their fair share of places to spend the night, but these are somewhat more modest and have more in common with traditional bars.
Note that fairly strictly applied dress codes apply to the following listings, so no flip-flops, shorts or sleeveless shirts. Always bring your passport as club owners must (and will) check it upon entry.
- BASH, 37 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana). 00:00-late. This recently opened "Upscale Late Nightclub" gives after hours parties a fresh alternative to Narz. The first two floors consist of a mostly electronic dance floor and a balcony level that overlooks it. The third floor usually has a DJ playing a mix of hip-hop and pop music. The entrance charge is about 400 baht and includes one drink coupon..
- Club Nove, 131 Sukhumvit Soi 53 (BTS Thong Lo, at the crossing where Sukhumvit Soi 53 meets Thong Lo Soi 9), ☎ . 18:00-23:00 daily. Club Nove is a hip club that fits perfectly in the quirky Thong Lo area. There is a dance floor in the middle where you can dance on lounge music surrounded by nice lighting effects. Saturdays have been dubbed "Cristal Night". The crowd consists mostly of upper class Thais.
- Glow, 96/4-5 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (BTS Asok, then enter Soi 23, pass Soi Cowboy on the left, then take the first turn to the right), ☎ . 22:00-03:00 daily. Glow is Bangkok's top spot for underground house music. The crowd is usually less posey and more fun than at the other 'top' clubs. This place is popular with international visitors looking for a funky "European-style" clubbing night. Thursday nights are dubbed "No Problem Disco", while on weekends their parties have different themes on rotation.
- Long Table, 25F, Column Bldg, 48 Sukhumvit Soi 16 (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . 17:00-02:00 daily. A swanky superhip bar and restaurant, one of the "see and be seen" venues of Bangkok. Its interior design is very impressive. Located on the 25th floor, it has an excellent view of Bangkok's skyline. If you're coming for dinner, all visitors dine at one long table that is touted as the longest dining table in the world. The food could best be described as fusion, an interesting mix of Thai and international cuisine. Dinner 1,500-2,000 baht.
- Narz (นาร์ท), 112 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ☎ . 19:00-late daily. Catering mostly to moneyed Thais, this funky dance club is most reminiscent of the clubs in Ibiza. There is a whole lot going on with on-stage-performances, shiny disco balls and light shows. It is one of Bangkok's top clubbing spots, and a place to see and be seen, especially if you're into trance or house music. It is renowned DJ Paul Oakenfold's venue of choice. Narz is also known for staying open far later than most other places that close at 02:00. 500 baht.
- Q Bar, 34 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . 21:00-03:00 daily. A hip two-floor bar likened to a New York cocktail lounge, renowned for its large drinks list and always packed dance floor. International make guest appearances along with the occasional celebrity. If you want a seat, show up before 23:00. M-Th 500 baht, F-Su 600 baht, includes two drinks.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Under 1,000 baht|
|Mid-range||1,000 baht to 2,500 baht|
|Splurge||Over 2,500 baht|
Property values in Sukhumvit are among the highest in Bangkok, and accommodation is priced to match. There are plenty of four and five-star hotels that cater to those with a lot of money (including business travellers). Guest houses à la Khao San Road are hard to find, and will set you back at least twice as much.
Another market is the sex industry. Some hotels nearby Nana Entertainment Plaza and Soi Cowboy offer "short time" stays. This short term option is cheaper, but can only be used for a couple of hours. It is meant for sex tourists and locals who want to spend a couple of hours with their "date". These hotels generally are quite cheap, but they can feel seedy and are not recommended for overnight stays.
Many other hotels explicitly hang up signs banning sex tourists; many of these don't allow you to bring in any Thai lady (which can lead to an awkward situation if you just want to bring a friend or your Thai girlfriend), while others will allow them only if they are present with an ID card at the time of initial registration.
- De Talak Hostel, 14/33 Soi Phai Sing To (MRT Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, exit 1; then turn left at the exit, then left again in front of the info signs; walk 40 steps, bear right (bicycle/motorcycle rack on the left), and head behind the building; continue 100 steps, between the ropes and the fence, to the soi; cross the street and turn right; walk 175 steps and turn left in front of the C.C. Content Prof. Cleaning & Services building; crossing the canal, note the blue and orange De Talak sign on your left; walk 125 steps and turn right, in front of the Siam Unique Service Co., Ltd. office; follow the soi 125 steps around to the left; the hostel is on the left, at the end of the soi), ☎ . A beautiful space in a converted house. It is about a 5 min walk from Khlong Toei Market. The rooms are bright and airy, and the beds are comfortable and clean. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, and there are three computer units in the common room on the second floor. Other amenities include lockers, luggage storage, air-conditioning, big-screen TV, basic kitchen, hot showers and an outdoor dining area. Bicycles and towels for rent. The owner, Rata, and her staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Dorms 250 baht, doubles 800 baht..
- HI-Sukhumvit (YHA Sukhumvit), 23 Sukhumvit Soi 38 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . A clean hostel with a nice chill-out area and friendly staff. You can choose to sleep in a dorm or in a private room. All rooms have air-conditioning, and breakfast is included in the price. 900-1,100 baht, dorm 350 baht per person.
- Pridi Hostel, 71 Pridi Soi 35 (BTS Phra Khanong), ☎ . Pridi Hostel is a new family-run establishment in a recently renovated building in central Sukhumvit. It is clean, has bathroom and shower facilities, and serves a nice breakfast of fruit and toast. There is a small convenience store with snacks and smoothies on the ground floor, and a lounge area with cable TV, internet terminals and a sofa. There are private rooms and dorms available. Nalin, a Thai woman who speaks English, runs the day-to-day business and happily advises where to go. 500 baht per person.
- Royal Express Inn Bangkok, 4/3, Soi Sukhumvit 8, Sukhumvit Rd (a few minutes’ walk from Nana BTS Skytrain Station.), ☎ . New inn with 19 cheerful, modern, & cozy rooms, with all rooms featuring a comfy king size-bed, wall-mounted flat screen TV, en suite bathroom & Wi-Fi. From 990 baht.
- Soi 1 Guesthouse, 220/7 Sukhumvit Soi 1 (BTS Phloen Chit), ☎ . This is one of the best backpacker hostels in the Sukhumvit area. There are 4-bed and 8-bed mixed and female-only dorm rooms, as well as 3- or 4-bed private rooms with shared baths. All rooms have air-conditioning. The dorms have a very social atmosphere, so this is not just a place to sleep, but to meet and hang out with other travellers (and the owner, an American called David who has lived in Bangkok for 15 years). Don't expect to sleep: people will turn on the light and ask you to come along with them to party. If that's not for you, then you're best off at another hotel. There is a 24-hour reception, common room, bar with food served, pool table, Internet (1 baht/minute). The Wi-Fi, lockers and long-term storage are free of charge. The owner arranges, on request, pub crawls and enjoys taking groups of guys out to Soi Cowboy. His advice is sage. Read his 4-page treatise on how to spot a ladyboy, which is pinned in the bar toilet. A downside is the price of the beer, which is three times the price paid at the 7-Eleven 10 m away, and bringing outside drinks in is forbidden. 400 baht per person.
- Som's Guesthouse, 295/13-14 Sukhumvit Soi 22 (BTS Phrom Phong, walk down soi 22 and take a left into the side street after the Imperal Queen's Park), ☎ . A basic guest house with nine rooms that have cable TV, fridge and hot shower. Six of them have air-conditioning, while the other three only have a fan. Furniture looks shabby and old, but it suffices if you're on a budget. 800-900 baht.
- Star Inn Hotel, 131/40-41 Sukhumvit Soi 7/1 (BTS Nana), ☎ . A "short time" or "long time" hotel with friendly staff. Rooms are simple, but equipped with a DVD player, air-conditioning, double to king-size bed and mini-fridge. There is a well-equipped bar in the lobby and the restaurant offers barbecue dinners every night with good chefs. Lots of drunk foreigners get dragged in and out by their Thai "dates" here all-day. The bar next door has live music until about 04:00, which can make sleeping a challenge. 825-1,175 baht.
- Star Light Hotel (27 Hotel), 81 Sukhumvit Soi 22 (BTS Phrom Phong, walk into Soi 22 and take a left into Soi Som Soong, the soi that comes right after Washington Square), ☎ . This is an old, no-frills Thai-Chinese hotel near Washington Square. As is usual, there are "short time" and overnight options. Rooms for both these types have air-conditioning. Don't expect anything more than just a cheap room. 350-500 baht.
- Suk 11 Hostel, 1/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana, walk up soi 11, take a left after the 7-11), ☎ . A unique backpacker guest house. Entering it is like entering another world; the interior looks like a village of traditional wooden houses full of ornaments and secret passageways. For the money, you get a clean, somewhat small yet comfortable room. Beside the private rooms, in high season you can also stay in a 5 bed dorm room. All the rooms have air-conditioning and you can choose a shared or public bathroom. One rather annoyance is the staff as they are very strict in enforcing policy. 700-900 baht, dorm 300 baht per person.
- Royal Asia Lodge, 91 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana), ☎ . This is quite a simple hotel that just gets the job done for a lower mid-range price. Furniture looks old, the faucet needs to be fixed and the swimming pool is small. As it is about 800 metres from the main road, it is quieter and cheaper than other hotels. To make up for the distance, there is a complimentary tuk-tuk service that runs to Sukhumvit Road 24 hours a day. 1,100 baht.
- Royal Ivory, 73 Sukhumvit Soi 4 (BTS Nana), ☎ . This hotel is mid-way along Soi 4, but still a 10-15 minutes walk from the main road: if you're too lazy than there is a free shuttle service. The rooms are surprisingly spacious and quiet, which given its location is a plus, but they look a little run down. air-conditioning and TV with satellite TV channels. The pool is small, but OK for a quick dip. The restaurant has a large TV screen, a pool table and serves good local food. Near the sleazy Nana Entertainment Plaza, so there are lots of Western men with bar girls around. 1,300-1,800 baht.
There is plenty of good quality, mid-range accommodation on Sukhumvit. It is possible to book on a weekly basis and get a large discount at many places.
- Ambassador Hotel, 171 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . The hotel is very big with 750 rooms. Rooms in the tower wing (2,400 baht) has a better view, but the rooms in the main wing are cheaper (1,600 baht). Rooms look a bit worn, but it seems renovation is in progress. No in-room safe. The pool on the roof is especially nice. 1,600-6,000 baht.
- The Davis, 88 Sukhumvit Soi 24 (MRT Queen Sirikit National Convention Center), ☎ . Run by massage parlour magnate-cum-politician Chuwit Kamolsivit, this is one of the best deals in Bangkok. A new boutique hotel at lower splurge prices (1,400 baht/night for a month's stay). Each room is furnished differently yet tastefully. The primary negative is the location very deep down Soi 24, quite a hike (15-20 minutes) from Sukhumvit itself. 2,800-4,100 baht.
- Dynasty Inn, 5/4-5 Nanatai, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A few metres from the better known Nana Hotel. Free Wi-Fi, excellent coffee shop, on-site travel agent and beauty salon. 1,080-2,000 baht depending on room and season.
- Ever Rich Inn (Everich Inn), 113 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Nana, between Soi 5 and 7), ☎ . 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 without a window are 200 baht cheaper. 1,200-1,600 baht.
- Kingston Suites, 39/3-7 Sukhumvit Soi 15 (BTS Asok), ☎ . Classic looking rooms and very spacious with all the mod-cons expected. As it is off the main road, it makes for a quiet stay. There's limited choice for breakfast, but the buffet is good. 1,600-2,000 baht.
- Legacy Express, 29 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phloen Chit), ☎ . This luxury hotel has 63 big rooms with jazzy colours, an LCD TV and a bathroom. There is a 7-Eleven on the ground floor as well as a small restaurant. "Short stay" also available. 1,300-2,300 baht.
- Livingstone's, Sukhumvit Soi 33 (BTS Phrom Phong), ☎ . This boutique lodge on Soi 33 is particularly good for the single male. It is close to the go-gos and hostess bars. It is very quiet and has a magnificent secluded pool. 1,800-3,200 baht.
- Majestic Suites, 110-110/1 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Nana, at the corner with Soi 4), ☎ . This hotel is directly around the corner from Nana Entertainment Plaza and close to the BTS station. The rooms are modern and well-maintained, but some people may find the "single studio" rooms for 1,350 baht small. There is ample space for 100 baht more in the "single superior" rooms. Free internet. Not to be confused with the newer, larger and pricier Majestic Grande nearby on Soi 2, although they share ownership and guests at the Suites can get a pass to use the pool and health club at the Grande. 1,350-2,100 baht.
- Nana Hotel, 21/4 Sukhumvit Soi 4 (BTS Nana), ☎ . A relic of the past. The kind of place that still has sand-filled ashtrays dotted around the entrance, the lobby, at each elevator. The rooms are quiet, clean, pleasantly decorated, and serviced daily. There's an antiquated bathroom with atrocious plumbing, refrigerator, in-room safe and TV. In-house bar and disco. It is a decent lower-end option, if you are not bothered by the nearby hotspots for sex tourism, and staying in a hotel that also offers an hourly rate. Very good breakfast buffet free with room and great swimming pool. Wi-Fi is 300 baht for a 24 hr, 60 baht for 1 hr. 1,490-3,290 baht.
- On8 Sukhumvit (โรงแรม ออนเอท สุขุมวิท), 160/1-162 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana), ☎ . The staff are friendly, almost like a small family. Decent breakfast and the menu whilst small is varied. Plenty to keep you busy around the hotel with a night market, spas, local restaurants and pubs. Free internet. From 1,652 baht.
- Salil Hotel Sukhumvit Soi 8, 50, 50/1 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana), ☎ . This is a small and stylish boutique hotel in the Nana area of Sukhumvit. It has all the modern room facilities you'd expect, including TV, air-conditioning and a water boiler for noodles or tea. There's no lift, so good luck carrying your luggage upstairs. Breakfast is included. 1,690-2,500 baht.
- Salil Hotel Thonglor Soi 1, 44/14-17 Sukhumvit Soi 53 (BTS Thong Lo, walk up Soi 53, then take a right into Soi Thong Lo 1 and then a left into a small street), ☎ . A boutique hotel in the Thong Lo area with 40 rooms that are decorated in colour-vintage style. Air-conditioning, fridge, free WiFi, LCD TV, DVD player, hairdryer, mini bar and safe. It is close to Thong Lo's BTS station and the party areas of Soi 55 and 63. Inclusive of breakfast. 1,690-2,190 baht.
- Sawasdee Sukhumvit Inn, 123 Sukhumvit Soi 57 (BTS Thong Lo), ☎ . Sawasdee has many different discount offers, it's quite a trouble to figure it out, but you might save a bit. It is a basic no-frills hotel on the lower end of the mid-range price category. It has 44 decent rooms with air-conditioning, a large bed and windows. They offer good service and the atmosphere overall is relaxed. The coin-operated internet terminals in the lobby cost 10 baht for 15 minutes. 1,000-1,200 baht.
- Swiss Park Hotel (โรงแรมสวีส พาร์ค), 155/23 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana, turn right just after the Grand Business Inn), ☎ . This is a well-managed hotel with clean and comfortable rooms. Rooms numbered up to 6 on each floor are more desirable as they have a view, while the others look out onto a building site that seems to have ground to a halt. Free WiFi in the lobby. 1,400-2,800 baht.
- Villa Be your Guest, 24 Sukhunvit Soi 53 (BTS Thong Lo exit 1), ☎ . Because it has only three rooms, the staff provide high levels of service. It is in a serene environment close to the busy Thong Lo neighbourhood. 1,500-2,500 baht.
- Woraburi Sukhumvit, 128/1 Sukhumvit Soi 4 (BTS Nana), ☎ . This is a decent and clean lower-end hotel with a swimming pool. It is at the end of the soi, but that's actually a good thing as it's quieter than other hotels in the area. If you order more night at once, they give you a discount. Also, if you order from Booking.com, you can save 200 baht per night compared to booking from the hotel's own website. 1,050-2,500 baht.
- Omni Tower Sukhumvit, 69 Sukhuvmit Soi 4, Bangkok 10110, Thailand (BTS Nana), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 100 studios and suites with TV with satellite channels, Internet and a kitchenette. 1133 Baht.
Several of Bangkok's luxury hotels are concentrated on and near Sukhumvit. To splurge in Bangkok is cheaper than you initially think. Your options include:
- Amari Boulevard (โรงแรมอมารี บูเลอวาร์ด), 2 Sukhumvit Soi 5 (BTS Nana), ☎ . A distinctively triangle-shaped and conveniently located four-star hotel with two wings, the Krung Thep wing being newer, better and pricier than the older musty Siam wing. Service is not great and every time you exit the hotel you are assaulted by taxi cab drivers and prostitutes. There may be better choices on Sukhumvit Road, but assuming that you've not come to this part of Bangkok for a quiet 'get away from it all' break, the location is great. It is right in the thick of the action, with many of Sukhumvit's attractions a short stroll away. 2,300-8,500 baht.
- The Continent Hotel, 413 Sukhumvit Rd (MRT Sukhumvit or BTS Asoke exit 6), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 3,000 baht.
- JW Marriott Hotel (โรงแรม เจ ดับบลิว แมริออท), 4 Sukhumvit Soi 2 (BTS Phloen Chit), ☎ . Marriott's flagship in Bangkok, a very short block from Nana Plaza (which explains the colourful clientele). Opened in 1997 and decorated in Thai style, complete with bellboys wearing pith helmets and funny trousers. 4,960-60,000 baht.
- Park Plaza Sukhumvit, 16 Ratchadaphisek Rd (BTS Asok), ☎ . The rooms are nice, clean and spacious. There's a swimming pool at the top of the hotel, from which you have stunning views of Bangkok. Free WiFi throughout the hotel and an extensive breakfast is included in the price. 2,420-4,950.
- President Palace Hotel, 18 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . A new modern hotel on the trendy Sukhumvit Soi 11, close to all the action, shopping and nightlife. Spacious, comfy and clean rooms, generally with a good view. There's an excellent poolside area with plenty of deck chairs for lounging, although the sun is blocked by a large building most of the day. The Splash Bar by the pool serves nice drinks and the breakfasts are varied. If you're a football fan, there is a Manchester United Restaurant and Bar at the hotel, but if not, plenty of restaurants and bars are within walking distance. 2,600-6,200 baht.
- President Solitaire Hotel & Spa, 75/23 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana), ☎ . A splendidly quiet and luxury retreat. It has spacious rooms with extremely comfy beds along with large 42" TVs and a kitchenette. You can treat yourself to a massage at the Ananda Spa. Free WiFi throughout the hotel. There's also a free tuk-tuk shuttle service to Nana and Asok BTS stations. A downer if that it's often not possible to book just one night (must be two or more). 3,500-4,300 baht.
- S15 Sukhumvit Hotel, 217 Sukhumvit Soi 15 (BTS Asok), ☎ . This boutique hotel is right in the middle of Sukhumvit. It's not particularly big, but looks very good. It has a professional atmosphere in an informal way, friendly and relaxing. The restaurant is good too, although choice is a little limited. No pool, but offers a compact gym with steam and sauna. 2,600-5,500 baht.
- Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, 250 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Asok), ☎ . High rise five-star hotel ideally located right by Asok BTS station with a walkway connecting the station directly to the hotel. Expect all the usual five-star facilities, including some superb restaurants such as the renowned Italian restaurant Rossini's. 6,800-18,000 baht.
- Westin Grande Sukhumvit, 259 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Asok), ☎ . Like the Sheraton, the Westin is part of the prestigious Starwood group of hotels. Probably not quite as opulent as the Sheraton, but also noted for some fine dining at the excellent Japanese restaurant, Kisso. 4,600-9,800 baht.
Sukhumvit is packed with Internet cafés, pubs and bars offering free Wi-Fi and computer access at rates as low as 0.5 baht/minute. Trying to print something will probably shed a whole new light on your experience. Be wary of key loggers which reputedly are epidemic at Thai Internet cafés. There have also been cases where memory cards get infected with a virus when plugged into an Internet café computer.
- If you came here for Soi Cowboy and Nana Entertainment Plaza, Soi Patpong in Silom offers more of the same. If you just came out of Long Table and want to continue your night the superhip way, Silom is also the way to go.
- Unlike most foreign travellers, the locals tend to go out in Ratchadaphisek. You might want to check out Royal City Avenue (often abbreviated as RCA), an entertainment paradise with bars, clubs and theatres, or one of Ratchada's popular sois.
- Quite similar to Sukhumvit and right next to it is Siam Square, Bangkok's hippest shopping and entertainment district. It is only 10 minutes away by Skytrain.
|Routes through Sukhumvit|
|Phahonyothin ← Siam Square ←||N S||→ END|
|Yaowarat and Phahurat ← Silom ←||W E||→ Ratchadaphisek → Phahonyothin|