Bangkok’s Sukhumvit may not be brimming with top-name attractions, but it’s still popular. With a vibrant night scene, restaurants, malls, and markets, people often flock here. Sukhumvit Road is one of the longest streets in the world; you’ll find plenty to enjoy in this exclusive part of Bangkok. Here are the top things to do.
Travel around the world at Terminal 21
One of Bangkok’s coolest themed malls, Terminal 21 hosts an array of interesting shops, restaurants, and leisure options in a global setting. Styled after an airport, the different levels of the mall represent international destinations. Wander through Paris, London, Tokyo, San Francisco, Istanbul, and other places, with heaps of eye-catching features like replicas of the Eiffel Tower and Golden Gate Bridge.
Emporium is among the swankiest malls in Bangkok. With a plethora of designer fashions and other quality goods, this is a prime place to give your credit cards a work out. Don’t worry if you’re looking for something a bit more affordable; the upper levels also have a selection of high-street names and local brands. There are tons of fancy restaurants and a bustling food court too.
Thai markets are known for their energetic vibe and magnetic appeal. Start at Soi 1 on Sukhumvit Road, and make your way past the street vendors all the way up to Soi 20; there’s bound to be something that catches your eye! From cheap clothes and sunglasses to trinkets and unusual souvenirs, the sellers offer a range of products. Prices are generally cheaper here too when compared with the more famous markets in the city, though you should still haggle to get the best deal. If you want to glimpse inside a typical Thai market away from the tried-and-trodden track, head to the expansive Khlong Toei Market. You’ll find an assortment of cheap clothes, fresh fish, cuts of meat, dried goods, and fruit and vegetables straight from the farm.
Sukhumvit’s tailors are some of the best in Bangkok. If you’re looking to buy a new suit, there are many benefits of having garments tailor made. Ask around for recommendations, and check online reviews before committing, however, to prevent scams and sub-par results. Keep in mind that the best tailors will need around a week to produce your items, and you’ll need to have several fittings to ensure that your suit is perfect. Many tailors will conduct fittings at your accommodation, though, saving you the inconvenience of returning to the store.
Feast on your favourite dishes
Sukhumvit has numerous restaurants serving cuisine from all around the world. Whether you want to fill up on typical Thai fare, find a taste of home, or travel the world through your taste buds, Sukhumvit has an eatery to suit almost any taste. There are numerous street-food sellers, and you’ll find Thai food everywhere from small hole-in-the-wall-type establishments to fancy restaurants. Chinese, Indian, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Mexican, and more—it’s enough to make you drool! There are also plenty of steakhouses, pizza joints, burger bars, seafood restaurants, and restaurants for vegetarians.
For a unique dining experience in Sukhumvit, check out Cabbages and Condoms. As well as being able to enjoy tasty Thai dishes and wonder at the unusual condom-themed décor, you’ll also be helping to fund a vital social project. The onsite store sells an array of unusual souvenirs too.
Sukhumvit is home to several luxury spas where you can pamper yourself with a range of treatments and techniques. Some are within hotels, though there are also a number of good quality independent spas too. While many can accommodate walk-in guests, it’s better to plan ahead and make an appointment to avoid disappointment. Alternatively, there are numerous small parlours where you can experience a traditional Thai massage or a reflexology foot massage.
Relax in leafy parks
If you’re craving some respite from Bangkok’s hustle and bustle, Sukhumvit has two terrific urban parks: Benjakiti Park and Benchasiri Park. Benjakiti Park features a large lake and landscaped grounds with walking and cycling paths. The smaller Benchasiri Park has a large monument in honour of Queen Sirikit, green spaces, and a number of interesting sculptures.
The small but interesting Kamthieng House Museum is a peaceful and pleasant sanctuary in the middle of an urban jungle. Featuring a beautifully restored traditional teak house, visitors can take a step back in time and learn more about rural Thai life from the past. There are collections of arts and crafts from Northern Thailand, as well as agricultural tools and equipment, household items, cookware, and weaving equipment. It was originally founded as an ethnology museum dedicated to showcasing the Lanna culture.
A specialist-interest museum in Sukhumvit, the Museum of Thai Pharmacy contains exhibits related to traditional Thai remedies and treatments. You can learn more about the use of herbs in medicine, see old illustrations of the human anatomy, and more. It may not be worth going out of your way for, especially given that there’s not a lot of information in English, but if you’re in the area already, it’s well worth a quick peek.
Popular with children and adults alike, Dinosaur Planet Theme Park is a relatively new attraction in Sukhumvit. Large statues of dinosaurs tower over visitors, and there’s lots of information to teach people more about these ancient beasts. You can also take a ride on the cool Dino Eye for a view over the scenes and watch a thrilling dinosaur battle at 4D Deep World.
Thonglor boasts many chic wine bars and trendy cocktail lounges that attract members of Bangkok’s so-called HiSo (high society). Places to see and be seen, the classy bars are a world away from the city’s red light districts and backpacker hubs. Be sure to don your best outfits, as the dress codes here are pretty strict.
Perhaps the most jovial of Bangkok’s red light districts, Soi Cowboy offers fun and frolics galore. The go-go bars are lively and the working girls are hungry. If you want to watch from the sidelines, many bars have outdoor seating too. There’s generally not so much pressure here, and couples and groups of friends, both male and female, can have as much fun as men seeking more “adult” nocturnal activities. For an edgier and grittier experience, Nana Plaza is close to hand too.
Royal City Avenue, often referred to as just RCA, is one of Bangkok’s designated nightlife areas. Popular with Thais, expats, and tourists, there’s a club here to suit almost any taste. DJs keeps the tunes pumping, and bright lights galore add to the party atmosphere. Get your dancing shoes on, and prepare for a night of revelry! You won’t find the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Chatuchak Market, or other major Bangkok attractions here, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit—there’s plenty to see and do in Sukhumvit!