Arguably Bangkok’s most exclusive district, Sukhumvit boasts high-end shops, stylish apartments and copious bars and restaurants. Although lacking in typical sightseeing attractions, this region instead reflects the rapid economic growth of Thailand over the past few decades. Sukhumvit oozes modernity and stands as Bangkok’s most cosmopolitan district.
The region is centred on the famous Sukhumvit Road, which at 400km long makes it one of the longest stretches in Thailand. The road begins in Bangkok and follows a coastal path towards the town of Trat, close to the Cambodian border. In Bangkok, the western end of the road is known as the Phloen Chit road, and later becomes the Rama I Road as it approaches the Siam Square area. Throughout the city, Sukhumvit Road is known as the premier commercial street of Bangkok, densely-packed with shopping malls that flaunt international brands. It also boasts the reputation as the being the best area to enjoy five-star Thai food, housing both gourmet restaurants and authentic street stands along its path. Attractions in Sukhumvit include Benchasiri Park and Benjakiti Park, as well as the Kamthieng House Museum and the Museum of Thai Pharmacy.
Sukhumvit road has a number of sois (a Thai word meaning a side street) that are numbered from west to east. The lower numbered sois are largely residential areas that are popular among western expats and affluent Thais. At Soi 4 and Soi 23 sit some of Bangkok’s world-renowned red light districts, adorned with hidden seedy bars that spring open their doors after dark, inviting visitors in for a night of risqué Thai entertainment. In contrast, Sukhumvit also houses numerous relaxation spots, with quaint cafes and luxury spas hidden along many of its sois.
While Sukhumvit can get very congested with traffic, the region is served by the super efficient Skytrain (BTS), making accessibility extremely easy. This runs through the majority of its downtown stretch, and serves a wide variety of locations across Bangkok.