See also: 30 Best Things to do in Bangkok
Sukhumvit, the commercial centre of Thailand’s capital, can never be outlined by the crazy nightlife and seedy red-light areas that seem to define Bangkok. There are a variety of things you can do in Sukhumvit, including walking in peaceful parks, shopping in trendy and huge malls, learning about Thai history in beautiful museums and enjoying calm and relaxing Thai spas – to name just a few.
Terminal 21 Bangkok
Terminal 21 is a unique mall located in Sukhumvit and probably one of the most visited spots in the area, by locals and the tourists both. It is unique because of the theme, which is actually like an airport, reminding you of the waiting hours and the airport’s promise to take you somewhere overseas. The levels of the mall are representative of different international place, from Paris, Tokyo and San Francisco to London and Istanbul. The floors extend up to 9 levels, meaning you can actually experience different locations right at one place. Click some memories by the Eiffel Tower replica or the beautiful model of Golden Gate Bridge. There is a vast selection of shops on all of the levels, but what is more interesting here is the food options. Since each level represents an international destination, the food available on all of the levels reflects that place’s cuisine. Hog on different cuisines and experience the world – all in one place.
Soi Cowboy is one of Bangkok’s red-light areas, which are supposed to be shady but this one turned out to be a total cheerful place. The first bar that was opened here – in the 70s – was owned by an African-American cowboy and this cowboy starred in the area’s name. The alley has the tell-tale red lights but is has bright neon lights spread over a colourful neighbourhood. Locals and tourists are always seen frequenting the place, while a lot of sexy girls are spotted by the line of bars, oozing seduction. Many people won’t go to a place like this and even if they do, they will see this area in a judgmental lens. Make sure you remove that lens of yours and step in this fun place.
Emporium Bangkok is another trendy mall of Sukhumvit, which can also be easily accessed from Phrom Phong BTS station. It is primarily known as the luxury mall of the area, as it has outlets of global designer brands as well as a proper, elite cinema and a beautiful and spacious exhibition area. There is a massive supermarket along with a delicious food court. It extends up to 6 storeys and gives off a sophisticated vibe, with its white walls, shiny marble floors and gold shades sprinkled around aesthetically. Even the staff of Emporium have white uniforms. Soft music jazz plays in the background, which becomes the perfect sound for this luxurious mall. Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC), located on the topmost floor, is the Asian continent’s earliest design learning and resource facility.
Benjasiri Park – alternatively, Benchasiri – is less of a park and more of a sculpture exhibition. It is filled with some beautiful and perfect Thai sculptures, including the one made by the master sculptor Misiem Yipintsoi; it is a seemingly ethereal centrepiece fountain. It is right next to the Emporium mall, which means that if you want to relax after a day spent shopping, then Benjasiri Park is just the way to go. Also known as Queen’s Park, this is that kind of park where you can totally picture yourself in light clothes, writing a letter to your beloved or enjoying a book in the cool shades of the trees. Benjasiri, after the sunset, however transforms from a relaxation spot to an activities hub. Players crowd to the basketball courts, women are seen aerobics while elder people practice and hone their skills of Tai Chi.
Lazgam Laser game is a much-loved game in Thailand. It is a tag game, but you play it with laser guns; all you have to do is strap on the vest provided to you, man yourself with a laser gun and join the fray. Lazgam Laser games opened its first branch in Sukhumvit, Bangkok. It is on the 5th floor of the Holiday Inn Hotel on the Soi Sukhumvit22. The first and the biggest laser tag all over Bangkok, it can have around 32 players enjoying at once. Spread over 500 square meters, the place gives off futuristic vibes, what with its dark walls and contrasting lights. Not only is it affordable, but it also promises to deliver fun times with whoever has come with you.
Dinosaur Planet Theme Park
Dinosaur Planet Theme Park, located on Sukhumvit Road between Soi 22 and Soi 24. It is loved, not only by children but by adults also. There are huge replicas of dinosaurs, including the T-Rex, the Triceratops and the Stegosaurus. They are don pretty realistically, so one can actually mistake them to be actual animals for a while. The park is divided into neat little zones and provides many fun activities for the visitors, including digging out fossils or getting away from Velociraptors at Raptor X-Treme. The park has also made Thai food provisions, over at Dino Square. It is such a fun place that one can easily spend an entire day at this park and won’t even notice!
This beautiful restaurant is located on the Soi Sukhumvit 53 and happens to be one of the best ‘fine dining’ restaurants. It is owned by Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan ‘Lan’ Jones, which is the source behind the unique name of the place. Bo, of Thai origin and Lan, of Australian origin, met in London’s Nahm and progressed to transform their friendship into a happy marriage and successful business partners. The restaurant is big on providing some authentic Thai food, including some long-forgotten traditional recipes, presented with a slight European touch. A Thai house is renovated and fashioned to look like a restaurant, with three proper dining rooms and a beautiful outdoor area.
Kamthieng House Museum
Kamthieng House is actually a teak house, now turned into a beautiful museum. It travelled to Bangkok in 1964, having moved from its original location on the banks of Chiang Mai’s Ping River. Kamthieng House has now become a proper headquarters for the Siam Society, which is a dedicated organization, which preserves the Thai history and heritage with much care and dedication. It might be a small museum, but it is filled with captivating items and artifacts. There's antique items stored in the house, dating back from the 19th century, including fish baskets, terra-cotta pots, and many more. The teak house and the surrounding garden make you feel as if you have stepped in a Thai village, authentic and peaceful.
Gateway Ekamai Shopping Mall
Sukhumvit has its own lot of shopping malls, from funky ones like Terminal 21 to luxurious ones, such as Emporium. This one right here – Gateway Ekamai Shopping Mall – located at 982/22 Sukhumvit road, successfully recreates a beautiful little Japan Town. The Japanese style seems to become a hit among the people, as it is daily visited by locals and tourists alike. Stretching up to 8 floors, there are beautiful Japanese themed figurines placed across the expanse and consists of many fun activities for kids. There are original Japanese stores, including Daiso and Gunpla, fashion stores, a huge supermarket and many Japanese restaurants.
Sukhumvit Night Market, also known as Nana Market, is a vibrant place where vendors are seen selling literally everything, from clothes and shoes to delicious street food and drinks. The market seems to expand for one kilometre in Nana. As mentioned before, there is literally everything that you can think of, fashion accessories, necessaries and what not. There are even shops selling pirate DVDs, sex toys and even some sex-related services. This is the primary reason behind the market gaining a semi-legal status. There are food stalls of stir-fry, grilled meat skewers and even noodle soup. A surprising addition to this market is the drink shops, where converted camper vans provide spirits, cocktails and even beer. It is, nonetheless, a perfect place to spend your evening.
So Thai Spa Bangkok
After roaming in and around Sukhumvit, now is the time to enjoy a peaceful time. And what is better than experiencing a spa in Thailand? There are many, many spa destinations in Bangkok, but one of the best one is So Thai Spa, located on Sukhumvit Soi 31. Thai healing arts is an ancient art, handed down from generation to generation, and this is what So Thai Spa uses to make its visitors relax. The staff is perfectly polite and is skilled in making you feel at peace, quite literally. There are a variety of sessions from which you can choose the one you like. The only thing that you are supposed to do here is to relax.
Cabbages and Condoms
Don’t be misled by the name – no they don’t serve just those two items. It is quite an innovative restaurant, designed around the taboo topic of contraceptives. Once you let go of the apprehensions about the theme, you will definitely find it enjoyable. The restaurant wishes to promote the importance of family planning. As for why the cabbages are paired with condoms, it is to show how cabbages are easily available, which is how condoms should be – easily accessible for the people. There is a nice gift shop, filled with souvenirs and goods related to the theme. The restaurant has tables in an outdoor setting as well as indoor, with hanging lights made of condoms. The figurines placed all over the restaurant are also decorated with different coloured condoms. The food is as exquisite as their theme, with people returning for the delicious massaman curry, mango and sticky rice and that delicious deep-fried ice cream.
Museum of Thai Pharmacy
The Museum of Thai Pharmacy, located on the Sukhumvit 38 road, happens to be a beautiful preserver of Thai medicines. The museum is neatly divided into a variety of sections, right from the Birth of Pharmacy and the Evolution of Oriental Pharmacy and Basic Wisdom to even the Evolution of Herbs and Natural Products, with a little section dedicated to the study of the evolution of Western Thai Pharmacy. It is kept free so that people can understand Thai medicine and learn a thing or two from it. Nestled on the 3rd floor of the Pharmaceutical Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage Building, you can actually enter there and look at this ancient treasure for free. However, in the case of groups, a note in writing is required to be sent in advance.
Apoteka Soi 11 Gastropub
Apoteka Soi 11 Gastropub is a unique little pub and is quite successful in its rendering of a 19th-century apothecary, what with its usage of bricks and old wood and the vintage glass bottles on the shelves. While the place drowns in retro feel, the gastropub is modern to the core. Along with amazing food, the gastropub also offers the visitors a huge drinks menu to choose from, including quality beer, wine and some amazing signature cocktails. It is also a great option for live music; in fact, considered to be one of the best in Bangkok. The famous bands which regularly perform here include The Keith Nolan Blues Band and the Soi Dog Blues Band. Sit down to enjoy some delicious food and drinks and immerse yourself in the ‘blues’.
Titanium Club and Ice Bar
Bangkok’s nightlife is crazy – no exaggeration there – with many popular clubs residing in Sukhumvit. Titanium Club and Ice Bar is an elite and much-loved club located on Sukhumvit Soi 22. The décor is innovative, with an immersive sound system and the frequent appearance of celebrity DJs and famous rock bands of Thailand. There is an ice bar there too, drowning in -10 degrees, with equally ice-cold drinks served in there. That bar boasts of having every famous brand of vodka in its collection, which makes the place even more appealing. If you are looking for a flashy and fun night in Sukhumvit, Titanium Club might just be the right choice for you.
Sukhumvit can provide you with an unforgettable experience of Thailand, unfiltered and exhilarating. This area offers so many things for tourists, it will definitely take you a while to pick up the best options from the list.