Sukhumvit – Bangkok’s Entertainment Heart

Andrew Leeson


Sukhumvit Bangkok

If Bangkok is regarded as one of the World’s most vibrant and exciting cities, then the district of Sukhumvit, and the road of the same name which runs through its sometime chaotic centre, is without doubt the entertainment hub of this thrilling city. Khao San Road may be the backpacker’s choice, and historically the district of Silom has had a tilt at the crown, but today neither comes close to what is on offer along the ever bustling artery that is Sukhumvit Road. 

Whether you’re on a short stopover, or planning a longer visit, Sukhumvit offers a multitude of options for shopping, accommodation, dining and entertainment. Plus its accessibility to rest of the city is unbeatable. Welcome to Bangkok’s entertainment heart. 


Sukhumvit Road is not only one of the longest boulevards in Thailand, it is one of the longest in the World. At its most Western point it evolves from Phloen Chit and Rama I Road, in and around Siam Square, and continues East all the way to the Cambodian border. The focus of this blog is the stretch of about 10 kms that trundles through the highly popular expat district of Sukhumvit, and all the side soi’s which attach themselves like tentacles. Between Soi 1 and 63 you’ll find a huge quantity of residential complexes full of Western expats and affluent Thai’s. There are pockets of Middle Eastern influence (Soi 3/1), Japanese (Soi 21), India (Soi 55) and numerous other nationalities and flavours, from Korea Town through to traditional looking English pubs.


Its fair to say a highly detailed (and very lengthy) blog could be written just simply on this topic, so we’ll merely emphasise that the options are diverse and enormous. For longer term residents, there are many apartments available for lease, on a short, medium and long term basis. Prices will generally vary mainly due to the size of course, but also importantly on the age of the building and its location to public transport, most notably the Bangkok Transit System (BTS), also known as the Skytrain. The range of hotels in the district is extensive and impressive, at all price points. And Bangkok offers real value for money, when one considers how much 4 and 5 star accommodation costs in many other global cities.

Some favourite, and highly rated hotels in the area include Okura Prestige, Sofitel Bangkok, Grande Centre Point Terminal 21, Bangkok Marriott, Radisson Blu Plaza, Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit, Park Plaza Bangkok and The Landmark, but there are many others, and your chose might be dictated by which part of Sukhumvit you want to be based.

Things to do

Again, there are whole blogs just on this subject. Sukhumvit offers the visitor and resident every thing you could ever want (although its not know for peace and quiet!) Having said that, Benjasiri Park (near Phrom Phong BTS) is one of the best parks in downtown Bangkok, offering an escape for sports lovers, walkers, admirers of sculptures, or just somewhere to hang out, maybe have a picnic and enjoy the lake and greenery.

Not too far from Benjasiri you’ll find another type of park, The Dinosaur Planet Bangkok Theme Park. Here you’ll be able to step back in time and enjoy over 200 life size models of the most popular dinosaurs. One BTS stop away in Asoke, a huge intersection which is one of the busiest in the city, you’ll find perhaps somewhat remarkably another escape in the form of the Baan Kamthieng House Museum. This renovated teak house transports you into the world of a rural Northern Thai Village. Not something you’d expect amongst the towering skyscrapers.

Bangkok Thailand

BTS Signage

Lovers of shopping will believe they have landed in heaven. Sukhummvit has something for everyone. At Asoke you’ll find Terminal 21, 9 floors of globally themed retail therapy with over 600 shops and lots of food options. Back at Phrom Phong the BTS is attached to both the Emporium Shopping Mall and EM Quartier, offering local and international brands across clothing, homewares, technology and hospitality. For something a little different, catch the BTS to Ekamai, just further down Sukhumvit Road. Here you’ll discover the Gateway Shopping Mall, which explores Thailand’s fascination with all things Japanese (the Bazaar Style Shopping on Level 3 is particularly interesting).

Beyond the major malls, there is the Boutique offerings available at Rain Hill Plaza (near Thong Lor BTS), and whilst many of the market stalls which would spring up at night along Sukhumvit Road have been removed, you can still find some around Nana, and along Soi Arab (which is close to Nana BTS).

Nana Bangkok

Nana Signage

Food & Entertainment

As you’d expect you’re never far from somewhere to eat. Sukhumvit has every type of cuisine you can imagine, so whether you like food courts in the malls, street food of all kinds (Thai, Indian, Korean, Chinese, Arabian), English style pub food or 5 star quality restaurants, its all available. A couple of stand outs in the district include Bo Lan (Traditional Thai) located near Thong Lor BTS, Enoteca Italiana, one Bangkok’s top Italian eateries, near Sukhumvit MRT, and finally for a taste of Mod-Oz, Freebird Bangkok continues to get rave reviews (located between Thong Lor and Phrom Phong).

Once fed, the night remains yours to explore, and you won’t be disappointed with the choice. There are bars and clubs of every description. Popular clubs include Beam (Soi 55) and Levels Club and Lounge (Soi 11). Bars are almost too numerous to mention, but a few favourites include Brew (with the largest stock of beers, ciders and ales in Bangkok) on Soi 13. Soi 11 is host to the Australian Bar, which is ideal for catching live coverage of the NRL, AFL, Rugby or Cricket. Beneath the Landmark Hotel you’ll find the Huntsman, an English style watering hole, who also happen to do a great steak sandwich.

Along the somewhat infamous Soi 4 (near Nana BTS) you’ll find a number of perennial bar favourites, Hilary 4 and Stumble Inn, which are always busy and have live bands from around 9pm. And for those who don’t know why Soi 4 is infamous, its here you’ll find Nana Plaza, one of the two main ‘adult entertainment’ areas which are located in Sukhumvit. The other is Soi Cowboy, which is a short walk from Asoke BTS.

Stumble Inn Bangkok

Stumble Inn

Getting There

Bangkok is serviced by two major airports, and there are many direct and indirect flights linking the Thai capital with Australia. Keep an eye out for deals as the airlines often announce snap sales, with excellent prices, especially during the low season.

Once you get to Bangkok, getting to Sukhumvit is very straight forward. Every Taxi driver will know the area, just ensure you get a price up front. For those who arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) you also have the option of using the Airport Skytrain. If you are only carrying hand luggage this is really a very good option as you avoid the notorious Bangkok traffic. It only costs THB 45 to get to Phaya Thai Station, before you switch to the Sukhumvit Line.

Phaya Thai Station

Phaya Thai Stationer Airport Line

The Entertainment Heart

If life ever seems dull or uninteresting, and you feel like you need an injection of excitement, consider a break in truly one of the Worlds most diverse, vibrant and adrenalin pumping centres. It’ll turn the greyest of days into a kaleidoscope of colour.

If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Andrew Leeson

Andrew Leeson

Over 20 years of experience helping people live a better life in SE Asia. Having worked in financial services in Asia I understand the challenges when moving to and living in a new country. I have travelled extensively throughout the region and experienced what SE Asia has to offer to retirees.

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