The Center of Modern Bangkok
Sukhumvit and its vicinity is the commercial, entertainment and tourist center of modern Bangkok. Sukhumvit is one of the longest roads not only in Thailand, but anywhere in the world. Towards the west end, the road (thanon in Thai) changes its name, first, to Ploenchit Road, and then, to Rama I Road. And it runs all the way to the east cutting across the city border most of the way towards Cambodia.
Even and uneven side-streets (soi in Thai) are on opposite north and south sides of the road. Even so it is one of Bangkok's main arteries, driving Sukhumvit way is a real hassle, as it constantly packed with heavy traffic day and night. The Skytrain runs along Sukhumvit Road up to Soi 71 occupying central part of the street. All major shopping spots and vendor stalls are concentrated on the sidewalks between Soi 3 (Soi Nana Nua) and Soi 21 (Asoke Road), basically forming a long-stretched market, which is bustling all day and up to the midnight. And then, after midnight most street carts and food-stalls turn into after-hours outdoor cafes and bars.
Sukhumvit Is Evrything For Everyone
The section between Sukhumvit Soi 1 and Soi 63 is a favorite residential area amongst western expatriates and upper class Thais. Sukhumvit Soi 12 is populated mainly by Indian ex-pats. Japanese nationals tend to stay from Asok intersection upwards. Bangkok's Little Japan is near Sukhumvit Soi 33 and across the street at Soi 24. A smaller enclave called Japan Village is down Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Soi Thong Lo). To accommodate that mighty expat community, a great deal of high-rise and high style condominium buildings have been built in these residentials areas side by side with private Thai housings. To meet the community demand, several International schools are situated in the neighborhood as well.
Side-Street (Soi 24) off Sukhumvit Road
All the way along Sukhumvit Road and in just about every side street is a huge selection of restaurants from budget to luxury that cover just about every cuisine known to man. Sukhumvit offers some of the best dining out alternatives in Bangkok, although prices tend to be on the high end by Thai standards. The variety of choices and taste are overwhelming ranging from fast-food chains to restaurants with French, Italian, German, Russian, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Mexican kitchen as well as Thai and Thai-Chinese cuisine. Eateries around Soi 3 (Soi Nana Nua) at the beginning of Sukhumvit Road are serving Middle Eastern and Moslem food.
Speaking of places to eat in and around Sukhumvit Road, one can't overlook the Bangkok institution called Took Lae Dee (which stands for Cheap and Good) inside the Foodland Supermarket in Sukhumvit Soi 5. Imagine a long bar counter, but instead of bartenders and drinks, it's staffed by chefs catering food. And as the name suggests the prices of both Thai and Western dishes are what makes this place so popular.
Another eatery with excellent value for money is Hong Kong Noodle in Siam Square Soi 10, serves up cheap and tasty wonton noodles (30 baht), a selection of dim sum (20-30 baht) a homey food - many variations of small eats out of the steamer, and more Cantonese favorites in modern surroundings complete with air-con and table service.
There are many hotels ranging from 5-star to cheaper establishments in the area from Soi Nana to Asoke Road. There are also several shopping malls like The Emporium upscale shopping center at Soi 24. Many Indian owned tailor shops that offer custom made clothing can be found there as well. Massage joints are also abound around Sukhumvit vicinity. This area is particularly well-known for its lively bar scene. Bustling and hustling go-go bars at the Nana Entertainment Plaza and other entertainment venues in Soi 4 (Soi Nana Tai) serve as the prominent Sukhumvit night district. Another street of bars, Soi Cowboy, is just past Asoke Road between Soi 21 and 23. These red-light entertainment districts cater primarily to foreigners. Males alone or in group will invariably be accosted by "stalkers" while walking there.
To be continued...
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