Sukhumvit Road (Thanon Sukhumvit) runs almost all the way from Bangkok to the Cambodian border. But for most Bangkok visitors, the term “Sukhumvit” means a downtown strip of Sukhumvit Road, spanning sois (alleys or side streets) numbered from 1 to 60-something. Soi numbering runs east to west. Odd-numbered streets head northeast, while even-numbered alleys point southwest. Nana is the most central of Sukhumvit’s districts, with Asok then Phrom Phong and Thonglor as you head further east.
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Things to know before you go
- Sukhumvit’s neighborhoods offer a great range of accommodation for travelers who like to experience local life.
- Slings or back carriers are a better option than strollers in downtown Bangkok. Families should check location carefully before booking Sukhumvit hotels as go-go bars can pop up in the most unlikely locations.
- High kerbs and heavy traffic make Sukhumvit’s sidewalks tough to navigate in a wheelchair, while many sois are in bad condition. Better quality hotels and upscale malls have wheelchair access.
How to get there
Sukhumvit Road starts about 5 miles (8 kilometers) east of Bangkok’s Royal Palace and runs onwards to Pattaya and beyond. The easiest way to get around Sukhumvit is on the Sukhumvit line of the BTS SkyTrain service.
When to get there
Most travelers opt to visit Bangkok between November and March, when the weather is normally cooler and drier than at other times of year, although climate change is making weather patterns less predictable than before.
Sukhumvit’s Red Light Districts
Two of Bangkok’s most notorious red light areas are in Sukhumvit. Soi Cowboy, a strip of go-go bars that featured in The Hangover Part II and dates back to the early 70s, runs between Soi 21 and Soi 23. Nana Plaza is a 3-story emporium of strip joints and transgender cabarets on Soi 4.
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- Lumpini Park (Lumphini Park)
- BTS Skytrain (Bangkok Mass Transit System)
- Erawan Shrine
- Khlong Toei Market
- Flow House Bangkok
- Baiyoke Sky Tower
- SEA LIFE® Bangkok Ocean World
- KidZania Bangkok
- Line Village Bangkok
- Siam Square
- Snake Farm (Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute)
- Madame Tussauds Bangkok
- Suan Pakkad Palace
- MBK Center