I spent a year teaching English in Bangkok, and I loved every minute of it. I try to go back when I can, and when I do, I try to stay away from gap year students’ favorite Khao San Road. It’s worth a night if you really love buckets of cheap alcohol and are in town for at least five days, but there’s much more to do than hang around other foreigners.
Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok’s main arteries and has everything a woman needs. There are upscale and cheap cheap massages, endless malls, markets and stalls, art galleries, beer gardens, jazz clubs, street food and a million other things. Thong Lor’s Ana Garden is a visitor favorite, as is Condoms and Cabbages further down Sukhumvit, although I prefer the street stalls outside Phrom Phong BTS. Thong Lor is also home to a lot of Korean and Japanese food.
It’s quite easy to find hotels near the various BTS stations; I’d recommend Phrom Phong for easy accessibility to other neighborhoods. Most hotels are very affordable and come with a pool, which you’ll definitely need after a long day – or night!
For shopping, the possibilities are neverending. MK Centre is home to a million electronics stalls; be prepared to haggle. For silk and gifts, first take the tour through Jim Thompson’s home, then head to the accompanying outlet on Sukhumvit Soi 99 (I think!) for four floors of clothes, silk, home good and small gifts.
What to Do
At night, you can go for debauchery in Nana Plaza and ride mechanical bulls or strike up conversations with ladyboys, drink at upscale places in Asok, go clubbing at totally awesome and diverse RCA, or spend a much more chill night watching live jazz and blues acts around Victory Monument; Saxophone is one of my favorites.
If you arrive by bus at Ekkamai, head to the other side of the BTS station to the restaurant/beer garden complex. It’s gotten more expensive over the years, but it’s still a nice place to hang out, and if you want to sit outside, the server’s will usually aim an industrial fan right in your face.
If you’re bored, just hop on the 46 or 48 bus to go up and down Sukhumvit; it will be a ride you won’t soon forget. Road safety can be a bit iffy, but otherwise, you should be fine. I’ve walked home alone in the wee hours of the morning several times, and the scariest thing to happen to me was suddenly realizing that an elephant was walking next to me. That being said, it’s always best to get a cab if one’s available and always split up your money into your bra and shoes.
What do you like to do in Sukhumvit?