Choosing a Hotel – Sukhumvit Street and Surrounding Area, Sukhumvit Street and its surrounding area, Ploenchit street and Rama 1 – (what I refer to here as the “Sukhumvit Axis “) is classed as the heart Bangkok’s tourist region and offers an enormous amount of hotels of all types and everything you can or can’t imagine! Activity wise, this is the area where you will find most of Bangkok’s major and popular shopping centers: Terminal 21, Emporium, Central World, Paragon, MBK etc. The region is packed with restaurants, market-stalls, pubs, discotheques, massages, and more and more … including Soi cowboy and Nana Complex. Two Sky Train lines run on this axis and a subway line crosses it and joins the Sky Train line at the Sukhumvit and Asoke intersection.
This is by far the most popular area among tourists visiting Bangkok due to the length of the “Sukhumvit Axis”, and diverse characters found in different areas of the axis. Sukhumvit has many alleys leading off it, known as “Soi”, some large and wide and some are small and narrow. The Sois are consecutively numbered in a way that the odd numbers are located on the northern side of the street and the even on the south.
I will try to briefly describe the various parts of the “Sukhumvit Axis”.
East of Soi Asok (Soi 21) to Soi Tonglor (Soi 55) is the more conservative area of the Sukhumvit, very active during the day and quiet at night. By “quiet” I mean that you won’t bump into hordes of people walking around on the street at night but it’s not really “quiet” and most of the nighttime activities take place on the small alleys and not the main street. This area is great if you prefer a more quiet place to stay, but, a bit too quiet if you prefer more action. Here there are plenty of hotels, restaurants (Seafood market, etc.), stores, shopping malls (Emporium etc.), clubs, pubs and more. Soi 55 itself (Soi Tonglor) is known as one of Bangkok’s most prestigious streets.
Between Asok to Ploenchit (all “Soi” numbers 21, 14 and under) this is where you’ll find all the action that goes on in the region and possibly the whole of the tourist area of Bangkok. This is the only tourist area in Bangkok that is active and vibrant 24 hours a day. It consists of a mixture of hotels of all types and standards, numerous restaurants of all kinds, massages, clubs, discos and almost everything imaginable. Starting in the early afternoon and until midnight, the “odd” side of the street becomes a market with a fantastic variety of stalls selling imitation clothing, watches and a variety of knick-knacks at amazingly cheap prices. After midnight, the stalls close and makeshift bars take their place, so there is never a dull moment. In this area there are several luxury hotels, Sheraton, Sofitel, Westin Grande Centre Point, Landmark and others. You will also find here the spectacular Terminal 21 shopping mall, Robinson Department Store and more. Several well-known clubs in this area are Q Bar, the Bed Superclub, Insomina, Climax etc. Alleys 1-7 offer various oriental restaurants, shawarma and the likes.
I recommended you stay in one of the hotels located between Soi 11 to 19. Soi 11 is active and vibrant and as the numbers get higher the small streets are quieter, but still only a short walk for those who prefer more action. This is the most recommended and popular area amongst tourists, a combination of a vibrant and busy district, well-lit both day and night with convenient means of transport (Sky Train and subway) and plenty of hotels to suit anyone’s budget.
Ploenchit street and Rama 1 – that join off Sukhumvit and reach MBK – the High Class of central Bangkok! Here you’ll find Embassies, luxury hotels and prestigious shopping centers (Paragon, Central World, Giisorn etc.). Here you will find the renowned MBK and Siam Square with its many shops and boutiques. This section of road is very active during the day but a bit deserted in the evening when the shopping centers are closed and is highly recommended for those interested in shopping, but offers no nightlife.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that the Sukhumvit Axis is a highly recommended area, preferred by most of the tourists who come to Bangkok. The Sky Train that runs the entire length of this route allows quick and easy access to anywhere in the surrounding area and other parts of the city, without having to face traffic jams and congestion.