While the main thoroughfare of Sukhumvit Road is home to a multitude of
tourist offerings - hotels, sidewalk vendors, shops, and restaurants -
the soi's behind are mostly residential. Not cheap, the housing gradually
lowers in price as you move further southeast. Running along Sukhumvit
are some of Bangkok's best clothing stores and eateries. Also, staying
here is extremely convenient as it's a relatively quick trip - often no
more than 20-25 minutes - to the airport from the nearby expressway. Places
to be seen are The New York Steakhouse in the Marriott or Riva's (for
Jazz) at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit.
Taking a simple stroll can be quite an adventure here. Virtually every
square foot of space on the sidewalk (pavement, if you prefer) is filled
with stalls selling cheap clothes, leather goods, fake watches - you name
it. When somebody stops to shop, which is always, all must slow to squeeze
by. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on who you are) counterfeit
designer-label goods are to be found everywhere here. Still, this is Asia
and if it's a bit too crowded, just duck into one of the soi's for a break.
But be careful of the cars, the alleys are rather narrow! If you're going
any distance, grab a cab or hike up to a Skytrain station, which follows
along the length of Sukhumvit within this area.
Landmark Plaza, Times Square, Robinson's
Numerous department stores including Japanese import Sogo can be found
along Bangkok's Sukhumvit road.
(Stations and lines in gray from left to right and/or top to bottom
on the map above.)
Line: (Ploenchit, Nana, and Asok stations)
Completed in December of 1999, the Bangkok Skytrain glides above Bangkok's
busy, busy streets quickly and relatively cheaply. The cars are new and
modern and the system can whisk you quickly about in air-conditioned comfort
- a must if you're out and about during rush hour, which is pretty
much all day! We do have one gripe about the Bangkok Skytrain,
however. For some reason, only a few of the stations have escalators to
take you up to the stations some 60-70 feet overhead. On a typical, sizzling
Bangkok afternoon this inexplicable oversight is certainly less forgivable
as you stomp up the stairs. Still, this beats the old days of taking meterless
taxis (now, all taxis have meters) through permanently clogged streets.