At the Tropical Writer’s Workshop in Koh Phangan, Thailand, we were fortunate to be able to work with an amazing and talented group of writers. Together, we wrote the following article which we are pleased to be able to share here on OMC.
4 Amazing Bangkok Neighbourhoods to Explore
As a tourist, Bangkok can be overwhelming and intimidating. The vast city promises something for everyone – if you know where to go. Tuk tuk and taxi drivers will offer you direction, but you may end up somewhere far from anticipated, with a lighter wallet and a heavier spirit.
Most tourists have heard of Khao San Road which was described as “the centre of the backpacking universe” in the popular novel ‘The Beach’. This small road is packed with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, food stalls, shops, hostels and guesthouses and is a common place for tourists and young locals alike.
But if you’re looking to see more than the typical tourist areas – explore more of what the city has to offer – there are several other great neighbourhoods to explore.
One Night In Bangkok – Sukhumvit Soi 11
Sukhumvit Soi 11 is a fantastic place to hang out if you are looking for a good party. From Apoteka – a jazz bar with phenomenal live bands, affordably priced drinks, interesting food and good service; a great place to spend your evening or start at before hitting the clubs – to Oskar Bistro – with its delicious fusion food, strong drinks, and amazing house music, making it great for the pre-party – and everything in between, you’re sure to find something to suit your party needs.
Also recommended are Levels, where the entrance is usually free and the music commercial making it a great spot for meeting people, and the after-hours Wax, which gets crowded at 2:00 am when regular clubs have just closed. The drinks are alright and the music can be very good depending on which DJ is playing.
Satisfy Any Spending Urge – Asok
Asok is one of the many popular Bangkok shopping destinations, having selections from high-end boutiques to tiny stands where you can buy the latest must-have items. Terminal 21 is a great place to start. Linked to Asok station, this world-class mall has many different shops with every level of the mall hosting a different theme from around the world. In a matter of minutes you can go from London to Tokyo.
If you’re looking for the real Thai shopping experience, look no further: just outside Asok station, lining Sukhumvit road, right through to Nana station, you can find stalls that host the well-known Thai goods and you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
Ever-Changing Culinary Delights – Silom
The Silom area has always been a popular lunch spot for office workers in Bangkok’s Central Business District. It has become trendier and more diverse with entertainment venues, like Ku De Ta, springing up. Additionally, popular New York gourmet cafe Dean and Deluca draws huge crowds on Ploenchit Road in Central Embassy.
The Deco Bar & Restaurant next to the Pullman Hotel is highly recommended for a stimulating conversation over a glass of wine. In addition to these hotspots, some of the best burgers in the city can be found at Bangkok Burger Company on Silom Road. Nearby Soi Phipat 2’s Eat Me Restaurant offers modern international cuisine; or you can always leave the noise behind and head into the tiny sois verdant with foliage to discover your own taste of Bangkok from the small stalls that line these narrow streets.
When Culture is Your Tour – Thonburi
As you pedal through the neighborhood of Thonburi you’ll pass grandmothers sitting on the steps of their wooden houses, vendors whisking a profusion of sizzling tasty morsels in their steaming woks and children playing in the streets, their laughter filling the air. Getting away from the glitzy shopping malls and fast pace of Bangkok proper, Thonburi’s elaborate web of khlongs weave you past locals going about their daily lives. In fact, many homes still have their addresses on khlongs rather than roads. You will be drawn to the embrace of this charming neighborhood, instantly feeling at ease here.
Whether you are enjoying the nightlife in Sukhumvit Soi 11, dining in Silom area, shopping in Asok or absorbing Thai culture in Thonburi you’re sure to find what you are looking for in one of these diverse Bangkok neighbourhoods.
When exploring a new city, which type of area do you look for first: shopping, dining, partying or cultural experiences? Comment below and let us know!