What to See in Sukhumvit
There aren't many traditional tourist attractions on Sukhumvit Road. There are just a few temples and no palaces to explore. Instead what lends Sukhumvit its magnetism is its modern face: towering luxury hotels, colossal condominiums, air-conditioned shopping malls and entertainment complexes, fine restaurants, trendy shops and world-class nightlife.
Then there are the crowds - an attraction in themselves. Where else can you see veiled Muslim women brushing past provocatively dressed ladyboys; middle-aged European males nonchalantly walking hand-in-hand with exotic Thai women? Each soi, or lane, has its own personality and target audience and endless hours can be spent exploring them. To see multi-culturalism at work, visit Soi 3 (Soi Nana), a Middle Eastern enclave known as 'Little Arabia'.
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Ardel's Third Place Gallery
Housed inside a three-storey loft – The Third Place – Ardel’s art gallery occupies the first level floor space which is also used as a workshop area for special events. The brainchild of an art professor from Thailand’s leading art institution – Silpakorn University – Ardel promotes the works of contemporary Thai artists as well as those from across disciplines. Previous exhibits at Ardel’s Third Place include Anak Navaraj’s ‘Scratched the Surface’ photo exhibit, Nino Sarabutra’s mixed media ‘Live, Love & Let Die’ and Seiji Kunishima’s ‘Sculpture Wrapped Memory’.
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – 19:00 (Tue-Sat), 10:30 – 17:30 (Sun), Closed Monday
- Location: The Third Place, Thonglor Soi 10
- Tel: +66 (0)2 422 2092
Overlooking one of the most picturesque views of the downtown Bangkok skyline, Benjakitti Park covers a rectangular area of 130 rais (208,000sqms) opposite the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre. The park forms a narrow swathe of green around the expansive Lake Ratchada, with dedicated bicycle and jogging tracks encircling the whole park.
Set in the middle of the lake is the centrepiece fountain and a stage for light and sound performances during major festivals like New Year’s Eve and Loy Krathong. Apart from bicycling, the park offers paddle boats, row boats, a skateboarding ramp and fitness area where you can do various stretches on your own or join one of the aerobics sessions on a voluntary basis.
- Opening Hours: 05:00 - 20:00 daily
- Location: Lake Ratchada, Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre
- MRT: Queen Sirikit National Convention Center
- BTS: Asok
- How to get there: From BTS (exit 4), walk about 5 minutes towards Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre. If you take the MRT, walk towards Asok-Montri for about 5 minutes.
One of the most endearing features of Bangkok is the city's numerous parks where abundant greenery sprouts amongst towering sky scrapers and congested roads. Check out our Bangkok Parks and Activities page for more information on parks in the city. Built in 1992 to celebrate Queen Sirikit's 60th birthday, Benjasiri Park is often referred to as 'Queen's Park'.
This is definitely the place to be for sculpture lovers, as several of the best examples of Thai carvings are scattered around the park. Benjasiri Park is located next to the Emporium right in the middle of the busy Sukhumvit area. Head down there any time between 06:00 and 21:00 and you will be sure to find people doing yoga, Tai Chi, jogging and aerobics – each open to visitors who can either partake or enjoy from the sidelines.
- Opening Hours: 06:00-21:00
- BTS: Phrom Phong
- Address: Next to the Emporium Shopping Centre, Sukhumvit 23
Flow Rider is an artificial wave machine and beach club in the heart of Bangkok that provides a great way for the whole family to have fun, keep fit and cool off – all while learning a new sport. Flowriding is basically an amalgamation of surfing and wakeboarding on an inflatable ramp which has a thin sheet of water pumped up and over it to simulate a perpetual breaking wave. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm (last Flowride commences at 9pm)
- Address: Flow House, A-Square, Sukhumvit Soi 26, Klong-Toey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.
- Tel: (+66)2 108-5210
- Price Range: 550THB (650THB after 18:00 or on weekends)
A beautiful, stilted 19th rice farmer's teak house transplanted from the banks of Chiang Mai's Ping River to Bangkok in 1964, Kamthieng House is now the headquarters of the Siam Society - a place dedicated to preserving and promoting Thai culture and heritage.
Inside is a collection of agricultural and domestic items - woven fish baskets and terra-cotta pots among other items - which show the everyday lives of ordinary people in the past. The spirits of three ladies - previous occupants - are said to haunt the house and watch over it. The gardens, Lanna style, are landscaped like a northern Thai garden.
There's an excellent library (Siam Society members can borrow, but the general public is only allowed to browse) which includes rare books about Thai history, palm-leaf manuscripts and old maps. Popular with Bangkok's foreign intelligentsia, The Siam Society is dedicated to providing information on all aspects of Thai culture, especially the regions, arranging regular lectures and study trips to historic sites and wildlife sanctuaries. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00 (Tuesday – Saturday)
- BTS: Asoke
- Address: 131 Soi Asoke, north of Sukhumvit on Soi 21
Museum of Science & Planetarium
Here youngsters can learn about science and technology, natural history, the environment and deep space in informal surroundings. The Science Museum aims to open the door on scientific experimentation and discovery with special events, lectures and discussions on science, astrology and related subjects.
The Planetarium has a giant projection of the solar system and a section on the life of stars. On top of that the Aquatic World, Nature and the Environment area, Health Science area and Children's Discovery House can all be explored.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 16:00 (Closed on Mondays and public holidays)
- BTS: Ekkamai
- Address: 928 Sukumvit Road, Next Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai), near Ekkamai BTS Station on Sukhumvit Road
- Tel: + 66 (2) 391 0544
Pridi Banomyong Institute
This tree-shrouded building complex dedicated to the important historical figure Pridi Banomyong is a venue for promoting Thai arts and culture. It hosts monthly art movies, stage performances by aspiring Thai artists as well as cultural seminars and workshops. If you go on a non-event day, you’ll find it quite deserted. Walk all the way to the open courtyard in the back, passing through a wooden walkway, and you will see two tiny art spaces displaying works of random artists. But unless you come with a specific purpose, e.g. watching art movies, then you might want to skip this place.
- Opening Hours: 09:30 – 17:30 (Tue-Sun)
- Location: Between Thonglor Soi 3 and 5
- Tel: +66 (0)2 530 5198, +66 (0)2 391 3807
Rama IX Park is the largest green space in Bangkok, with a beautiful botanical garden, large lake and gardens inspired by countries around the world. Built in 1987 to celebrate King Bhumibol’s 60th Birthday, a visit to this large park on the outskirts of Bangkok is a great break from the city and, despite all the interesting things to see, remains surprisingly free of tourists and offers a genuine experience of how locals spend their afternoons off. Read More...
- Location: 15 minutes from Udom Suk BTS by taxi
- Address: Suan Luang Rama 9, Sukumvit 103 Road (Udom Suk)
- Tel: +66 (0)2 32813856
- Price Range: Entrance 10 Baht
Asia's first design learning and resource facility, the Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC), was established to foster the country's creativity and inspire innovative ideas among design professionals and entrepreneurs. TCDC is part of the Thai government's attempt to build Thailand as a knowledge-based society under the supervision of the Office of Knowledge Management and Development. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (everyday except Monday)
- Location: 6th floor, the Emporium, Sukhumvit Road
- BTS: Phrom Phong
- Tel: (66) 2 664 8448
Terminal 21 brings the dream of traveling the world to downtown Bangkok, with its cutting-edge concept that places several world-famous cities under one roof. Find yourself wandering around a maze of shops in Tokyo City, sauntering down London’s Carnaby Street, bagging a bargain in an Istanbul zouk, or shopping for something to fill your growling stomach at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
- Location: Sukhumvit Road (between Soi 19 and 21)
- BTS: Asok (direct access via Skywalk)
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