SUKHUMVIT ROAD

Sukhumvit (Thai: สุขุมวิท) is an exclusive district in Bangkok. It is home to fancy apartments, villas, restaurants, bars and clubs. Popular among foreign visitors and expats, it becomes more and more a Thai residential neighbourhood as you follow the road southeast. Khlong Toei is also dealt with here, which, by contrast, is one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Bangkok.

Sukhumvit Road is not only one of the longest boulevards in Thailand, but one of the longest boulevards in the world. Towards the west end it changes name to Phloen Chit Road and Rama I Road as it enters the Siam Square area, but to the east it runs most of the way to the Cambodian border. The sois are numbered from west to east, with odd numbers north and even numbers south of Sukhumvit Road. The sois on the north and south sides of Sukhumvit don’t line up; for example, Soi 33 is opposite Soi 24. Confusing is that these sois also have names of their own (for example, Soi 55 is better known as Soi Thong Lo) and these sois can also have sois of their own (such as Thong Lo Soi 1).

Looking at the high-rise apartment buildings, the Skytrain and the perennial traffic jam on Sukhumvit Road, it is hard to believe that this area used to consist of rice fields until World War II. After the war, this area became developed with large contemporary villas catering to the upper class. As property values kept rising, developers have been buying more and more land and cashed them in by constructing big apartment high-rises. The construction of the BTS Skytrain in 1999, covering most of Sukhumvit Road, has increased the popularity of this district even more.

The lowered-numbered sois (roughly between Soi 1 and 63) are a popular residential area for western expatriates and affluent Thais. It is densely packed with shopping centres, restaurants and hotels. The fleshpots of Nana Entertainment Plaza (in Soi 4) and Soi Cowboy (between Soi 21 and 23) are also in this area, as are plenty of more (and less) salubrious bars. Also, the pavement of Sukhumvit itself has become a huge market carrying everything from luggage to fake Rolex watches, and after midnight they turn into roadside bars and pubs. Sukhumvit offers the best dining in Bangkok, from five-star dining to street stands, the variety of choices and tastes are almost overwhelming. Japanese nationals can be found in the area Soi 21 and upwards, but most tend to congregate around Soi 55. Indians have settled around Soi 12, while Arabs are grouped at Soi 3/1, which informally is known as Soi Arab. After Soi 63, Thais take over again, though this has changed when the Skytrain extension was completed in late 2011.

 

Shopping Malls

Siam Square represents Thailand as a newly industrializing economy. Siam Square’s first buildings were only constructed in the 1970s, on land of Chulalongkorn University which tried to get some extra rental income for the university. It started with ordinary shops, but has since expanded to a shopping and entertainment mecca that has everything upper-class teenagers and college students could possibly want — luxury shopping malls and glitzy department stores filled with designer labels and hip fashion boutiques.

Despite the name, it is not a square in the traditional sense. It could better be described as a warren of small sois filled with hundreds of tiny boutiques, restaurants, cafés, record stores and bookshops, mostly catering to upper-class 20-something Thais, shopping-spree Malaysians, and working ex-pats. If you’re not up for a trip to the Gap or a pink martini, it’s still worth a visit just to see the Bangkok-of-the-future. The area north of Rama I Road does feature some kind of courtyard on the second floor, which functions as the entry point for the Siam Center, Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon shopping malls.

Siam Paragon (Thai: สยามพารากอน) is a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. It is the third largest mall in Thailand, following CentralWorld and CentralPlaza WestGate.

Siam Paragon includes a wide range of specialty stores and restaurants as well as a multiplex movie theatre (15 large screen theaters, the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World aquarium, an exhibition hall, the Thai Art Gallery, and an opera concert hall. It also has a large bowling alley and karaoke centre. It is a joint venture by Siam Piwat, the company that owns the adjacent Siam Center/Siam Discovery shopping malls, and The Mall Group, which also owns The Emporium. Siam Paragon’s financial results are not reported by the privately-held Siam Paragon Development. Siam Paragon is on Rama I Road in Pathum Wan District, adjacent to other shopping areas. It is next door to Siam Center and Siam Discovery Center and opposite Siam Square. MBK Center is also nearby. An elevated walkway beneath the BTS Skytrain tracks links Siam Paragon to the Ratchaprasong intersection, where CentralWorld, Gaysorn and several other shopping malls and hotels are located. BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit and Silom Lines – Siam station has a skybridge linked to Siam Paragon’s M floor.

Emporium is a luxury shopping mall in Khlong Toei district, Bangkok, Thailand. It opened in 1997. It is owned and operated by The Mall Group, who also operate the EmQuartier and Siam Paragon malls in Bangkok. It is on Sukhumvit Road at Sukhumvit Soi 24 beside Benchasiri Park. It is connected directly to the Phrom Phong Station on the Sukhumvit Line of the BTS Skytrain by a footbridge.

Emporium is a major component of the “EM District” and contains a shopping mall, department store, a luxury cinema “Emprivé Cineclub by SF Corporation”, a high-end supermarket, food court, office building, exhibition hall, children’s play centres and a hotel. Emporium is a popular hub for entertainment, food, and education for local residents and visitors. With direct access from the BTS at Phrom Pong, Emporium Shopping Mall is filled with glamorous boutiques selling both international and Thai designer brands. On the first floor you will find the usual suspects: Dior, Hermes, Chanel and more, but head up into Emporium’s department store to discover some fabulous Thai fashion including names such as Sretsis, It Happens to be a Closet and Disaya. Other Thai brands we love are Greyhound for clothing and Ginger for colourful home decor and accessories. Emporium Shopping Mall isn’t just about clothes shopping; it is also a great place to buy homeware and gadgets, with almost an entire floor dedicated to laptops, photography and mobile phones.

Opening Hours: 9.00-21.00 Location: Sukhumvit Soi 24/26

The shopping complex is linked to the EmQuartier and BTS Skytrain, Phrom Phong Station.

Emporium Tower – A multi-purpose building 41 floors high. It consists of two parts: Emporium office building, Emporium Suites By Chatriu.

EmQuartier Bangkok opened in March 2015, and is part of The Mall Group’s multi-billion-baht ‘EM District’ project to transform Phrom Phong into one of the biggest retail hubs of the city. You may have already heard of or visited the popular Emporium Shopping Mall – the new EmQuartier mall stands tall on the opposite side of Sukhumvit Road. Expect to find a long list of designer brands at the new EmQuartier Bangkok, as well as a distinctly futuristic design with dozens of restaurants, offices, event halls and a cool atrium garden – complete with a waterfall. There’s also direct access from Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain and a link to the original Emporium mall across the road.

Shopping options at EmQuartier definitely lean towards the more luxury side of Bangkok’s booming mall scene, with designers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Valentino and Fendi all opening up on the ground or second floor spaces. However, as you head up to the higher levels, expect a mix or more affordable high street brands such as Zara, Uniqlo, H&M, Gap and Super Dry, as well as a good selection of homegrown brands, including Fly Now, Greyhound, Kloset and Soda. There’re a whopping 400 labels in total over 4,000 square metres of floor space. The design of EmQuartier Bangkok is nothing short of impressive, with giant glass panels fronting the mall and its sweeping futuristic floors enclosing a cool outside concourse space. There’s also plenty of grass, plants and trees added to each level; a much needed dose of greenery in the dense concrete jungle that is Sukhumvit Road, and also fitting-in nicely with the nearby Benjasiri Park. The mall is split up into three different zones, one of which is actually in a separate building connected by several walkways. These include ‘The Glass Quartier’, ‘The Helix Quartier’ (where you’ll find almost 50 restaurants by heading up an impressive spiral walkway) and ‘The Waterfall Quartier’, which, true to its name, is fronted by a modestly-sized waterfall in a pretty cool central atrium area – which is already proving EmQuartier’s most popular selfie spot.

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.

Part of the same building as Grande Centre Point Sukhumvit, Terminal 21’s curvilinear glass-and-steel façade resembles a 21st-century airport, and the theme continues once you step inside. The floor signs that signal the arrivals in particular cities, a crisscrossing network of escalators, electronic display boards that bring to mind flight information displays at an airport terminal and the information desk receptionists donning air hostesses’ uniforms – these are all part of the shopping experience at Terminal 21. Lifestyle mall with a personality The nine floors at Terminal 21 house some 600 shops, a Cineplex, Gourmet Market (supermarket) and a food court with all kinds of mouthwatering Thai and international fare. The basement level (LG) has a Caribbean theme and is where you will find the Gourmet Market, take-away food outlets, market-style food vendors as well as banks and bookstores. Take an escalator up one level and the ground floor (G) brings you to Rome, with all kinds of international and local fashion labels such as Kipling, Fox, CC:OO, Nike, Jaspal, Adidas, Levi’s, and more. Paris on M floor takes you to the Champs-Élysées, where more fashion brands await your discovery. The 1st to 3rd floors are home to smaller shops by local independent labels. Women’s fashion is found on the 1st floor (Tokyo) and men’s on the 2nd floor (London). The 3rd floor (Istanbul) is for gifts, jewellery, fashion accessories, toys, beauty products and home décor. With an eclectic collection of shops, this floor has a look and feel of a Middle Eastern zouk but with a modern twist.

Haven for food lovers Now to the main highlight, San Francisco on the 4th and 5th floors, where you will find more than 50 restaurants and cafés vying for your attention. Both restaurant chains and independent outlets are represented here, among them Pepper Lunch, MK, Chabuton, Dory Seafood Bistro, Secret Recipe, Tohkai Yakiniku, Tony Roma’s, Fuji, Ootoya, The Canton House, Baanying Café and Swensen’s. If you like a food court experience, head up to Pier 21 on the 5th floor. This is perhaps the best food court in town in terms of price, taste and variety. Find everything from dim sum to grilled seafood (fast food style), Hainanese chicken rice to delicious phad thai, roast duck noodles to vegetarian ready-to-eats. Don’t forget to leave some room for desserts, as there’s mango sticky rice, shaved ice dessert, ice creams, and more.

Central World mega-shopping complex offers one of the most exciting shopping experiences in Bangkok. It has everything from brand name clothing boutiques, funky fashion, high-tech gadgets, bookshops and designer furniture to imported groceries, a lineup of banks, beauty salons, gourmet eateries and even an ice-skating rink. With so many tantalising options to explore, you could easily spend half a day here without realising it. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has experienced the incredible size of Central World that this is, in fact, the largest mall in Thailand and among the largest in the world. We think it’s safe to say that if you are looking for a shopping fix in Bangkok this place will deliver.Occupying some 550,000 square metres of retail space and a total area size of 830,000 square metres – that is 30% larger than any other shopping centre in central Bangkok – CentralWorld has a range of offerings that encompass more than 500 stores, 100 restaurants and cafes, 15 cinemas, Kids’ Zone and Learning Centre(Genius Planet Zone), two anchor department stores, as well as a trendy food court, an expansive supermarket and an outdoor square for large-scale events like Bangkok’s official New Year countdown party.

The location is slap-bang in the heart of the Chidlom ‘battleground of the malls’ with direct Skytrain (BTS) access and home to the two famous shrines, Erawan Shrine and Trimurti Shrine.CentralWorld’s retail layout is influenced by the shopping street concept, allowing shoppers to spec several storefronts at a glance, whilst its overall design has placed a lot of emphasis on natural light / daylight that filters through the many skylights and open wells. Spectacular sculptures by famous artists are used as decoration features, and a glass mobile consisting of 3,500 glass balls hanging in an open well has had the crowds in awe.

Specialised anchor ‘mega-stores’ – measuring between 2,000 and 8,200 square metres – include SuperSports, PowerBuy, B2S, Central Food Hall, SB Furniture and Toys ‘R’ Us. The department store Zen spans seven floors, while Zen World on 13 floors offer a fitness centre, spa, yoga, beauty centre, as well as an educational and tourist promotion centre. Among the 500 world-class stores count 35 flagship brands like Zara, Miss Sixty and Timberland, and 36 ‘first stores’ – the likes of the Japanese brand Uniqlo and the English brand Next.

Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00

Location: Ratchaprasong Intersection, opposite Gaysorn and Erawan BTS: Chidlom, Siam