Bangkok Revisited, 5 Unique Neighbourhoods to Explore

Bangkok might be synonymous with shopping but you’ll be surprised at what it has to truly offer at these uniquely different neighbourhoods.

Bangkok might be synonymous with shopping and the lively nightlife but this is not your average city guide. From the popular towns to the obscure hoods, modern streets to traditional alleys, you’ll be surprised at what else Bangkok has to offer. Here’s our insider guide to the things you can see, taste and play at 5 different neighbourhoods in Bangkok, for seasoned travellers and first-timers alike! 

For up-and-coming Bangkok: Thonglor

Canal boat on Khlong Saen Saep at dusk

Coming in as a close contender for Bangkok’s trendiest neighbourhood next to Ari, Thonglor is also where most of the Japanese expats reside. As such, don’t be surprised if you notice shops that sell Izakaya ramen and even a shop village known as Nihonmura (Japantown).

What to do: Beat the infamous road traffic and take a ride on the khlong (boat) along the canal instead, where you’ll cruise through areas of Bangkok only the locals know about.

What to see: Take time to browse the art galleries, shops and cafes within the maze-like labyrinth at Thonglor Art Village. 

What to eat: If you’re looking for a simple meal of Thai food instead, head to Pochana 55, a popular watering hole amongst the locals. We hear Dok Kajon Pad Kai (cowslip creeper flowers fried with egg and clear vermicelli noodles) is one of their signature dishes.

What to buy: Bring home some edgy fashionwear from Anchavika and stand out from the crowd.

 

For the ultimate shopping experience: Sukhumvit

View of night lights at Sukhumvit in Bangkok

The pulse of Bangkok, Sukhumvit Road is not only home to the mega malls but also a surf bar, Flow House. One of only four establishments in the world where you can eat, drink and surf, this is a great place to hang out both in the day and night. After enjoying an exciting night out, return home to luxury in the heart of Bangkok with Fraser Suites Sukhumvit. With spacious rooms and modern interiors, it is the idea accommodation Sukhumvit travellers would appreciate.

What to do: Gather your friends for a session of Laser Tag at Lazgam Laser Games. Simply strap on a vest, grab your laser gun and you’re all set!

What to see: Take a break from the malls and learn more about the rural Thai life in the past at Kamthieng House Museum. Take time to appreciate its architecture too: The house is a restored, traditional Lan Na house relocated from Chiang Mai and is a rare find in Thailand today.

What to eat: For a full and authentic Thai cuisine experience, try the six-course Balance Set at Bo.Lan, a fine dining restaurant known for their curry and coconut-flavoured dishes.  You’ll find their farm-to-table philosophy ringing true behind each of their creations.  

What to buy: Thai silk scarves will make a handy and beautiful souvenir to bring home. The fine craftsmanship of hand weaving gives the Thai silk its unique softness.

 

For a myriad of old and new: Khlong Toei

A district in central Bangkok, Khlong Toei is home to the Bangkok Port, which remains active till date. Keep a lookout for the fishing boats and fishermen as they sail back from their early catch in the morning along the Chao Phraya River. Enhance your Bangkok experience with a stay at Modena by Fraser Bangkok, a stylish hotel set right in front of Queen Sirikit MRT station in Khlong Toei. With a 24-hour gym, shuttle bus services and more, you will find all the comfort and convenience you need on your travels.

What to do: For families with kids, visit Imaginia Playland. Located in the Emporium mall, this extensive playground is a popular place to visit for locals and expats alike. Here you’ll find themed sections within that are both fun and educational.

What to see: Wat Arum, also known as Temple of the Dawn, is a unique feature in the west bank of Chao Phraya River. Their Khmer-style tower is encrusted with colourful porcelains, definitely a sight worth seeing.

What to eat: Beef soup at Heng Chun Seng for tender meat in a rich, flavourful soup base. You can choose to order them by the bowl or signature heated pot. And if you’re up for desserts, head to Karmakamet Diner for a saccharine and Instagram-worthy dining experience. Try the popular Strawberry In The Clouds, a dessert consisting of rainbow cotton candy and strawberry shortcake.

What to buy: Head to Khlong Toei Wet Market, the largest wet market in Bangkok, for some shopping. Get some fresh spices or try their live bugs, if you’re feeling adventurous. 

 

For the roads unexplored: Victory Monument

Aerial view of Victory Monument in Bangkok

One of the busiest transportation hubs in Bangkok, the Victory Monument might be an unassuming location but it’s actually a great place for photography and people watching.

What to do: Join in the locals and listen to live jazz music at Saxophone Pub.

What to see: Visit the Santiphap Park for some tranquillity or Phyathai Palace, a neo-gothic and Romanesque styled architecture built as King Rama V’s temporary royal residence in the 1900s.

What to eat: Som Tam (Papaya salad) from Lung Yai for the best Isaan (Northeastern) Thai food in Bangkok.

What to buy: Affordable clothing or street snacks like strawberries with chilli sugar from the Victory Monument Night Market.

 

For a hipster hangout: Charoen Krung

Night view of open-air concept Asiatique mall in Bangkok
Image Credit: chee.hong / CC BY 2.0

What was once Bangkok’s oldest road is now the new creative space of the city. It’s a perfect blend of old and new, with bursts of new openings such as galleries and restaurants along the alleys over the past few years.

What to do: Visit Thailand Creative & Design Centre (TCDC) and browse through the various sections in the design library, which is also the biggest in Asia. Designers are also allowed to showcase their inventions in the public space so do check them out too while you’re there.  

What to see: Asiatique The Riverfront, a large open-air mall that features a night bazaar and a mall. Alternatively, you could visit the latest establishment by Duangrit Bunnag (one of the original founders of TCDC), Warehouse 30 – a network of fashion brands stores, open market, screening room and cafes spread across seven old warehouses.

What to eat: Tea-smoked duck breast at 80/20. Founded by chef Andrew Martin and manned by chef Napol Jantraget and his pastry chef wife Saki Hoshino, the restaurant is well known for its knack in delivering stellar food creations with minimal ingredients.  

What to buy: Get ready-made snacks and local treats like sweet mango sticky rice dessert at affordable prices from the pocket-friendly Bang Rak Market.

 

Experience all Bangkok has to offer in these 5 neighbourhoods like a true local with our Do, See and Eat guide. As Frasers Hospitality makes its mark in the city centre of Klong Toei with Modena by Fraser Bangkok, a stylish hotel residence offering a plethora of fitness and healthy dining choices for all your needs, and Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, your luxurious home away from home in the heart of Sukhumvit, you’ll travel in comfort and style with us. And while you’re here, don’t forget to check in with any of our friendly staff for more travel recommendations!

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