Destinations Thailand

From Sukhumvit to Khao San

April 7, 2017
Bangkok popular areas

Coming to Bangkok from Hanoi almost feels like a cultural shock: Despite being rather close to each other geographically, they are very different: The way Bangkok has developed into a westernized metropolis within the last decades, is quite remarkable. I’m not judging whether this good or bad, but coming from the “West” you’ll feel way more accommodated in Thailand’s capital than probably other places in Asia. But Bangkok has so many neighbourhoods, ranging from super-modern to traditional. There are two in particular, which gained popularity among travelers from all over the world but also couldn’t be more different from each other: I’m talking about Sukhumvit and Khao San Road. Although you might get an impression that both neighbourhoods have nothing to do with the “original” Thailand, I like them both – thanks to their endless entertainment, shopping and dining options.

Sukhumvit is the place to be for the ones who want to be seen, the rich and the ones who pretend to be rich. The amount of luxury hotels is abundant, but more importantly the choice of excellent bars and restaurants is overwhelming. One thing I love about Bangkok are the rooftop bars, and you can imagine that visiting at least one of them during my trip was a must 🙂 For the longest time I wanted to check out what’s the hype about Above 11 – and I wasn’t disappointed (I didn’t try their food though)!

Two years ago I already recommended Nagiya Izakaya, and it still turned out to be a good place to spend a relaxed evening with friends over some Japanese tapas. Sukhumvit Road is actually quite convenient to reach with the BTS Sky Train, that stretches along the road. However you might need a (motorbike) taxi for all the side “sois”.

In the “old” part of town is Khao San Road (and its little neighbour Rambuttri) that always has been a favourite hang-out spot since my first Thailand visit in 2009, but it took me more than three years to get back there. The mecca of backpackers and hippies has undergone a slight face-lift but still is alive, busy and fun as before: Restaurants, bars, hostels, tailors, street food, shops, tattoos, travel agencies, pharmacies (I even went to a dentist there once!), fake ID’s – I bet you could easily live there for months without leaving the area. I mean, there’s nothing you can’t get on that notorious street 😀

If you’re traveling to Bangkok for the first time, I can recommend you to visit both areas – as they’re are so contrasting, full of life and very, very entertaining 😉

You may also like my other Bangkok articles:

Bangkok food diary

Bangkok Explorations

Bangkok popular areas: Travelers flock into Sukhumvit and Khao San Road - two very different neighbourhoods with an eclectic vibe and great entertainment!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply SueT唐 梦 琇 April 8, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Julia I loved the rooftop bars. Must say yours looks great. I went to one on top of the Hyatt or one of the big five star hotels and it was nice up some very narrow stairs and a wonderful view, but I still think the one you want to looks more posh.

    • Reply sileas April 10, 2017 at 11:39 am

      You can’t go wrong with rooftop bars in Bangkok – they’re all great!

  • Reply Mitzie Mee April 10, 2017 at 5:17 am

    The restrooms at Above Eleven have such a nice view. I’m not a big fan of Khao San, even though I also go there now and then for nostalgic reasons. Curious about the Japanese place, it looks really nice:)

    • Reply sileas April 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Exactly, it reminds me of good old backpacker times 😉 Yes, Nagiya has become very popular for a reason and they have several locations in Bangkok already!

  • Reply Paleica April 10, 2017 at 8:28 am

    wow, die bilder von Sukhumvit sind echt beeindruckend. aber sie vermitteln irgendwie auch einen gewissen eindruck von anonymität. also ich bin ja jetzt nicht so der geo-pro, aber wie du schreibst, verwestlicht – hätte ich die stadt jetzt nicht ganz unbedingt rein optisch in thailand lokalisiert. sieht jedenfalls alles sehr spannend aus und eines weiß ich: wenn es mich dochmal auf diesen kontinent verschlägt, dann weiß ich definitiv, wen ich um rat frage 🙂

    • Reply sileas April 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Ich stehe immer gerne für Tipps zur Verfügung 😉

  • Reply Tiffany. Yang April 10, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Omg the roof top bar is just stunning! I’m marking this down if I ever visit 🙂

    Tiffany x

    • Reply sileas April 12, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Oh yes, definitely add Bangkok to your travel list 😉

  • Reply Vicky T. April 11, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Ohh the two parts of town look so different from each other but still look super fun to visit. And I love the view from that roof top bar!


    • Reply sileas April 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Thank you Vicky, I’m happy to hear that!

  • Reply PinaySkattebasse April 12, 2017 at 8:44 am

    When we went to Bangkok, rooftop was also in our list. 🙂 We tried the one in Banyan tree Hotel. I guess every rooftop´s selling point is the view (if location is nice) 🙂 You seem to have won the jackpot spot in that rooftop!

    • Reply sileas April 12, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Oh I love the one at the Banyan tree! The view from there is spectacular too!

  • Reply Hanna April 16, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Really good photos, roof top bars are pretty amazing. I still have not been to Bangkok, but these places sound interesting to explore.

    • Reply sileas April 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks Hanna, if you ever come to Bangkok, make sure you don’t miss them 😉

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: