May 5, 2024

Bangkok Downtown

Bangkok City At Twilight
Bangkok City At Twilight

Silom – Surawong – Sathon
From end to end, these parallel streets are full of big blocks of multi-story buildings, housing many banks, finance firms, insurance companies, export-import houses, hotels, airlines offices, restaurants, shopping arcades, department stores, and entertainment establishments. This area is busy not only in the daytime, but also in the evening, when people come to eat, to meet buisness friends or to seek enjoyment.

There is a small area in this district which, for about 30 years, has been very well known to foreign visitors for its bars and nightclubs. Known as Patpong, this famous place offers various kinds of entertainment – wine, beer, music, dancing, etc. In this area, there are both skytrain and subway stations.

Siam – Ratchadamri
This is the biggest and busiest shopping district in Bangkok, which is accessible easily by skytrain, where almost all kinds of goods are on sale, including cloth, clothes, jewelry, handicrafts, books, antiques, etc. There are several large department stores located here, and also several shopping acades and countless smaller shops as well as a dozen of cinema theatres and mini theatres. So you can satisfy all your needs if you stay in one of over a dozen first-class hotels in the area.

The Pratunam Marked next to the Indra Arcade, though not a high-class shopping centre, is worth visiting if you want to broaden your vision and to see more about the ordinary Thai. It is also the marked of garments for export.

Sukhumvit – New Phetburi
Sukhumvit Road is one of the three longest roads in Thailand, leading right up to the Cambodian border in the east. But what concerns us here is the section from the inner city down to Sukhumvit 63 (Soi Ekkamai). The cream of this district lies around the entrances to the lanes (soi) off the road, where there are numerous fashionable residences, hotels, apartment buildings and guesthouses, and also a large number of really good restaurants.

In the section from Soi Nana (Sukhumvit 3 and 4) crossroads to Soi Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke Intersection), there are many shops catering to foreign tourists, where jewelry, leather goods, ready-made garments and suouvenirs are sold and tailoring and other services are offered.

To the north of Sukhumvit Road is the extension of Phetburi Road which, at night, is brightened with colourful neon signs and enlivened by people going out to enjoy themselves in dozen of entertainment places scattered along the street. And there are both skytrain and subway stations as well.

Royal City Avenue (RCA), a 2.5 kilometres street between Rama IX Road and New Phetburi Road, features several pubs, discos and restaurants. It was once the hottest spot of entertainment in Bangkok. It has attracted teenagers and stylish people to seek amusement in pubs. Though its popularity is reduced, nightlife here is still lively.

The name Ratchadaphisek refers to the short distance between the Lat Phrao Intersection and the Rama IX Road Intersection, which is a busy commercial district containing several big department stores, office buildings, hotels and a large number of restaurants and nightlife establishments. A little way off the road is Thailand Cultural Centre, where shows and exhibitions are held from time to time. A subway station is also available here.

Old town – Chinatown
The old town is the original area of Bangkok when it was first established as the capital over 200 years ago. Here are located the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, two universities and several ministries. The town was formerly surrounded by walls. Now only a few sections are preserved as historical sites. It is from this side of the Chao Phraya River that one takes a boat to visit the Temple of Dawn and the canals nearby.

Chinatown is located just to the southeast of the old town. It began to take shape at the same time of the establishment of Bangkok, when the Chinese inhabiting the old town areas were moved outside the city walls. The goldshop street named Yaowarat, and the temple of the Golden Buddha are in Chinatown.

Bang Lamphu – Khao San Road
Situated near the Chao Phraya River and close to Sanam Luang, Bang Lamphu is a lively commercial area where cloth, clothes, food and other goods are sold at a bargain. Not far from the shopping area is the famous Khao San Road which is a premier centre for backpackers and tourists on low budsgets from all over the world. The street is not very long, but it is full of inexpensive guesthouses and restaurants, and stalls selling clothing, shoes and handbags, souvenirs, etc. It is also a good place to enjoy nightlife.

Pin Klao
The area is located on the western side of the Chao Phraya River, and has become one of the most newly developed areas in Bangkok with several department stores, many restaurants and nightlife establishments. The wide road starting from the Pin Klao bridge leads to such tourist spots as Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo, the Rose Garden, Nakhon Pathom, Phuttha Monthon, the Thai Human Imagery Museum. Along both sides of the road are numerous fashionable residences.

When Ramkhamhaeng University was founded on Bangkok’s eastern outskirts as Thailand’s first open university in 1970, the area was rather remote and underdeveloped. However, as the university’s yearly enrolments increased rapidly, the area soon became a new satellite city of Bangkok with ever-increasing shophouses, apartment buldings, restaurants, cinema houses, department stores, hotels and places for entertainment. It is most frequently visited by students and other Bangkokians.

Rama III
This area is going to be an excellent location for business premises as it is close to busy business areas such as Sathon and Bangrak. There are several department stores, office buildings and huge blocks of flat along the Rama III Road which stands in parallel with the Chao PhrayaRiver. Though the area is rather quiet, nightlife here is interesting as there are plenty of restaurants with delicious food, beer, music and live entertainments.

Situated on the eastern outskirts of Bangkok, Bangna is an industrial area and also the gate to the eastern provinces of Thailand, including Pattaya and Rayong. There are several big department stores for shopping. And at 1 kilometres of Bangna-Trat Road, Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) has been voted one of Asia-Pacific’s top venues.

Written by
Sean Kjetil Nordbo
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