Sukhumvit’s other side

Mention Sukhumvit road to most people and they think of Nana Plaza and its den of iniquity, but have many of us actually spent time in the side alleys that run horizontal to Sukhumvit Soi 3?

The road is one of the most interesting in Bangkok, especially when it comes to cultures and custom. At the end you have Nana Plaza, which is the place to go for scantily clad women telling you you’re beautiful and asking if you want to buy them a drink (So I’ve been told by many English teachers). In the middle you have everything else…

On one side of the road you have the Middle Eastern community, who have made Sukhumvit Soi 3 their home. Ignoring the restaurants on the road itself, venture down the side alleys and into a scene straight out of Doha or Marrakech. Here it is possible to sit down, have some grilled chicken and humus and sit and watch the world go by, Arabic style. On the other side of the road you have the African community, and whilst I am yet to find any true African restaurants, there is an abundance of fellow African’s who have chosen to do their business and pleasure in this small part of Bangkok. Speaking to the many Africans around, you will find Nigeria/Congo/Malawi/South Africa/Kenya and many other African states all represented.

Spending time in this area whilst working on a new photography project has given me insight into how this little road functions, with it’s corrupt policemen, the cocaine dealers and mules and the visa services offered to those in need and that lost westerner looking for “Nana Plaza, the one where they all want to take you home…”

Sukhumvit Soi 3, Bangkok’s own melting pot of culture

6 Comments so far

  1. oakley (unregistered) on February 6th, 2007 @ 11:53 am

    And only a few sois down, you’ll run into a Japanese section of the city!

  2. Jack (unregistered) on February 6th, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

    Awsome , you have made Soi 3 sounds like a very exotic place!!! I’m going to have to check it out.

  3. mikey mike (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

    wow nice, this is exactly what i’m after… I arrive into bkk tomo night for 4 nights before headign into cambodia… i really want to see the many faces of bkk…. Dumb question, but is this safe for me to sit around in their cafe watching the world go by on my own???

    Likewise are there any places where i can find a thai pub/university bar where we would be the only foreigners in sight? i.e a real thaii experience?

    thanks :)

  4. Daniel (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 7:56 pm

    Bangkok is safe, you can happily sit there and watch the world.

    As for seeing only Thai people, Sukhumvit isn’t the best place, so i’d recommend Thong Lo

  5. Bonafide (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 10:40 pm

    Mikey Mike – if you want a true Thai, Thai university pub/bar experience

    I suggest Liberty Plaza at the end of Thong Lor road (as Daniel Suggested.) Its a building with a bunch of “Thai Thai” bars that the local university kids go too.

    I recommend Jam Bar once you get to the building.

  6. Mikey Mike (unregistered) on February 8th, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

    Thanks so much guys, much appreciated.. still packing and need to wake up in 6 hrs time to catch my flight, oh how i hate packing. it would be easy if i was only packing for a warm tropic climate, but alas north of viet and laos require warm clothes :/

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