Neighbourhood guide: Thonglor, Bangkok
Author: MELINDA KING
Photography: Gareth Sobey
Thonglor, or Sukhumvit Soi 55, is Bangkok's relatively new and
booming destination for stylish locals and expats. A short ride
east from Siam Square on the city's Skytrain, this laid-back
two-kilometre strip is packed with an eclectic mix of restaurants,
bars, shopping and street food.
Soul Food Mahanakorn
The flavours of regional Thai cooking abound in this intimate, relaxed restaurant. Free-range meats and organic produce are sourced from small farms in the north-east of Thailand and find their way into the likes of yam makrua yao, a sour and smoky grilled eggplant dish with soft duck eggs and house-cured bacon. It's a popular spot so be sure to book if you're with a large group.
56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 soulfoodmahanakorn.com
Feel like part of the neighbourhood at this open-planned community hub and boutique food court. Grab your morning espresso from slick coffee roasters Roots and a croissant from sourdough bakers Maison Jean Philippe. Join the throng for dinner and choose from an array of casual dining options including a Neapolitan-style pizzeria, a Texan smokehouse, a Mexican cantina and a cheese and wine bar.
335 Soi Thonglor 17 Klongton Nue, Wattana thecommonsbkk.com
In a city famous for its street food, Thonglor doesn't disappoint. Food carts and stalls line the sidewalk every few hundred metres where you can snack on fresh spicy som tum, moo ping (pork skewers and sticky rice), kuay tiew ped (roast duck noodle soup) or the ubiquitous fried banana pancake. At lunchtime head to the corner of Soi Thonglor 19, where you'll find crowds congregating around a number of bustling street kitchens.
Evil Man Blues
Settle into a neon-lit booth at this newly opened cocktail and live jazz bar and let head mixologist Liam Baer take the reins. His inventive cocktail list features premium spirits infused with local ingredients. Try the Honey Badger with rosemary washed bourbon, yellow Chartreuse, honey, citrus and ginger.
72 Courtyard FL G - 72 Sukhumvit 55 Thonglor
At the end of the alleyway between Soi 5 and Soi 7, nod to the doorman who will lead you behind heavy drapes into an opulent but casual speakeasy. Walk in with an open mind. Instead of a drinks menu, the staff will ask you a range of questions and create a cocktail personally tailored to your drinking preferences.
Alleyway between Thonglor Soi 5 and Soi 7
At the forefront of Bangkok's booming coffee scene, Rocket Coffee Bar brews single origin coffees at four venues across the city. Their latest Scandinavian-inspired espresso bar in Thonglor is the place to recharge with an afternoon brew. Order a flat white and bagel with house cured gravlax, lettuce, red onions and spicy tobiko crème.
72 Courtyard Sukhumvit 55 Thonglor rocketcoffeebar.com
The Vintage Store
Found on the ground floor of the Eight Thonglor building, browse carefully curated shelves of vintage Prada and Chanel. Vintage lovers can peruse the timeless and special pieces including highly collectable haute couture handbags, shoes, clothing, jewellery and accessories.
G/F, Eight Thonglor, 88/36 Sukhumvit 55, Thonglor 8thonglor.com/shop/the-vintage-store
Black Amber Building
Gentlemen's haircuts come with a complimentary glass of single malt at Black Amber Barber, a dapper barbershop worthy of Boardwalk Empire. Admire the handcrafted jewellery and eyewear at Smitheries, an artisan workshop and showroom. Head upstairs and flip through the racks at 1979 Vinyl & Unknown Pleasures, a vinyl record shop with an extensive range of British rock from Bowie to Blur.
Alleyway between Thonglor Soi 5 and Soi 7
Indulge in one of Thailand's famous spa treatments at the quiet gardens of Divana, a lush spa oasis hidden off the main road. Pamper yourself with one of their signature packages and experience up to four blissful hours of organic body scrubs, oil massages, facial masks and hair treatments.
103 Thonglor 17, Sukhumvit 55 divanaspa.com/DivineSpa
Marriott Executive Apartments
Just around the corner from the southern end of Thonglor, these luxurious modern apartments are furnished to accommodate both short and long-term visitors. Escape the Bangkok heat with a dip in the rooftop pool before stopping by Octave rooftop bar for 360-degree views of the city's sprawling skyline, a must-do at sunset.
2 Soi Sukhumvit 57 marriott.com/bangkok-sukhumvit-thonglor