Five Reasons to Love Sukhumvit Road 26 in Bangkok
Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road is one of the main interesting regions of the city for visitors and locals alike. The lower, middle, and upper regions of what is actually one of the longest roads in the world have many different aspects and flavours.
It can be quite a task knowing exactly where to head if you are planning on checking out any section of one of the Thai capital’s main central areas, so we are going to break it down into not just the sections and districts (as we have done in previous posts), but some of the roads off the main stretch.
It pays to know your ‘sois’ in Thailand – the term most commonly accompanied by the number that designates the number of the actual road that you want to be on.
The main Sukhumvit Road runs in a fairly straight line through the central areas of the city. It is conveniently accompanied through all the prominent, interesting, and densely-populated spots by the BTS Sukhumvit Line, with stops in each one which makes it a very easy area to cover transport-wise.
In general terms, this main stretch of the Sukhumvit Road running through the city lies somewhere between Nana (roughly Sukhumvit Sois 2-11) and Ekkamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63). So with more than 60 sois running off from both sides of the road there is quite a bit to cover there.
Just a short walk away from the Phrom Phong BTS stop you can find Sukhumvit Soi 26.
This is a scenic, tree-lined road with something of a residential feel to it. It is also known as Soi Ari, as it runs all the way from Sukhumvit to Rama 4 Road. This makes it a convenient connecting road from the Sukhumvit to a couple of other main areas of the city – the Lumpini-Wireless and Silom-Sathorn business districts.
If you take a quick peek down Soi 26 from Sukhumvit you just think that it’s another section with a few seedy-looking bars, massage parlours and karaoke joints. And this is true to some extent, and may have some connection to the prominent Japanese expat community that largely populates this area.
But if you look a bit more closely there are actually quite a few other layers to the soi well worth exploring. It can actually turn out to be quite a good family area once you get further into the soi and start to uncover a few hidden gems in the form of mini-malls, supermarkets, restaurants, shops and cafes, a kids’ indoor fun park, and even a well-stocked rabbit run.
And it is precisely this convenience that makes the road a popular living choice for both young families and working professionals who are affluent enough to consider it.
Soi 26 is certainly one of those slightly rare areas of the Sukhumvit Road able to provide a pleasant living experience to a wide range of people. The road is dotted with a great range of leisure and lifestyle venues that couldn’t be further away from somewhere like Nana.
So let’s look at the 5 main reasons to love Sukhumvit Road 26 (Sukhumvit Soi 26) in Bangkok.
Food on Sukhumvit 26
This encompasses trendy coffee shops like Casa Lapin, as well as some well-established restaurants such as Indus. There are also a fair few independent shops, and one of the key features of the area is definitely the K Village Community Mall.
The mall is on the Rama 4 side of Sukhumvit 26, and is one of the best examples of Bangkok’s many open-air, ‘community’ malls. It contains a wide range of eating options, shops, and a Villa supermarket for grocery shopping which includes many international options.
Japanese cuisine is well represented at the K-Village, as well as at the Nihonmachi shopping centres. As you may have read in one of our previous posts about Phrom Phong, a large proportion of the massive Japanese community in Bangkok resides somewhere between this district and Thong Lor, the next stop along on the BTS line.
This is apparent along the soi as a whole, where you can find ramen and Japanese-style barbeque options galore.
If you fancy a slight variation on that by way of Korean cuisine you won’t be disappointed either, especially in Nihonmachi Plaza. Of course this is Thailand though, so if it’s Thai food you’re after, K-Village has the whole caboodal which includes Isaan and seafood options.
And there are even European flavours, wine shops, and Chinese options available in this amazingly diverse Bangkok soi – so you can actually be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options.
Shopping on Sukhumvit 26
Another one of the soi’s main selling points is the fact that it is in walking distance of Phrom Phong’s EM District – namely the Emquartier and Emporium luxury malls located on the main Sukhumvit Road.
These are two of Bangkok’s main shopping and leisure points and offer a huge range of mostly international brands. They also have a huge selection of food, and draw in many people who come to buy, look, or just soak up the atmosphere.
But Soi 26 itself is also an unexpected shopping haven in many ways.
K-Village, for instance, is a great place to pick up babies’ and children’s clothes and accessories, including maternity wear. There are also a few fashion outlets to be found in this place, from names like Gap, Viva Tokyo and Crocs.
In terms of grocery supplies, you can find a Big C hypermarket at the Soi 26 intersection with Rama IV, and of course the Villa Supermarket in K-Village.
A few other gems in and around the soi include a small English language bookshop that stocks everything from architecture to philosophy. You can also find shops selling electronics, and home furniture and lighting, to name a few others.
Beverages on Sukhumvit 26
There are a good few coffee shops along Soi 26. You might find some of them ideal for taking some quiet time out with a book (or your smartphone) and enjoying some serious coffee like that on offer in Casa Lapin.
This is quite a well-known Bangkok coffee shop in the area, although there are quite a few others along with some of the more standard names like the bakery/coffee shop brands S&P and Au Bon Pain.
If you fancy a beer and maybe some live music, then check out the Queen Bee at the top of the soi. You can also get food here and a game of pool if you fancy.
Children’s activities on Sukhumvit 26
If you’ve got kids, you’ve got to check out the Funarium at least once if you are in Bangkok. This is Bangkok’s largest indoor play area, and is largely for children under 13. This place can come as a real blessing to families with young kids in a place like Bangkok which is, in many ways, not always the most family-friendly of places.
It’s a great place to spend at least half a day and let the young ones blow off a little steam on the climbing frames, slides, and other activities that are all safe and well-supervised.
Hotels on Sukhumvit 26
There is a reasonable selection of accommodation on this street, from smaller hotels to big 5-star names like the Double Tree Hilton and 4-star The Four Wings.
At the top end of the soi you can find both the St James’ and the Arize 4-star hotels, and there is even a decent hostel next to Casa Lapin. ONEDAY Hostel offers low-cost yet modern hostel accommodation.
So there we definitely have the five main reasons to love Sukhumvit Soi 26. There is lots of other stuff that make this particular Sukhumvit Soi a decent place to stay or live though.
There are plenty of fitness options, for instance. The fairly new chain of 24-hour gyms that have popped up in Bangkok over the last few years – Fitness 7 – opened a branch on Soi 26 not too long ago.
There is also a tennis academy on the soi by way of APF Tennis Academy which was established in 2005 and features 2 indoor courts.
You’ll also find a find a few Yoga options down her if yo are seeking a little Prana Flow, as well as something that is completely unexpected to many people by way of Flowhouse Bangkok – the place where you can surf an artificial wave. This place is also good for slightly bigger children.
If you fancy learning a few massage skills you can find the Phussapa Thai Massage School on Soi 26, which is an authorised, accredited school. Or if that sounds a little like hard work and you’d rather just go in for a little pampering, then of course you’ll find a decent selection of spas and massage parlours in and around the soi.
On top of all that you have a good range of salons and even dentists along this soi – so you can see whay it is such a popular and convenient choice for people to live and stay on.