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Couple of issues here: 1) most of the rooms are aimed at short-term residents (slash long-stay tourists), so prices are high; 2) the condominiums can be a little tired and soulless. Head into the crowded Sukhumvit Soi 4 to find the low-rise 1.) Habito (081-173-7700), almost invisibly camouflaged next to noisy girlie bars, where they have 60-sq-meter one-bedroom apartments from B30,000 per month. 2.) S.M. Grande Residence (02-696-9000) is a boutique serviced apartment featuring kitchenette-equipped studios for B55,000. 3.) Omni Tower (02-656-8300) has 35 floors with 32-sq-meter studios from B37,000, fully-furnished one bedrooms for B46,000 and two bedrooms for B67,000. On the quieter Sukhumvit Soi 2, check out 4.) Shama Boutique Serviced Apartments (02-105-6002), part of a chain of serviced apartments with properties across Southeast Asia. The 66-sq-meter one-bedrooms start at B100,000, while the 160-sq-meter three-beds rooms are B350,000 per month. For a more affordable choice, walk almost to the end of the street, where 5.) I Check Inn (02-656-9877) has nice, compact studios from under B35,000 a month all including electricity and water. The newest addition to the area is found on Sukhumvit Soi 1, where Infinite Real Estate’s 6.) Park Ploenchit (02-789-1900) has units for sale from B50,000 per sq meter. 7.) Liv@5 (Sukhumvit Soi 5, 098-268-9879, 089-200-5556) is also an inviting choice. Rental is B40,000 per month for a one-bedroom (negotiable).
Sukhumvit Soi 3/1
The start of Sukhumvit lacks the shine of neighboring Phloen Chit and Wireless’s shopping malls and modern skyscrapers, though they are within walking distance. Green space is also hard to come by, with what little there is boarded off for future development. Immediate shopping excursions are limited to 8.) Ploenchit Center (Sukhumvit Rd.) and 9.) Nana Square (Nana junction), where you’ll find convinience stores such as Watson.
Tsu & Nami
The JW Marriot hotel (Sukhumvit Soi 2) provides upscale former It-spots like 10.) New York Steakhouse
(2/F, 02-656-7700), which still does a damn-fine all-American feast of seafood tower, Caesar salad and rib-eye steak, and 11.) Tsu & Nami
(4/F, 02-656-7709), a great spot for brunch. Sukhumvit Soi 3/1’s bustling Middle Eastern community provides the best Arabic food in the city, whether it’s the Labanese food at 12.) Bamboo
(Sukhumvit Soi 3), chicken and beef kebab at 13.) Nefertiti (Sukhumvit Soi 3/1) or traditional Syrian sweets at 14.) Syria Sweet
(092-636-7065. No sign in English). Soi 5 offers more neatly polished Lebanese food thanks to a branch of crowd favorite 15.) Nadimos
(Sukhumvit Soi 5, 02-255-8253). For something completely different, the same streets are also home to possibly Bangkok’s only Ethiopian restaurant, 16.) Habesha
(1/26 Sukhumvit Soi 3, 085-016-0353). For well-executed, classic Thai food in a traditional setting, visit 17.) Na Aroon
(Sukhumvit Soi 1, 02-254-8880), a vegetarian’s delight thanks to specialties such as mee grob (crispy egg noodle), yum som-o (pomelo salad) and various nam prik.
22 Steps Bar
Nightlife on Sukhumvit Soi 4 is super sleazy, cluttered with go-go clubs and massage parlors. 18.) Nana Plaza
(Sukhumvit Soi 4) is the hub of it all, a three-story entertainment complex of strip clubs and short-time rooms. For something a little classier, hop to 19.) Gulliver’s Tavern
(Sukhumvit Soi 5, 02-655-5340), a franchise of the Khao San Road institution that caters to tourists in need of beer and pub grub. Of course, Sukhumvit Soi 11 is also right nearby, while in the opposite direction you have the upscale bars of Soi Ruamrudi. On Wireless Road, check out 20.) 22 Steps Bar
(Wireless Rd, 02-207-4999), the library-themed bar attached to the new Hotel Indigo, which runs some appealing after-work happy-hour deals.
Street Food on Soi 3/1
Situated between two BTS stations (Phloen Chit and Nana), you can navigate central Bangkok with ease. Motorbike taxis are also easy to come by, stationed at the entrance to Soi 4 and ready to drop you off in the depths of the sois. The Makkasan Airport Rail Link station is also not far away.
There’s no getting away from this area’s most defining feature: its sex workers. This brings in the kind of tourists no one would wish on their doorstep, but for those who don’t mind a bit of grit, the Nana area certainly has character. It’s also home to Bangkok’s most thriving Middle Eastern community amid the bazaar-like (and car-free) alleys of Sukhumvit Soi 3/1 (Soi Arab). The area is also cluttered with tailor shops. Check 21.) Empire Tailors
(Sukhumvit Soi 4, 02-251-6762). Head into the sois leading off Soi 4 and you’ll also find a quiet, affluent neighborhood in stark contrast from the main street.
22.) Bumrugrad International Hospital, Sukhumvit Soi 3, 02-667-1000
23.) Grand 5 Suites & Shopping Mall, Sukhumvit Soi 3, 02-655-2120.
24.) Villa Market, B1/F, Ploenchit Center, 02-656-9071
25.) Baan Dek Thai Nanny School, Sukhumvit Soi 2, 02-656-7024