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Shopping on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok

Bangkok‘s Sukhumvit Road is a shopper’s paradise. It’s one of the longest roads in Thailand, and the part that’s in Bangkok is absolutely crammed with boutique shops, market stalls, and shopping malls – there’s almost nothing you can’t buy along this road. And even if you’re not a shopaholic, it’s worth checking out the scene as it’s not all about clothing and electronics.

Sukhumvit Road can be overwhelming at first, as it’s all lights, colors, people, and merchandise. It’s crowded, there’s no getting around that. But crowds usually indicate there’s something worth crowding for, and in this case that’s true. Bangkok’s best shopping is on this road, along with some of its finest restaurants and plenty of cheap hotels in Bangkok. It’s easily reached via the city’s Skytrain on the Sukhumvit line, so even if you’re not staying on Sukhumvit Road you can still take advantage of the shopping.

There are a couple of decent tourist attractions in this area, but the real tourist draw is the shopping. As if one shopping center wasn’t enough, there are at least 8 major malls on Sukhumvit Road – and that’s not including the individual department stores, boutique shops, street markets, and food markets. True shoppers may need a couple of days to truly conquer this street.

As mentioned, there’s more to Sukhumvit Road than just custom tailors, clothing boutiques, and electronics shop. There are areas just off the main drag (and sometimes right on the sidewalk) where you’ll get a glimpse at Bangkok’s seedy underbelly. If you don’t mind going home with a Rolix instead of a Rolex, or wearing a Timmy Hilfiger shirt and pretending it’s made by Tommy’s misunderstood cousin, then look beyond the malls. There’s always going to be someone willing to bargain with you over a faked designer label.

Additionally, some of the bars along Sukhumvit Road are dispensing more than drinks. There are plenty of bars and clubs just off the main street which are known as “go-go bars,” where you’ll find girls available for hire. Some of them have interesting shows, and many are skilled in the art of ripping off unsuspecting and wide-eyed tourists. So while you might be curious, be very aware of what you’re getting into before you sit down somewhere and order a drink.

All in all, Sukhumvit Road is primarily a shopping destination – one that shouldn’t be missed, even if you’re not much of a shopper, because it’s not just a street. It’s a cultural experience.