Thonglor is one of the most cosmopolitan areas in all of Bangkok. It’s as densely packed with different cultures as it is with cars, restaurants and slow pour coffee joints. Japanese expats, European families, young Thai entrepreneurs and so many more diverse communities all call Thonglor home. So without further adieu, here’s our list of where to go when you’re in the mood for a bit of culture.
Photo: Thonglor Art Space
Close to the top of Soi Thonglor is Thonglor Art Space. It’s a venue for a variety of performing arts, including plays and art exhibitions in both English and Thai. Earlier this year, the play Stick Figures by Josh Ginsburg received rave reviews from audiences and critics. Plus, it’s just a cool space to hang out with other artsy people.
In the same building as the dapper gentlemen’s hair parlor Black Amber Social Club near Thonglor Soi 5, you’ll find another hidden gem: 1979 Vinyl & Unknown Pleasures. This music store was started by three friends who’ve been sharing CDs, mixtapes and records for over a decade. As their passion grew they realized they had developed quite a musical collection, so they decided to share it with the world. Head to this store to listen, peruse, and discover new bands and re-discover some of your old favorites.
Smitheries is a jewelry showroom and workshop between Thonglor Soi 5 and 7. Take the 15-hour beginning jewelry course led by artist and founder of Smitheries, Chaiwat Wattananukit. You’ll work in a real workshop with jeweler’s tools and learn the techniques for making simple, yet elegant, pieces. Judging by the beautiful student-created gold jewelry on their Facebook page, you’ll be making stunning pieces in no time.
Photo: Nihonmura Mall
Nihonmura Mall on Thonglor Soi 13 is Bangkok’s unofficial Little Tokyo. Come here to celebrate Japanese events like the Sakura Festival or just to get your weekly sushi fix. You’ll find every type of Japanese restaurant from shabu to izakaya, to Western-style brunch spot. Wait a minute…
Photo: Game Over
Get a taste of American culture and test your beer pong abilities at Game Over Lounge, a gaming bar at Liberty Plaza at the back of Thonglor. Here you can unleash your competitive streak over craft beers and juicy burgers. We love a cold Vedette IPA and a round of Cards Against Humanity. Sports enthusiasts take note, Game Over Lounge also streams big football games and other matches live.
Photo: Paint Bar
If you’re not into admiring art from afar, how about getting down and dirty and creating some cool stuff of your own? At Paint Bar in Sukhumvit Soi 49 you can sip a glass of wine while painting at your own easel and canvas. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we’re pretty sure after a few drinks at you’ll think you’ve created a masterpiece. Paint Bar is great for unique parties too. Get your group together and let the cocktails, and creative juices, flow.
Photo: The Hive Bangkok
The Hive Bangkok is the largest and most diverse co-working space in Asia, and it’s a hub for tech and entreprenuer culture in Bangkok. Now if that doesn’t want to make you want to hunker down at your laptop and think up the next Facebook then, well, just go create the next MySpace somewhere else. The Hive is a spacious shophouse that’s been converted into 4 floors of workspace complete with rooftop bar, cafe lounge and outdoor terrace. Oh and there’s a spa on the first floor in case you need to reward yourself after a long day. Find it on Sukhumvit Soi 49, which connects directly to Thonglor.
Photo: WTF Bar & Gallery
WTF Bar & Gallery is a funky space tucked away in a little subsoi off of Sukhumvit Soi 51. Besides holding art exhibitions by up-and-coming artists, poetry slams and live music, there’s a vintage clothing store with some pretty rad concert tees on the top floor. The art decorating the alley outside is always worth noticing too. Once it was a giant beating heart. Another time it was a politically charged conversation displayed as hanging text messages along the street. The bar is known for expertly crafted cocktails. Indulge in a beer mojito before heading out on the town in Thonglor proper.
Photo: The Loom
The Loom Silk Weaving Studio is on the 3rd floor of Gateway Ekamai, just a hop, skip and one BTS stop from Thonglor. At this studio you can design, weave, and sew your own silk scarf, handbag or accessory. They use a simplified weaving technique, so don’t worry if you have zero experience. Weaving is such a big part of so many cultures, including Thai, so why not give it a go? You might just end up creating a work of art.
Want all these amazing cultural experiences right on your doorstep? With condominiums, townhouses and single houses in beautiful locations around Bangkok, Sansiri has been constructing life, not just buildings, in Thailand for 30 years. Visit Sansiri’s website for more information on their latest projects in Thonglor.