Bangkok is a living and breathing creature in its own right. It grows with new spots and hidden treasures popping up everywhere everyday. It’s a city for everybody: every neighbourhood, every street, every soi has a different personality to offer. And it’s truly worth exploring them all. The Thai capital is a city worth getting to know well because it will reward you handsomely — either with an out-of-the-way café that serves the best matcha latte you’ve ever had, or a little bookshop you can call your very own hideaway. The LSA Neighbourhood Guides aim to help you get started towards exploring the various wonders around Bangkok. For this edition, we are breezing our way towards the very urban and hip Ekkamai which is famed to be one of the most prime locations in Bangkok.
Ekkamai flaunts a distinct character in each of its chic laneways and is proudly a dynamic and unapologetically cool neighbourhood. Often overlooked by its vibrant sibling of Thonglor, Ekkamai is rather a less in-your-face soul with a very stylish manner. From rich culinary offerings to rare vintage collectives, there is no shortage of social scenes here. Read ahead for our top 10 reasons to visit this neighbourhood, as we stroll through this mellow area, and uncover some of the hidden gems that really reflect the charisma of Ekkamai.
[Hero Image & Feature Image Credit: Kaizen Coffee]
1. Coffee & shopping at (Un) Fashion Vintage Collection
You rarely see a stylish vintage store in Bangkok with such an extensive collection of vintage items. From bohemian-looking handbags to leather boots, find exclusive imported items at (Un) Fashion Vintage Collection from the U.S and Europe, including second-hand items. Fashionistas, head here to find the real deal for your vintage collection.
The vintage boutique also has its own little quirky café next door. Whilst the two-storey retro café may look like a rustic caravan from the outside, it’s rather a cosy, comfortable space for you to kick back and relax just like you would do at home. At (Un) Fashion Café, sip some caramel lattes and get a slice of their heavenly cheesecake to relish in. Also, it’s an ideal place to bring your laptop so you can be productive in one sitting.
(Un) Fashion Vintage Collection & Café, Ekkamai Soi 10, Sukhumvit Soi 63, Bangkok, Open 11:30am-10pm.
2. Party at your friend’s house
Partly bohemian and partly vintage in style, here’s where you’ll find retro furniture, antique collectives, and even a life-sized Yoda statue. Reunion, gathering, or casual meet-up with friends, TUBA Design Furniture & Restaurant feels more like your best friend’s home than a bar. Don’t forget to sip their specially curated cocktail, the ‘Tsunami’, made with a mix of gin, vodka, rum, Triple sec, whisky, and blue Curacao. Their long list of other sneaky cocktails and Thai-European nibbles will make sure you stay the night. Not to mention, there are plenty of Instagram-worthy nooks, too.
TUBA Design Furniture & Restaurant, 34 Ekkamai 21 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 711 5500, Open 11am-2am
3. Workspaces for digital nomads
Ekkamai is a hearty community for digital nomads and there is no denying that the neighbourhood offers some of the most novel spaces to work and network. Head for the vibrant Hubba Ekkamai which is a famous household name in the co-working space scene, or their second venture at Cluster. For a more sleek-looking space, opt for Union Space to discuss projects or organise a meeting.
Hubba Ekkamai, 19 Soi Ekkamai 4, Prakanong Nua, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 714 3388, Open everyday 9am-6pm.
Cluster, S.S.P. Tower 16 Fl Soi Sukhumvit 63 Khlong Tan Nuea, Vadhana, Bangkok, +66 9 8585 2095, Open Monday – Friday 9am-6pm.
Union Space, 30 Soi Sukhumvit 61, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 6 2015 5533, Open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Weekends 10am-6pm.
4. Unwind at Healthland
When it comes to indulging in a traditional Thai massage, look no further, because Healthland is your ultimate destination. Healthland is one of the finest health spas in Thailand, well-recognised for its ancient healing treatments. Rejuvenate your body and mind with a two-hour Thai massage to stop that stress from taking over.
Healthland, 96/1 Soi Sukhumvit 63 (Ekkamai), Sukhumvit Rd., Prakanong Nua, Wattana, Bangkok, +66 2 392 2233 , +66 8 6340 3019, Open 9am-midnight.
The neighbourhood’s thriving food scene makes it impossible to choose just one, that’s why we’re sharing Ekkamai’s best quaint eateries where you’ll experience the finest cuisines. If you fancy an innovative beer pairing of six different international craft beers with a progressive American tasting menu, head to Upstairs at Mikkeller (which also bears a Michelin Star, no less). Get a taste of traditional Thai and Northern Isaan blends at Sabai Jai Gai Yang by ordering their famed signature grilled chicken. To find anything and everything associated with beef from all around the world, you’ve got to visit Meatlicious,where wood-fired grills and juicy steaks will spice up your evening. Craving for some fine-grilled yakitori and sake? No one does better than Gen Japanese Charcoal Grill, given their contemporary décor and casual Japanese cuisine.
Upstairs at Mikkeller, 26 Ekkamai 10 Alley, Lane 2, Khwaeng Phra Khanong Nuea, Khet Watthana, Bangkok, +66 9 1713 9034, Open 5pm-12am.
Sabai Jai Gai Yang, 87 Ekkamai 3 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 714 2622, Open 10:30am-10:30pm
Meatlicious, 8 Ekkamai soi 6, Bangkok, +66 9 1698 6688, Open 6pm-12am.
Gen Japanese Charcoal Grill, 267/31 Soi 63(Ekkamai) Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, +66 2048 0008, Open 11:30-11pm.
6. Embrace a true coffee culture vibe
You will never run out of a delightful cups of coffee in Ekkamai. Kazien Café Co has nitrogen-infused nitro cold-brews poured right from a ‘beer’ tap, as well as Australian-inspired chai lattes. Grab a cup of Thai-Ethiopian-Brazilian blended coffee at Ekkamai Macchiato or sip the Ice Matcha latte at SLO Café. Looking for a cool brekkie spot? Order the oatmeal waffle with Greek yogurt to satisfy your sweet cravings at One Ounce for Onion.
7. Japanese items
In the heart of the neighbourhood, feel the ambiance of a Japanese lifestyle at Gateway Ekkamai. The Japan Town zone here houses everything Japanese — from authentic Japanese restaurants and health and beauty stores, to fashionable conventional items. Gateway Ekkamai is a darling amongst locals and expats alike.
Gateway Ekkamai, 982/22 Sukhumvit Road Prakanong Klongtoey, Bangkok, +66 2 108 2889, Open 10am -10pm.
8. A slice of a winter wonderland
When the heat strikes, we all need to find ourselves an excuse to escape Bangkok’s blazing weather. Visit the literally cool Sub-Zero Ice Skating arena. Hone your ice-skating skills or simply enjoy a romantic date at this cosy dome. For Bangkokians, it’s a sweet way to feel even a light winter vibe here.
Sub-Zero Ice Skate Club, 1239 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 391 1944, Open 12pm-9pm.
9. Chill nightlife
Baan Peun bar (which translates as ‘your friend’s house’ bar) is not your regular rooftop bar, but rather a really chilled place to enjoy some live local music. Feel the young and carefree vibe at Nunglen & Escobar to simply ‘have a good time’ at this hotspot. If you want to kick back with some international beer drafts (we’re talking a 16-beer-wide selection) then head to Ekkamai Beer House or, you could dance to the 90s pop-rock music at Cassette Music Bar. Definitely also take a ‘gram with the big cassette at the entrance.
10. No one is going to disturb you at DND
Whilst Ekkamai houses lots of cool places to mingle, nothing beats DND club. The ‘Do Not Disturb’ nightclub plays techno and house music. Prepare yourself for an edgy EDM vibe.
Do Not Disturb Club, 217/8 Ekkamai Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Bangkok, +66 9 4414 9266, 9pm -2am.