Last time AsiaLIFE visited Thonglor, we took you into the unknown street of Soi 20 filled with local wonders. The complete opposite experience awaits you in Thonglor Soi 13, one of the trendiest and most happening streets in all of Bangkok. When night falls the bars are teeming with the young and fabulous. Yvonne Liang lists some places you may be interested in for activities around the clock. Photographs by Nick McGrath.
A short zip on a motorcycle (B15) or taxi (B35) from Exit 3 of Thonglor BTS station will bring you to the mini outdoor mall named Seenspace, located on the left-hand side about a hundred metres into Thonglor Soi 13. This little plaza is packed with bars that are most popular at weekends and a selection of cafés and restaurants that will feed you through brunch and dinner. You’ll even find a salon and fashion boutique to help you look your best.
G/F SeenSpace, Thonglor Soi 13
As you step into Seenspace, some mannequins with white rabbit ears may catch your attention. It’s the signature touch of local fashion designer, Monlada’s flagship store which houses some flirty, fun fashion for women with a romantic flair. From uber-short mini-tube dresses to flowing evening wear, and even office appropriate attire, Monlada has all the bases covered for the modern woman. There’s even smart business casual attire for men.
Mr. Jones’ Orphanage
G/F SeenSpace, 251/1 Thonglor Soi 13
Across from Monlada is a something that looks like an oversized children’s play house. A tower of desserts and bottles of goodies such as marshmallows and biscuits tempt you from the moment you enter. Teddy bears swinging from the ceiling seem cute at first, but there’s something creepy about forcing stuffed toys to play unceasingly. Upstairs the Chocolate Lounge has such low ceilings you’re forced into a crouching position the whole time. Besides a full hand written menu of desserts and brunch items, alcoholic beverages can also be found on the ‘Grown Up’ section.
Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13
Next door to Mr. Jones’ is the first of three bars that have teamed up to serve Bangkokians’ lust for booze. On Friday and Saturday nights you can barely hear your own thoughts with the number of people chatting and drinking in the courtyard of Seenspace where the surrounding bars share seating, and patrons are welcome to order from any menu. Fish and Chips sell like hot cakes at Fatr Gut’z making it a good dinner spot so you can stake out a table for drinking later.
Brew Beers & Ciders
G/F, Seen Space, Thonglor Soi 13
To the left of Fat’r Gut’z is Brew, the home of artisan beers. Its incredible selection of over 140 labels with 10 available on draught means there’s something to please everyone. Have a girlfriend who claims she’s one of the many “girls who don’t drink beer”? Brew has a beer for her. Don’t try ordering a gin tonic or any cocktails here though, you’ll only get blank stares from the waiters. Keep in mind you can order a wide range of cocktails from neighbouring Clouds without leaving your seat. The servers know the drill.
G/F, Seenspace, 251/1 Thonglor Soi 13
The third of the powerful ménage à trois of bars, Clouds was the original watering hole that helped create Seenspace’s reputation today. Inspired by a time far into the future, this modern restaurant cum bar creation of Ashley Sutton is full of surprises. In one corner you’ll see the base of an old tree that seems to be totally out of place. Hanging from the ceiling are bobbing plastic pigs or Barbie dolls – it changes regularly. In addition to a full menu of drinks and a house speciality of snack-sized pizzas, there’s also a candied apple station. You’ll have to see for yourself if this western tradition is being picked up by the locals.
1/F, Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13
Facing the street on the first floor of Seenspace, Roast offers the best brunch in town. The menu, designed to look like a newspaper, offers a great selection of fifteen brunch items like crab cake benedict and duck confit. It’s so hard to choose, especially knowing you have to save room for a not-to-be-missed strawberry waffle for dessert. Coffee lovers are also in for a treat. Roast serves its very own coffee made with in-house, roasted beans. The restaurant gets packed especially at weekends so make sure you make a booking or come early to get a table.
G/F, Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13
Just across a bridge from Roast is a restaurant that needs no introduction. The international Korean fried chicken franchise was an instant hit from the moment it landed in Bangkok. Be prepared to wait for seating at peak hours during lunch and dinner times. Everyone wants a taste of the crunchy, glazed chicken wings and moist tender meat – it’s mouthwatering just to think of. Menu options are sparse, as fried chicken is the main star. You can also try pot stickers or pork bulgogi. Naturally the meal would not be complete without a bottle of Korean soju.
After You Café
323/3 Thonglor Soi 13
Directly across the street from Seenspace is a dessert café that fits so well in this Japanese neighbourhood. After You is Thai owned, featuring cutesy artwork and a menu that brings you to the shopping and nightlife district of Tokyo. Shibuya Honey Toast sounds like an innocent, harmless dessert but one order can send you straight into a food coma. A thick slice of fried bread topped with honey, ice cream and whipped cream guarantees you’ll be having sweet dreams. The menu carries many more temptations as well as milk tea and other drinks. Complimentary tea is available too.
44/7-8 Thonglor Soi 13
Across the street from After You and about 200 metres further into the soi is one of the best kept secrets for Bangkokian women seeking hair free bodies. Originating from Japan, Regina is a salon specialising in hair removal using an FDA approved treatment called KPL (krypton pulsed light). It’s virtually painless, especially compared to other hair removal options on the market. A complete treatment may take many months of return visits to get the desired results so it’s best if you’re living in Bangkok or a regular visitor. Packages can be purchased at discounted prices. This salon tends to be fully booked so it’s best to make a reservation.
87 Thonglor Soi 13
Right over on the other side of the street from Regina’s is a popular Japanese bakery franchise, which has two other outlets in Bangkok. The flagship shop is also on Thonglor towards the beginning of the road, while the third one is on Sukhumvit 26 and is more of a sit down café. The Thonglor 13 outlet has a selection of affordable pastries to please both sweet and savoury palates including soft chocolate cookies, taro bread and jumbo sausage roll, to name a few.
87 Thonglor Soi 13
Behind Toraya Bakery is a Japanese restaurant well known with locals. The clientele is mainly Thai and Japanese, which is a very good sign. Over the years the restaurant has gone through some changes including a menu expansion. Besides your regular sushi and sashimi, Uomasa also offers grilled options like beef tongue. Service is reliable and friendly. Prices are not cheap, but they do match the quality of food you get here.