Bangkok, Thailand

Getting Around


Addresses in Bangkok can be confusing to the uninitiated. Large roads such as Silom or Sukhumvit are "thanon" (often abbreviated "Th" or glossed "Road"), while side streets branching off from the "thanom" are called "soi". Sois are numbered with even numbers on one side and odd numbers on the other side. Thus, the address "25 Sukhumvit Soi 3" means "house/building number 25 on the 3rd soi of Sukhumvit Road".

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While the soi numbers on each side advances upward, the numbers often do not advance evenly between sides - for example, "Soi 55" could be across from "Soi 36". Many well-known sois have an additional name, which can be used instead of the number. "Sukhumvit Soi 3" is also known as "Soi Nana Nuea", so the address above might thus also be expressed as "25 Soi Nana Nuea". The extension "y/x" is used for new streets created between existing streets such as 7/1 and 7/2. Note that some short alleys are called "trok" instead of soi.

Silom Road by Khaosaming

To further bewilder tourists who do not read Thai, the renderings of Thai street names in the Latin alphabet are not always consistent. The road running towards Don Muang Airport from Victory Monument may be spelled "Phahonyothin", "Phahon Yothin", "Pahon Yothin" or "Phaholyothin" depending on which street sign or map you refer. The spelling is always the same in Thai but the romanised version varies.
Phahurat Road by Melanochromis

And if that's not confusing enough, most of the larger streets tend to change names altogether every few kilometres. Sukhumvit is called "Sukhumvit" on one side of the tollway but is "Phloen Chit" just before you cross "Witthayu Road" (also known as Wireless Road) going towards the river. Keep going just a few more streets and it becomes "Phra Ram Neung Road" after you pass Ratchadamri Road.

Sukhumvit Road by Aimaimyi

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