Often overlooked by travel guides in favour of hip Thonglor to the east and photogenic Siam to the west, the largely residential Phrom Phong remains quietly confident of its virtues. And so it should be, for within its upscale malls and down its twisting sois (side streets), you’ll find everything from Michelin-starred cuisine to sushi bars imported from Tokyo; designer shopping with a distinctly Thai focus; and speakeasies hidden between the high-rise condos and grand mansions. Dig deeper and you’ll unearth indie cinemas and vintage bookstores, making the affluent suburb a wonderful mix of style and substance.
“Spending a day in the shopping mall is the best way to hide from Bangkok’s heat. My favourite is Emquartier in Phrom Phong – it has everything” – Vick Wongwatanasin, founder and designer of fashion label Vickteerut
Luxury mall Emporium boasts a curated range of Thai design
Phrom Phong is not just great for hidden bars, but for living too. It’s easy to get everywhere and street food, Chinese, Japanese, European and seafood are all here – Vipop “Tor” Jinaphan, co-owner of Phrom Phong speakeasies Sugar Ray and Alonetogether
Phrom Phong’s little Japan
This ramen-only chain from Tokyo brings authentic bowls to Soi 39. Kanji artwork, heavy wooden benches and the perpetual call of “irasshaimase” complete the entire experience.
2. Tokyo Joe
This vintage and second-hand store is packed with pre-loved designer clothing and accessories – all in great condition.
3. Sushi Masato
Masato Shimizu’s eponymous sushi bar sets the standard ridiculously high with a 20-course omakase menu in a Zen-like 10-seat restaurant.
4. Sun Books
Sun Books sells second-hand English and Japanese books, including fiction and Japanese manga.
Aside from the enthusiastic bar staff, the highlight is the range of Japanese sake, whisky and beer.
With its private onsen baths, this is ideal for those averse to public bathing.
“Phrom Phong is so convenient. You can get pretty much anything around here and there are always new cafés popping up” – Yui Truluv, DJ and local resident
Day in the life of long-term resident DJ Yui Truluv
Benjasiri Park is one of Bangkok’s few public green spaces. Yui begins the day with a walk around the jogging track to get the inspiration flowing. Ideally, there’s time for a Thai massage at Asia Herb Association, which grows its own organic herbs. After that, brunch with friends involves a caterpillar roll from ISAO, Phrom Phong’s popular fusion sushi restaurant.
Emporium and EmQuartier invite some casual browsing for whatever catches the eye – “like a cool tank top or new gadget”. Sometimes I Feel – a café on Soi 31 known for its coffees – is also a favourite Yui hangout. She usually opts for an iced C.Salt Caramel Thai Tea while prepping the night’s set list.
After whizzing across Sukhumvit on a motorcycle taxi, it’s time for work. Sky on 20 is one of the more tucked-away rooftop bars of Bangkok, though it’s never short of well-heeled drinkers making the most of its 26th-floor views. If hunger strikes later on, Yui picks up some street food on Soi 20.
Singapore Airlines flies to Bangkok six times daily. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine