Any city as large and unplanned as Bangkok can
be tough to get around. Street names often seem
unpronounceable to begin with, compounded by the inconsistency
of Romanised Thai spellings. For example, the street often
spelt as Rajadamri is pronounced Ratchadamri (with the
appropriate tones), or abbreviated at Rat'damri. The 'v' in
Sukhumvit is pronounced with a 'w'. The most popular location
for foreign embassies is known as both Wireless Road and
Thanon Withayu (withayu is Thai for radio).
Many street addresses show a string of numbers
divided by slashes and dashes; for example, 48/3-5 Soi 1, Th.
Sukhumvit. This is because undeveloped property in Bangkok was
originally bought and sold in lots. The number before the
slash refers to the original lot number; the numbers following
the slash indicate buildings (or entrances to buildings)
constructed within that lot. The pre-slash numbers are
arbitrarily assigned by developers. As a result, you will find
the numbers along a given street do not always run
The Thai word thanon means road,
street, or avenue. Hence Ratchadamnoen Road (sometimes
referred to as Ratchadamnoen Avenue) is always called Th.
Ratchadamnoen in Thai. A soi is a small street or lane
that runs off a larger street. So, the address referred to as
48/3-5 Soi 1, Th. Sukhumvit, will be located off Th. Sukhumvit
on Soi 1. Alternative ways of writing the same address include
48/3-5 Th. Sukhumvit Soi 1, or even just 48/3-5 Sukhumvit 1.
Some Bangkok soi have become so large that they can be
referred to both as thanon and soi, e.g. Soi
Sarasin/Th. Sarasin and Soi Asoke/Th. Asoke.