Think Bangkok is all cheap beers, beep-beep traffic and backpacks? Well, wake up and smell the frangipani. This vast and steamy metropolis is firmly on the style and jet-set circuit, bursting with incredible shopping, eating, drinking, partying and good old-fashioned chillin’. It’s easy to get templed out and frazzled in the tropical heat, to avoid that happening, just go with the easygoing Thai flow.
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your guide to bangkok
Fried chicken for breakfast? Yes please! Polo Fried Chicken does it Isarn (northeastern) style, with
loads of crispy garlic and a pepper infused sweet sauce that will wake up your taste buds – make sure to order sticky rice with it. Dine in or take it across into lush Lumpini Park the city’s first public park and great for people watching, as citizens of all types partake in jogging, group aerobics, weightlifting and even ballroom dancing.
There’s voyeurism of a different kind at JWD Art Space which features contemporary and urban Thai artists, as well as regional and international names.
Old-school food and creative retall
Go early to Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient Chakki for old-school, Thai-Chinese traditional shophouse dining, as dishes often sell out. Must orders are the rad na (pan-fried rice noodles in gravy) and giew mee (wonton noodle soup). You can’t come to Bangkok and not shop. While there are malls galore, follow the kool kids to Warehouse 30 a series of restored warehouses turned art, retail, lifestyle and creative hub.
Bespoke and handcrafted
Stop by P Tendercool for bespoke, handcrafted tables and other furny, 30_6 for emerging Thai fashion designers, and Horse Unit & Woot Woot for vintage military memorabilia mixed with contemporary lifestyle pieces. There’s an Erb Spa too, for a quick Thai or foot rub.
Evening Bangkok Sunlight
Take a madcap taxi across the river for sunset at Wat Arun also known as the Temple of Dawn but just as wonderful in the evening when the sunlight catches its stunningly ornate prang, or central spire. If that’s all too much and too far, simply plonk yourself at Baan Rim Naam for sundowners by the river. Don’t mistake it for the baht-a-dozen restaurants that overpopulate the riverside, this is a bar with soul, good cocktails and DJ.
Once the preserve of cheap backpackers, Bangkok’s Chinatown is reinventing itself with stylish joints worth a detour. Among them is Ba Hao a cute cornershop turning out flavourful Chinese fare from a teeny kitchen. You’re almost next door to Teens of Thailand a gin-based bar that helped put this part of Chinatown on the cocktail lover’s radar. If fine dining is more your thing, Michelin-starred Le Du is a 10-minute walk from the hotel, for exceptional seasonal, contemporary Thai cooking, but ask your concierge to book. End the night at Alonetogether a dark, narrow venue that draws hep cats and jazz aficionados with its roster of top musicians.