“One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble,” the song from Murray Head describes pretty well the vibe and fascination of this huge Thai metropolis. Bangkok, known as a fun and party-filled city, indeed has much more to offer than only bars and clubs.
Visiting the capital of Thailand, I strongly suggest you take the time to spend two hours on a boat ride on the Chao Phraya river crossing the heart of the city. The ride will pass the WatArun, which is one of the many must-sees, and go right into the klongs (canals), giving you an interesting impression of the contrast between very modern hotels, restaurants and office buildings, and very simple river houses.
From here take a tuk-tuk to Wat Pho, home of the longest Buddha in the world and birthplace of the traditional Thai massage. If you’re not afraid of motorbike rides, I suggest you try that also, and go from here straight to the Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw, for me one of the most exciting and beautiful places in Bangkok. Make sure you wear either a long dress,pants or jeans, and cover your shoulders before entering the former residence of the Kings of Siam. The famous Damnoen Saduak floating market is 1 hour drive from Bangkok and it’s definitely worth a visit. On my first visit to Bangkok I confused it with Taling Chan floating market (located in the heart of the city) and I was very disappointed, so be careful when you tell to your taxi driver where you want to go.
This city really offers something for everybody, and shopaholics will find plenty of satisfaction in Bangkok. Whoever likes luxurious malls must have a walk on Siam Road, as here you’ll find the biggest shopping temples in the country: Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, Central World and the Embassy.
The MBK is a much cheaper department store and the perfect place for anyone who loves to bargain, as here over 8 floors you´ll find everything you can imagine, from counterfeit and handbags, shoes, clothes, accessories to electronic articles like photo cameras and cosmetics.
Another great district for shopping and food courts is Sukhumvit, with the Emporium and recently opened EM Quartier also being very luxurious and modern.
Bars and restaurants
As the nights in Bangkok can get really long, I suggest you have a drink in one of the rooftop bars like the Sirocco in the Lebua Hotel, where part of the movie Hangover 2 was filmed. Other great choices for scenic drinking spots include Banyan Tree, 360 Rooftop Bar in the Millenium Hilton, or on top of the Sofitel Sukhumvit.
As a bonus, whoever is in Sukhumvit should take a moment and walk through the Soi Cowboy, famous for its nightclubs and shows.
Thailand is the so-called “Kitchen of the World”, and Bangkok surely offers an amazing vast of restaurants fromvery expensive to very cheap. Anyone who likes fine dining should book a table in one of the following restaurants: Eat Me, Zuma, Opus Wine Bar or the famous Sala Rim Naam at the riverside.
For those who instead like it simple, I recommend a visit to Soi 38 in Thonglor, as here you can find many so-called food stalls offering delicious local Thai food. Alternatively, you could have a very romantic dinner by booking a dinner cruise again on the Chao Phraya river, and enjoy fine dining with a wonderful evening view. Riverside is also a great place for anyone who just wants to have a drink and relax at a bar with friends.
Hotels are still reasonable compared with other Asian capitals, and some nice ones you could think about staying at are the Okura Hotel with a nice infinity pool, St. Regis Hotel, Sukhothai Hotel, The Lebua or Sofitel. For a cheaper experience, you could stay in the Holiday Inn Silom or in one of the Furama X locations you´ll find all over the city.
Boat trip to Chao Phraya river and Taling Chan market
Grand Palace outfit: Roberto Cavalli dress, Lady Dior bag, Hermes flats, River Island headband, Gucci sunglasses
Boat trip outfit: Levi’s vintage shorts, James Perse t-shirt, Giuseppe Zanotti flats
Floating market outfit: Givenchy t-shirt, Guess shorts, Havaianas flip flops
Pool: Plumeria Swimwear