I love coming to Bangkok over and over again. This city is so fully packed with surprises and is changing dynamically, I think I can never get tired of it. There are thousands of beautiful restaurants and flavors to try, and even more shops with all the exotic things you can imagine. Plus, Bangkok seems to have one hotel opening every week, so you don’t need to sleep in one place twice. Which you might, considering the number of real five-star hotels in this town.
Whenever I come to Bangkok, the minimum stay is three to four nights now. It’s challenging to do it in less, given the number of things I love to plan and do. It usually starts out with a really nice dinner and maybe a foot massage after I fly in. A good night’s sleep in a cozy hotel bed and the next day is all about exploring. Finding those new shops and exploring a new shopping mall, maybe. Trying to find that tailor that made my last business suit so perfectly. Having lunch in the mall, and then come back to the hotel late afternoon to catch some sun by the pool. Finding the right hot spots for dinner and then a heavy party in the evening. Having midnight stir-fried noodles on a street food stall at 3am just before hitting the bed. Late morning and sumptuous breakfast buffet next morning to cure the hangover, and then taking the camera for a ride in the city. Massage appointment in the afternoon, another excellent dinner and drinks and here’s night number three!
No wonder this city is one of my favorites worldwide. Here’s a (confidential) list of some of my favorites in Bangkok, sometimes a bit “off the beaten track” which makes it even more exciting!
I’ve added a few places – from simple street-style food stalls to fine dining. Best is to try them all. You can’t go wrong.
- Suda Restaurant – Some describe it as a “hole in the wall,” but this place is simple and delicious. Plastic chairs and plates. And some of the best (and cheapest) Thai food in town. Near Asoke junction. See on TripAdvisor
- Sansab Restaurant – Serving perfectly made Northeast Thai (Isaan) food with a modern twist. Several locations in shopping malls, such as Terminal 21 and Paragon Mall.
- Aree Neighborhood – The hottest neighborhood in Bangkok right now, with many exciting restaurants like the beautiful SALT, or Wholly Cow (both serving steak and BBQ). BTS Station Ari. www.saltbangkok.com
- Somboon Seafood – A Chinese-style large restaurant with several floors serving some of the best seafood I’ve ever had in Thailand. Try the crabs. www.somboonseafood.com
- Spice Market – Considered one of the best Thai restaurants in Bangkok, this cozy place is inside the prestigious Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel (formerly Four Seasons), but with affordable pricing and a superb tasting menu. siam-bangkok.anantara.com
- Sky Bar at Lebua – Probably the most well-known hotel in the city, boasts a fantastic cocktail bar on its rooftop. They craft some of the finest drinks in town, a must-be for anyone visiting.
- Park Society – This restaurant/bar offers fine dining, but also amazing drinks and vistas over Lumpini Park. Located in the new Sofitel So Hotel. www.sofitel-so-bangkok.com
- Levels Club – This young and trendy nightclub is located on floor 7 of the Aloft hotel in bustling Soi 11. World-class dance club inside, and a very nice open-air bar outside, packed with beautiful people – this is the place to see and be seen. www.levelsclub.com
- Aloft Bangkok – Located in the busy Sukhumvit Soi 11, this place is in the middle of all nightlife and restaurants, as well shopping. Famous for their young crowd and easy-going vibe. Good prices. http://www.aloftbangkoksukhumvit11.com
- Sofitel So Bangkok – A new, upscale design hotel by Sofitel. Not the old-fashioned place you’d expect. Has fabulous rooms with nice views over Lumpini park, plus some of the best restaurants in town. http://www.sofitel-so-bangkok.com/en
- W Bangkok – The newest outfit of W Hotels International, which focuses on design and fashion. Right next to the Chong Nonsi BTS Station, superb rooms and service. Breakfast is divine! http://www.whotelbangkok.com
- Terminal 21 Mall is a boutique-style mall with many small but classy shops and a vibrant restaurant scene. In the basement, there is a nice food market that will cater all your needs for bring-home food items. www.terminal21.co.th
- Chatuchak weekend market is considered the world’s largest market. It only opens its doors Friday till Sunday, and it is recommended to come either in the morning or evening hours due to high temperatures. Be prepared for maximum craziness! (BTS Sukhumvit Line, Mo Chit Station) www.chatuchak.org
- Heathland Spa has several locations all over Bangkok, its quality is unparalleled, and prices are as low as in the small stalls. This is where Thai people learn to massage. Appointment only – www.healthlandspa.com
- Lumphini Park is the city’s green lung, and people compare its location in the midst of skyscrapers often to Manhattan’s Central Park. Ideal for long walks and picture taking, or rent a boat in the artificial lake in the middle of the park. (BTS Sala Daeng Station)