Bangkok, Thailand Guide - - Hotels, Restaurants, Nightlife - Classic Travel
There is a song from the world famous musical, "Chess" called “One night in Bangkok.” Whether it helped the tourist business or not, there certainly are day time aspects of this teaming city that are a must for the urban nomad. They include the “klongs,” which are waterways that run through this city and the various temples dating from the 14th century - particularly the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Temple of the reclining Buddha and the Temple of the Dawn - which are all a must. Bangkok understands luxury travel with some of the best hotels in the world to pamper you all day and night. Don't forget, Bangkok has wonderful restaurants that are not just in hotels.
Wat Phra Kaeo Temple (The Emerald Budda)
Na Phra Lan Road (Inside the Grand Palace complex)
No visit to Bangkok would be complete without visiting the temples. This is one of the most revered. It contains an exquisite Emerald Buddha that dates back to around the 14th century. No one is allowed near the Buddha except the King. The temple is beautifully decorated and radiates around it a great sense of peace.
Enter at Th. Thai Wang or Soi Chetuphon
Just south of the Grand Palace complex, this temple was originally built in the 16th century, and today covers 20 acres. In one pavilion lies the enormous reclining Buddha (150 feet long and 50 feet high), a golden figure with an enigmatic smile. The hallway around this big Buddha is lined by smaller statues, fronted by tiers of candles, and fluttering with little squares of gold leaf stuck on by supplicants. Wat Po is also home to Thailand's most famous school of massage. Although you may have to wait half a day until a masseuse is available, it's worth it: A fantastic 60-minute full-body massage costs less than $8. Open daily 9–5.
The National Gallery
4 Chao-fa Road
Learn about traditional Thai art including ancient Buddhist paintings and numerous holdings from the collections of King Rama IX and Rama VI. The portraits of the past aristocracy are particularly attractive as the artist, Chamras Khietkong, had flattering way with the brush.
This ice skating center offers great relief from the heat. Do it just to see the look on people’s faces when they find out it’s possible to ice skate in Thailand. The Complex is the only full size ice skating rink in SE Asia and lessons (about 45 minutes) are available at a reasonable cost.
World Ice Skating Center
World Trade Center Complex, Rajprasong, Radjamri Rd
Tel. +66 (2) 268.4488
JIM THOMPSON HOUSE
6 Soi Kasemsan 2, th. Rama I
James H.W. Thompson was perhaps the most legendary expat in all of Thailand. An American adventurer and entrepreneur who came to Bangkok during World War II as a U.S. spy, Thompson later returned to settle down and single-handedly reinvent the Thai silk industry. He not only made the country's silk famous throughout the world, he also collected an amazing array of Asian artifacts, which he used to decorate the buildings and gardens of this gorgeous, idealized (and subtly Westernized) version of a traditional Thai home on a back khlong. Open daily 9–5.
42 Soi Sukhumvit 26, Klongtan Klongteoy
Tel. +66 (0) 2 260 2962
Bangkok's first chic Thai restaurant. Authentic Thai food is hot so be prepared.
The Dome, State Tower, Silom Road
Tel. +66 (0)2.624.9555
Sirocco offers breathtaking views, live jazz, and excellent Mediterranean and international food. Be sure to have a pre-dinner cocktail at the Sky Bar on the 63rd floor.
26 Sukhumvit Soi 38
Consistently good Pacific Rim cuisine and great ambiance (think white)
and great vibe make this "Bed" supper club a must!
17 Soknai (Wat Koo Rd)
Outdoor dining on the river in a lush tropical setting. One hour by boat or a 10KM drive. Make this part of a great day activity.
1/6 Soi Pipat 2
Tel. +66 (0) 2.238.0931
This combination art gallery and restaurant is worth the visit. Informal and sophisticated with dining in the attractive inside area or the outdoor garden. The menu changes frequently but the food is always Thai inspired. IE. Lemongrass prawns with coconut cream and betel leaves.
Supatra River House
266 Soi Wat Rakhang (Arunamarin Road)
Tel. +66 (0) 2.411.0874 or 0305
On the Chao Phraya River and across the river from the Grand Palace. The restaurant is the former home of Thai aristocrat and has both air-conditioned and outdoor riverside seating. Great steamed bass and other Thai favorites. The restaurant maintains an elegang teak boat that will pick you up and bring you back to anywhere along the river. (Charge is 250 baht per person or USD7.45)
Soi Areesamphan 7
Tel. +66 (0)2.279.818
This Thai/Japanese restaurant features a peaceful garden and inventive dishes like roast duck and pomelo salad with mint and chilies or tuna sashimi with a spicy dry rub.
Spring and Summer
199 Soi Promsri 2
Sukhumvit soi 39
Tel. +66 (0)2.392.2747
Sprng and Summer offers Thai food and cocktails in a glamorous setting. Try the crunchy fresh spring rolls and creamy braised scallops with sweet onions and chili oil.
48 Oriental Ave. atop the Oriental Bangkok Hotel
Tel.+66 (0) 2.659.9000
The royal family of Thailand has been known to spend an evening at La Normandie, and not just for the sweeping views of the Chao Phraya River. The menu offers classic recipes reimagined by a Michelin-starred mind. Lunch is casual, even in these plush, elegant surroundings. But for dinner, men must break out the jacket and tie.
Vino di Zanotti
Tel: +66 (0)2.636.3811
This is the wine bar Bangkok has been waiting for. Opt for the airy outdoor deck or pull up a stool inside. Live jazz is at just the right volume and the food meets the expected excellence of the parent restaurant Zanotti's across the lane.
999/1 Rama I Road (Pathumwan)
Opened in December of 2005, Siam Paragon is Southeast Asia’s largest shopping center. The mall claims to feature more than 1,000 brands in 300-plus, high-end stores on Siam Square.
292 Siam Square Soi 4
This is the place to find CDs of innovative Thai rock, lounge, hip-hop, punk etc. The collection is extensive and is a great place to relax and browse.
946/4 soi Thonglar
There is a wide variety of Thai and international labels of fashion, jewelry, luggage and furnishings in this store which surrounds a sunlit atrium. The top floor features two restaurants, an art gallery and an auditorium. Stop in for spaghetti with Thai anchovies.
Spa I am Co., Ltd
88 Soi Ladprao 18, Ladprao Road
This peaceful and serene environment in the heart of the city provides total relaxation in 26 private treatment suites, each individually designed and lavishly fitted with a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Facilities include a beauty salon, fitness room, fitness classes and a health bar. There is a complete spa experience for ultimate relaxation and pleasure.
A useful gay travel resource for Bangkok. It features shopping tips, restaurants and other activities.
26 Sukhumvit Soi 11
Tel. + 66.2.651.3537
Since dinner reservations are nearly impossible to get, just stop by for a drink and some people watching. Here, well-dressed and well-heeled patrons recline on white mattresses and munch Asian-Mediterranean fare while an international cast of DJs spin in the adjacent bar.
29/53-64 Soi Soonvijai
Rama 9 Road
Tel. + 66.9.497.8422
The current anchor of the RCA Club scene, this is the place to go for dancing or enjoying live local talent. If not the bar where Eastern opulence meets European chic, the Astra Bar houses a VIP lounge-bar and a chill-out room with an open air terrace, a perfect haven with a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.
21/100 South Sathon Rd Sathon
Tel. + 66.2.679.1200
Hours: 5:00 pm - 12:00 midnight
Perched 60 floors above the city on the roof of the Banyan Tree Hotel, Vertigo and its Moon Bar provide amazing city views; however, the lack of a roof makes this difficult when it rains. However it is one of the chic open-air lounges popular with the cocktail-drinking glamour set and Amex carrying ex-pats. The view of the city and the winding Chao Praya River with the sun sinking into the horizon is worth the visit alone.
Sky Bar at Sirocco
1055 Silom Road
Tel. + 66.2.624.9555
The Sky Bar is not for the faint of heart since it is 64 stories up and outside on the top floor of the State Tower Building. It is still one of the places where the hip meet for cocktails to watch the evening come to life in Bangkok. Try the very smooth Blue Sky Martini made with quadruple distilled New Zealand Vodka.
Chill in this swanky, outdoor lounge venue if you need timeout from Envy, the sexy red bar upstairs. The outdoor chandelier, fountain and white wicker makes for a chic 'garden party'. And the occasional celeb also adds glamor.
187 South Sathorn Road
A sophisticated choice for drinks after work or stay and get into the groove (a blended mix of 'gospel soul' and 'sulphuric house') especially on the P.O.R.N. weekends - Pure Orgasmic Rhythms Nocturnally - with a spinning roster of DJs and live vocals.
Meritus Suites State Tower Silom Rd
Up on the 64th floor and heating up the competition in the night skies. 4 bars in one including a cigar bar. The open air terrace is bordered by deep loungers, and glass screens offer dazzling views.