How to spend a weekend in Bangkok
Arriving in Bangkok, I always feek like I could kiss the ground. It’s just the kind of city that feels at home no matter what you’re into – adventure-seeker, foodie, luxury addict, low-key pool lounger or (like me) a little bit of everything. Best of all, in Thailand’s cosmopolitan and vibrant capital, it’s easy to do it all on the cheap.
My perfect weekend in Bangkok is all about doing as the locals do. And trust me, this is a city where the expat lifestyle is bar-none.
So for all my tourist friends, here’s how to spend a weekend in Bangkok without doing anything tourist-y at all:
1. The first taste
There’s no better way for your tongue to get used to spicy heat than stuffing your face with a lot of Thai food. The best place to do that is on Sukhumvit 38, where rows of food stalls offer almost every local dish imaginable for a rather menial price. From yellow crab curry to papaya salad, chicken satay and dessert at the famous coconut ice cream stand, this is where the locals go to satisfy all their cravings for the authentic. If you’re in need of order inspiration, here are a few of my favourite Thai dishes.
2. “Covert” drinks
Cross the street and head over to J. Boroski Mixology, an underground watering hole that’s got Bangkok’s expat scene all up in a tizzy. Every cocktail is made individual on-the-spot, according to your mood and taste from exotic ingredients like XO cognac to Hella citrus bitters from Brooklyn. It’s location is technically secret but not hard to find (*ahem* Thong Lor, odd numbers side, in the alley of a single digit soi, girls in red at the door).
3. Easy livin’
Start the day off right at one of Bangkok’s many outdoor rooftop pools, with a fruit smoothie and a little sunshine. The Park Plaza Sukhumvit‘s rooftop pool is open 24 hours a day, with an awesome view of the downtown cityscape.
4. Patties and buns
Loosen up your jean shorts and get hungry, because Bangkok’s gourmet burger scene is unreal right now. Over the last few years, fancy cheeses, top-notch beef and amusing toppings like jalapeños, truffle sauce and caramelized onions have become the local industry standard. These are a few of my top picks and the restaurants where to get them.
5. Spa life
It’s a mortal sin to go to Thailand and never get a traditional Thai massage. Period. While you’re at it, why not go for a facial, body scrub, manicure… should I go on? Always top quality and for a good price. Whenever I go to Bangkok, at least one spa day is mandatory!
6. VIP Seats
Catching a movie at one of Bangkok’s VIP cinemas is the definition of living good. Opened in June, Embassy Diplomat Screens has chairs that recline like a bed with pillow and duvets, USB ports and a button for calling staff. Every ticket includes a choice of food set or dessert and unlimited free soft drinks and Heineken.
7. Get an epic brunch.
Bangkok’s crowd is known for making the first meal of the day an all-day affair. Hotels love to throw brunches packed with different cuisine stations, free-flow bubbles and more. The Radisson Blu’s Twenty-Seven Bites has its signature Super Breakfast daily, with interactive cooking stations featuring Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese dishes.
8. Peruse through Chatuchak.
The world’s largest weekend market can kill an entire day, let alone just an afternoon. Browse through the rows and rows of knick-knacks, grab a snack and just let yourself get lost. Quick tip: If you see something you want, buy it. Once you walk away, you may never find that same stall again.
9. Sundown beats
All this action would leave anybody tuckered out. Luckily, one of Bangkok’s best low-key, sit-back-and-relax bars is located right in Chatuchak Market. Head down to Viva 8 for some good electronic beats and people.watching as the sun goes down. The house delicacy is the mojito, served with a sugar cane stick and fresh Thai limes.
FOR MORE tips on where to stay and what to do in Bangkok, CLICK HERE.