Bangkok is perhaps the most vibrant, exciting, and interesting city in Southeast Asia right now. “Fun, funky, and hot,” enthused the resident Mixologist at the Siam@Siam rooftop bar, a sentiment you may well share after a cocktail or two.
To get around, public transport is efficient and inexpensive. Catch the ferry with the orange flag along the Chao Phraya River, hop a motorbike taxi, or use the clean Skytrain and Subway, and most exhilarating of all go by long-tail boat along the narrow khlongs (canals) that crisscross the old parts of the city where you can observe daily life up close.
Extend Your Stay
While most travellers head for Khao San Road – backpacker central – jammed with bars, cafés, and tattoo parlours and stay only long enough to visit the palaces and wats, stay a bit longer to peel back the layers and explore beyond the main sights.
Shopping and Food
The shopping centres are high end and amazing, the best at Siam Square and Sukhumvit. Siam Paragon is a fine choice, too, for upscale shopping and all the fine brands. On the weekend, head for Chatuchak, one of the world’s largest markets where 9,000 stalls sell everything from plastic fruit to cutting edge designer clothing and don’t miss Chinatown for the atmospheric markets and night stalls for great cuisine.
An oversupply of hotel rooms translates to bargains for travellers too spoilt for choice. The Lub.d at Siam Square is a great budget hotel, the Mercure Siam Bangkok is affordable, contemporary, and located in the centre of the best shopping, restaurants, and bars. Nearby, the Hansar has a cutting-edge design. At the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, one of the world’s classic fine hotels, dine at Sala Rim Naam, the hotel’s renowned Thai restaurant, and you’ll see plenty of daily life playing out on the Chao Phraya River. While not directly on the river, for those seeking refined accommodations, the gorgeous Siam Kempinski is another outstanding choice. Adjacent to the upscale Siam Paragon Mall in the heart of Bangkok, the Kempinski offers top-quality rooms, peerless service, and excellent dining, including the stunning Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin restaurant.
Home of Kukrit Pramoj.
To experience something more low key, head for one of the house museums that focus on Thailand’s rich cultural heritage. The Jim Thompson House Museum filled with antiques, memorabilia and exquisite silks, Suan Pakkad Palace Museum, the Kamthieng House Museum a fine example of northern Thai Lanna architecture and the exquisite residence of Mr M.R. Kukrit Pramoj, comprising teak pavilions, in a beautiful tropical garden setting. Lumphini Park is another tranquil place or to get your energy levels restored, head for a spa where with gentle strokes and kneading you will leave in an altogether altered state. For a uniquely blissful experience, treat yourself at the elegant Kempinski Hotel Spa.
Source: The Expat Magazine February 2015
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