Terminal 21 is one of Bangkok's many shopping malls but has some unique features. It is themed with different parts of the mall based on different parts of the world, for example there is a London section. It is not just the normal chain retailers that you would expect to see in every mall, but there are many independent retailers (many of them selling high quality clothing / gifts at reasonable prices). The choice of food here is also excellent, especially the Food Hall, which all tourists in Bangkok should try as it is a good way to sample Thai street food but in a pleasant and hygienic environment (it is very cheap too).
The perfect place for your first taste of Bangkok's famous street food. Some of the best and cheapest smoothies, phad thai and mango and sticky rice I have had in Bangkok.
The start of Sukhumvit Soi 38, nearest Sky train/BTS: Thong Lor
Google map: bit.ly/yUwYlh
Great little renovated Chinese shophouse with warm wood paneling inside. Cool vibe and menu includes lots of great veg dishes and hard-to-find ingredients such as quinoa. Not to be missed.
The Patravadi Theatre in Bangkok is renowned, but fewer people know about the free performances that can be seen on weekend nights at the Studio 9 restaurant within the theatre compound. With stunning views across the Chao Phraya River to the illuminated Grand Palace and a good value menu of modern Thai dishes the restaurant is appealing in its own right.
But what really makes it a location for a night to remember are the free displays of contemporary Thai performing arts which are shown on Friday and Saturday evenings. With dining tables set around the performance area this is a unique opportunity to see innovative young artists displaying their skills while tucking in to a delicious meal. On the night of our visit we were mesmerised by lithe acrobats contorting themselves within swinging hoops, and seemingly magically suspended from fluid streams of silk, all to a background of haunting Thai music.
Studio 9, 69/1 Soi Wat Rakang, Arun Amarin Road
A short walk from Wat Rakang Pier. Cross river ferries run every 5 minutes until 10 pm (3 Baht) after which you will need to return by taxi.
I have never in my life had such a great view eating dinner like I had at this restaurant, located on the 65th floor of the State tower on Silom Rd. Just the view is worth the trip to this restaurant. The service was poor for such a high end place, not rude, but just not attentive given the fame that this restaurant has gathered in the world since it's opening. The food has everything you could think of, fresh seafood, great steaks, and a dessert table to die for.
A live band with a soul singer was a pleasant touch as we ate and afterwards she came down and introduced herself and spoke to us for a couple of minutes. Afterwards stick around and have drinks at the ultra cool bar, drinks run from 200 bahts (about $5 US dollars) to 20,000 bahts about $500 US dollars for Cristal Champagne. If it wasn't for the poor table serivce this place would get a 10 out of 10 but I'll give it nine out of 10.
Address: 1055/111 State Tower Bangkok, Silom Road
hone: (02) 6249555
This is an ice cream bar where they serve cocktail flavoured ice cream with real alcoholic content! I recommend the B52. They also have a cocktail (drink) buffet at a reasonable price that is much lower than the hotels' rates.
I think they are two branches: one is on the 7th floor of Central World Shopping mall and the other is at the Erawan, next to The Grand Hyatt Erawan hotel. Nearest sky train is Chidlom station.
Simply the best top end Thai cuisine you'll taste in Bangkok outside a five-star hotel. It's not expensive but the whole dining experience will blow you away. I've lived in Asia for 25 years and can honestly say this is Thai food at its best.
If you take a 15 minute Skytrain journey from BTS Siam to BTS Thong Lo you can join the lifestyle, living and shopping experience in Bangkok's designer shopping district, Thonglor.
The crowd is more residential, international, professional thirtysomething than the teens and tourists around Siam and MBK.
Couples can easily spend a whole day in Thonglor. For the morning get a coffee and up to date with emails at True Life. Relax into a half-day "Ecstasy Time" spa package in a double room at Leyana Spa. Then have an illuminated evening meal outside at To Die For restaurant in H1 - Thonglor's design HQ. And finally, discover some Bangkok trends inside the Playground mall and rub shoulders with Thai celebrities unwinding at Starbucks. If one of you is starting to tire, take an aircon taxi back to BTS Thong Lo for 35 Baht and on to your hotel in air-conditioned, speedy Skytrain comfort.
Alternatively, if you feel yourselves becoming part Thonglor, you may stay late and never want to go back ...
Fish & chips, bangers & mash, pasties, pies, ... in Banglamphu!
A clean, airy place. Away from the sewer smells, noise and pollution. Oh My Cod! has seating in cubicles, each with flat-screen TV (you've been warned), outside where you can watch the koi carp, or you can sit at a normal 'cafe' table inside.
Pies and pasties are homemade. Warning: the pasty is big. Don't eat if you plan to walk around the palaces.
Oh yeah they have wifi too.
Located down Soi Rambuttri, turn down the alley near 7-Eleven.
Thai food is very unlikely to give you food poisoning but can contain more chillies than you ever thought possible. Street food is usually safe (and delicious!), check for numbers of customers and general looks of the stall. Western (“farang”) food is much more likely to give you food poisoning – fridges are not part of Thai cooking lore yet…beware of western fast food outlets and hotel buffets - food that has been out for over an hour or so. Drink bottled water - not tap water. Even consider not brushing your teeth with tap water. Ice is usually safe in drinks and for anything else.
This cooking school offers half-day, full day and week-long cooking courses. They were absolutley great, combining practical cooking demos with theory - and you get to eat what you have cooked afterwards with your fellow students.
They will pick you up from your hotel and take you back again afterwards.
Wonderful restaurant on the west of the river. Not cheap, but worth every penny for the great food, cocktails, service, view and private river boat. Has traditional dance displays at the weekend.
Opposite the Grand Palace next to Wat Rakhang in Thonburi.
Just the maddest restaurant in Thailand. It's an enormous German beer hall that brews its own (very good) beer and seats about 1,500.
They serve German and Thai food and have cabaret every night - a mixture of traditional Thai and pop music. It's mostly Thais who go, and they all seem to be there to celebrate something and the whole place ends up dancing - at least in part because the staff insist on making you dance. Good if you're in a crowd, it's a truly Thai, if unexpected, experience. You'd need to book - it keeps going until about 2am.
Rama III- you'll probably need a cab. See www.tawandang1999.com/en/eng/detail.asp
Sawadee cap, must visit place is the 360 bar on the top floor of the Millennium Hilton. Great view and see the sunset. Make sure you be there around 17.30 hr, have a cocktail and enjoy the view of Bangkok and Chaopraya river.
After this have dinner at Spasso in the Grand Hyatt in Erawan. At 10 pm the live band starts, so if you are already in, you do not have to pay the cover charge of Baht 650.
Also try the lunch buffet at the Four Seasons Hotel and dinner Buffet at Novotel at Siam Square. The food and desserts are out of this world. Buffet at the Four Seasons is about 600 baht and at Novotel 650. But it's worth it. If you are looking for good DJ music than QBAR is your place.
Anyway Bangkok is a very polluted city but you can enjoy yourself very much. Watch out for the Tuk tuk seafood and jewelry scam and beware that if everybody is trying to making a living and tourists are part of it.
Four Seasons: Poenchit Road
Grand Hyatt: Poenchit Road
Novotel: Siam Square
Looking for some cheap clothes, and can't be bothered to haggle in the markets? Or perhaps you need to stock up on toiletries for your trip, or you need baby supplies - for all of these reasons you might want to join the locals and head for the nearest hypermarket. Tesco have a major presence in Bangkok, but for most tourists the best located hypermarket is the Big C store on Ratchadamri Road, right opposite the Central World Plaza mall. As well as the main store, there is an excellent food court and a multiplex cinema in the building. Open 9am until 11pm daily.
Walk up from Chit Lom Skytrain station;
For excellent food at the airport, follow the example of the airline staff. If you make your way out towards the train station on the other side of the main road, you should see some street stalls tucked in by the road. Here you can find excellent food and drink at a fraction of airport prices.
And if you ever have a day to kill before an evening flight why not take a short day trip to Ayuthaya from Don Muang by train.
This inviting restaurant/art gallery is certainly a touch of class. Walking through the courtyard you are met with modern art, clean architectural lines and a warm welcome.
Prior to polishing off exquisite oysters with chilli dip, stylish leather sofas on the second floor terrace beckoned; aperitif bliss. The grilled fish main and chocolate mousse desert went down well to boot.
Friendly service and an impressive wine list sold this backstreet gem. Not a place to rush or be rushed.
Three courses with wine for two: approx £30-50.
1/6 Soi Pipat 2, off Convent Road
Skytrain Stn: Sala Daeng
+66 02 238 0931
If you want to get away from tourist zones, take a longtail boat up the canal to Ramkhamhaeng.
It's a major university and the streets around it are thronged with market stalls for great food and 'alternative' goodies.
There are a few cafe/bars with live music and the students will be keen to practise their English on you!
The Thais like to say that the best food in Thailand is on the street. Many visitors to Bangkok stick to hotels and guesthouses for their meals and neglect the most delicious, not to mention cheapest, food around - street food.
If you pass a street stall and see lots of Thai people tucking in, it probably means there's something delicious getting served up, so get involved.
Don't be worried that you can't speak Thai - just point at what looks good and your friendly Thai server will be more than happy to oblige.
I can particularly recommend laap (north-eastern spicy minced meat salad), khao man gai (boiled chicken served with spicy sauce and rice) and large roasted salt fish.
On the street, anywhere in Bangkok
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