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Best of Bangkok

Summer heat, red curry, and disco balls: this itinerary brings you to the white-hot center of Thailand’s booming capital
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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview:  Sprawling, frenetic, and sultry, this Asian metropolis of 10 million seems like a city on overdrive. Towering high-rises jostle for... more »

Tips:  The ideal time to visit is from November to February. Avoid the sweltering summer rainy season.

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Points of Interest

1. Arharn Pa Lerd Rod

This outdoor restaurant has no English sign but is located opposite My Beauty spa. It’s a dump, with wash hung out to dry and stray cats in the background but if you get past the back-alley aesthetic, you’ll feast on grilled blackened shrimp or fried frog with chiles.

Address:
595/22 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-258-5070

2. Bed Supperclub

A tubular wonder, Bed resembles, from different angles, a sleek flashlight, a robotic eye, or the beginning of a Martian invasion. Once past the bouncers, you are in a painfully minimalist white barn headed for outer space. The people here, it must be said, are truly beautiful, if in a coarse, monied way, running the gamut from clubby expatriates ... More

At the Oriental hotel; renovated in the style of a 1930’s Shanghai dance hall.

Address:
48 Oriental Ave., Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-659-9000

4. Divana Massage & Spa

In a quiet garden abode, with hi-so (high society) maidens chirping quietly on their cell phones while waiting for their appointments, guests are served green tea with ginger and a mystery ingredient the staff claims to be pandan leafe which makes patrons relaxed.

Address:
7 Sukhumvit Soi 25, Khlong Toei Nuea
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-661... More

5. Four Seasons Hotel, Bangkok

French colonial hotel with gardens, hand-painted silk ceilings, and the city’s largest lap pool.

Address:
155 Rajadamri Rd.
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-126-8866

6. GEO

A pioneering household accessories shop that also sells clothes, and jewelry from up-and-coming local designers. The eclectic store also offers house and garden gadgets, handmade picture frames, and leather binders—most of them chosen by celebrated editor Sakchai Guy.

Address:
988 Sukhumvit Soi 55, The Emporium
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-381... More

The Grand Millennium Sukhumvit is located on Asoke Road, one of Bangkok’s main thoroughfares. The 325-room hotel has a striking glass exterior and an eye-catching, modern lobby decorated in shades of brown with a glass reception desk. Guest rooms come with a long bath and separate shower, as well as an electronic safe. Hotel amenities include an... More

Décor may be spare, but the pocket-size sushi bar prides itself in ultrafresh ingredients.

Address:
5 Sukhumvit Soi 31
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-258-0645-6

9. Lak Muang (City Pillar Shrine)

Woe to a hairy man in the world’s hottest city. Bangkok: where the three so-called seasons—Hot, Wet, and Why are you doing this to me?—are a furball’s primordial nightmare.

Address:
Sanam Chai Rd. at Lak Muang Rd., Grand Palace
Bangkok
Thailand

10. Long Table

A new Sukhumvit favorite, serving Western dishes accented with Eastern spices.

Address:
48 Sukhumvit Soi 16, 25th floor, Column Tower
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-302-2557-9

11. Ma Du Zi

At the ultra-exclusive Ma Du Zi Hotel, located in Sukhumvit, guest security and privacy is top priority. The 40-room hotel has a gate (closed 24 hours) and employs a reservations-only policy, prohibiting walk-in guests. The hotel’s rooms and suites are spread across seven floors, and each has chic décor characterized by sleek lines, neutral... More

In this legendary 1887 hotel and modern tower, many of the 393 rooms now have floor-to-ceiling windows, with spectacular views of the busy Chao Phraya River. Book on of the split-level Garden Wing Rooms, for traditional sophistication or Authors’ Suites, for opulent Thai style. The hotel has rich literary history; Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, No&... More

13. Nest, Bangkok

Le Fenix hotel’s rooftop bar has hammocks and tables in a garden setting.

Address:
33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-305-4000

14. Restaurant at Ma Du Zi

One of the best French restaurants in town.

Address:
9/1 Ratchadapisek Rd.
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-615-6400

15. Ruen Mallika

Ruen Mallika, with a menu as thick as the Talmud, is as much a restaurant as a veritable encyclopedia of Thai food. A traditional nobleman’s teak house, where overweight carp make the rounds of a peaceful outdoor pond, Ruen Mallika graces a poverty-stricken stretch of the Asoke neighborhood.

Address:
189 Sukhumvit Soi 22
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
... More

16. Som Tam Nua

This humble place, with a fast-food sheen that could be at home in any L.A. strip mall, features Isan food, from Thailand’s northeast. From raw mango to spicy pork salad, the dinner is a fiesta of strong chile and onions, everything moist and perfect, waiting to be sopped up with sticky rice. The natural acidity of Isan cuisine will help you... More

17. Sukhothai

An oasis of tranquil style in the heart of Bangkok, the hotel gives each guest that stays in a suite a brightly colored raw-silk stuffed elephant, said to bring good luck to its owner. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get to book the garden suite, a luxe refuge.

Address:
13/3 S. Sathorn Rd.
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
(800) 223-6800

18. Tapas Room Club

Tapas Room Club, with its friendly vibe, is a nice introduction to the lay of the land. Here, a disco ball is still a disco ball, and five dollars will buy you a whiskey.

Address:
114/17 Silom Soi 4
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-234-4737

19. Thailand Cultural Centre

The Thailand Cultural Centre opened in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The center was designed and built by the Thai government with a loan of 638 million baht from the Japanese government. The venue has a number of separate facilities, including the Main Hall, seating 2,000, the Small Hall, seating 500, and an... More

20. THANNnative

Got handicrafts and natural Thai beauty products from brands such as Harnn and Thann.

Address:
999 Ploenchit Rd., Gaysorn Plz., 3rd Fl.
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-656-1399

21. The Eugenia

If you fused the grandeur of colonial india with the simplicity of an African game lodge, the results would look much like the Eugenia. Animal trophies cover the walls, brass light fixtures are imported from the Subcontinent, and an old-fashioned metal shower sits next to the sleek pool in the hotel’s lush backyard. The eclectic mix continues in... More

370 rooms appointed with teak floors, silk-covered furniture, marble bathrooms, and high-tech control panels, set within a tower that overlooks the Chao Phraya River. A city standard for luxury, this 37-story tower overlooks the Chao Phraya River. The hotel’s spa was revamped in 2007 to an impressive 21,000 square foot space.

Address:
333... More

One of Bangkok’s most serene temples, a 26-foot-high Buddha sits snugly within Bangkok’s tallest vihara, or assembly hall, surrounded by murals that depict his life, murals as complex and elaborate as the city outside the temple’s walls.

Address:
146 Bamrung Muang Rd.
Bangkok
Thailand

Phone:
66-2-224-9845

24. Winter

Part of the Spring-Summer-Winter dining experience founded by Thai actor Phol Tansathien in 2004, Winter is an outdoor bar serving classic and housemade cocktails. Bargoers lounge on oversized beanbags spread across the lawn behind the 1950’s Thai home that houses Tansathien’s Spring restaurant. Patrons can dine on dishes from Spring’s menu,... More