While Bangkok may be infamous for its eyebrow-raising entertainment, there’s just so much more to the city than its red-light district, fake leather goods and tom yum goong! The Luxe Nomad’s editor Alia Soraya recently spent a weekend in the ‘city of sin’ and came back with her own list of guilty pleasures.
There’s always the good ol’ JJ or Chatuchak market to fall back on, but if you want to shop in style, comfort, find one-off Thai urban design pieces AND instagram your discoveries immediately, then head to Siam Center (BTS Siam, next to Paragon Mall). Recently renovated and revolutionised, the new Siam Center is THE place if you want a unique shopping experience – think ultra-modern retail design, digital engagement, exclusive product offerings and trendy hangout/art/creative space. This place is literally a candy shop for those with an eye for design. And if you’re hankering for sweets, don’t miss Mr Jones’ Orphanage where the order of the day consists of desserts and teddy bears!
While most places in Bangkok serve amazing Thai fare, I recommend you book a table at the upscale but laidback Bo.Lan (42 Sukhumvit 26 Soi Pichai Ronnarong Songkram Klongtoey Bangkok 10110, Thailand or BTS Phrom Phong). It may not be the spiciest Thai food I’ve tasted but the Balance menu is to-die-for thanks to complex and non-traditional taste pairings. The organic food is beautifully presented but service would probably flow smoother if someone in your group speaks Thai. For delicious and simple comfort food, head to Soul Food Mahanakorn (BTS Thong Lo). You might miss it, so look for the wooden sign outside. This tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant is worth coming back to!
If you’re ready to splurge, then you ABSOLUTELY have to stay at The Siam. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya river and close to Sathorn pier, this 39-room property is the brainchild of Thai-American Sukosol family and famous architect/designer Bill Bensley. Forget the usual concrete block, The Siam is a melange of Art Deco detail, traditional Thai teak structures and modern tastes but somehow it all works. The absolute luxury of the place is potent, but in an understated yet undeniable way. I also love that it has a Muay Thai ring on the premises – complete with instructors to train you, whatever your level!
Now Bangkok is known for its plethora of massage parlours and rustic traditional Thai wellness centres, but we’re all about luxe so I say skip the factory-assembly line and head straight for the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape at The Metropolitan Bangkok. You’ll get first class therapists who really know their stuff and will leave your body feeling like melted butter by the end of your treatment. I suggest the COMO Shambhala Massage which uses their signature blend of oils to calm the mind and rejuvenate the body! Now that’s the taste of forbidden fruit in paradise!
Have your own recommendations? Why not let us know here or drop us a line in the comments section!
(Photo credits: interasia.com.au, Siam Center, Bo.lan, The Siam and COMO Shambhala)