There’s nothing better than a girls’ weekend away – especially when the destination is Bangkok! Charlotte and I both have a real soft spot for this vibrant city: everything about it is on another level.
If you’re heading to Bangkok soon, here are our tips to make the most of 48 hours in this big, bright city…
Where to eat
The beautifully crafted menu, tranquil setting and top-notch service are just some of the reasons why nahm took the top spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list this year. If you love Thai food this is definitely to indulge. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to ordering, however, the Coconut and Chicken Soup with Deep Fried Garlic, Green Mango and Chili is a must! In terms of cocktails, the Tomyumtini gets a 10/10 from us. Don’t forget to book in advance!
We. Love. This. Place. Tucked away from the commotion of passing traffic in a quaint, low-key neighbourhood, Issaya Siamese Club has to be one of Bangkok’s best kept secrets. Set in a restored colonial-style villa, the atmosphere is quirky and relaxed. If you’re heading there for dinner, try snag a table on the outdoor terrace (it’s divine). Make the most of your time there by enjoying a few drinks on the colourful bean bags scattered across the front lawn afterwards.
Where to drink
Bangkok isn’t really known for its rooftop hangouts, however, Banyan Tree’s Moon Bar is a fabulous place to toast the city as the sun sets. It can get rather jam-packed so be prepared to stand for a while if there aren’t any seats free.
Commonly known as the ‘Hangover bar’ having featured in The Hangover 2 movie, if you haven’t paid Sirocco a visit before then it is box you must tick. Although it’s become a bit of a tourist trap (the drinks are quite overpriced for what they are), the view is exquisite.
What to do
Let’s face it: one of the best things about Thailand is the food. If you’re keen to channel your inner Master Chef, the Blue Elephant Cooking School gets the big thumbs up from us. Two half-day classes are held daily (morning and afternoon); they involve a trip to the wet market to learn more about key Thai ingredients, live cooking demos, hands-on cooking classes, AND the opportunity to eat it all in their restaurant at the end. Really fun and well worth your time if this is your sort of thing.
Where to shop
A trip to Bangkok wouldn’t be complete without giving your credit card a bit of a workout. If you enjoy mall-hopping, the Siam area is a one-stop-shop. From Siam Paragon to Central World, all the major luxury and high street brands are on offer. Most malls along the Siam strip run alongside the Sky Train air bridge making them no sweat to get to and easy to navigate. Be sure to wear comfy shoes (#shoppingtip101).
Of all the outdoor markets we’ve visited on our Asia travels, this is by far the biggest and best. Vendors at Chatuchak sell everything under the sun; from vintage clothes to delicious Thai street food, ceramic home wares to costume jewellery, it’s all waiting to be found amongst 27 sections spread across 110,000 square metres. Although you can tackle Chatuchak with a mapped out plan, we find the best buys are those you stumble across along the way. Here are a few key tips:
- Grab a map when you arrive – most stall holders have these to give away
- If you’re looking for clothes and handbags, sections 4-6 are great for clothes
- If you’re looking for cutlery, ceramics or ornaments, sections 21-26 are best for home wares
- While some stalls and boutiques sell goods at fixed prices, most are open to bargaining
- Don’t risk ‘shopping around’ – seriously, the place is too big. If you see something you like, buy it then and there
- Make the most of the delicious food on offer! Fresh coconut ice cream is a particular fave of ours
- Have a water bottle on hand; don’t let yourself get dehydrated!
When you’re done with shopping, wining and dining, don’t forget to squeeze in a bit of pool time – no Bangkok getaway would be complete without it! Enjoy…