An insider's guide to Bangkok
Start your journey by treating yourself to a sumptuous dinner at the award-winning Bo.lan (24 Sukhumvit 53 Alley). Its menu changes regularly, but flavours remain consistently fiery and the style, contemporary. There are plenty of choices for post-dinner drinks. For a more refined gentleman's club atmosphere, head to Black Amber Thonglor Social Club (Thonglor soi 5-7). Its huge selection of Japanese whiskies will warrant more than one visit, but Eigashima Akashi is a good introduction. Those preferring a trendier watering hole can choose Sugar Ray. This establishment, located in a no-name soi off Eakkamai soi 21, on the second storey of what looks like an abandoned house, serves a great Perfect Manhattan, which lives up to its name.
Head to the Old City area for a dose of history. The Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall (100 Ratcha Damnoen Klang Avenue) is an interactive museum that takes visitors back in time through the development of this part of the capital. All visitors with an inbound domestic or international flight on Thai Airways may present their boarding pass for a complimentary ticket to the museum till the end of this year.
Then, fuel up with lunch at Err (394/35 Maharaj Road), a new dining venue by chefs Duangporn Songvisava (Bo) and Dylan Jones (Lan), the same duo behind Bo.lan. This street food-style restaurant is perfect for a casual midday meal. Post-lunch, to enjoy panoramic views of the Chao Phraya river, take a boat ride on the Chao Phraya Express from Tha Tien Pier to Sathorn Pier, where one can board the BTS Skytrain. The train service is a cheaper and faster way to travel than winding through heavy road traffic.
As the day comes to a close, head to Benjarong in Dusit Thani hotel (946 Rama IV Road) for a Thai royal-style feast with a contemporary touch. Its revamped menu was orchestrated by Dutch chef Morten Nielsen, from Copenhagen's Michelin-starred Thai restaurant Kiin Kiin, who also headed Siam Kempinski's Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin in Bangkok. The lamb massaman is a must-try.
Make your last night in the city a memorable one at The Speakeasy in Hotel Muse Bangkok (55/555 Langsuan Road). Hidden within this rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city is Blind Pig, a secret chamber designed for cigar lovers. The establishment even provides smoking jackets for those who don't want to end up smelling like Cuban cigars.
No trip to Bangkok is complete without some shopping. Another Story is a multi-label lifestyle concept store that recently opened in luxury shopping mall EmQuartier (637 Sukhumvit Road). Find over 150 Thai and international designers carrying everything from fashion and handmade shoes to innovative tech accessories. Also worth a browse is Hardcover, the bookstore specialising in art and travel publications. It has two locations at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (939 Rama 1 Road) and Central Embassy (1031 Ploenchit Road).
Before the flight home, enjoy one final indulgence. All holders of a Royal Silk or Royal First Class ticket from Thai Airways are entitled to a complimentary massage at Thai Airways' Royal Orchid Spa at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. The well appointed spa serves Royal First and Royal Silk Class passengers with a full range of spa services.
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