Vientiane Kitchen (Lao/Isaan) – Feel the power of the small chili on Sukhumvit Soi 36 (02 258 6171). Very spicy food accompanied by Mor Lam music. BTS – Thong Lo
Thang Long (Vietnamese) – 382/5 Laung Suan Rd (02 251 3504)
River Bar Cafe – Sit on the river and enjoy food, music and the odd dried squid purveyor in a small canoe, 405/1 Soi Chao Phraya (02 879 1747)
Asia Hotel – Possibly the most famous LadyBoy show in . . . the world. BTS Ratchathewi
Face Bar – Trendy expat hangout @ Soi Sukhumvit 38, BTS Thong Lo with branches in Shanghai, Jakarta and Taipei.
The Bed SupperClub @ Soi 11
Girlie Bars: Patpong used to be known as the red light district of South-East Asia. It probably does not live up to its international image any more – most of the old Patpong sex scene has shifted to Soi Cowboy (Sukhmuwit 23) andNana Plaza (Sukhumwit 3). Still, there are plenty of go-go bars remaining and enough touts to retain a raucous atmosphere. Patpong is a great place to take visitors – they think they’re somewhere famous, and there is also an excellent market selling all the fake watches and designer goods that tourists feel are essential to take home.
Chivit Chiva (www.chivitchivaspa.com) – 16/1-2 Sukhumvit Soi 19 in the center of Bangkok (02 253 0607) BTS Asoke
Bangkok is awash in all manner of shopping, genuine and genuine “copy”.
Emporium@Phra Prom BTS
Siam Paragon@Siam BTS – Prada, Ferrari, Lamborghini, an amazing food court, a supermarket that will make your head spin and 5000W voltage converters !
MBK (Tokyu) – MBK shopping centre is chiefly known for selling cheap electronic goods (new and second hand mobile phones, pagers, Game Boys, video games) and cheap women’s fashion (an female outfit for office work costs between 1,000-1,500 Baht). Due to the large numbers of shops selling the same thing, prices here are very good – in fact, this is amongst the cheapest air-con Bangkok shopping. The parking here involves driving in ever-ascending circles until you find a space (usually 12 floors up), easier is to park in Siam Square and walk over the pedestrian bridge. If they don’t have it for sale here it doesn’t exist. Okay, the elephants are not for sale . . .
Chatuchak (Weekend Market – which is open daily): Chatuchak sells everything – and I really mean everything. Despite the lack of parking and the crowds and high temperature, it is well worth visiting. Especially good sections are the Thai souvenirs and the plants. However, the heat may prove too much for the less dedicated shopper, who can usually find a bar within the market to have a few cold beers while his or her spouse continues with the shopping.
Panthip Plaza – the capital of Thailand as far as technology is concerned! For hardware such as computers, peripherals, digital cameras and the like the range is excellent. For software, however, prices are incredibly cheap (how do they do it?) – especially for “compilations” of software on CD. Video CD’s are also available – both Karaoke and movies, prices start at about 80 Baht/movie ! They have everything – looking for Korean soap operas (all the rage in Asia for over a decade now) or German comedy shows . . .
Stuff To Do:
Long Tail Boat Ride on the khlongs (canals) of the “Venice of Asia”
Grande Palace / Wat Phra Kaew – Without doubt, the Grand Palace is the best of Bangkok’s many tourist attractions. The Grand Palace is a collection of fantastically ornate temples and other buildings contructed in a variety of Thai styles. Gold leaf, mirrored tiles and Buddha images are in abundance. The centrepiece is the Emerald Buddha (Phra Kaew) which is of immense spiritual importance to Thailand. However, the Grand Palace also has many other interesting things to look at (check out the murals on the walls, and the Thai worshippers behind Wat Phra Kaew) this is one place that should not be missed.