by Eelee Soo
Bangkok has always been a favourite weekend hangout for Singaporeans. With all the shopping, eating and massages, it is hard to imagine a better weekend escapade.
With all the buzz in Bangkok, we discover new places that are worth changing the lanes for. From the hipster cafes to classy bars, find out what we have in store!
Find a Good Location and Skip the Jam
Situated by the corner of downtown bangkok, Cacha Hotel is a great affordable location for the perfect weekend getaway. It's proximity to Siam Square, Bangkok Art & Culture Centre and Platinium Pratunam Shopping Complex, means fun for the entire family. While it is nothing fancy, the decently sized hotel and service more than made up for it.
Derived from the poetic Thai word that translates as "elephant", the newly refurbished hotel has managed to retain it's old world charm of traditional shophouses while combining the minimalist functionality of modern industrial design. A harmonious collaboration between the hotel and seven renowned street artistes managed to grant each room a unique touch of its own with a piece of elaborated wall art. Additionally, the common area is also embellished with the works of these fine artists, making the trip in and out the hotel a magical experience one would only expect in an art museum or gallery.
156/5-9 Petchburi Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400
Phone : (+66) 2216 8950-3
Just like Singapore, the cafe culture in Bangkok is booming. During our recent visit, it was nice to see a new breed of speciality coffee shop owners who are more concerned about the acidity, taste and complexity of their caffeinated beverage than just a fancy restaurant theme.
Centrally located on the ground floor of Siam Centre is a handcraft store, inside it hides an open concept cafe, which features the beans and the team behind Thailand's home grown Brave Roasters.
Despite the limited seatings and obscure location, I+D Style Cafe is no stranger to the local crowd. The decent espresso has gained a small party of followers with it's sly ability to bring people together. But while you are there, we would advise you to try the signature cold brews, tediously prepared by the barister with more equipments than a high school labatory, and stylishly served in a whiskey bottle.
For the hungry folks, do check out their accompanying menu made up of berry pancakes, croissants and European breakfast sets.
I+D Style Cafe x Brave Roasters
G/F Siam Centre
Rama Road 1, Bangkok, Thailand
Chill with the Alpacas
This is truly a gem hidden in the suburbs of Bangkok! After being stuck in a peak hour jam for close to 2 hours (welcome to Bangkok), we finally got to Alpaca View. While the food was mainly average at best, the fantastic place certainly did not disappoint. Unlike any other restaurants we've been to, this one comes with KTV rooms, an Eiffel Tower, Ferris Wheel and a petting zoo! Spend your day interacting and feeding alpacas, pigs and rabbits before revealing some vocal talents in the KTV rooms. Finally, end the night off with a good beer or two while enjoying the professional live band. We couldn't have been happier. While we might not return anytime soon, due to the location and crazy traffic conditions in Bangkok, it is easily on our list of places you must visit as least once in Bangkok.
Lad Prao Wanghin Road, Lat Phrao, Bangkok 10230
Fine Dine Me Away
From the moment your drive up the long, palm-fringed road to architect Kerry Hill’s Sukhothai Hotel, you will feel a sense of detachment from the hustle and bustle of the city. Simple yet elegant, La Scala has long since established itself as one of the best Italian fine dining restaurants in Bangkok.
While dinner menus are on the pricier side, have a taste of what they have to offer during lunch with their popular set menu (1200 - 1800 THB) that is very value for money. You can choose between 2 or 3 courses that are tastefully done to perfection, with careful attention paid to the selection of each ingredient. Don't forget to check out the great selection available at the antipasti buffet and the variety of hearty pizzas.
La Scala, The Sukhothai Bangkok, 13/3 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
It is true that great food can be found in the most unassuming places. Krua Apsorn is one of them. Helmed by Chef Chanchavee Skulkant, the simple restaurant serves sensational yet simple food that are great for every occasion.
Start off with the green curry that is flavourful without being overpowering. The herbs and spices brought out the sweetness of the fresh ingriedients and we couldn't resist a second serving of rice. Next, we moved on to the crab omelette, which was basically a globe of crab goodness wrapped with nothing but a sheet of fluffy gold egg.
However, for us, nothing could beat the stir-fried crab in curry powder. Filled with giant chunks of succulent crabmeat sauteed with egg, onions and spring onions in a very mild yellow curry sauce. That taste was unforgettable.
Samsen Soi 9 – north of national library in old town Bangkok
Absolutely one of my favourite places to visit in Bangkok is the new Yoichi Nikka Bar & Restaurant. Opening its first venture outside of Japan, APR Trading Group is the much loved creators behind more than 30 restaurants in Hokkaido.
Solemnly toned and moodily lit, this bar was not easy to find but definitely worth your time. The four storey property was classy and exuberating with exclusivity and poise. Despite sitting at the bar, we did not feel like our comfort was at stake as the bar had luxurious arm chairs in place of the conventional bar stools.
While you are there, do have a go at the Sushi Wagyu Nigiri, Chocolate Melts, and of course, the World’s Best Blended Malt Whisky 2014, the Takesuru 17 Years. New to Japanese Whiskey? We would strongly recommend the tasting sets, which will give you a good idea of the different periods of the whiskey maturation process.
6/11 Sukhumvit Soi 39, Bangkok, 10330 Thailand
Besides the touristy Khao San Street and Chatuchak Weekend Market, we found out there are a lot more in Bangkok that is worth checking out. For the foodies, try the enticing street food lined up at Sukhumvit Soi 38 Night Market, including the famous Bangkok Wanton Mee, Tiger Prawns and Mango Sticky Rice. If you are hoping to catch a soccer game with a local atmosphere, head down to Huai Khwang Night Market, where you will also find some street food and shopping carts. Last but not least, for the shopping enthusiasts, check out Pratunam Market and start the day with bags and bags of shopping. So we've been told that many retailers from Plantinium Mall get their goods from here. So be sure to wake up bright and early for this one, and yes, we're talking aboiut 6am kind of early. You'll not regret it.
View from the Top
Rooftop Bars are aplenty in Bangkok city. From the 83rd floor Rooftop Bar at Baiyoke Sky Hotel to the river view 342 bar on the modest fifth level Baan Wanglang, this vibrant city seems to be a huge fan of its gorgeous skyline.
One of our favourites was the Above Eleven bar nestled on Sukhumvit Soi 11. Popular both with tourists and locals, the bar has a chilled-out Central Park inspired rooftop, set out over two floors. Besides the signature cockatils, we were quickly mesmerised by the 180-degree panorama of Bangkok’s famous shopping malls in downtown Siam. Well, there aren't many things better than a drink with a view and your feet tapping to the rhythm of the music.
For those looking to enjoy a sunset dinner with a view, don't forget to check out Zense located on the rooftop of CentralWorld. The huge space offers plenty of options including fine dining, post dinner drinks and even a dance off right here in the middle of the shopping district.
33rd Floor, Fraser Suites Sukhumvit
Sukhumvit Road, Soi 11
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
ZENSE Gourmet Deck & Lounge Panaroma
ZEN World, Level 17
4, 4/5 Rajadamri Road, ZEN World @CentralWorld,
Pathumwan, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand