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By Chris | December 22 2007
We asked Bangkok’s top concierges to share their personal recommendations for a perfect day in the city
Chief Concierge, The Peninsula Bangkok
+66 2626 1828
Cuisine: Progressive Indian
68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Phathumwan, 10330
Visit Gaggan for deconstructivist Indian gastronomy. Chef Gaggan Anand studied under the renowned Ferran Adrià and El Bulli in Spain and uses avant-garde techniques such as spherification, foaming and sous-vide. Gaggan is located in a beautifully restored traditional Thai house with high-ceilings and intimate dining spaces.
34/1 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road, 10330
Gianni Ristorante uses high quality fresh ingredients that are shipped twice a week directly from Italy. Chef Gianni Favro combines traditional Italian cusine with modern cooking techniques, favoring deeply flavored extravirgin olive oil over dripping and butter.
Cuisine: Japanese with a Californian twist
26, Sukhumvit 20, Sukhumvit Road, Klong Toey, 1011
Boasting an elegant lounge bar and a 200-seat fine dining restaurant, Koi is a chic destination for modern Japanese cuisine served with a Californian twist. Try the rock shrimp served on a fruit salad with sweet cream and a vibrant orange chili sauce.
34, Arun Amarin Road, Kwang Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok
Yai, 10600 Wat Arun, which means the Temple of Dawn, is best visited at daybreak when the temple is bathed in orange and gold. Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River; for the most picturesque view hire a long-tail boat and enjoy a champagne breakfast as you sail past the temple at sunrise.
Chatuchak Park, Phaholyothin Road
Chatuchak is an open-air market formed from a labyrinth of streets with an astonishing six thousand stalls selling anything and everything. Some excellent street food can be found here – just look for the stalls with queues of loyal patrons.
Na Phra Lan Road, 10200
A private guided tour of the Grand Palace is essential. Surrounded by 6,234 feet of walls the Grand Palace occupies 54 acres and houses priceless treasures – most notably the Emerald Buddha.
Assistant Guest Service Manager, Metropolitan Hotel Bangkok
+66 2625 3322
“A recommended itinerary would combine Bangkok’s wonderful landmarks, such as the Grand Palace and the temple of the Emerald Buddha, with a tour in a private long-tailed boat to learn about life along the canal and river.
To absorb the culture and life of this city visit Bangkok’s contemporary art galleries, such as the recently-opened BKK Art House or the two-floor H Gallery that is located in a converted wooden school building. Shopping in Bangkok is a unique experience. Wander through Bangkok’s luxury malls or soak in the atmosphere of the busy street markets. JJ Weekend Market offers everything from hill tribe attire to vintage garments and modern accessories.”
Metropolitan Hotel Bangkok, 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek, Sathorn, 10120
Head chef David Thompson is an expert on Thai cuisine and serves dishes that were once eaten in the royal courts of Thailand.
42 Soi Pichaironarongsongkram, Sukhumvit Soi 26, 10110
Indulge in slow food in an atmospheric dining room. Trained by David Thompson of Nahm, Bo.lan’s head chef uses fresh, seasonal produce to create authentic Thai dishes.
Soi Pipat 2 (20 yards off Convent Road), Silom, 10500
Showcasing striking art work from Bangkok’s H Gallery, Eat Me restaurant offers appetizing modern cuisine and immaculate modern décor.
Chief Concierge, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
+66 2659 9000
“Enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s Riverside Terrace while overlooking the Chao Phraya River – the river of kings.
Board a long-tail boat from the Oriental pier and tour some of the best sights of the city, including the Emerald Buddha, Wat Arun and the Royal Barge Museum. Traverse Bangkok’s network of canals to witness how local Thai communities live along the river and then stop off at the flower market before heading back to the hotel. Hop on the hotel’s shuttle boat to the nearest Skytrain station to make a trip to Siam Paragon, the city’s ultimate shopping center, where you can find everything from luxury brands to local handicrafts, as well as a department store and an array of restaurants (Thai, Chinese and international). There is also a multiplex movie theater and shops selling the latest technology gadgets. Return to the Mandarin Oriental for afternoon tea in the legendary Authors’ Lounge. For a dinner of fine Thai cuisine look no further than the hotel’s Sala Rim Naam, which serves both an à la carte and set dinner menu, where you can also enjoy a classical Thai dance show. After dinner stop for a night cap at the Bamboo Bar, or, should you prefer to go out, take a five-minute walk to the neighboring Sirocco rooftop bar for drinks and a breathtaking view of Bangkok.”
10 Pramuan Road, Silom, 10500
22 Charoenkrung Soi 34, 10500
69 South Sathorn Road, Sathorn, 10120
For: Thai Handicrafts
23 Trok Rongnamkhaeng, Si Phaya Pier, Yota Road, Sampantawong, 10100
For: Thai Handicrafts
973 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini Phatumwan, 10330
“For luxury brands head to Bangkok’s leading department stores and large malls such as Siam Paragon, Central World and MBK.
For traditional shopping pick from an array of bustling markets, such as the Chatuchak weekend market and Patpong night market. Banyan Tree Bangkok offers a complimentary personal shopper service for their guests. The hotel’s shopping experts are just as familiar with weekend markets as they are with the most fashionable department stores in Bangkok. These experts will accompany guests for three hours as they hunt for special buys at the best prices – they know the way, speak the language and offer first-hand tips on what to select and how to strike a great bargain. Banyan Tree also offers a complimentary shuttle service in a sixpassenger tuk tuk to both Saladaeng skytrain station and Lumpini underground station. While the tuk tuk is one of the most fun and recognisable forms of transport in Thailand, it is also extremely practical – its small size allows it to nip in and out of the traffic, making it much quicker than a taxi.”
“Let’s start the day at the Colonnade restaurant for a superb breakfast then take a ride along the Chao Phraya River in a long-tailed boat to the River City Complex.
Visit the Grand Palace, the symbol of the kingdom. Have lunch at Deck by the River at the Arun Residence, which is situated next to the Chao Phraya River while overlooking Wat Arun.
If you have time in the afternoon why not try your hand at cooking authentic Thai cuisine at the Naj Thai Cooking School. Afternoon classes run from 1.30pm to 5.30pm. If you are in Bangkok at the weekend, find anything you could possibly dream of at the Chatuchak weekend market – you name it, it has it. For an evening to remember enjoy a rooftop sunset dinner at the State Tower, which is listed in 100 things to do in Bangkok before you die.”
The Sukhothai Bangkok, 13/3 South Sathorn Road, 10120
Cuisine: Thai and European
36-38 Soi Pratoo, Nok Yoong, Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, 10200
Asoke Residence, 50 Sukhumvit Soi 19, 10110
42 Convent Road, Silom, 10500