Ten things I love in Bangkok right now (Nov 2012)

There are so many great things in Bangkok, but sometimes all it takes is a song, a picture, a smell, something that triggers a memory deep inside and reminds you how far you are from family and the things that hold a lifetime of familiarity. All I can think of at the moment are those cold crisp days in London, I blame the stupid John Lewis Snowman advert. We’ve just had friends visit, which makes the memories of the UK come back into focus,  things at a distance do tend to blur and smudge after two years away.

It’s on days like these that I need reminding about why I love Bangkok so much. It’s not quite toppled the big smoke as my number one city, but it is doing its best to catch up.

  1. Christmas is coming fast, and usually it’s a time where people want to be with their families. Screw that, come to Bangkok – to them it’s the huge trees, bigger buffets and the perfect excuse to spend money, not recreating childhood memories. Who doesn’t want to giggle at all the ladies of the night wearing sexy Santa outfits?!
  2. Rediscovering Siam Square. When I first arrived I wasn’t sure how to navigate this area, with so many shops it was hard to work out where to go, and I usually ended up down bad quality alley with purchasing fake goods my only chance of escape. But since writing this article I have totally fallen in love with the place, especially the quirky upstairs gallery at Siam Vintage.
  3. Twitter. I love the English speaking  community on Bangkok twitter and although I still haven’t quite got my head around tweeting, hearing about other people and their journeys in the city is both entertaining and reassuring.
  4. Visitors. Okay, it can be stressful when people expect you to know everything about a place, but they do allow you to rediscover the city beyond your commute to work. I always try and save the touristy things till people come and stay, so I don’t have to do it twice so it’s nice to see some of the more famous parts of Bangkok, including the Sky Bar at Lebua.
  5. Tom Kha Gai (coconut chicken soup) and mango sticky rice are my Bangkok comfort foods, the Thai equivalent of a hug in a bowl – I could eat them every day.
  6. Cheap manicures. I now alternate between two nail salons on Sukhumvit. My favourite Nailista, only has three seats and recently they just haven’t been able to fit me in. So I’ve headed to Ten Ten near Phrom Pong BTS, more room, great YSL inspired French manicure in green and purple and free ginger tea.
  7. The cool weather. I am ecstatic when I wake up and it’s cloudy. It means I can wear jeans AND not have to worry about getting sunburnt or dehydrated.
  8. How cheap and easy it is to escape from Bangkok. I’ve just spent a week on the Islands, fallen in love with Koh Tao and plan to return to attempt some Grand Bleu style free diving whilst holding my breath for three minutes.
  9. BKK Bagel Bakery. I’ve started going here at least once a week, who ever thought you could stuff so much goodness into a ring of dough? (518/3 Maneeya Center, Ploenchit Road, Bangkok 10330)
  10. Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) at Emporium (BTS Phrom Pong), a great library to get your head down and get some work done, or procrastinate with photography and design books.

6 thoughts on “Ten things I love in Bangkok right now (Nov 2012)

  1. This brings back so many good memories of Bangkok…and reminds me of how much we still need to do there. Makes me determined to go back in a few months.

    LOVE the Tom Kha Gai!! Our favorite was at a cool little coffee shop/restaurant called Elefin. I think it was on Suk Soi 1, close to Bumrungrad.

  2. Thanks for the post – I just learned at least 2 new things I want to check out in Bangkok!

  3. That picture is just beautiful! I’ll be in Bangkok in a couple of weeks, so thank you for the many tips in this post and thank you for liking mine!

  4. Great read. My company wants to send me out to Bangkok to help manage the business out there. They’re offering me 230,000b PCM. Is this enough to live comfortably on this wage package. Never been before, so not sure what to expect.

    1. Hi! That seems a pretty decent package. Rent on a decent 1 bed in central Bkk is around 20,000 baht and a 3 bed would be around 60,000 baht (from personal experience / friends). I probably spend around 5000 baht on food, travel and entertainment every week. Although my salary here is lower than what it was in the UK I still manage to put more money away (and have more cash for travelling) than I did before. I think Bangkok offers that perfect balance – despite the heat it’s a very comfortable place to live – more westernised than most in SE Asia, and offers great value for money! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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