I found these questions on another site and I thought it would be a great (and easy) way to round-up the roller-coaster that was last year and offer my tips and favourites from 2012.
Why do you love Bangkok?
I love Bangkok because it really is a city that never sleeps. At any time of the day or night you can find food, drink, shopping and something to do. I also love living somewhere that’s so toasty and warm all the time!
What do you miss most when you are not there?
The food! I never thought I would get into all those spices and strange looking fruit and vegetables. I have been unwell recently and the doctor advised that I should give up spicy food for a while. It’s a nightmare, I miss som tam and curry!
Where’s the best place to stay?
In Sukhumvit I would recommend The Eugenia. It’s beautiful, vintage glamour and colonial style, with only a handful of rooms and the most amazing green tiled swimming pool. They also have a fleet of classic cars so you can negotiate the traffic jams in style. Even if you don’t get the chance to stay here, try their afternoon tea. The other hotel I really love is Sofitel So – four different room concepts (they will even swap your rooms for you if you book a long stay so you can experience them all) including a modernistic silver and white suite and a tribal inspire Klein blue room. On the roof is an amazing bar that looks over Lumpini Park and the Executive Club was designed by Christian Lacroix. I am staying at the Tree House Hotel soon, very excited about that!
Where would you meet friends for a drink?
WTF on Sukhumvit Soi 51 is a firm favourite, they do some unusual mixes and it is really easy to spend an evening here. It definitely has a more European vibe – but the drinks have a thai twist – try the Muay Thai punch – the best way to experience Sangsom, a famous Thai whisky. I also love Bar 23 on Sukhumvit 16, they play the coolest music and the guys that run the place are great fun. It’s not easy to find though, and always looks closed! Look out for the oval sign on the right hand side, just after Balee Thai restaurant. A new opening that I loved in 2013 was The Alchemist on Sukhumvit Soi 11. Just a chilled out vibe, and so easy to spend longer than you expect there!
Where are your favourite places for a meal?
For Thai food either Supanniga or Soul Food on Thong Lor. Soul Food is a favourite of many, and does the best tamarind ribs I have ever tasted. Supanniga is the new kid on the block but serves some unusual Thai food from Issan and the coast. For something fancy I adore La Table de Tee near Silom, a tiny restaurant tucked down an dirty alleyway, which serves fine-dining style food at great prices.
Where would you send a first-time visitor?
Start early morning at Chatuchak Weekend Market for shopping, followed by an afternoon admiring the reclining buddha and getting a great Thai massage at Wat Pho, evening cocktails at Sofitel So overlooking Lumpini Park and dinner at La Table de Tee round the corner. If you come during the week Chatuchak is closed, but try the newly opened Asiatique, a night bazaar / evening entertainment spot with Ladyboy cabaret and a big wheel.
What would you tell them to avoid?
The Ping Pong Shows!
Public transport or taxi?
Both! During rush hour you would be mad to take a cab, either jump on the Sky Train or enjoy the exhilarating ride on a motorbike taxi. But coming home from a bar or club late there is no problem taking a taxi.
What should I take home?
Thai curry pastes, silk scarves and a made-to-measure dress/suit from one of the great value tailors along Sukhumvit Road.
And if I’ve only time for one shop?
Not a shop but a market/fair – the monthly Thai Craft Fair. Fair trade goods from around the country at decent prices. They have everything: jewellery, pottery, silk, even great Thai coffee beans. It’s the perfect place to stock up on gifts.