In & Around Bangkok

Wat Arun at dawn
Photographer: Coward_Lion/123RF

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, never fails to amaze – check out some unusual experiences for your next trip here

Words AURELIA FERNANDES

Be it a quick getaway, a shopping trip or a food holiday, Thailand’s eclectic capital always finds its way onto travellers’ lists. Armed with all the makings of a great metropolitan city, Bangkok caters to all your needs, from art and culture to food and nightlife. The ideal holiday destination for people of all ages, it’s always a good time to visit this charming city.

Ditch your suitcase
Located in a former sugar factory, Inn a Day in Ko Rantankosin and Thonburi has it all – a decked-out industrial look and a stunning view of Wat Arun. Settle into one of the inn’s 11 rooms, which, although small, come equipped with quirky elements like neon shower stalls. If you’d rather treat yourself, book a duplex suite, complete with claw-foot tub . Bangkok is loved by travellers, so there are many upsides to booking your stay well in advance. One of them is scoring a room in the famed Ariyasom Villa in Thanon Sukhumvit. A beautifully-renovated 1940s villa, it’s not hard to see what the hype is all about – rooms here are furnished with gorgeous antique furniture and boast Thai aesthetics  Like any other city, Bangkok comes with a plethora of sights, sounds and smells, which can often be a sensory overload. Thankfully, Praya Palazzo Hotel in Banglamphu takes skipping the crowd very seriously. Located on a canal-bound islet that can only be accessed by the river, this hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway or anyone seeking a bit of solace. Venturing out post sunset isn’t exactly easy, the grand rooms and the view of the Chao Phraya River make up for it.

Daytime diversions
Taking on Bangkok is no easy feat, but it will always be rewarding. No matter how many times you visit, you will always find yourself discovering something new; you just need to know where to look. Start off by visiting Ko Rantankosin and Thonburi. An artificial island, Ko Ratanakosin is home to Bangkok’s iconic sights, including Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew and the Amulet Market. Thonburi, on the other hand, is a sleepy residential district, connected by khlong (canals). While the former seems like the more exciting area, Thonburi is less crowded and allows you to see the domestic side of Bangkok. For a heady mix of art, culture, shopping and more, visit Bangkok’s commercial district – Siam Square, Pratunam and Phloen Chit and Ratchathewi await you. For an assorted mix of sights and sounds in the area, drop into the Jim Thompson House, Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, the Erawan Shrine, and the Bangkok Doll Factory and Museum. If there is any district that can rival Ko Ratanakosin in terms of popularity, it would have to be Chinatown. Home to gold and jade shops, restaurants and wholesale stores, this precinct is an experience in itself. Put Wat Traimit, the flower market and the Holy Rosary Church on your list of must-visits, but also know that the best way to explore Chinatown is by just getting lost – you’re sure to stumble upon something interesting.

To know more about planning a holiday in Bangkok, Thailand, check out LPMI’s February 2020 issue. Pick up a copy from your newsstand or click to subscribe via Zinio or Magzter.