HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME WITH FOOD & FUN IN BANGKOK
In mid-2019, Singaporeans were made known of a fact that was both familiar and surprising. They were told that they like to visit Bangkok for holidays (familiar) and that it was viewed as a behaviour of those from the lower class (surprising), or “low SES”.
Interestingly, Singaporeans love to visit Bangkok so much that they don’t mind being labelled “low class”. With at least 6 flights between Singapore and Bangkok offered by Singapore Airlines (29, if we include other airlines), popping over to Bangko for a long weekend vacation is a breeze.
No Singaporean Can Resist Chatuchak When They’re in Bangkok
An all-time favourite is Chatuchak Weekend Market, located at the last BTS station (Mo Chit) of the green line that passes through Siam. It is a huge open air pasar malam that Singaporeans are familiar with. In fact, almost everyone I know will visit Chatuchak Weekend Market every time they are in Bangkok.
All, except for me.
I don’t like the sun and heat in Singapore, so I don’t see the logic why I should pay for a holiday to enjoy the same sun and humidity.
Cafe Hopping Beside Bangkok BTS Stations
With that as a premise, I set out to explore ways to enjoy the hipster culture of Bangkok (and Thailand) without breaking much sweat. I started first with a cafe hopping schedule – these cafes were connected to the BTS stations so there was minimal exposure to the elements!
People asked me why I recommended hipster cafes that could also be found in Singapore. I asked them to re-read my post. None of these cafes required driving (or taking taxis), unlike in Singapore. And many of these cafes are not crowded, so it was easy to chill and enjoy some peace during a shopping break. Yep, even when you don’t have the intention to do cafe hopping!
And then I found EmQuartier, which was literally a shopping complex made for hipster cafes. They have those ground floor cafes catered to those who were just passing by. They also had the cafes at higher levels which overlooked their indoor garden, providing the comfort of a mall and the ambience of alfresco.
Cafe hopping all day within a mall with different ambience? You definitely won’t be able to find such an option in Singapore!
That being said, I still explored parts of Bangkok that weren’t totally indoors.
The first adventure beyond like 30m from a BTS station was to theCommons, which was about a 30-minute stroll from Thong Lo BTS station. It employed an open concept architecture style that was both hipster and breezy.
On the way to theCommons, the street was filled with well-known eateries. I popped by Soul Food Mahanakorn at the recommendation of readers for a hearty meal of Thai cuisine. By chance, we found Souffles&Souffles, which was just beside Soul Food Mahanakorn, which served fluffly pancakes in a very Japanese, minimalist setting. Go early and grab a seat by the window to enjoy your dessert while looking over the busy street of Bangkok!
N.B: It is common to call theCommons as The Commons. So, do not be confused when your friends spelled it that way!
Speaking of Thai food that shouts local, nothing can be compared to Thanee Khao Moo Daeng, an unassuming stall by the road off Ari BTS station. From the decor to the food, everything in Thanee Khao Moo Daeng reminds us of our childhood days in the 80s and 90s!
Ari Soi, which is seeing a resurgence in popularity, is a district populated with both traditional Thai food, modern cafe / bistro fare, and a fusion. Therefore, after having a simple lunch at Thanee Khao Moo Daeng, I popped over to the other side of the BTS station to cafe hop in Ari Soi.
A great highlight was Ong Tong Khao Soi, which offered tasty Chiangmai local noodles that simply gives one a foodgasm from the first bite to the last!
Ari Soi, once a happening hipster enclave, is seeing a resurgence. Away from bustling Bangkok centre, food that appeals to all taste buds can be found here!
My favourite hotel in Bangkok thus far was Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok. Like I mentioned in my review, it struck a balance between convenience, comfort and being affordable.
Mode Sathorn Hotel suffered from the location – although it was just beside Surasak BTS station, the station itself was a number of stations away from Siam, or changing BTS if you want to go to the part around Nana. However, if you are willing to spend an extra SGD20 per night to upgrade to an Executive Room, you will get a superb view of the Bangkok skyline, not to mention the amazing huge space!
I had also stayed at Grande Centre Point Terminal 21, which was literally above the famous Terminal 21 shopping mall itself. You can read my reviews of Grande Centre Point Terminal 21 and that of Amari Watergate Hotel opposite Pratunam shopping mall, by clicking on the respective images below.
Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok, part of the Marriott group of hotels, reviewed. And yes, don't be surprised to find 4 giant pillows on the bed 🙂
Bangkok, like all mega cities, is an evolving metropolis. Trends come and go, places get popular and then fade off into oblivion. Even our favourite Chatuchack Weekend Market also had to be closed for a while after it was hit with fire earlier this year.
The ever changing face of the city was precisely the reason why Singaporeans keep returning to it. Whenever we have the time, we return to the familiar city that is sure to offer something different for the next trip.
If you liked my travelogue, be sure to follow my blog for future updates! Alternatively, be sure to check out my travelogues to other countries, like my Christmas Market wanderlust tour to Munich, Germany, New York City – Washington DC – Boston free and easy sightseeing, or my self drive adventure at Hokkaido!