“The Big Mango” – Bangkok

Cities in 24hrs, Good food

I love Bangkok! It’s probably one of my favourite, if not my favourite, cities in south east Asia. It has something for everyone, from crazy nights out to breathtaking culture for those looking to enjoy Thailand in all of its glory.

My Bangkok essentials:-

1. Hand sanitiser – helpful for street food eating

2. Mosquito spray, especially if you are as sweet as me 😉

3. Bangkok Metro App (helpful for BTS AND MRT)

4. Download GRAB taxi app (half the price of Uber) – easy to use

5. Tigerbalm White for after bites. Trust me, it’s a life saver

6. Pre-plan, face it, it’s a big city – book tables at bars and restaurants.

7. Use a scooter for short distances, plus it’s fun!

I love Bangkok! It’s probably one of my favourite, if not my favourite, cities in south east Asia. It has something for everyone, from crazy nights out to breathtaking culture for those looking to enjoy Thailand in all of its glory.

On this particular trip, I decided to opt for a different approach from the standard hopping to and from temples and partying on Khaosan Road. So here goes….

Saturday 24/06

2030:- I arrived into Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) from Phuket. On arrival, I was able to use the GRAB app to get myself to my hotel with minimum fuss. I had pre-planned to stay at the Bangkok Marriott Sukhumvit in Thong Lo, so it cost approximately 600 Baht to get to the hotel, inclusive of tolls in a premium car.

2100:- At check in, I was able to get myself a high floor room (34th floor) to enjoy the Bangkok skyline. From the pictures you will see, the standard double room was great in size and boasted great amenities. Staff in general were amazing as well as courteous, which applies to the country in general. Probably one the reasons why I keep going back, for the amazing hospitality and scrumptious food (which we will get to later).

2130:- One of the many attributes of this particular hotel is its location in Thong Lo and the fantastic transport links. Thong Lo, is situated in a bustling part of town where you are able to find great eats, in addition to some great bars and cafés. Furthermore, the main BTS station is found literally at the hotel’s doorstep, making it easy to get around town to the hundreds of malls and other local attractions. However, the main reason I chose this hotel over all others was it’s amazing three story rooftop on the 45th to the 49th floor, Octave. Most of us are happy with just one floor to enjoy a drink, food and the view, but having three, it means you have options! For instance the night I arrived, it was raining and with that, the hotel managed to maintain the bottom deck as a rooftop under a cover, allowing us to enjoy the view. Now the two lower decks have a viewing gallery of 180 degrees, but it still allows you to absorb Bangkok in all its glory. Once the rain stopped and the top floor opened up, I was able to enjoy the breathtaking 360 degree view. Drinks are well-priced, with cocktails from 375 Baht, and food at 180. It’s a perfect place to kick start or finish your night in Bangkok.

2300:- As this is a 24 hour stint in Bangkok, I thought it was important to witness everything that is different about this city. So after soaking up the atmosphere from the 49th floor I headed over to Havana Social. Ok I’m guilty it’s a rooftop, but it’s a speakeasy based off Soi 11 of Sukhumvit road which is worth a trip to. (Tip: go to their Facebook page to get details on how to get the secret code to get in via the telephone box.) The bar itself is a transportation back into 1940s Cuba with a live band as well as architecture to match. The top floor hosts a cigar lounge and an additional bar as it does get crowed but being a Saturday night, it is expected.

Sunday 25/06

0800:- Mornings can be painful, especially on a Sunday and even more so after a few days of Thai boxing. However, breakfast in bed is one way of getting over the pain. The Marriott makes a great concept even better with its various options and with that early morning view, it went down like a treat.

Breakfast in bed – half way in

1030:- After a relaxing start I headed out to kick start my day exploring the city. First stop was central embassy which is located a few stops down on the BTS (Phloen Chit). Tip: A metro day card costs 140 Baht for unlimited trips. Central embassy is a high-end shopping mall, but it was not the shops that I was after, it was the top floor ‘open house’. The open house is a space for thinkers, entrepreneurs or just those wanting to make use of great open spaces to create or build on something great. It hosts a open area which you can rent out (costs in the gallery below) to use as your own business space, it has great eateries from a cool vegan outlet to a grill house and it you love coffee you are in the right place. From the pictures you can see a library to browse from, to arts and books also being available to buy. If you get bored from being indoors thinking to yourself, you can head one floor down to Siwilai City Club, which has a great bar and food. An outdoor rooftop with al fresco dining, it gives you a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

Sample menu of Siwilai City Club

1300:- After enjoying the open house, I headed to Chinatown and in particular Yaowarat to enjoy the outdoor markets but, more specifically street food. Bangkok is well known for its street food and being able to find eateries on every corner it is always good to help curb those cravings. It was the first time I went into Chinatown, but it was worth the wait and I just loved the buzz and hustle of the place. Food is amazing overall, so I was happy to enjoy my wonton noodles and then take a stroll through the markets.

1430:- Chinatown is what it is and everyone will agree it’s better at night but as time was limited, it was important to get to the furthest part of my trip in good time. Next stop was ChangChui which is on the west side of the river, to an outdoor arts and food area. It’s difficult to explain but it’s like a boxpark but just bigger. The area is separated in two with the arts and gallery area opening at 1100 and the bars/live music stands from 1600. You’ll see from the pictures that the park holds some interesting architectural structures and sculptures. There are plenty of food trucks and restaurants for everyone to enjoy and with a soon-to-be Thai restaurant within, what looks to be an old disused DC-10 aircraft it is great place to hang out. Evenings there are live acts in addition to live bands, even with a cinema club. I could spend hours here and if I had more time I would have, so if you are making a trip to Bangkok try and get yourself over here, you will not be disappointed.

Runway Bar!

1700:- When its five o’clock somewhere it only means one thing! Sun downer sessions! And I could not be anywhere else other than Octave at my hotel. 1700-1900 is half price cocktails and after last night I could not wait to see the view during sunset. There is no real need for me to write about this time of the day other than to say, have a browse through the gallery.

1930-2100:- Possibly the worst part of the trip, as I found out that two other rooftops around Thong Lor were not what they were talked up to be or exist. Desi Beats was not what it once was, since the banning of shisha pipes, but it is still a great place for drinks. It could do with a few more lights on the deck. Finally, the last place was Barisa which was suppose to be found on the rooftop deck of the Commons, but it is only rare occasions when they use the area as a outdoor seating lounge. So my tips here would be to enjoy the outdoor market on the ground floor of the Commons instead of the rooftop. Sorry if this blog did not contain more rooftops for you, but at least I’m telling you which ones to possibly not find yourselves at.

The most important thing to take from this is that Octave is for sure an amazing spot to hang out and enjoy in the heart of Sukhumvit! And unlike Vertigo or Sky Bar it’s not overly crowded by tourists taking pictures rather than enjoying the place for what it is.

I’ve reached my 24 hour mark people, hope you enjoyed this blog post. Having taken on board comments, I have gone out and taken more pictures and given you more options in one city!

On a separate note, I would highly recommend going to Bo.Lan Thai restaurant which is so good, it’s worth not eating a whole day. The chef’s tasting menu comes in three different varieties to suit tastes but you can see for yourself what I mean….