The ULTIMATE Luxury Bangkok City Guide
Luxury Bangkok City Guide: Eat and Sleep in Style
Welcome to Bangkok! I started my 6 week adventure around Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in this buzzing Thai capital city for many reasons. For one, Bangkok is the cheapest place for return flights from London, but aside from that, this sprawling city is brimming full of beautiful temples and palaces to visit, luxury hotels to stay in and, of course, some of the best restaurants in the world.
Here’s my guide to seeing the best Bangkok has to offer!
Bangkok Top Tips:
Beware the traffic in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, as rush hour traffic can make even a 10min taxi ride into an hour. The evening rush hour strikes from 3pm and finding a taxi or Grab (their alternative to Uber) at this time is notoriously difficult.
When it rains it pours and certain roads can become blocked and are unpassable - this can make travelling around difficult and so be prepared to cancel plans should the storms hit.
Sightseeing opening hours
Always check opening hours before travelling to tourist sights as many close around 3pm, including the Grand Palace. Generally it is better to visit sights in the morning to avoid crowds and heat.
Lunch opening hours
High end restaurants will open for a few hours for lunch and then close again, so be sure to check the timings before you visit.
5 luxury things to see in Bangkok:
1. The Grand Palace
Built in 1782 the Grand Palace has been home to Thai royalty for over 150 years. Full of awe-inspiring architecture and intricate detail, the Grand Palace is often the first place tourist head to on their visit to Bangkok. Bear this in mind and arrive early to beat the crowds and tour groups.
2. Wat Pho
Located next to the Grand Palace, and so worth visiting in one trip, the highlight of Wat Pho is the gigantic reclining Buddha it houses. However, as well as this, there is a large collection of murals, sculptures, smaller temples and landscaped gardens in the complex which are all worth seeing.
Top Tip: There are small little stores and cafes lining the road opposite Wat Pho which are worth exploring!
3. Wat Arun
Wat Arun is located across the banks of the Chao Phraya river which will give you the chance to experience the super-cheap and quick commuter ferry across the river.
The architecture here is that of the ancient Khmer style and so differs to other temples in Bangkok. Instead, Wat Arun consists of towering spires which can be climbed if you don’t mind the steep steps.
Top Tip: The spires of War Arun cast an impressive silhouette at sunset, making it a great time to visit. Note that Wat Arun is an entirely outdoor temple, so if visiting on a hot day, make sure to bring a sunhat and plenty of water, as there is very little shade.
4. Sukhumvit Road and Designer Shopping Malls
Sukhumvit Road is the longest road in the whole of Thailand, and also the heart of the modern centre of Bangkok. The street is full of high-end restaurants, fashionable bars, luxury hotels and a vast array of air-conditioned malls. There are many shopping malls to choose from and we opted for the smaller Central Chidlom Mall so not to be overwhelmed by the size. Housing all the key stores, restaurants and, my favourite, a gourmet food hall too!
5. Chatuchak Weekend Market
Although not in itself luxurious, many beautiful and grand items can be bought here. Chatuchak is the world’s biggest weekend market, housing 15,000 stalls and over 11,500 vendors which are divided into a massive 27 sections. A diverse collection of merchandise can be bought here including ornate furniture and valuable antiques.
Luxury Accommodation in Bangkok:
Conrad Bangkok Hotel
For those wanting to stay close to Sukhumvit Road and the commercial district, Conrad Bangkok is an urban-resort inspired luxury hotel.
As well as the five-star service expected from a luxury hotel, Conrad Hotel prides itself on providing a green oasis in the heart of the city. With an outdoor pool, green walking space and luxury spa, staying at Conrad provides the perfect mix needed for a city retreat.
Chakrabongse Villas Bangkok
Located in the heart of the Old City, Chakrabongse Villas Bangkok is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and is one of THE most luxurious places to stay in Bangkok.
The hotel used to be the retreat of Thai Prince Chakrabongse and still has the palatial, yet discreet vibe to it. This small, boutique hotel has everything from professional, friendly service to one of the best restaurants in Bangkok as well as gorgeous villas and breath-taking views of Wat Arun.
5 Luxury restaurants in Bangkok:
For many years Bangkok’s luxury restaurant scene was dominated by European cuisine and the delicious Thai dishes could only be found in the food markets.
However there has been a decided change in this and now Bangkok is sprouting high-end, Michelin star restaurants.
Although I’d still recommend binging on the amazing street food in this city, here are 5 of my favourite luxury Thai restaurants in Bangkok.
Saawaan is a small Michelin star restaurant located in a converted shophouse, found in a leafy alley in the centre of Bangkok. Entirely unassuming, from its demure entrance, dark decor and uber-cool staff, Saawaan sets the scene for a dramatic meal right from the start.
Saawaan offer a seasonal 9-course tasting menu where each dish represents a concept commonly found in Thai cooking, which has been deconstructed and reinvented. The menu is full of innovative, locally sourced dishes, which are explained so well you’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge about the food in Thailand.
Gaa has a host of accolades includes a Michelin star, being featured at number 16 in Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2019, and also Best Female Chef Award 2019 for head chef Garima Arora.
Gaa merges age old Indian techniques to local ingredients and Thai cooking to create a severely unique menu with dishes which you will probably never be served elsewhere in the world. The kitchen is constantly innovating and as well as the set menu we were also served dishes which were created that morning.
3. Supatra River House
Supatra River House offers the very best in traditional Thai cuisine, alongside one of the best views of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. This romantic setting lends itself to a relaxed set menu showcasing a variety of popular Thai dishes. There is also an a la carte menu and several different dining areas, to enjoy either lunch or dinner in style.
4. Issaya Siamese Club
Issaya Siamese Club is run by Thailand’s first international ‘celebrity chef’ Chef Pongtawat ‘Ian’ Chalermkittichai. Having come from humble beginnings, the menu here features many reimagined ‘market’ dishes, as well as many of the Chef’s signature dishes, included Mussuman Curry Lamb Shank (Mussuman Gae) and Jasmine Flower Flan (Kanom Dok Mali).
Dishes here are presented with flair and a sense of fun. The restaurant itself is located in a traditional Thai house surrounded by beautiful gardens, making this restaurant a destination in itself.
5. Bawarchi Chidlom
Located below the InterContinental Hotel in Chidlom is one of Bangkok’s best Indian fine dining restaurants. This is the flagship branch of this well-known chain of restaurants and has been welcoming guests for over 15 years.
Expect to find all the Indian classics such as tandoori kebabs and creamy curries done well, as well as freshly cooked breads made in the tandoor oven. They also have a resident singer who has been performing at Bawarchi since its opening.
Let me know if you have any questions about my trip and I’ll be happy to answer!
Been to Bangkok? Let me know what your luxury recommendations for Bangkok are in the comments below!
Her Favourite Food & Travel x
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