Insider: Bangkok, Thailand
April 1, 2012
Terminal 21 mall in Sukhumvit is nine floors of shopping pleasure, from fashion to electronics, and creations from Thai designers like Patinya and Rafiki. Siam Paragon (above) offers high-end labels, from Loewe to Hermes. There’s even a showroom for fast cars like Porsches and Ferraris.
Try the Thai massage at Wat Pho, which combines massage techniques with a series of moves that resemble yoga positions. Health Land spa and massage has a wide menu of traditional services, of which the aromatherapy body massage and foot reflexology are the most popular treatments.
BEST WAY TO GET AROUND
To get to the city, hop on the BTS (skytrain) or MRT (subway). Both operate from 6am till midnight. Or take a cab – just make sure the cabbie charges his fare by the meter. You could also take a tuk tuk (motorised rickshaw; right) to experience the Thai way of life.
About an hour’s drive from the city, Ayutthaya is worth a day trip. The ancient capital and UNESCO World Heritage site is packed with must-sees such as Ayutthaya Historical Park, home to temples including Wat Ratchaburana and Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the largest temple in Ayutthaya. Or go elephant riding (right) in the morning – 6am to 10am is ideal – before it gets hot. Once that’s done, explore the nearby Ayothaya Floating Market that has over 200 stalls selling everything from wood carvings to Thai-style scarves, silverware and rattan ware. If you get peckish, grab bites like roast pork with sticky rice, coconut pudding and fish curry.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is renowned as a food haven. T & K Seafood Restaurant
(49-51 Soi Phadung Dao, Tel: 66 2 223 4519) is widely considered the city’s best barbecued seafood restaurant. The barbecued prawns are a must-try. You could also head to the street food stalls lining Yaowarat Road that serve everything from Thai green and red curries to papaya salad (right), seafood served with chilli, lime and fish sauce, and even Chinese pasta squares. Just a short distance away from Yaowarat is The View Bar & Restaurant. Try the prawns and vegetables in spicy soup and deep fried wontons and prawns.