Ready to (re)explore Bangkok? We’ve rounded up some secret spots for you to check out when you’ve gotten your fill of the city’s top glitzy malls and top attractions.
1. Art gallery, restaurants and designer shops at ChangChui
The decommissioned airplane sits as the centrepiece at Chang Chui Creative Park. Here you’ll find a variety of businesses, including restaurants, bars and designer shops, along with a cinema and theatre for performances. A taxidermy museum is what’s housed in the old Lockheed TriStar jet. The buildings in this unusual mall/market are made from upcycled corrugated iron, and old windows and doors.
2. Wood-fire cooking at Quince
Quince, a down-to-earth eatery in a restored 1950s home, serves up delicious contemporary dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Look out for the slow-cooked organic pork belly. Locals flock here for the lazy weekend a la carte brunch, which has become a much-loved institution.
3. Bangkok Chinatown from the ’70s
Ba Hao is an atmospheric Chinatown bar that looks like a scene straight out of a Wong Kar-wai movie. Think all red mood lighting, bright neon signage, and Sino-inspired decor. The cocktail menu offers a superb selection of Chinese-accented cocktails, with an excellent menu of classic snacks like jian bing (savoury wheat crepes).
4. Hidden cafe in Ekkamai
Bangkok is not short on great cafes, but Ink & Lion – hidden at the end of a nondescript lane in Ekkamai – has a unique charm. Maybe it’s the whitewashed brick walls and the changing art exhibitions they play host to, perhaps it’s the Melbourne-esque chilled vibes, but mostly, it’s the amazing coffee.
5. A dining destination in Thonglor
With Bangkok already saturated with malls featuring ubiquitous shops, The Commons broke all the rules when it opened its Thonglor venue, with its indoor-outdoor atmosphere, multi-layered spaces where free music performances are held, and emphasis on community. Locals can’t get enough of the eateries and shopping – not to mention the markets and fairs regularly held here. It now has another spot in Saladaeng.
6. An art space on Charoen Krung
Located at the southern, less-frequented end of gentrifying Chaoren Krung Road, Bridge Art Space is a small gallery in a shophouse. It has a strong local following for its experimental shows and forward-thinking exhibitions, which include live performance art, audio-visual work, and mixed-media pieces.
7. PTT Forest in the City
Until recently, this roughly 2ha wooded park – just west of Suvarnabhumi airport – was a dumping ground. Remarkably, PTT Forest in the City has been transformed into a natural habitat and wetland, which can be traversed by elevated walkways, and features informational exhibits on green living.
8. Rooftop craft beer bar
The Thai capital is not short on rooftop bars – some even featured in movies – in hotels around town. However, residents know that the best deals, and views, can be found along Sukhumvit Road; don’t miss Brewski, a superb craft beer pub on the 30th floor of Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok Hotel.
– TEXT BY SIMON OSTHEIMER
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.