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DECEMBER 2016 THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO GO ®

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MARKET DAYS Shop like a true Bangkokian at these pop-up markets and bazaars

Bangkok’s best new outdoor bars and restaurants The hottest openings in Chiang Mai

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ONE DAY IN SIAM How to spend a day exploring inner Bangkok’s shopping mecca.

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iam is home to Bangkok’s best malls. At Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery, you’ll find shopping, entertainment and dining experiences for the whole family. Here’s how to spend your day in this amazing part of the city.

1. Go on a luxury shopping spree Start your day at the jewel in the Siam district’s crown, Siam Paragon—it’s here that any visitor to Bangkok heads at the beginning of a luxury shopping spree. Most of the biggest labels are easily Dior located on the main floor, where you’ll find Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Loewe, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Givenchy and many more. Also don’t miss the designer multi-label accessories store Club 21, nor the range of fine watches and jewelry.

2. Take the kids for a fun-filled morning Luckily, your kids won’t get bored during a shopping session at Paragon, where the basement is home to one of Southeast Asia’s biggest aquariums, SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World. The SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World space is home to over 30,000 marine creatures and 400 aquatic species, and also offers family-friendly activities such as diving with sharks, 5D cinema experiences, creature feeding, back-of-house visits and even real ocean walks in wetsuits. Be sure to check activity times prior to your visit. We also recommend making advanced reservations, as there are limited spots for each activity per day.

3. Check out some local design talent Next up, head over to Siam Center. This mall neighboring Siam Paragon is where you’ll find the very best of young, homegrown designers. Most of them are concentrated on the third Thai Designer floor, where Greyhound offers contemporary clothing with a focus on menswear, while Senada features classically feminine pieces. Other brands worth checking out include Milin (youthful yet sexy), Fly Now (sophisticated, tailored) and Kloset (playful, pastel colors). Be sure to also drop by The Selected multi-label store—a must-visit not just for fashion but also cool finds like coffee table books and home decor.

4. Discover “The Biggest Arena of Lifestyle Experiments” Following a gigantic renovation, the shopping center next door to Siam Center, Siam Discovery, Siam Discovery has been transformed into one of the most exciting malls in the city. Under its “Exploratorium” concept, you’ll find an amazing array of products drawn from every school of design. Incredible, design-forward finds can be discovered in five different shopping categories. Highlights include O.D.S. (Objects of Desire Store), which brims with Thai home decor finds, top European decor labels like Hay and Habitat, as well as standout Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake, Yoshio Kubo and Discord by Yohji Yamamoto.

5. Feast on delicious international dining options While you’re at Siam Discovery, don’t miss some of the city’s best restaurant names. Latest to arrive on the scene is Jamie’s Italian, Jamie’s Italian which dishes out classic Italian fare as designed by Britain’s leading celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. Also at Siam Discovery, Outback Steakhouse is the easygoing Australian chain known for deliciously well-grilled meats. If what you’re looking for is a light bite and a coffee, check out Billboard Cafe, the first cafe in the world associated with the famous music magazine, where they serve high-quality deli dishes and drinks from Dean & DeLuca.

6. Get up close and personal with celebs Or at least with identical, life-size waxwork models of celebrities. The world-famous Madame Tussauds is now also in Bangkok, located in Siam Discovery mall and bursting with familiar famous faces like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Vin Diesel and Lady Gaga.

Madame Tussauds

2 W H E R E T H A I LAND I MAY 2 0 1 6 Website: www.siamcenter.co.th, www.siamdiscovery.co.th, www,siamparagon.co.th

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HOT DATES

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DEC 31

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The death of HM the King has put a stop to any elaborate firework displays this New Year’s Eve, but there are still plenty of places you can celebrate. We recommend heading to one of the luxe hotels—Sheraton Grande’s Sparkling Festive Countdown for a refined evening of bubbles, or So Sofitel’s Countdown Party for something a little wilder. Sheraton Grande Bangkok, 250 Sukhumvit Rd., BTS Asoke. 02-649-8888. So Sofitel Bangkok, 2 North Sathorn Rd., MRT Lumphini. 02-624-0000

THROUGH DEC 3

DEC 4

DEC 15 ONWARDS

THROUGH MAR 2017

Chef James Sharman’s One Star House Party project sees a team of ex-chefs from Noma in Copenhagen and The Ledbury in London traveling the world to 20 cities in 20 months to organize a week-long pop-up in each place they visit. In Bangkok, they’ll be at Banyan Tree hotel’s Latitude cooking rare ingredients found on their Thai travels. Make reservations at bit. ly/2fgu7CB.

American indie-rock trio Yo La Tengo, who have released 14 studio albums combining folk, shoegaze, mellow surf-rock and electronic sounds, make their Bangkok debut with support from Thai rock veterans Modern Dog.

Unlike other Chao Phraya dinner cruises, this one is operated by one of Bangkokians’ favorite Thai restaurants, Supanniga Eating Room (see page 27). From an intimate, newly designed boat, Supanniga Cruise serves six courses of Thai cuisine with pre-dinner snacks at sunset before you head off (B3,250). Cocktail cruise from B1,250 per person.

Renowned journalist and photographer Steve McCurry, best known for the “Afghan Girl” portrait of a refugee featured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine, hosts “A Lifetime of Work”, an exhibition of his best portraits captured around the world throughout his career

FORAGING TODAY’S FOR FLAVOR THE DAY

Tickets at B1,500 at Ticketmelon.com (B1,700 at the door)

PUT IN THE PICTURE

ALL ABOARD

House of Lucie, Ekkamai Soi 8. 095478-9987

Book at supannigacruise.com or 02-258-8780

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CONTENTS where

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l THAILAND l DECEMBER 2016

The Guide BANGKOK

24 NIGHTLIFE Find out where the best cocktails are being poured with our guide to 2016's best bars.

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26 DINING Experience a dinner to remember at one of these beautiful locations serving classically refined Thai dishes.

ON THE MARKET

28 SHOPS+SERVICES

Discover the best places to shop outdoors around Bangkok, from night markets to riverside bazaars.

Bring home the very best of modern Thai design by shopping at these locally-minded designer boutiques.

29 HEALTH+WELLNESS The country clubs on Bangkok's outskirts provide award-winning golf courses and top-tier service.

DINING 10 OUTSIDE CHANCE

30 ATTRACTIONS

Exploring Bangkok's best alfresco restaurants and bars to open in 2016.

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Learn about Thailand's royal heritage at the city's regal museums and galleries.

AROUND THAILAND

31 ART

14 CHANGING CHIANG MAI

This month's must-visit exhibitions and galleries.

The Northern capital is buzzing with new experiences and attractions for you to discover.

32 NAVIGATE

EXPLORING

Essential tips on getting around.

18 UPPER SILOM The upper reaches of Silom and Sathorn roads are experiencing a renaissance of cocktail and cafe culture that begs to be explored.

ALSO INSIDE 4

20 OLD TOWN

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Walk your way around Rattanakosin, where ancient Thai tradition meets with laidback bars and incredible street eats.

Where Thailand is proud to be an associated publication of the Thailand Chapter of Les Clefs d'Or (the International Concierge Association).

Managing Director Andrew Hiransomboon

Deputy Art Director Vatanya Bongkotkarn

MORRIS VISITOR PUBLICATIONS

Editor-in-Chief/Product Director Grégoire Glachant

Designer Peeraya Sirathanisa

MVP | EXECUTIVE President Donna W. Kessler Vice President, Operations Angela E. Allen Chief Travel Editor Geoff Kohl General Manager, Where Maps Christopher Huber

Staff Writer Bonnie Sananvatananont

Managing Editor Oliver Irvine Deputy Editor Carl Dixon Features Associate Monruedee Jansuttipan Marketing Executive Plaifon Chienvichai Production Supervisor Komkrit Klinkaeo

Contributors Natcha Saguankiattichai, Earn Saenmuk, Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj, Tessa Domzalski Advertising Director Wanida Akeapichai Cover Photo by Rasinee Lerttripinyo

HOT DATES

34 21 THINGS WE LOVE

MVP | NATIONAL SALES Vice President, National Sales Rick Mollineaux Director of Partnerships & National Digital Sales Bridget Cody National Sales Coordinator David Gately

MVP | MANUFACTURING & TECHNOLOGY Director of Manufacturing Donald Horton

E-Mails For All Of The Above: Firstname.Lastname@ Morris.Com

MORRIS COMUNICATIONS

Where Publishing (Thailand) Ltd. 9/F, Sathorn Nakorn Tower, Room A, 100 North Sathorn Rd. Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: 02-624-9696 Fax: 02-237-5656 E-mail: where@asia-city.co.th facebook.com/wherethailand

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www.wherethailand.com

@where_thailand

Morris Comunications Chairman William S. Morris III President & Ceo William S. Morris IV Production Director of Production Kris Miller

MVP | CREATIVE Chief Creative Officer Haines Wilkerson Senior Regional Editorial Director Margaret Martin Design Director Jane Frey

Photography Director Susan Strayer Creative Coordinator Beverly Mandelblatt E-Mails For All Of The Above: Firstname.Lastname@Morris.Com

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EXPLORING BANGKOK

RETAIL THERAPY

Shop like a true Bangkokian at these alternative outdoor retail destinations brimming with local finds. KNACK MARKET

POP-UP MARKETS At Bangkok’s favorite pop-up markets, indie fashion brands meet with budding young foodie entrepreneurs in casual outdoor settings.

ARTBOX CHATUCHAK Arguably the city’s most popular pop-up market comes in the form of some 100 trendy food stalls, over 150 booths selling clothes at affordable prices, 20 selling home decor and 50 selling DIY and handmade products. Find them set up in large, colorful container boxes alongside plenty of live music and various art installations. Chatuchak Park, 3 Kamphaeng Phet Rd. Open every Fri-Sun through Apr 2017. MRT Chatuchak Park

KNACK MARKET This riverside outdoor market happens every last weekend of the month with stalls selling food, drinks, clothing and handmade jewelry. It all takes place at trendy art com-

plex The Jam Factory (also see Summer Houe Project, page 10) that’s also home to two restaurants, an independent book store and a furniture store. The Jam Factory, 41/1-41/2 Charoen Nakorn Rd. Open every last Sat-Sun of the month, 4-9pm

UNION CAMP

ARTBOX CHATUCHAK

Over 50 brands gather for this new flea market selling retro furniture and vintage clothing from within tents set up with urban, grungy vibes. On top of the shopping, expect plenty of food, drinks and live music throughout the three-day event, as well as a parade of vintage cars and motorcycles. Acaman Ekkamai, between Ekkamai Soi 13 and 15, BTS Ekkamai. Dec 16-18,6pm-late

UNION CAMP

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NIGHT MARKETS Every night, Bangkokians flock to after-dark markets where the focus is as much on eating and drinking as it is on shopping.

SIAM GYPSY JUNCTION Piles and piles of collectible eye-candy spanning everything from Lego to taxidermied buffalo, movie posters and knickknacks for the home span a shadowy, 1.6-kilometer-long swathe of road beneath an underpass. The entire place has an Orient-meets-Wild West vibe that’s a big hit with local bikers. There are a number of pop-up taverns too, serving beer at affordable prices.

ROD FAI MARKET 2

95/20 Bangkok-Nontaburi Rd. Open Wed-Sun 6pm1am

ROD FAI MARKET 2 Easily accessible and always packed, this outdoor vintage market is a vibrant bazaar of street fashion, food and home decor with booths set up in colorful tents and the back of parked retro vans. There’s also a variety of casual bars among the shopping stalls, some of which host regular live music nights featuring quality local bands.

SIAM GYPSY JUNCTION

GREEN VINTAGE

Esplanade Complex, next to MRT Thai Cultural Centre. Open Thu-Sun 5pm-1am

GREEN VINTAGE Just a stone’s throw from Chatuchak Weekend Market, this impressively funky space blends a low-key selection of fashionable clothing stalls and rows of industrial-slashretro drinking parlors. Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd. Open Fri-Sun 5pm-midnight. BTS Mo Chit/MRT Chatuchak Park

LIAB DUAN MARKET Take a taxi out to the Tawandang brewery (an experience in itself thanks to its raucous Thai cabaret acts) and you’ll find this market whose name in Thai means “the market located along the expressway.” This night market transforms 17 rai of land in the Ramintra-Ekkamai neighborhood into pandemonium, with bumper-to-bumper cars crowding the entrance every evening. Opposite Tawandang German Brewery (Ramintra Branch), near Watcharapon junction. Open daily 5pm-2am

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EXPLORING BANGKOK souvenirs, as well as a variety of eateries, beer gardens and wine bars. The gigantic venue is also home to a ferris wheel and stage shows. We particularly recommend the seafood at Baan Khanitha.

CONCIERGE PICKS What’s your favorite luxury Thai brand?

Asiatique the Riverfront, free ferry from Sathorn Pier, 2194 Charoenkrung Rd. Open daily 5pm-midnight

THA MAHARAJ THA MAHARAJ

COMMUNITY MALLS The riverside is home to two outdoor community malls packed with intriguing boutiques waiting to be explored.

ASIATIQUE The first shopping center to sit on the riverbank is themed according to the city’s architecture of old. It includes over 1,500 boutiques covering quirky fashion and intriguing

This riverside community mall recaptures the charm of the old town’s architecture with a pavilion consisting of over 60 open-air restaurants and lifestyle shops spread over seven buildings styled in keeping with the area’s former reputation. After shopping through the range of fashion, beauty, antiques and art, the riverside promenade and community garden serve as a great spot to chill out with views overlooking the Chao Phraya River. Tha Maharaj, 11/1, Maharaj Rd. Open daily 10am-10pm (Take the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat from the pier by BTS Saphan Thaksin)

LUXX

Surachai Thong-On, Banyan Tree Naraya is always a top pick when it comes to our female guests—our Japanese visitors in particular always ask about this store. They love the handbags in Thai-style patterns. The name is quite international now, but there’s nothing like shopping for it in its origvinal country. Naraya, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd.

Boonmee Tangwong, Sheraton Grande The most popular brand for our guests has got to be Jim Thompson. It is the best option for silk products in the country. Otherwise, we always tell them to stroll around Asiatique (see left) and River City as they are good spots for finding a variety of Thai luxury brands they might not know about. Jim Thompson (Surawong), 9 Surawong Rd. River City Bangkok Shopping Centre, 23, Trok Rongnamkeang, Yotha Rd.

SILOM +662 635 8800 reservations@staywithluxx.com LANGSUAN +662 684 1111 reservationsxl@staywithluxx.com

www.staywithluxx.com

stay with LUXX in bangkok

LUXXhotel

Lersan Poonongong, JW Marriot Greyhound is a very trendy pick for our guests when it comes to local brands. It is known for its simple and plain look that still keeps things sophisticated. You can also try the delicious food at their cafes after you shop. Greyhound, 3/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Rd.

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NEW YEAR’S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA 8-COURSE GALA DINNER Red Sky, 55th floor

Saturday 31st December 2016 A complimentary bottle of exclusive MUMM N° 1 Pink Champagne per couple Party favours, live music and DJ THB 15,555++ per person / 19.00 - 02.00 hrs. 999/99 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan Bangkok,Thailand For further information call dining reservation Tel : 02 100 6255 Email : diningcgcw@chr.co.th RedSkyCentaraGrandCentralWorld Ad Where - Red Sky New Year.indd 1

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DINING

WWW.WHERETHAILAND.COM

OUTSIDE CHANCE

Cooler weather and dry skies make now the best time of year to enjoy your dinner and drinks outdoors. Here are Bangkok’s best alfresco openings of 2016.

ROOFTOPS ABOVE RIVA Above Riva is the latest shop-house boutique hotel in Tha Tien, the neighborhood right opposite Wat Arun temple. Head up to its rooftop—stairs only—and you’ll find an alfresco terrace where practically every table gets prime river views. Dishes add a Thai touch to Western classics, from light bites like deep-fried calamari served with a salted egg yolk and shrimp roe sauce, to a take on osso bucco (braised veal) in massaman curry. 392/25-26 Maharaj Rd., 02-221-1188. Open daily 6am-11.30pm

ATTITUDE ABOVE RIVA

This rooftop restaurant-slash-bar sits on the 26th floor of the new riverside Avani hotel. It’s all very sharing- and booze-friendly, which translates to artfully presented tapas plates with the odd nod to Asian flavors. Lamb shoulder arrives in the form of lollipops and smoked duck lacquered in fish sauce with a tea-flavored gel. Also look out for the premium produce like tsarskaya oysters and Australian wagyu tomahawk. French mixologist Alexandre Hersent rolls out refreshing signature cocktails like the Bora Bora Paradise Island (Absolut pear vodka, curacao, Joseph Cartron banana liqueur, apple juice and coconut ice cream). 26/F, Avani Riverside, 257 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-431-9100. Open daily 5:30pm-1am

CHAR ATTITUDE

Over at the grill at one of the latest rooftop bars in town, they cook up some amazing local beef from French butcher Arnaud Carre—one of the most respected food names in town. Char takes up the top two stories of the Hotel Indigo, with a stylish dining room downstairs and the rooftop bar up above to benefit from those amazing views across Bangkok’s “Embassy Row.” 25-26/F, Hotel Indigo, 81 Wireless Rd., 02-207-4999. Open daily 6pm-midnight

TERRACES 72 COURTYARD

CHAR

72 COURTYARD

Acres of concrete, plants and steel are devoted to communal courtyards and nightlife venues at this community mall. Perhaps best are the potent cocktails at Evil Man Blues and the warehouse-style clubbing experience at Beam. Also check out the

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BAAN HUAY HOM

PANG OONG

DUE NORTH

Five places to visit in Northern Thailand this winter. With the year-end set to welcome a chilly winter breeze, there’s no better time to go for a stroll around one of Thailand’s most popular royal projects. What began as an initiative to end opium cultivation resulted in acres and acres of beautiful, blossoming gardens. Tip: Don’t forget to check out the new Doi Tung Tree Top walk, a 295-meter-long walkway where visitors can view the coffee plantations and the vetiver grass plantations from 30 meters above the ground. Entrance costs B150, which goes to the Mae Fah Luang Foundation. Thambon Mae Fah Luang, 053-767-015-7. bit.ly/2gkLdBi

Doi Inthanon National Park (Chiang Mai) Nicknamed the “Roof of Thailand,” this park is located on the highest mountain in the country and is scattered with some of Thailand’s best waterfalls, including Nam Tok Mae Pan, Chiang Mai’s longest waterfall. Tip: For something a little adventurous, take a three-hour hike along Kiu Mae Pan, a short trail that winds through a beautiful forest covered with rhododendrons, the flowers often found along the Himalayas. It’s definitely worth it when you arrive at the picturesque viewpoint at the end of the trail that overlooks layers and layers of mountains. Ban Laung, Chom Thong, 05335 5728. bit.ly/2g16tJ1

Brought to you by TAT

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Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden (Chiang Mai)

DOI TUNG TREE TOP WALK

Situated in the foothills of Doi Suthep mountain, the country’s premier botanical garden is home to some of the country’s most valuable plants, including several rare and endangered species, and provides both a scenic and educational day out. Tip: While you’re there, take your nature walk to dizzying new heights at Thailand’s longest canopy walkway, a 20-something-meter-high and 400meter-long bridge that stretches across the Mae Rim rainforest. Hikers are rewarded with stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding greenery and mountains.

GITANE REVEILLEAU

Doi Tung Royal Villa (Chiang Rai)

QUEEN SIRIKIT BOTANICAL GARDEN

100 Moo 9, Mae Rim, 053 841 234. www.qsbg.org

Baan Huay Hom (Mae Hong Son)

Pang Oong (Mae Hong Son)

Located in HM King Bhumibol’s Mae La Noi Royal Project, this plantation is perfect for coffee addicts. Here, you’ll find the small Pga K’nyau village tribe who grow a strain of coffee used in Starbucks’ Muan Jai Thai coffee blend. Mid-November through midJanuary are the best months to visit, where you can join in on the villagers’ routine during their coffee harvest. Tip: Local homestays offer a fully immersive experience. It’ll only cost you B150 (excluding meals) per night—totally worth it for the stunning views and endless cups of coffee.

Often referred to as the “Switzerland of Thailand,” this lake comes surrounded with a thick pine forest plus a beautiful mountainous backdrop, much like something taken straight out of Europe. It’s perfect for a natural escape from the heat, particularly at the year-end when temperatures sometimes drop to as low as zero. Tip: There’s plenty of camping areas and guesthouses for rent around the lake, for those who want to make a weekend escape of it. Plus, well-constructed paths border the water for those who want to stay active with a breezy jog.

32 Moo 1, Huay Hom, 089-555-3900. bit.ly/2fHQAX6

Ban Rak Thai, Mok Cham Pae, 084 481 9466. bit.ly/1KAAWFs

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DINING cocktails and house-party atmosphere at UNCLE, the Mexican tapas of Melbourne-born Touche Hombre, the barbecue fare at Lady Brett and the Chinese buns of Little Bao. Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-392-7999. BTS Thonglor. Open daily 7-2am

CIAO TERRAZZA Italian cuisine courtesy of one of Bangkok’s most lauded chefs (Norbert Kostner), a riverside terrace and the Mandarin Oriental’s iconic Author’s Lounge in the background make this one of the river’s easiest spots to recommend. It’s more casual than the other restaurants at Bangkok’s oldest hotel (though they’ll still shoo you away if you turn up in shorts), dishing out Italian staples like wood-fired pizzas and beef stew with polenta and gorgonzola. Mandarin Oriental, 48 Charoenkrung Soi 40, Oriental Ave., 02-659-9000. Open daily 6-10:30pm

THE COMMONS

cafe. The ambitious project works kind of like a food court, only a really, really good one. Diners can order their favorite dishes from the various food kiosks— fusion burgers from Soul Food 555, Mexican from Barrio Bonito, pies from Holy Moly, to name a few— then dine at the central communal area. Don’t forget to check out the cocktails at Track 17. 335 Thonglor Soi 17, 089-152-2677. Open daily 8am-1am

SUMMER HOUSE PROJECT Starchitect Duangrit Bunnag followed up Never Ending Summer with this Euro bistro with a vast terrace that leads right up to the Chao Praya River. Comfort food like fisherman’s stew, crab cakes and beer-battered fish and chips go down as easily as bar manager Dheeradon Dissara’s Thai-infused cocktails. Try the Gold Gold Gold (prosecco, mango puree and gold leaves) and Pina Pamila (Malibu, rum and palm juice).

CIAO TERRAZZA

Jam Factory, 41/5 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-8610953. Open daily 11am-11pm

Good food takes center stage at the loft-like, openplan community mall from the siblings behind Roast THE COMMONS

CENTARA GRAND AT CENTRAL PLAZA LADPRAO BANGKOK IS PUTTING ON BANGKOK’S BEST FESTIVITIES. 24th December Christmas Eve Chatuchak Café Dinner buffet-style Christmas fare - Italian, Asian, grilled, and seafood classics are all on the menu. From 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. THB 1,499++ (food only). Don Giovanni For the ultimate Italian Christmas dinner, there’s a special and spectacular à la carte menu. From 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Blue Sky Restaurant A festive à la carte menu for a fabulous French-style Christmas Eve dinner. From 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 25th December Christmas Day Chatuchak Café Celebrate Christmas with friends and family at this festive themed brunch and dinner buffet · Christmas Day Brunch Buffet From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. THB 1,499++ (food only).

· Christmas Day Dinner Buffet From 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. THB 1,499++ (food only).

Don Giovanni Celebrate Christmas Day with the irresistible flavors of Italy. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Special à la carte menu. Blue Sky Restaurant Make the most of Noel French-style with Chef Eric Berrigaud’s fabulous Christmas Day feast. From 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Special à la carte menu.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESERVATION T: 02 541 1234 EXT. 4151 | E: fb_office@chr.co.th centarahotelsresorts.com/cglb

IL FUMO

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GARDENS FREEBIRD Designer Alan Barr’s striking reinvention of a house at the quiet end of Sukhumvit Soi 47 puts the backyard to use with some lively and lounge-y garden furniture. The restaurant brings together freshly brewed coffee, modern Australian cuisine and well-paired cocktails. Try our favorite, the slow-roasted ocean trout with wakame butter, caviar and pennywort. 28 Sukhumvit Soi 47, 02-662-4936. Open daily 5:30pm-midnight

IL FUMO This grand old villa reborn as a cocktails and Italian grill restaurant boasts some of Bangkok’s most incredible cocktails—head bartender Pailin “Milk” Sajjanit just got named Southeast Asia Bartender of the Year at the 2016 Diageo World Class awards. The adjoining restaurant specializes in charcoal-grilled cuts of seriously premium meat (Spain’s dry-aged rubia gallega

is the star of the show), best enjoyed on a seat from the spacious garden terrace. 1098/2 Rama 4 Rd., 02-286-8833. Open daily 6pm-1am

LA CASA NOSTRA The renovated house on Soi Goethe sits peacefully in grounds that include a cozy outdoor terrace where you can dine outdoors, lounge on a sofa or play a game of petanque. The chef, Nino Scognamillo, takes La Casa Nostra in a comforting direction with creations like grilled Sardinian pecorino cheese with eucalyptus honey and fresh figs, paprika-spiced roasted octopus on potato veloute, and plenty of pasta dishes. Owing to the partnership with Global Vineyards, their wine menu is a peach. Try the 2011 Chateau Gigault Cuvee Viva. 22 Sathorn Soi 1 Yaek 2 (Goethe), 02-287-2402 Open daily 11:30am-midnight

LA CASA NOSTRA

THE SUMMER HOUSE PROJECT

FREEBIRD

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AROUND THAILAND

CHANGING CHIANG MAI

The best new bars, restaurants and experiences in the Northern capital. KAD NOM SEN

EAT KAD NOM SEN This retro restaurant is filled with woven fabrics and other old-school markers. The menu is all about the Chiang Rai-style curry known as kanomjeen nam ngiew, made using recipes from the owner’s mother. What makes it stand out from Chiang Mai’s version of the dish is the thicker soup and the use of sun-dried fermented bean sheets. They also serve local treats like khao kan jin (steamed pork with rice cooked in blood) and mouth-watering desserts such as cold, purple sangkhaya (Thai custard), which gets its color from butterfly pea leaves. Charoensuk Rd., Chang Puak, 061-265-0002. Open Thu-Tue 9am-6pm. www.fb.com/kadnomsen

CUISINE DE GARDEN RUSTIC GRILL AND WINE BAR This project from the former Iron Chef TV show contender Leelawat “Chef Nan”

Mankongtiphan spotlights meaty dishes grilled over sweetly scented longan tree charcoal. Expect choice cuts of Thai-wagyu Kampaengsaen beef, dry-aged for 30 days, available as striploin, rib-eye and T-bone. You can also grab Thai-style tapas like grilled corn with dried shrimp to go with Italian craft beers. Star Avenue 5, Hang Dong, 081-774-1479. Open daily 11:30am-10pm. www.fb.com/RusticGrillandWineBar

SUAN PAAK HUG KHUN The name translates to “veggie garden loves you,” while the menu centers on traditional Thai and Lanna items, plus a section dedicated to Western dishes. Highlights include the salmon wrapped in wild betel leaf (miang kham pla salmon) and Hors D’oeuvres Chiang Mai (a platter of Chiang Mai delicacies). The grounds feature a massive garden where the restaurant sources all its vegetables, and a children’s play zone. Live folk music on weekends. 129 Moo 12, Sankhampaeng, 053-101-255. Open daily 11am-11pm. www.fb.com/suanpaakhugkhun58

KAD NOM SEN

CUISINE DE GARDEN RUSTIC GRILL AND WINE BAR

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OM SEN

RISTR8TTO LAB Award-winning barista Arnon Thitiprasert’s second coffee shop showcases what he’s learned from various coffeemaking competitions around the world. We recommend the experimental coffeebased alcoholic drinks such as the Ethiopian Monkey (hot mocha with creme de menthe). Nimmanhemin Rd., between soi 3 and 5, 053-215278. Open daily 7:08am-6:08pm. www.fb.com/ ristr8to

This seemingly unfinished barn-like venue hosts everything from experimental music to poetry nights, but when there is no exhibition you can still pop in for a drink on the ground floor.

DEWY PHOTO

PLAY THAPAE EAST THAPAE EAST

SHOP JING JAI MARKET CHIANG MAI This open-air shopping arcade is packed with hip cafes, shops and restaurants, and also offers a range of healthy dishes. A regular farmers’ market sells freshly harvested fruit and veg from Chiang Mai’s local urban farmers. 45 Assadathorn Rd., Patan, 053-231-520. Open daily 9am-late. www.jingjaichiangmai.com

DO PONGYANG ZIPLINE & JUNGLE COASTER This is home to probably the best ride of any of Thailand’s zipline parks. The Jungle Coaster is a two-seater adrenaline rush powered by gravity that snakes around the canopy on steel rails. Also check out the Quick Jump, a bungee-jump-like service where visitors fall to the ground from a height of 14 meters. 99/9 Moo 2 Pongyang, Maerim, 092-973-8868. Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun 8:30am-5:30pm. pongyangadventure.com

JING JAI MARKET CHIANG MAI

FB.COM/MAIIAMCHIANGMAI

88 Thapae Rd., 081-765-5246. Open daily 6pm-midnight (closed on Buddhist holidays)

FB.COM/ JJMARKETCHIANGMAI

OM SEN

WWW.WHERETHAILAND.COM

MAIIAM CHIANG MAI

MAIIAM CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM The most ambitious modern art museum in Thailand sits in a converted 3,000-sqmeter warehouse, a 30-minute drive east from Chiang Mai center. Inside is a mix of exhibitions from the personal collections of Jean Michel Beurdeley and his late wife Patsri Bunnag, together with their son Eric Bunnag Booth (Jim Thomson’s international marketing director). The focus is on emerging local artists and contemporary masters like the late Montien Boonma, Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Chatchai Puipia, Navin Rawanchaikul, Vasan Sitthiket, Pinaree Sanpitak and Rirkrit Tiravanija. 122 Moo 7, Tonpao, Sankampheang, 081-386-6899. Open Wed-Mon 10am-6pm. www.maiiam.com

RISTR8TTO LAB

CANOPY WALK Taking nature walks to dizzying new heights, the Canopy Walkway is a 20-something-meter-high and 400-meter-long bridge that stretches across the Mae Rim rainforest. Hikers are rewarded with stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding greenery and mountains. Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, 100 Moo 9, Mae Rim. www.qsbg.org

INE BAR

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whereExploring DECEMBER 2016 | BANGKOK

UPPER SILOM Silom Road starts at Lumphini Park and stops just one block short of the Chao Phraya River. The road’s first half is notorious for Soi Patpong, a collection of go-go bars and fake watch stalls. But the bottom half has recently undergone a revival, with a host of edgy bars and restaurants joining the area’s longstanding galleries.

VOGUE LOUNGE

NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDES 18 UPPER SILOM

20 OLD TOWN

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We provide inside & outside massage service 24 hour 7 Days/week

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Mobile. 082-111-2213, Tel. 02-662-6623.

www.baanthaitouch.com. Nearest BTS: Phom Phong Station

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EXPLORING

UPPER SILOM Y SPOTLIGHT

@1 Bangkok

Art Galleria Head to floors 4 and 5 of the Jewelry Trade Center for three of the city’s best galleries. 919/1 Silom Soi 19. 02-630-0979

CVN CVN is more of an art dealer, so no rotating exhibitions here. Bring a few million baht for a Thawan Duchanee, but prices start from much lower than that. 02-630-2251. Open Mon-Sat 11am7pm

THE DINING ROOM AT THE HOUSE ON SATHORN In what used to be the Soviet Embassy, this standalone outpost of the neighboring W Hotel has one of the most stunning dining rooms in town, artfully blending the building’s period details with considerate modern touches. Half of the restaurant’s 40 seats are at a long, wooden counter facing the kitchen, where the team turns out fusion dishes like Hunting (duck breast lying on splashes of red pomegranate sauce and burnt onion powder as gunpowder) and tuna sashimi with truffle-infused caviar and green tea-infused avocado. !5 106 Sathorn Rd., 02-344-4025. Open daily noon-2:30pm, 6-10:30pm. BTS Chong Nonsi

CULTURE One of Silom’s most colorful landmarks, 1 Mahamariamman Temple (Wat Khaek) (between Pan Rd. and Silom Soi 17, 02-238-4007) feels more like it belongs in India than downtown Bangkok. Built during the 19th century by Tamil immigrants, it is one of the main non-Buddhist places of worship in the capital. The area is also bustling with galleries. Just around the corner, Manit Sriwanichpoom’s 2 Kathmandu Photo Gallery (87 Pan Rd., 02-234-6700) is Bangkok’s preeminent photography gallery. Its exhibitions focus on social issues, urbanization and the country’s photographic heritage—well worth a regular visit. Nearby, 3 H Gallery (201 Sathorn Soi 12, 085-021-5508) is set in a beautiful, late-19th century, wooden building where Brian Curtin curates exhibitions by emerging con-

temporary Asian artists. Also visit the Jewelry Trade Center (see right) which is home to some of the city’s

SUPANNIGA

best galleries.

LUNCH AND COFFEE

4 Blue Elephant (233 Sathorn Rd., 02-673-9353) is one of the most established Thai restaurants in town, serving authentic royal Thai cuisine from a beautiful old house. Nearby, 5 Supanniga offers a more relaxed

take on no-less-authentic Thai cuisine, drawing in a hip local clientele that belies the affordable prices. For some good coffee and a fuss-free meal, head over to 6 Rocket (149 Sathorn Soi 12, 02-635-0404), a cafe that keeps things simple with eggs Benedict, homemade granola and salami and cheese focaccia sandwiches, or check out fellow brunch favorite 7 Luka Cafe. Our pick for delicious Thai street food is Wat Khaek Market (see box, opposite).

HEALTH AND WELLNESS Located inside the W Bangkok hotel is the vibrant 8Away Spa (6/F, W Bangkok, 106 Sathorn Rd., 02-3444160), a swanky spa with a dim, labyrinthine halls lit with LED lights to provide a relaxing and playful mood. The spa specializes in treatments ranging from massages to detox. For a

Number1 Gallery Young and fresh, with a selection of exciting emerging artists, this gallery’s price tags in the tens of thousands remain reasonable. 02-630-2523. Open daily 11am-7pm

Thavibu Gallery Representing big names like Vasan Sithiket and Navin Rawanchaikul, Thavibu is another highly-regarded gallery. 02-266-5454. Open Mon-Sat 11am7pm

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EXPLORING

UPPER SILOM and casual bites, head to Sathorn soi 10-12, which is thriving with hot bars including !7 Le Cafe des Stagiaires (142/21 Sathorn Soi 12, 081-2073077) and !8 Revolucion (50 Sathorn Soi 10, 02-235-4823), or head up to the rooftop !9 Vogue Lounge (6/F, Mahanakhon Cube, Silom,

more traditional setting, head over to 9Health Land (120 Sathorn Rd., 02637-8880) for their popular traditional Thai whole-body or foot massage.

DRINKS AND DINING The Silom area is home to some of Bangkok’s best restaurants. Anyone who’s anyone right now is eating at !0 Bunker (see page 10), which sits across the street from !1Lady Brett (149 Sathorn Soi 12, 02-635-0405), a cozy wooden-tiled tavern serving simple barbecue dishes, !2Le Du (399/3 Silom Soi 7, 092-919-9969) is an inventive restaurant powered by a young Thai chef; while next door’s !3 Namsaah Bottling Trust (401 Silom Soi 7, 02-636-6622) offers whimsical takes on Asian comfort food and strong cocktails in a charming 100-year-old house. The area is also home to plenty of upscale options, among them !4 The House on Sathorn (see opposite), one of the hottest new tables in town, !5 Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant (37/F, Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, 188 Silom Rd., 02-238-1991) and even !6 L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (5/F, 02001-0698) by the chef with the most Michelin stars in the world. For drinks

VOGUE LOUNGE

Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Rd., 02001-0697) where the former chef of Hong Kong’s Caprise creates delicate sharing plates to go with wonderful cocktails. For later nights, check out @0 Ce La Vi (39/F, Sathorn Square Complex, Sathorn Rd., 02-1082000), the Bangkok branch of Asia’s high-end clubbing brand, or the cosot aO lonialPShanghai-themed @1 Maggie utth Choo’s (UG/F, Novotel Fenix Silom, Silom Rd., 02-635-6055).

The fresh market nestled by the Mahamariamman Temple is popular for basic Thai street dishes such as som tam (spicy papaya salad), mooping (grilled pork on a stick) and noodle soup but also Muslim curries from the local community.

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EXPLORING

OLD TOWN Y SPOTLIGHT

Babble & Rum

NEW

1 RARB

Larb is a delicious Thai spicy meat salad that packs a sharp and powerful chili kick and is simply not to be missed. It’s also the specialty of this cool spot on Phra Athit Road, which takes the simple, street-food staple and dishes it out in a hipster setting with no compromise in flavor. Owner Van Rohitratana is native to Isaan, the Northeastern region of Thailand where larb comes from, and is also behind the wildly popular Escapade burger bar right round the corner. The fun, compact space has a bit of a construction site feel—stickered and sprayed zinc roof sheets and bare, cracked concrete—and also features a very well-stocked bar.

The main restaurant (ground floor) and bar (second floor) of this welcoming riverside hotel next to Phra Arthit Pier are decorated like a contemporary French cafe, finished in dark woods, mirrors and leather-clad couches. An outdoor terrace and a laidback upstairs area make it the perfect spot for a chilled night out. The menu features Thai and interational comfort food and plenty of cocktails. Try the Jelly Riva (vodka, melon syrup, lime juice on top of jelly).

!5 1/F, Riva Surya, 23 Phra Athit Rd., 02633-5000. Open daily 6:30am-10:30pm

49 Phra Athit Rd., 081-406-3773. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-midnight

MORNING Start your walking tour from Prachan Pier (Tha Prachan in Thai), near which you’ll find the historic 2 National Museum (4 Na Phra Tha Rd., 02-2241333), home to some of the most impressive art and antiques in the country. In addition to historic pieces from the Dvaravati Srivijaya to Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods, the museum features regional art like Indian Gandhara, Chinese weapons, ancient ceramics and musical instruments. At the other end of Sanam Luang is the most-visited

NATIONAL MUSEUM

you the palace is closed for a national holiday. Ignore them! On the same grounds, you’ll also find the 4 Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles (Na Phra Lan Rd., Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang,

WAT PHRA KAEW

landmark in Thailand, 3 Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (open daily 8:30am-4:30pm. Entry B350). Construction on the royal residence of the first king of the current Chakri Dynasty began in 1762, and the complex is split into three zones: the Outer Court, where you’ll find Wat Phra Kaew and the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most sacred Buddha image; the Middle Court, which contains the Dusit Maha Prasat and Chakri Maha Prasat buildings; and the Inner Court, former residence of the royal consorts. Be sure to get there early before the day is too hot. Beware, touts will tell

AFTERNOON Behind the Grand Palace, on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, is the twoyear-old 5 Nagaraphirom Park. What was once a row of shop-houses and several other old buildings is now a breathable green space with views of the Grand Palace. Relax among trees and lotus ponds and enjoy a great view of the Temple of Dawn before you continue on your walk. Next, pay your respects to the 43-meterlong reclining Buddha at 6 Wat Pho (open daily 8am-5pm), whose three-

QUEEN SIRIKIT MUSEUM OF TEXTILES

02-255-9430), which tells the story of how HM Queen Sirikit has helped turn Thai silk from a simple local handicraft into a key export and an icon of Thailand. Highlights include the queen’s personal dresses and ornate costumes by leading international designers. WAT PHO

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EXPLORING

OLD TOWN meter-tall feet are inlaid with mother of pearl displaying 108 Buddhist symbols. In a beautiful colonial-style building nearby, 7 Museum Siam (4 Sanam Chai Rd., 02-225-2777. Open Tue-Sun 10am-6pm) is one of Bangkok’s best museums, portraying the history of Thai communities through multimedia installations and interactive exhibitions. The venue also hosts an interesting lineup of rotating exhibitions.

JAZZ BARS Bangkok’s Old Town is a haven for jazz and blues clubs. Here are some of the best.

Adhere the 13th Just around the corner from backpacker-central Khao San Road, this acoustic, live blues and jazz insitution packs out every night. Indoors can only seat about 20, so you might find yourself perched outdoors, beer in hand, listening to the loud and energetic music being belted out to a crowd of old-time expats and self-styled local blues-men.

BROWN SUGAR

13 Samsen Rd., 089-769-4613. Open daily 6pm-midnight. www.fb.com/adhere13thbluesbar

EVENING

Jazz Happens This little jazz boutique owned by Nu Vudthivichai, one of Thailand’s most prominent pianists, showcases the skills of a wide range of performers, from contestants on The Voice TV show to students and graduates of Silpakorn Jazz Faculty. Order a bottle of Singha, some gab glaem (Thai drinking food), and swing away. 62 Phra Athit Rd., 02-282-9934. Open daily 7pm-1am. www.fb.com/jazZhappens

Brown Sugar This place ranks as one of Bangkok’s best jazz bars for a reason. The Phra Sumen Road institution offers classic Western comfort food, cocktails and live performances by quality local jazz bands dominated by finalists of The Voice like Tissue Paper and Attention Please. Performances run from 8:30 pm from Tue-Sun.

SALA RATTANAKOSIN

After exploring Thailand’s heritage, take a break at 8 Sala Rattanakosin (39 Soi Tha Tien, Maharaj Rd., 02-622-1388) and enjoy Thai food with great views of the 9 Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). This stylish riverside venue boasts a small number

469 Phra Sumen Rd., 08-1805-7759. Open daily 5pm-1am. www.fb.com/brownsugarbangkok

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of guestrooms but half of the building is dedicated to wining and dining. There’s also a rooftop bar—the perfect place for sipping cocktails. If you’re in the mood for more drinks, head to !0 The Deck (Arun Residence, 36-38 Maharaj Rd. 02-221-9158), a charming outdoor venue just a short walk from Sala Rattanakosin. Set in a five-room boutique hotel, The Deck offers a delightful atmosphere in which to enjoy another drink or two, and also has a sophisticated Thai food menu. Finish your Old Town tour with a night visit to !1 Pak Klong Talad (open 24 hours), Bangkok’s largest flower market. Flowers from not only Thailand but around the world arrive here each day to be distributed to hotels, restaurants and small retailers. If you’ve still got some energy left, go mingle with backpackers from all over the world on the notorious !2 Khao San Road, or head to the local drinking street of choice, Phra Athit, which is just around the corner. Our top address there is Babble & Rum (see spotlight).

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!1

GETTING THERE

It’s not easy to get to the Old Town as there is no the sky train or MRT coverage, and a car journey can take up to an hour due to heavy traffic. The most convenient route is perhaps to take the sky train to BTS Saphan Taksin and catch a boat from Sathorn Pier to Pra Athit Pier.

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ThewhereGuide DECEMBER 2016 | BANGKOK

FREEBIRD

The hottest ticket in town sits in a Dwell magazine-worthy house at the peaceful end of Sukhumvit Soi 47. The wood-dominated space features a grab-and-go coffee booth up front where you can get a cup of weeklyroasted coffee from Singaporean roasters Sarnies, while the kitchen dishes out Australian-inspired cuisine that’s a produce-driven mix of Western and Asian cooking methods and ingredients—think organic sea urchin and sea grapes with whipped parmesan on a house-made flaxseed cracker; and slow-roasted ocean trout with wakame butter, caviar and mussel escabeche. 28 Sukhumvit Soi 47, 02-662-4936. Open daily 5:30pm-midnight. BTS Phrom Phong

bun y from trendy ng up foodhinese s most munity s bao gs like hicken, mpeh. gkok's s of you're ails at

BANGKOK’S BEST VENUES 24 NIGHTLIFE 25 DINING

28 SHOP 29 HEALTH & WELLNESS

30 ATTRACTIONS 31 ART

32 NAVIGATE

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Y

GUIDE

NIGHTLIFE NEW

GYPSY SPELLS

Set in an 80-year-old colonial-style house, this voodoo-themed bar brings a touch of mystery to Bangkok’s nightlife. The scene is set by candles, oversized tarot cards and the smell of herbal incense, while cocktails are named after zodiac signs. Their specialty is tweaked mojitos. There are 12 on offer, including one very Thai concoction made with grass jelly. Live jazz music every Friday night and blues every Saturday completes the package. Sukhumvit Soi 29, 02-662-3060. Open daily 5:30pm-midnight. BTS Asok

Hot Spots

BEST NEW COCKTAIL BARS OF 2016

2

EVIL MAN BLUES

Craggy-bearded barmen labor over serious, booze-heavy cocktails amid a photogenic mix of wood, marble, brass and neon at this sexy little cocktail lounge. Funk, old-school hip-hop and r’n’b provide the soundtrack as you knock back glass after glass of potent stuff like the Jet Lagged, which sees bourbon, coffee liqueur, sweet vermouth, black walnut bitters and Grand Marnier poured into one very powerful wake-me-up. BRONX LIQUID PALOUR

1

BRONX LIQUID PARLOUR

Behind a set of industrial, steel-rimmed glass doors and a rich velvet curtain sits this sultry den of high-class cocktails from Japanese bartender Hidekuyi Saito. Our top picks include “Sei”—a deliciously rich blend of Bacardi Ocho, umeshu (plum wine), cacao, port wine, molasses and matcha, with a side treat of housemade rum yokan (Japanese dessert jelly)—and “The Butter”, which sees the classic Sazerac mix of absinthe, cognac and American whiskey infused with melted butter. Thonglor Soi 25, 02-036-6071. Open Tue-Sun 7pm2am

G/F, 72 Courtyard, 72 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-392-7740. Open daily 6pm-2am

4 MIKYS COCKTAIL BAR

3

MIKYS COCKTAIL BAR

The W Bangkok Hotel’s old mixologist, Michele Montauti, has unveiled his own cocktail bar on Silom’s leafy Pan Road, where he whips up signature cocktails like Julie (Broker’s gin, Mancino Bianco, Earl Grey tea, jasmine syrup, lime and egg white) and In Pan Road (Don Julio Reposado tequila, elderflower liqueur, pomegranate juice, rosemary syrup, lime and celery bitters). Accompanying the drinks are small dishes like beef fajitas and marinated salmon, with caramelized onion, orange, strawberry and balsamic caviar. MIKYS COCKTAIL BAR

Y SPOTLIGHT

Soulbar This straightforward but stylish bar does just what you’d hope for. Live soul and funk bands fill the tiny front room every Wed-Sat starting from 9:30pm, often continuing the party after the shutters come down, and the bar now sells craft beer from Chiang Mai, as well as Belgium’s Vedett. 945 Charoenkrung Rd., 093-220-0441. Open WedSat 6:30pm-midnight

64 Pan Rd., 02-637-8368. Open Mon-Sat 5:30pm1am. BTS Surasak.

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GUIDE

NIGHTLIFE

4

GAY SILOM

RABBIT HOLE

A new addition to the bar scene of one of Bangkok’s liveliest nightlife districts, and one that breaks the monotony at that. Step inside the inconspicuous wooden door wedged between Ainu Japanese bar and Ramen Ajisai and you’ll find a charming, red-lit narrow bar staffed by two veteran Diaego World Class cocktail competition. Don’t miss their White Truffle Martini, which they make using truffle oil-infused Tanqueray Gin chilled to -18 degrees celsius. Get there early if you want a seat at the bar on a Friday night. DJ STATION

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125 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 081-822-3392, 098-969-1335. Open daily 7pm-2am

TRACK 17

5

TRACK 17

Styled to look like a vintage wood-paneled railway carriage, the space plays up its 1920s Orient-Express vibe with a narrow corridor where you can quite imagine women in lace dresses and men in tuxedos boarding with their travel trunks. An amazing mixing bar sits at the back, surrounded by trunks, frames, globes and maps to set the mood. Enter the “carriage” and take your seat in one of the upright booths over by the windows to enjoy drinks like the 20th Century (gin, carpano bianco vermouth, creme de cacao and lemon juice). RABBIT HOLE

1/F, The Commons, 355 Thonglor Soi 17, 02-1014525. Open daily 5pm-1am

G.O.D

o

Angels G.O.D

The area near BTS Sala Daeng is home to a few gay enclaves. If you want to catch a show, the notorious Soi Twilight, off Surawong Road, puts on productions that mix on-stage sex acts and drag queen performances. Drinks are about B300 a pop no matter what you order, but at least there is no extortion going on when you get the bill. Shows take place at regular intervals between 7pm and midnight. For something a bit more chill, sip a Singha in Silom Soi 4, home to venerable gay institutions like Telephone. Come midnight, saunter up the street to Silom Soi 2. Note that you will need I.D. to get in and they don’t make exceptions unless you look like you’re pushing 40. Soi 2 is lined with bars, but you’ll need to go straight to the end of the alley for DJ Station, the queen mother of gay clubs in town. There, you’ll meet upcountry freelancers, shirtless gym bunnies from Singapore or Hong Kong, aging European sugar daddies and jet-lagged flight attendants. The ones with the most resilience (or the best dealers) end up at G.O.D, in nearby Soi 2/1, which doesn’t really happen until DJ Station closes at 2am.

AN ATMOSPHERIC NEW YEAR’S AT BLUE SKY ROOFTOP BAR & DINING THAT’S OUT OF THIS WORLD. All of the ‘Angels and Demons’ will be coming out to play at our spectacular city-side nine course dinner. With live entertainment lighting up the sky, this once-in-a-lifetime event starts at just THB 7,500++/person at Blue Sky restaurant. Then you are invited to join our spine-tingling countdown event, featuring the sultry sounds of iconic Bangkok Invaders ‘DJ SG’. Tickets are just THB 999++/person and include one free drink at Blue Sky bar and costumes are highly recommended to get you in the mood for an angelically (or devilishly) good time.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESERVATION T: 02 541 1234 EXT. 4151 | E: FB_OFFICE@CHR.CO.TH centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cglb

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DINING NEW

SUSHI MISAKI

Don’t pay attention and you’ll walk straight past this hidden little Japanese restaurant. Sushi Misaki is equally minimal inside, only 10 seats around one sushi counter where Shizuoka-born chef Masahiro Misaki (formerly of Nippon Tei) serves an omakase (chef’s selection) meal of about 20 items, including appetizers, 12 nigiri sushi, a sushi roll, tamago, miso soup and a dessert. The chef makes his sushi edomae style, meaning the fish has been through a process of aging, curing or fermenting before being put together with either of white- or redvinegar sushi rice. G/F, Rain Hill, Sukhumvit Rd., 02-258-1783. Open Tue-Sun 6-11:30pm. BTS Phrom Phong

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Hot Spots

THAI FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS

2

BLUE ELEPHANT

The flagship branch of the globally-known Thai restaurant brand is housed in a stunning colonial-style mansion with a classic interior of dark rattan furnishings and authentic Asian artifacts. Chef and owner Nooror Somany Steppe and her team serve up royal Thai cuisine with authentic flavor. While more modern Thai restaurants have lately grabbed most column inches, Blue Elephant is still worth a visit for both atmosphere and food.

BENJARONG

1

233 Sathorn Rd., 02-673-9353. Open daily 11:30am2:30pm, 6:30-10:30pm. BTS Surasak

BENJARONG

Revamped in 2014 by Morten Nielsen, previously chef de cuisine at the Michelin-star Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen (Denmark), this restaurant cooks up classic, old-school Thai dishes with a little twist of adding European culinary methods and modern-style plating. It’s all set in a sophisticated dining room with Thai decor and a breezy garden terrace.

Dusit Thani, 946 Silom Rd., 02-200-9000#2345. MRT Silom. Open daily 6-10pm; Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm. MRT Silom BLUE ELEPHANT

3

Gaggan

Featuring fine Thai cuisine made using traditional methods and the best ingredients, Bo.lan—an amalgam of chef-couple Bo and Dylan Jones’s names—has made a splash in the global dining world with its aromatic curries, beautifully plated salads and artfully conceived menu. Adding to the allure is a striking dining room, set in an old house replete with tropical garden and close to hipster thoroughfare Soi Thonglor. Try the “Bo.lan balance,” a menu which changes along with the seasons.

Chef Gaggan Anand’s name went around the world when his eponymous restaurant was named Asia’s 50 Best’s No. 1 restaurant in 2015, a feat he followed up this year. Each night, in a classically restored house on Langsuan Road, the chef’s team offers a tasting menu where diners’ expectations of Indian food are first thrown overboard and then blown out of the water by Gaggan’s El Bulli-influenced creativity. 68/1 Lang Suan Rd., 02-652-1700. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-11am. BTS Ratchadamri

BO.LAN

BO.LAN

24 Sukhumvit Soi 53, 02-260-2961-2. Open Tue-Sun 6-10:30pm; Sat 6-10:30pm; Sun 6-10:30pm; SatSun midnight-2:30pm. BTS Thong Lo

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GUIDE

DINING

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HOT THAI TAPAS SPOTS

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NAHM

Still considered the “must-go” destination of every aspiring foodie in Bangkok, Nahm— helmed by Australian chef David Thompson—does Thai food made with the very finest ingredients using the most traditional methods. The most popular offerings at Nahm are the set menus, which usually feature dishes like blue swimmer crab curry with fermented rice noodles and the salad of fresh river prawns and Asian pennywort served in communal, Thai-style fashion.

80/20

27 Sathorn Rd., 02-625-3388. 7-10:30pm; Mon-Fri noon-2pm

Open

daily SALA RIM NAAM

5

80/20 Drawing on skills honed at Toronto’s Creme Brasserie, co-owner/chef Napol Jantraget creates food that’s 80-percent local, 20-percent creative tweaks in dishes like the complex lamb tartare in spicy Northeastern Thai dressing, which features an abundance of local herbs, and the tea-smoked duck breast with charred young pumpkin and pumpkin puree. Desserts by Saki Hoshino (try the warm molten chocolate with chili ice cream) and cocktails are no afterthought either. 1052-1054 Charoenkrung Rd., 087-593-1936. Open WedSun 5pm-midnight; Mon 5pm-midnight

Baa Ga Din One of a vanguard of restaurants that seek to tweak tried-and-tested street food favorites, Baa Ga Din presents a modern twist to roadside specialties like chicken wings and oyster omelets. The brainchild of Thitid Tassanakajohn of acclaimed fine-dining eatery Le Du, Baa Ga Din also serves an inventive cocktail menu.

SALA RIM NAAM

The Mandarin Oriental’s signature Thai restaurant, Sala Rim Naam (“Room at the Water’s Edge”) combines classic “royal Thai” cuisine with a theater experience, offering diners a glimpse of local culture as they tuck into their multi-course meals. Many consider the restaurant a must-try for new arrivals to the city.

NAHM

48 Oriental Ave., Charoen Krung Rd., 02-6599000 ext 7390. Open Mon-Wed noon-2:30pm, 7-10:30pm; Fri noon-2:30pm, 7-10:30pm; Sat noon2:30pm, 7-10:30pm; Sun noon-2:30pm, 7-10:30pm. BTS Saphan Taksin

26 Sukhumvit Soi 31, 02-662-3813. Open Wed-Sun 6-11pm; Mon 6-11pm

Kram Well-made Thai comfort food in a hipster setting: Kram in a nutshell. Set in a greenery-filled house decorated with bean bags and hanging light bulbs, Kram offers classic Thai dishes such as gaeng ua poo bai chaploo (curry with crabmeat and wild betel leaf) and pla rak gluay pad prik khing (stir-fried horseface loach with gingerchili paste). 113 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 02-258-8170. Open Mon-Fri 11am2:30pm, 5:30-10pm; Sat-Sun 11am-10pm

Somtum Der This restaurant won a Michelin star for its sister venue of the same name in New York. Those familiar with its well-balanced salads will understand why. Expect full, well-rounded heat in the dishes that call for it. Don’t miss the wonderful pork skewers marinated in coconut milk. 5/5 Sala Daeng Rd., 02-632-4499. MRT Silom. Open daily 11am-2:30pm, 4:30-10pm

Supanniga Eating Room One of Bangkok’s favorite Thai restaurants has built its reputation on delicate traditional plates bursting with strong, authentic flavors. The casual decor plays with the vivid yellow of Supanniga flowers, while other references to Eastern Thai culture abound. Don’t miss the pu jah (blended crabmeat and pork, seasoned with pepper and steamed inside crab shell) and moo cha muang (stewed pork with herbs and cha muang leaves). 28 Sathorn Soi 10, 02-635-0349. Open daily 11:30am2:30pm, 5:30-11:30pm. BTS Chong Nonsi.

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SHOPS+SERVICES UPPERGROUND BY CARNIVAL NEW

The white-washed streetwear showroom of Carnival on Siam Square Soi 7 has now expanded to this new venue specializing in the kind of high-end collaborations you find on Highsnobiety and Hypebeast. The minimal, futuristic space gives Bangkok access to the most exclusive collections from brands like Cote & Ciel, Non Conformist, Asics Tiger, Denim by Vanquish & Fragment, Bedwin & The Heartbreakers and many more. Top-tier sneakers, including limited-edition items from Adidas, Nike, Reebok and Converse, are available here as well. Perhaps most exciting is the Porter × Be@rbrick series. 3/F, CentralWorld, Rama 1 Rd. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Siam

Hot Spots

BEST THAI DESIGNER GIFTS

3

GOOD DESIGN

The Japan Institute for Design Promotion (JDP) has teamed up with a local gallerist to create this boutique dedicated to award-winning design from Japan. Decked out in cool tones of white and gray, the space looks as much like an art gallery as it does a shop, with products carefully displayed alongside explanatory notes, just as if you were visiting an exhibition. A lot of the stock is Japanese, but they also bring in the very best of local product design. The cute stationery in neutral hues is a particular highlight. 4/F, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-1605686. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Phloen Chit

1

ALEXANDER LAMONT

2/F, Central Embassy, Phloen Chit Rd., 02-160-5772. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Phloen Chit

2

ANOTHER STORY

This concept store gathers designer product from all over the world with a heavy focus on stationery and home decor. Along with international tech, fashion and design brands, there are also plenty of Thai names (Gray Ray, Labrador and Midori) as well as cute home decor pieces (look out for Plural Design, PDM Brand, Karv Design and Alltag). The huge space also has a deli with some to-die-for food.

4/F, The Emquartier, Helix Building, Sukhumvit Rd., 02003-6138/9. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Phrom Phong

One of a number of Thai craft shops under The One Tambon One Product (OTOP) brand, this store specializes in luxury items produced in Thailand. It features more than a thousand handicraft products selected from different producers around country, most of them home decorative items and fashion accessories. Other OTOP sites include OTOP The Walking Street in Silom (02-635-7061) and OTOP The Avenue (096-231-2843) in Ramintra. 4/F, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-1605975. Open daily 10am-8pm. BTS Phloen Chit

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ALEXANDER LAMONT

Drawing from his experiences living in both Europe and Asia, Alexander Lamont’s beautiful decor items successfully blend European techniques with the subtle mystique of Asian art. The materials, from bronze to stingray skin, are always luxurious and meticulously handcrafted by the local artisans under Alexander Lamont’s employ, ensuring that each piece of furniture is both unique and meaningful.

5

OTOP HERITAGE

OBJECT OF DESIGN STORE

4

OBJECT OF DESIGN STORE (O.D.S)

You’d have to look long and hard to find better contemporary Thai design than the beautiful pieces at this studio. Straying from the other imported big brand names at this shopping mall, ODS focuses on affordable home decor pieces, jewelry and other accessories from breakthrough Thai names including the Demark Award-winning labels Trimode and Plural Designs, ceramics from Yarnnakarn Art & Craft Studio, and pop art-inspired furniture from 56th Studio and Cast. Other up-and-coming names to look out for include Sur (table lamps), R.Noo Studio, Ce'halo (ceramics) and Patapian (wooden home decor).

3/F, Siam Discovery, Rama 1 Rd. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS National Stadium

SIAM DISCOVERY A top-to-bottom renovation of the buidling and total overhaul of the stores inside has really made this once-aging mall a must-visit destination for any shopper. As well as all the big international brands, you’ll find a focus on the best of local, Thai-made design. Don’t miss O.D.S. (see left), a store dedicated to award-winning local home decore, jewelry and accessories brands, or the selection of Japanese cult labels like Issey Miyake, Yoshio Kubo and Discord by Yoji Yamamoto. The store itself is also pretty spectacular, created by Japanese design house Nendo. Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-1000. Open daily 10am-10pm. BTS Siam

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HEALTH + WELLNESS NEW

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TRIBE

Bangkok’s latest spinning—that’s cycling on the spot to music in group classes—facility boasts the best equipment, facilities and trainers. A class fits 40 students, each provided with a stationary exercise bike and pair of toe-clipping cycling shoes. During the 45-minute class, you’ll be group-spinning with movements (including pushups and sprints) aligned with a background playlist put together by your trainer. You’ll also burn between 500-800 kcal, according to Tribe’s owners. 1/F, President Tower, 973 Phloen Chit Rd., 097015-1617. Open Mon-Fri 7am-10pm; Sat-Sun 10am6pm. BTS Chit Lom

Hot Spots BEST GOLF COURSES

3

THANA CITY GOLF AND SPORTS CLUB

Right on the flight path of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thana City Golf and Country offers a challenging course dotted with bunkers, lakes and streams. There’s a special Monday golf course (B1,650 including caddy). The attached Sports Club features swimming pools, fitness, tennis, badminton, table-tennis, squash and a kid’s zone which makes it a place where family can enjoy activities together.

ALPINE GOLF CLUB

1

100/2 M.4 Bangna-Trad Highway, Bangchalong, 02-3361968. Open daily 5:30am-6pm (Golf Club); 6am-10pm (Sports Club). www.thanacitygolf.com

5

THAI COUNTRY CLUB

Managed by Peninsula Hotels, this 7,157yard course is known for its excellent service. The course was designed by Dennis Griffiths under US PGA international standards. It has regularly been voted Asia’s Top Course by Asian Golf magazine. 88 M.1, Bangna-Trad Rd., Km 35.5, 038-570-234. Open Tue-Sun (closed on Mon except Public Holidays) 6am9pm. www.thaicountryclub.com

Y SPOTLIGHT

ALPINE GOLF CLUB

Since opening in 1996, the golf club, designed by legendary American golf course architect Ron M. Garl, has hosted many important international golf tournaments. It was even the spot of Tiger Woods’ Asian Tour win in 2000. Plenty of other sports are on offer thanks to a swimming pool, fitness facilities and an aerobics center at the clubhouse. There’s also a sauna and Jacuzzi. 99 M.9 Bangkhan-Sathaneevithayu Rd., Klong 5, 02-5773333. Open Tue-Sun (closed on Mon except public holidays). 6am-8pm. www.alpinegolfclub.com

2

LE MERIDIEN SUVARNABHUMI

Just a short taxi ride from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok’s Golf Resort & Spa, situated in the Summit Windmill Golf Club, has both day and night golf courses, elegant guest rooms and various leisure facilities including exclusive access to the clubhouse, spa and pool. There are also plenty of restaurants: try Favola for Italian and Latitude 13° 39’ for evening drinks.

789 M.14, Bangna-Trad Rd., Km 10.5, Bangplee, 02-1187777 (Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi), 02-750-2112 (Summit Windmill Golf Club). Day golf open daily 6am-5pm; night golf open Tue-Fri 4pm-12am; Sat-Sun 5:30-12am. www.lemeridiensuvarnabhumi.com

ROYAL GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB

4

ROYAL GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB

Located close to the International Airport, it is easily accessed through the Motorway (BangkokChonburi). This scenic golf and country club with trees and lakes spread throughout, is known as one of Thailand’s challenging golf courses with many water hazard holes. The signature ‘Mickey Mouse’ hole (par 4 hole 16) is so dubbed due to its resemblance to the wellknown Disney Character. 69 M.7, Tambon Rd., Sisa Chorakhe Noi, Bang Sao Thong, 02-738-1010. Opens Mon-Sun 6am-6pm

The Oriental Spa As sophisticated as the hotel, The Oriental Spa is set in a century-old teak house including five specialty suites, ten private rooms and a huge variety of treatments under a holistic philosophy. Try the Oriental Signature Treatment, a 1.5-hour aromatherapy signature massage of essential oils; the Oriental Organic Journey, a 2.5-hour full-body detoxifying scrub and steam; the Herbal Wrap, an hour-long wrap using fresh herbs from Chiang Mai to target dehydrated skin, and plenty more options. Full-day and half-day spa packages are also available. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, 48 Oriental Ave., 02-6599000. Open daily 9am-10pm. BTS Saphan Taksin

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ATTRACTIONS BLUE ELEPHANT COOKING SCHOOL Held on the second floor of the restaurant’s stunning colonial-style mansion, Blue Elephant’s cooking classes specialize in Royal Thai cuisine for all levels, and are held by the global restaurant group’s founder, Nooror Somany Steppe, and her daughter Sandra (pictured). The instructors also guide you on replacement ingredients for food items that are hard to find outside Thailand. Classes begin with a visit to the fresh market and end with a spread of your creations in a private dining room. Reserve in advance as it gets full quickly. There are two classes each day, with the morning session running from 8:45am-1pm, while the evening session runs from 1-3pm. 233 Sathorn Rd, 02-673-9353. Open daily 8am-5pm

Hot Spots ROYAL HERITAGE SITES

3

GRAND PALACE

1

GRAND PALACE

QUEEN SIRIKIT MUSEUM OF TEXTILES

Located right next to the Grand Palace, this museum tells the story of how HM Queen Sirikit has helped turn Thai silk from a simple local handicraft into a key export and an icon of Thailand. Highlights include the queen’s personal dresses and ornate costumes by leading international designers. Entry fee is included in the Grand Palace fee. If you only want to visit this museum, it’s B150 per person for adults.

Thailand’s most valuable royal barges date back to the reign of King Rama I, and are reserved only for use at the most auspicious royal ceremonies. Each one is carved from pure teak and engraved with traditional mythical creatures gilded in gold. Look out for the highlight of the museum, the Suppanahong royal barge, which stretches 46 metres and features a golden mystical swan as its figurehead.

Inside the main visitor’s gate at the Grand Palace, Na Phra Lan Rd., 02-225-9430. Open daily 9am-3:30pm

80/1 Arun Amarin RD., 02-424-0004. Open daily 9am-5pm

Construction on the royal residence of the first king of the current Chakri Dynasty began in 1762, and the complex is split into three zones: the Outer Court, where you’ll find Wat Phra Kaeo and the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most sacred Buddha image; the Middle Court, which contains the Dusit Maha Prasat and Chakri Maha Prasat buildings; and the Inner Court, former residence of the royal consorts. Be sure to get there early before the day is too hot.

Y SPOTLIGHT

Na Phra Lan Rd., 02-623-5500 ext.3100. Open daily 8:30am-3:30pm

2

NATIONAL MUSEUM

Formerly the viceroy’s palace, the National Museum is a must-see complex of traditional Thai structures. The front hall itself is highlighted by a monumental Buddha head from the Ayutthaya period that overlooks the whole exhibition space, while a stunningly graceful bronze Bodhisattva from the Srivijaya period takes center stage amid Khmer and Hindu sculptures. You’ll also find carefully kept smaller pieces ranging from Buddhist art to delicate Rattanakosin-era puppets.

4 Na Phra That Rd., 02 224-1404, 02-224-1333. Open Tue-Sun 9am-4pm

5

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ROYAL BARGES

QUEEN SIRIKIT MUSEUM OF TEXTILES

4

SUAN PAKKAD

Opened to the public in 1952 by its former royal residents, this complex of eight Thaistyle houses was Thailand’s first public museum. It showcases sculptures, furniture and traditional instruments from the Rama V period that belonged to Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga, as well as artifacts from the collection of King Chulalongkorn’s son. 352-354 Sri Ayutthaya Rd., 02-246-1775-6 ext 229. Open daily 9am-4pm. BTS Phaya Thai

Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World Tucked in the basement of Siam Paragon, this massive aquarium is home to over 9,000 marine creatures and 400 aquatic species. The space also offers family-friendly interactive activities such as diving with sharks, 4D cinema experiences, creature feeding, back-of-house visits and even real ocean walks in wetsuits. Be sure to check activity times prior to your visit. We also recommend making advanced reservations, as there are limited spots for each activity per day. B1-B2/F, Siam Paragon, 991/1 Rama 1 Rd., 02-687-2000. Open daily 10am-9pm. BTS Siam.

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ART

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BURNING LOVE

Contemporary photographer Ram Kanjanavanit presents images capturing the daily lives of a young couple’s relationship in a series that combines minimal composition with a creative color running method. The exhibition takes place at internationally regarded Thai photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom's gallery, which sits in a two-story WWII-era shophouse. While you're there, be sure to browse the folder of Manit's works for sale, as well as images from Thailand's best or forgotten photo masters. Through Dec 28. Kathmandu Photo Gallery, 87 Pan Rd. Open Tue-Sat 11am-6pm

Hot Spots TOP EXHIBITIONS THIS MONTH

1

RAW

Y SPOTLIGHT

Photographers Christian Hogue, Yossawat Kasemthirakun and Zuzanna Kowalska present a group exhibition of photographs capturing the transient and fleeting moments of life, including themes like the cycle of life and death, the disappearance of nature and the power of technology in controlling daily life. Through Jan 3. Kalwit Studio & Gallery, Soi Ruamrudee. Open Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

THE GAME | VIETNAM

3

THE GAME | VIETNAM

Twin Vietnamese artists, known as the Le Brothers, explore the cultural identity and social issues of post-war Vietnam through a series of mixed media works including a 24-channel video installation, a collection of photography works and an archive of posters, maps and books from the post-war period.

RAW

2

THE JAM FACTORY

Through Feb 19. Jim Thompson House & Art Center, Jim Thompson House, Soi Kasem San 2, Rama 1 Rd. Open daily 9am-8pm.

UNDER THE SAME SKY

Artists Tada Hengsapkul and Chai Siris present a collaborative exhibition in which Tada explores the areas in Korat scarred by American army bases during the 1960s, while Chai investigates his family's secret past along the Thai border.

THE SUMMER HOUSE PROJECT

Through Dec 15, Nova Contemporary, G/F, Baan Somthavil, Ratchadamri Rd. Open Tue-Sun 11am-7pm

TK

4

CONTINUUM: ACCULTURATING

Artists Jakkai Siributr, Jedsada Tangtrakulwong and Piyatat Hemmatat capture the lives of immigrant laborers entering the country as they adapt to their new surroundings in this series of multimedia works.

UNDER THE SAME SKY

Through Dec 17. The Art Center, 7/F, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University, Phaya Thai Rd. Open Mon–Fri 9am–7pm; Sat 9am–4pm

The Jam Factory Architect Duangrit Bunnag's stunningly designed riverside compound comprises of restaurants (Never Ending Summer, The Summer House Project), a bookshop (Candide), a showroom for Anyroom furniture, a cafe (Any Cafe) and a gallery that often features works from the city's most trendy young artists. The space also regularly hosts the popular Knack Market (see page 6) and concerts in the open-air courtyard. 41/1-41/2 Charoen Nakorn Rd., 02-861-0950

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NAVIGATE

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1 Asiatique the Riverfont

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Main road

2 Chatuchak Market

!1 Yaowarat (Chinatown)

BTS (Sukhumvit Line)

3 Vimanmek Mansion

!2 Central Rail Station (Hua Lamphong)

BTS (Silom Line)

4 Anantasamakhom Throne Hall

!3 Lumphini Park

MRT

5 Khao San Road

!4 Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre

Airport Rail Link (ARL)

6 National Museum

!5 Siam Paragon

River/Klong (canal)

7 Grand Palace / Temple of The Emerald Buddha

!6 CentralWorld and Zen

8 Wat Pho

!7 Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

9 Wat Arun

!8 Central Chidlom, Central Embassy

Pier

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FIND OUT THE LATEST NEWS ON THAILAND AT WWW.WHERETHAILAND.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/WHERETHAILAND

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GUIDE

NAVIGATE

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Essential Tips TRANSPORTATION & MONEY AIRPORT LINK

TUK-TUKS

BANKING HOURS

The Airport Rail Link (ARL) is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport, especially for those traveling light. There are two types of train: Express Line and City Line. The ARL Express Line runs from Suvarnabhumi Airport to either Phaya Thai (connecting to the BTS) or Makkasan stations (10-minute walk to MRT Petchaburi), and takes 20 minutes. The City Line stops at six stations and takes around 40 minutes. Thai Airways passengers boarding the Express Line can check in their bags at Makkasan station. One-way fares are B90 for City Line and B150 for the Express Line. More information at www.srtet.co.th/en

Tuk-tuks are a noisy but fun way of getting around Bangkok, not to mention great photo opportunities. However, they are no guarantee of beating the infamous traffic and you should agree on a price before getting in. Haggle hard but be wary of any cheap offers if you don’t want an unexpected trip to a tailor or gem store.

Banking hours are generally from 8:30am-3:30pm, Monday through Friday except on public holidays and bank holidays. Banks in malls open daily, 10am-8pm.

TAXIS In Bangkok metered taxis are readily available and very affordable, with fares starting from B35 for the first two kilometers. Despite their many colors, there’s no difference in prices and service. Some drivers speak limited English, so do get your destination written down in Thai to avoid any miscommunication. Taxis sometimes try to negotiate a price. Make sure to only pay the metered price. There are now also a number of mobile phone applications and services for those who want to hail a cab without having to hit the streets. The two main apps are Grab Taxi (grabtaxi.com/bangkok-thailand) and Uber (www.uber.com/cities/bangkok).

ATMs are very common in Bangkok and can be found in most areas of Thailand, often located outside 7-Eleven stores. You should easily be able to use overseas cards to withdraw money.

VAT REFUNDS­ Visitors to Thailand who make purchases of goods valued B5,000 or over from stores displaying the “VAT REFUND FOR TOURISTS” sign are eligible to receive a refund of the VAT paid on the item. At the time you purchase the item present your passport and ask the sales assistant at the store to complete the VAT Refund Application for Tourists form, attaching the original tax invoices to the form. Then at the airport, and before you check-in, present your goods and the refund form to customs officers. After checkin and immigration, proceed to the VAT Refund Office in the departure lounge. Refund amounts under B30,000 will be made in cash (Thai Baht) or by bank draft or credited to your credit card account. Refunds over B30,000 will be made by bank draft or credited to your credit card account.

SKYTRAIN/UNDERGROUND The BTS skytrain stops at Bangkok’s main districts and gives you a bird’s eye view of the city. There are two main lines: the Silom line, which runs from across the river in Bang Wa to National Stadium next to MBK Shopping Centre; and the Sukhumvit line, which runs from Soi Bearing in the eastern part of the city along Sukhumvit before heading up north to Mo Chit station by the Chatuchak Market. Siam is the interchange station between the two lines. Fares are B15-52. Unlimited day passes are B130. The underground, or MRT, is one line but has an extensive reach, from Hua Lamphong train station on the outskirts of Chinatown, down through the main Central Business District before turning North and heading up Ratchadapisek Road past Chatuchak Market and ending at Bang Sue station. Fares are B16-B40. There are three interchange stations: (1) BTS Asoke—MRT Sukhumvit, (2) BTS Sala Daeng— MRT Silom and (3) BTS Mo Chit—MRT Chatuchak. Tickets can be bought for individual journeys, or you can get special one-day tourist passes or tickets that cover a specified number of trips. For more information, go to www.bts.co.th and www. bangkokmetro.co.th. Note that the BTS and MRT use different ticketing systems.

ATMS

TUK-TUKS

CANAL BOATS­ While Bangkok used to be the Venice of the East, there is now only really one canal (Klong) still used as a means of getting around, Klong Saen Saep has a ferry service that runs daily from Bang Kapi in the Eastern suburbs to Phu Khao Thong or the Golden Mount in the heart of the Old Town (Rattanakosin Island), stopping off at various piers along the way. Be warned though, the boats don’t wait long at the piers, making getting on and off rather nerve-wracking (and physically challenging). And, due to the unsavory nature of the canal water, any picturesque view is blocked by sheets of tarpaulin to prevent splashing. Fares are B9-B120

EXPRESS RIVER BOATS These fast and frequent ferries along the Chao Phraya River are a great way to get a different perspective on the city, as well as a good option for getting to many of the temples and palaces built along the river. The main Sathorn (Central) pier is located by BTS Saphan Taksin with boats heading upstream from here and stopping off at numerous piers all the way to Nonthaburi. Fares range from B15-B42 depending on distance. You can also opt for a tourist ticket (B150), which allows one-day unlimited travel and comes with a guide booklet to some of the leading tourist attractions accessible from the river. From Sathorn (Central) Pier, you can also catch free ferries to many riverside hotels and Asiatique.

ESSENTIAL NUMBERS 1 EMERGENCY SERVICES (FIRE BRIGADE, POLICE) 191 2 AIRPORT RAIL LINK 02-308-5600. airportraillink.railway.co.th 3 BANGKOK MASS TRANSIT SYSTEM (BTS) 02-617 6000 (daily 6am-midnight). www.bts.co.th 4 BTS TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER 02-617-7340-1 (daily: 8am-8pm). www.bts.co.th 5 BANGKOK METRO (MRT) 02-624-5200 (daily 6am-midnight). www.bangkokmetro.co.th 6 CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT CALL CENTER 02-623-6001-3 (6am-7pm). www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com 7 SUVARNABHUMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 02-132-1888. www.suvarnabhumiairport.com 8 TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND (TAT) 1672 from Thai numbers. www.tourismthailand.org 9 TOURIST POLICE 24-HOUR CALL CENTER 1155 from Thai numbers or 02-250-5500 DECEMBER 2016 I W HER E THA ILA N D 33

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21 THINGS WE LOVE about Bangkok

1

2

!6

!1

9

!8

1 Sipping super-strong cocktails 7 Spending the afternoon shopping !2 Playing 18 holes on the challenging !7 Heading over to the Grand Palwith some delicious Thai-style tapas to share at Charoenkrung’s hottest restaurant, 80/20. See page 26.

2 Browsing the quirky stalls filled with authentic retro items at Talad Rod Fai night market. See page 6.

3 Savoring the authentic royal Thai cuisine at Blue Elephant, a fine-dining institution set in a beautifully restored mansion. See page 27.

4 Stocking up on Thai handcraft souvenirs from all across the country at OTOP Heritage. See page 28.

at one of Bangkok’s most popular pop up markets, Artbox Chatuchak, which features more than 300 stalls selling clothes, food and home decor. See page 6.

8 Checking out the stunning, pure teak, gold-guilded barges at the Royal Barge Museum. See page 30.

but beautiful golf course at Le Meridian Suvarnabhumi. See page 30.

!3 Spending a night out at 72 Courtyard, the nightlife-focused community mall that includes Beam—one of the best clubbing experiences in town. See page 12.

!4 Chilling out with friends and a 9 Sipping on some of Bangkok’s wide selection of good food at The most incredible cocktails at Il Fumo, a grand old villa reborn as a cocktail lounge and Italian grill restaurant. See page 26.

Commons, a loft-like, open-plan community mall whose first floor is home to an international smorgasbord of delicious flavors. See page 11.

ace, where daily mourning ceremonies take place as locals and foreigners gather to pay respect to the late HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej. See page 30.

!8 Strolling around Phra Athit Road, a riverside street in the Old Town that’s lined with creative little bars and time-worn shophouse restaurants. See page 19.

!9 Checking out the vibrant gayfriendly nightlife on Silom Road, home to happening burlesque shows and night clubs. See page 25.

!0 Discovering Michelin-star-wor- !5 Getting front row tickets for Muay 5 Taking in the stunning view 26 thy traditional Thai dishes at David Thai Live: The Legend Lives, a fast- @0 Visiting our favorite Isaan-style floors above Bangkok at Attitude, the riverside restaurant-slash-bar that focuses on artfully presented Asian dishes and good booze. See page 10.

6 Playing a round of golf at the Thai

Thompson’s Nahm. See page 27.

!1 Browsing for unique decor pieces at Alexander Lamont, known for his European-style craftsmanship with Asian touches. See page 28.

Country Club with a group of friends. See page 30.

paced live Thai boxing show performed by former Muay Thai champs and national boxers. See page 30.

street food specialist, Somtum Der, whose second branch in New York ranks in the Michelin guide. See page 27.

!6 Burning off all those Thai curries and pad Thai at Tribe, the state-ofthe-art cycling gym in central Bangkok. See page 29.

@1 Admiring the work of established and emerging contemporary Thai and international artists at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. See page 31.

where in the world Where is an international network of magazines first published in 1936 and distributed in 4,000 leading hotels in more than 50 places around the world. Look for us when you visit any of the following cities, or plan ahead for your next trip by visiting us online at wheretraveler.com ASIA Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong

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Where® Thailand December 2016