December 2014 Updates
for Nancy Chandler's Map of Bangkok,
26th Edition (More recent notes coming soon.)
Listings in purple are also new for those using the 27th Edition of Nancy Chandler's Map of Bangkok.
Below are select openings, closings, special experiences, and more of note related to changes in Bangkok since we published this map. Scroll on down to check out specific areas of interest as listed (chapters are separated by images as we're still figuring out how to link from the list below). Entries are followed by grid numbers (eg. A3) so you can find the approximate location of places on our map.
TIPS FOR SELECTING A HOTEL IN BANGKOK
Decide first which area you’d like to stay in and search from there. For those planning to spend most of their time visiting the top sightseeing attractions, we’d recommend a riverside hotel (B3) or one in Old Bangkok (A1-B2). Backpackers (and flashpackers seeking to take a walk down memory lane) have lots of options in the Khao San area (A4-B4), but if interested in a more cultural experience, do look beyond to parts of Old Bangkok north and south of the Banglampoo area (A1-2). Those interested in doing some clubbing should check out Sukhumvit Soi 11 (F1) and environs, or anywhere within easy reach of the BTS skytrain. Business travellers will probably want to stay in the Central Shopping Area (D2, E), the Silom/Sathorn area (C3) and/or Sukhumvit (F1-2), all of which are home to a wide range of exceptional hotels and quality hostels. We’ve named just a few in each area below, plus new ones not yet on the map.
OUR TOP PICKS FOR TRULY UNIQUE DESIGN AND ELEGANCE
In a class of its own is The Siam (B 16,000++, www.thesiamhotel.com) on the riverside off Khao Road (B1). It literally took our breath away when we first visited. It’s turn-of-the-century elegance redefined, well worth a visit for sunset drinks and a stroll through even if not staying there. For a more mid-market experience, the below have real Thai charm as well:
The often fully booked Old Bangkok Inn (B 3,200+, www.oldbangkokinn.com) on Phra Sumen (B2). It’s very intimate but quaint, with old wood furniture combined with modern touches. In the historic Phraeng Phuthon (A2-B2) is the period The Bhuthorn (B 3,200+, www.thebhuthorn.com) with just 3 rooms, its sibling The Asadang (B 3,200+, www.theasadang.com) nearby (A2) designed in a similar style. Also special is the small, riverside Arun Residence (B 4,000+, www.arunresidence.com) off Maharat (A2), with an unbeatable view of Wat Arun (although you may have to contend with bar goers climbing the stairs in front of your window), and its nearby sister property, Sala Arun (B 3,200+, www.salaarun.com), fitted out with pieces from the owner’s worldwide travels.
OUR TOP PICKS FOR CHARACTER IN OLD BANGKOK
The Praya Palazzo (B 4,200+, www.prayapalazzo.com) offers 17 rooms in a restored Italian mansion accessible by river only. For those seeking real character but a more down-to-earth experience (ie. lower room rates) near the sights, we’d recommend these: The Phranakorn Nornlen (B 1,800+, www.phranakorn-nornlen.com) in funky old buildings down Thewet Soi 1 (B1). There’s no TV but they welcome families, serve vegetarian breakfast and are in a great area for those who love wandering. Baan Dinso (B 2,200+, www.baandinso.com) with cozy rooms in a teak house off Dinso near Democracy Monument (A-B2), now with vegetarian cafe too. And Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel (www.nirasbankoc.com) on Mahachai (B2) which offers both old style rooms (B1,700+) and dorms (B 450).
OTHER CHARACTERFUL HOTELS IN BANGKOK
If heading to Chinatown, try a night at the stylish Shanghai Mansion (B 4,000+, www.shanghaimansion.com) on Yaowarat (B2, H3-4). Its rooms are ‘Shanghai Tang’ style with vibrant colors, unique furnishings and distinctive touches of luxury. On the river nearby is the hidden gem that is the ‘shabby chic’ Loy La Long (B 2,000+, www.loylalong.com) within the grounds of Wat Pratum Khongkha (G4) with 7 rooms in an old teak house, each combination of old and new, and a riverside deck which guests say they rarely leave in the evenings, the view so mesmerizing. In the Sukhumvit area, the period Cabochon (B 4,000+, www.cabochonhotel.com) on Soi 45 (F2) offers an ‘Old Asia’ experience not far from the BTS skytrain. Closed: The Eugenia on Sukhumvit Soi 31 (F1).
OUR TOP PICKS FOR MORE MODERN, INSPIRED DESIGN HOTELS
On Lang Suan (D2), the Hotel Muse (B 4,800+, www.hotelmusebangkok.com) deserves credit for surprising us with its unique character harking back to the days of travel in the 1920s and 30s (and we love the rooftop Speakeasy bar). Nearby, the Thai art-inspired, hip all-suite Tenface Hotel (B 3,700+, www.TenfaceBangkok.com) on Ruam Rudee Soi 2 (D2-3) has had younger business travellers raving about some of its special touches. In the Central Shopping Area, Siam@Siam Design (B 5,000+, www.siamatsiam.com) on Rama I (C2) is a fashion conscious option with an artsy rooftop bar and designer dining venues. The chic modern designer’s Sofitel So Bangkok (B 6,300+, www.sofitel.com, 02-624-0000) on North Sathorn (D3) also deserves a mention here. The trendy Aloft (B 2,500+, www.aloftbangkoksukhumvit11.com) in the heart of Sukhumvit Soi 11 (F1) with its nightlife scene is also really innovative and young professional-friendly.
NEW BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN OLD BANGKOK
Down by the river off Maharat down a lane just north of the Arun Residence is the intriguing Inn A Day (B 3,500+, www.innaday.com) which offers ‘riverside community’ themed rooms, ie. the Fresh Market, the Tailor, and the Medical Shop. In the same area near Wat Po, the Chetuphon Gate (B 1,800+, chetuphon-gate.com) offers clean and simple rooms within walking distance of all sights in the area. Closer to Tha Tien pier is the Arom d Hostel (B 800+, www.aromdhostel.com) with renovated dorms and private rooms. Near Democracy Monument is the customer recommended, Pannee Residence@Dinsor (B 1,000+) just north of the monument. Nearby, the Warehouse Bangkok (B 1,400+, www.thewarehousebangkok.com) offers funky road sign themed rooms and rooftop views of the nearby Grand Palace in the back sois behind San Jao Paw Sua Temple (A2).
On the River
Deserving of special mention is the Sala Rattanakosin (B 3,000+, www.salaresorts.com), a boutique hotel down a small street off Maharat between Arun Residence and Tha Tien opposite Wat Po (A2), which offers luxury rooms and a great bar with spectacular views of the temple or Wat Arun. Tel: 02-231-2588. On the other side of the river on the lane between Wang Lang Pier's market near Siriraj and the former Patravadi Theatre (A2) is the Baan Wanglang Riverside (B 2,000+, www.baanwanglang.com), offering special views from all rooms and a rooftop bar in a very local environment. Tel: 02-412-7234.
NEW HOTELS IN THE CENTRAL SHOPPING AREA
The Centara Watergate Pavillion (B 2,700+, www.centarahotelsresorts.com) is on Rajaprarop just north of the Phetburi intersection (E) near Pratunam Market. Next door, atop the Palladium mall is The Berkeley Hotel (B 2,200, www.berkeleypratunam.com). On the other side of the Central Shopping Area, the new Mercure Bangkok Siam (B 3,000+, www.mercure.com) and Ibis Bangkok Siam (B 1,700+, www.ibis.com) share a large plot overlooking the National Stadium BTS on Rama I (E, C2), in between Kasem San Sois 1 and 2. Tel: 02-659-2888.
NEW BRAND NAME HOTELS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
The Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit (B 4,500+, www.marriott.com) is new atop Soi 57 with several fine dining outlets and a swanky rooftop bar. Tel: 02-797-0400. The Continent Hotel (B 2,400+, www.thecontinenthotel.com) offers snazzy looking theme rooms in a high rise down a lane east of Interchange Tower near Soi 23. The Holiday Inn Bangkok Sukhumvit (B 2,900+, www.HolidayInn.com) is new atop Soi 22 (F2), the Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok (5,600+, www3.hilton.com) new on Soi 24, and the DoubleTree by Hilton (B 3,200+, www.sukhumvitbangkok.doubletree.com) is now open on Soi 26 (F2). The Radisson Blu (B 3,500+, www.radissonblu.com) is atop Soi 27 where 'Future Crowne Plaza Sukhumvit' was planned. The U Sukhumvit Bangkok (B 2,500+, www.usukhumvitbangkok.com) is on Soi 15 near the Pornpimol Ballet School.
OTHER NEW HOTELS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA
The 63 Bangkok B&B (B1,000+, www.63bangkok.com) is just below Ekkamai BTS station offers artsy rooms and co-working space.The new Dubliner (B1,590+, 02-204-1841) on Soi 33/1 offers rooms above its Irish pub. The Salil Hotel Sukhumvit (B 2,400+, www.salilhotel.com) has a prime position in the middle of the party-friendly Soi 11, with, oddly, flower themed rooms. Closed: Imperial Queen's Park, Soi 22.
BUDGET OPTIONS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA
On the map but only opened after we went to print is the Tune Hotel (B 999+, www.tunehotels.com) on Sukhumvit Soi 14 (F1), the first of Air Asia’s budget hotels in Thailand, where every add on (aircon, wifi, towels, pool, gym, etc.) costs a wee bit more…. There are several new chic dorm-style hostels as well throughout the area, but if travelling with others, it may be cheaper to rent a hotel room.
NEW HOTELS IN THE SILOM/SATHORN (DOWNTOWN) AREA
Bangkok is brimming with young luxury hotels, several with rates incomparable elsewhere in the world. Taking on the regal Siam Kempinski, the uber luxe St Regis, the fine Japanese Okura Bangkok, and the sophisticated Sofitel So is the new W Bangkok (B 5,200, www.starwoodhotels.com) attached to Sathorn Square on Sathorn near Chong Nongsi BTS station (C3), with its ‘heritage building mansion’ (the former Russian embassy) opening in March 2015. Nearby, the style-conscious Mode Sathorn (www.modesathorn.com) is a new landmark on Sathorn Road (C3), where it aspires to become known as a ‘nightlife hotel’ with three bars including a rooftop bar. Tel: 02-623-4555.
HOTELS AND HOSTELS IN THE KHAO SAN AREA
The stylish young Riva Surya (B 2,850+, www.RivaSuryaBangkok.com) on Phra Athit (A4) has been getting some good feedback since opening just before we went to print. New tel: 02-650-5000. Other special mentions: The Lamphu House (B 390-950+, www.lamphuhouse.com) off west Rambuttri (A4) has rooms of many standards, including nice ones with balconies. The NapPark Hostel (B 480+, www.nappark.com), at 5 Tani Road opposite the lane leading to Villa Cha-Cha (B4), offers a ‘hip hostel’ experience with clean dorm rooms with private screens between bunks, lockers, wifi, a library, etc. Meanwhile, the Villa Cha-Cha (B 900-2,700) has been upgraded and has a pool, plus a big restaurant. Not far from Khao San, for those who might choose a guesthouse for its memorable name, we also feel we should mention a new find, the Flapping Duck (under B 300, www.flappingduckguesthouse.com) which is at the very end of Samsen Soi 1 (A2).
NEW HOTELS ELSEWHERE IN CENTRAL BANGKOK
The Centra Central Station Bangkok is a modern Chinese-themed hotel north of Wat Traimit on the corner with Rama IV (H3). Tel: 02-344-1699.
ARTSY BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTIONS
The award winning Lub d Siam Square (www.lubd.com) has our vote for the most fun, creative young guesthouse in central Bangkok, with spanky clean dorms and private rooms atop Soi Kasem San 2 (C2). You’ll find several other new artsy dorms listed in the map’s directory as well, many in the Silom area including the original Lub d, but none seem to initiate as many original activities as this one. Among new artsy hostels with dorms and private rooms in downtown Bangkok are the Mile Map Hostel (B 300+) on Pan Road just south of the Indian Temple on Silom (C3) and the S1 Hostel(B 300+) on Ngam Dupli at the end of Sathorn Soi 1 (D3).
HOTELS OF NOTE IN GREATER BANGKOK
Located on Pradiphat (I1), a bit out of the way (except for those planning a lot of time at Chatuchak Weekend Market which is just a bit north of it) or really into the unusual is the kitschy Mystic Place (B 1,500+, www.mysticplacebangkok.com) which offers a funky assortment of theme rooms, each designed by a different local artist. (It’s not on the map only because we thought it had closed when we last updated the map, but it appears it was only temporarily closed for renovations.) Across town in the Phra Khanong area (J3), the Beat Hotel Bangkok celebrates street art with 45 uniquely painted rooms and another 9 left white for future artists to decorate, part of the W District complex planned to be an urban art playground’.
For an entirely different experience of Bangkok, we’d recommend the quirky Bangkok Tree House (B 3,700+, www.bangkoktreehouse.com) in Bang Krachao (I3-J3) to the adventurous. Accessible from the river only, it is not hard to get there from the skytrain, just a short taxi ride away from Bang Na. It originally offered extra discounts for those capable of ‘digital detox’ (locking up your phone), but now has computers in all rooms unfortunately. It does still offer healthy meals, free bicycles, and insights into how you can make a difference however. Note: It is not for those that have difficulties with rickety piers and stairs without handrails. See the A-Z on its website. You can expect loud music from across the river at night too.
Looking for a escape from the city? In the Bang Krachao ‘green’ area south of the city (J3) ten families offer a truly Thai experience as part of the Ban Nam Phueng Homestay project. Rooms in their houses go for B 350 per person, with the option of activities including bird watching, boat, cycling and walking tours of the farms in the area, massage, craft classes and alms offering in the mornings. For more details, contact Khun Arporn at 089-807-2501 or Khun Mali at 081-347-3997.
Recent hotel name changes on the map for those that might not be aware of them yet:
Amari Atrium –> Avani Atrium, New Phetburi (J2-3)
Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa –> Anantara Bangkok Riverside, Charoen Nakorn (B3, I3)
Manohra –> Ma Hotel, Surawong (B3)
Radisson Sathorn–> Anantara Bangkok Sathorn, Narathiwat Rajanakarin (C3)
Ramada Encore –> Galleria 10, Sukhumvit Soi 10 (F1)
Siam Beverly Hotel –> Bangkok Cha-Da, Ratchadaphisek (J2)
Siam City–> The Sukosol, Si Ayutthaya (C2)
Sofitel Silom–> Pullman Hotel G, Silom (C3)
The Grand Tower Inn on Charoen Nakorn (B3)
OUR TOP SPECIAL SIGHTS
On the map but worthy of special mention are two sights still rarely mentioned in guidebooks: The Museum Siam (en.museumsiam.com) on Sanam Chai Road (A2) is innovative, entertaining, and thought provoking. Take the kids, take a camera, play with the interactive exhibits, and visit the unique Muse gift shop. Open Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Closer to downtown Bangkok, the Bangkokian Museum on Charoen Krung Soi 43 (B3-C3) is in an old home, displaying the artifacts of daily life in the past. Go at the right time and the owner will give you a personal tour. We found her delightful, sharing personal anecdotes about her childhood and the finds she made when her family moved out, including some items it has taken her years to identify. Upstairs, visitors can learn more about this part of town, home to the first western residents of Bangkok. Open Wed-Sun 10am-4pm.
OTHER YOUNG MUSEUMS WORTHY OF MENTION
Bangkok has seen several museums open in the past decade, many with professional design aimed at providing a more interesting and interactive experience for Thais and visitors alike. Among those we believe are worth a longer description than possible on our map are the below:
The Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Centre (Chinatown Museum) at Wat Traimit (H3-4), open daily 8am-5pm, offers well researched insights on the role of the Chinese in Thai history. We loved the room with biographies of prominent Thai-Chinese juxtaposed with images of current residents of Chinatown, as well as the miniatures room depicting classic community activities. Entry is B 100 for non-Thais, which we think includes entry to the 3rd floor Golden Buddha exhibit and Wat Traimit. For kids that deserve a reward after visiting, look for the Thai ice cream shop across the street.
Old Bangkok Museum
The Rattanakosin Museum (www.NitasRattanakosin.com) on Rajadamnoen Klang, east of Democracy Monument (B2) - now called the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall - covers the history of Old Bangkok in a grand old government building with many more themes to explore than we’ve ever seen so comprehensively done before here. Visitors must join guided tours, last we visited in Thai only. Warning: these can take up to 3 hours. Displays do have English text but to understand the audio/visual presentations, you may want to bring B 1,500 for headset deposit. Open now Tue-Sun only, 10am-7pm, entry B 200 for non-Thai adults. If you visit, you must (we insist!) take photos in the old photo studio on the top floor before visiting the Attractions Room. The innovative gift shops are also worth browsing.
Silk Museum in the Grand Palace compound
Just past the entrance of the Grand Palace (A2), within the same compound, is the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, which opened in May 2012. Highlights include designer ensembles created for Her Majesty, some dating back to the 1960s, and a demonstration of village textile traditions and patterns. Added in July 2013 was a new Activity Studio where visitors can dress dolls in Thai clothes, play a guessing game, and create cards using textile pattern stamps. Open daily 9am-4.30pm (last entry 3.30pm). Tickets are included with entry to the Grand Palace, but if you are short on time, you can buy a ticket to the textile museum only for B 150. Note: Also within the compound is the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins which has recently undergone a major renovation with new interactive exhibits installed, entry only B 10.
Queen Savang Vadhana Museum
Open Mon-Fri 10am-3pm through March 2015, we highly recommend this museum to those interested in old architecture and the royal family’s history. Located in the Tamnak Yai mansion in Srapatum Palace (E), highlights include photos of the mansion’s restoration; personal keepsakes – a letter from Prince Mahidol listing the reasons he wanted to wed his future wife, a commoner; and pictures of the relatively humble traditional wedding ceremony of HM The King and HM The Queen. Reservations are required for visits. Tickets for the 2014-2015 season are B 150 for adults, B 50 for students, including access to a special exhibition on HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's life and that of her great grandmother Queen Savang Vadhana. Call 02-252-1965 to book and ask for an English speaking guide as exhibits are in Thai. Dress appropriately (no shorts, sleeveless shirts or flip flips, women must wear long skirts). And allow an extra half hour on arrival for IDs. Entry is via a gate on the north end of the parking road next to Siam Paragon (E). For more information, see www.QueenSavang.org.
For Art Lovers
Although catering mainly to Thais and a bit out of the way, the private Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) (www.MoCABangkok.com) on Kamphaengphet 6 north of Ngam Wong Wan (I1-J1) has been earning some good reviews. Open Tue-Sun 10am-5.30pm, call 02-953-1005-7 ahead of time to try to arrange a tour in English. Allow for at least half a day of browsing (best if you book a car and driver for the day), and mind rush hours (4.30-7.30pm) when scheduling your return. Closed: the V64 Art Studio cooperative on Chaeng Wattana Soi 1 (J1).
For Lovers of Old Buildings
Also not mentioned in many guidebooks are the following, listed in order of how we’d visit them: The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall (B1) hosts an Arts of the Kingdom exhibition of royal crafts, Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (dress code applies - see Queen Savang Vadhana Museum above for details). Head west to the river to the Bangkhunprom Palace (A1-B1) officially home to the Currency Museum, but recommended here for the fact that the riverside palace is a stunning sight and only recently opened to visitors Mon-Tue 9am-4pm. Afterwards, walk north to Tha Wat Ratchatiwat (A1) to catch a shuttle boat to the riverside mansion that is Praya Palazzo (A1) for lunch or afternoon tea (call 02-883-2998 to check the shuttle boat schedule). Alternatively, visit the new Museum of Floral Culture (see below) then do sunset drinks at The Siam upriver on Khao Rd (B1), allowing time to browse its museum-like exhibits near the lobby. Moved: Amantee is now on Chan Kao near the Kalae Warehouse (D3-4).
Old Community Restored in Greater Bangkok
People are whispering about the canalside Klong Bang Luang community. They don’t want tourists flocking there in droves though it’s now popping up on river tour maps. For those intrigued, attractions include Baan Silapin Artists’ House (www.KlongBangLuang.com), an art gallery-studio-cafe-shop with mask painting and papier mache activities and a traditional Thai puppet show most days at 2pm (call 02-868-5279 to confirm), in a restored old building with a 300 year old Ayutthaya style chedi in the garden (open daily 9am-6pm). Nearby is the Bang Laung Gallery selling village crafts and clothing, another art studio with painting and woodblock lessons, an old coffee shop, a grocers and a traditional barber. Located where Klong Bangkok Yai meets Klong Mon (I3), it is best reached by private car – park at the end of Charan Sanitwong Soi 3 and look for a foot bridge to cross, turn left and go approx. 100m, or park at wats at the end of either Phetkasem Soi 20 or Soi 28.
Baan Nam Peung Market in Greater Bangkok
If you’re looking for something different, we recommend the weekend Wat Baan Nam Peung floating market in Bang Krachao (J3). Well-organized, relatively clean, and catering to Thais not tourists, it’s a good half day’s adventure. With children, head right at the first side lane to find the kid’s activity area. Directions by car: Take the Rama IX bridge to Suksawat Rd (I3) and on to Phra Padaeng town, then have your driver watch for Thai signs to the market which is northeast of the Industrial Ring Road. By BTS: Go to Bangna skytrain station (J3), take a taxi to the pier at Sanphawut, a boat across the river, and then walk south to the Bangkok Tree House for lunch at its organic restaurant, before continuing onto the market. Alternatively, visit on a bike tour (see Cycling under Sports in the directory to your map) and you’ll see much more of this ‘green lung’ of Bangkok. Or consider a few nights in the area (see HOMESTAYS and more about the Bangkok Tree House under HOTELS above).
NEW MUSEUMS AND SIGHTS
Old Railway Station now a Riverside History Museum
When Siriraj Hospital began building on the grounds of the former Thonburi Railway Station (A1-2), construction workers discovered several old artifacts underground and a new museum was subsequently born. The vintage style Siriraj Bimuksthan Museum offers visitors a chance to explore the history of the Bangkok Noi area, learn about medical advances (complete with mock old anatomy classroom with fake corpse), browse antique sword collections, study a map drawn by a Burmese spy back in the day, visit a miniature market complete with puppet show stage, boxing school, temple and liquor shop. The tour ends on the river, a cafe on site a welcome sight. Entry is B 200 for foreigners, B 300 if you also want to tour the Siriraj Medical Museum just down the street. A deposit may also be required for use of English audio tour tapes and headphones.
Located on the grounds of a 100 year old home and garden on Samsen Soi 28 off Nakorn Chasi in the Dusit area (B1) is internationally-recognized Thai floral designer Sakul Intakul’s Museum of Floral Culture, which explores the use of flowers in both royal, religious and common use in Thai history and throughout the region. Upstairs are sketches of his own unique displays, a must see for those with an interest in interior design, landscaping and the like. Note: This museum is not for everyone – some we’ve sent loved it, others found it more high brow than they expected. Open Tue-Sun 10am-6pm, entry B 150.
Palaces Now Open as Museums
Amulet Museum and More
The Aurora Foge amulet museum and shop is new at 115/10 Sukhothai (B1), between Samsen and Ruam Chit roads, offering the chance to learn about rare amulets stored in the old mansion it inhabits. Visitors can also book ceremonial tattoos by a master of the art and 'lucky' gold leaf facials by calling 02-243-8941-3.
Museum of the Human Body
For those with a fascination with the morbid, this museum on the 9th floor of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Dentistry at 54 Henri Dunant (C2) just south of Siam Square, displays preserved bodies, body parts, and more than we care to describe here. Donated by the Japanese for academic purposes, it is open Tue-Sun 9.30am-5.30pm, entry B 300 for foreigners (B 100 for foreign children). We recommend calling 087-087-5481 to confirm hours (at last check Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, but it has closed without notice before) and arrange an English speaking guide.
Kama Vijitra Erotic Asian Art Museum
Not so new is the private Kama Vijitra Erotic Asian Art Museum, which is located deep in a back soi off Sukhumvit Soi 36 (south of the Rainbow Room on the lane connecting to Soi 38, F2). Entry is B 1,000 (presumably to deter gawkers) and it is open by appointment only. Call 080-994-6683 for a booking.
New in the Khao San / Phra Athit Area
Fun 3D Art Museums Open
Let your inner child loose at the new Art in Paradise interactive illusionary art museum on the fourth floor of the Esplanade, Ratchadapisek (J1-2). The camera friendly exhibits allow kids of all ages (and grown ups) to pose with 3D images as if walking the plank, kayaking, swimming with sharks, etc. Doors are open 10am-10pm. Allow two hours if you are anything like us! Similar but smaller is the Alive Museum: Trick Art Museum opening on the third floor of Central World (E), doors open 10am-9pm. With more of a Thai theme is the relatively tiny Magic Art Museum on the 7th floor of MBK (E). Note: Two tier pricing applies at most of these, but that doesn’t mean they are not worth a visit.
Other New Museums
CLOSED: WAT ARUN and the CHILDREN’S DISCOVERY MUSEUM
Wat Arun (A2) has closed for extensive renovation, with tourists allowed to tour the grounds but not the temple itself until work is finished in 2016. The highly regarded Children’s Discovery Museum in Queen Sirikit Park (G3, I2) near Chatuchak Weekend Market has been closed for renovations for some years now. We had been told it would reopen in August 2012, then December 2013, August 2014, and most recently January 2015....
NEW ATTRACTIONS FOR CHILDREN
Kidzania is now welcoming the kids on the 5th floor of Siam Paragon (E). Open to those aged 4-14 years, the virtual city of KidZania allows children to explore any of more than 80 careers – including pilots and mechanics – while parents relax outside. For those with smaller children, there is also a toddler only zone with fun and games for them. Doors open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm and Sat-Sun-Hol 10am-3pm and 4-9pm. See www.kidzania.co.th for more information. Looking for other things to do with the little ones which you can’t find in our directory? Check out this new website: www.bkkkids.com for ideas.
IN AMUSEMENT PARK NEWS
KOREAN SLAPSTICK IN NEW NANTA THEATRE
This is one we advise you visit the restroom before finding your seat: the hilarious stage acts at the Nanta Theatre will have you laughing throughout the show! Originally to open in Big C, Rajdamri, as on the map, it never did, instead opening quietly in RCA between Rama IX and New Phetburi roads (see the cinema symbol near RCA, J2-3). Shows are daily at 8pm with second showings on Wed, Fri and Sat at 5.30pm. Tel: 02-641-4407 for bookings. Note: Shows are suitable for all ages.
MUAY THAI DRAMA AND THAI PUPPETRY AT ASIATIQUE
The young Asiatique (B3) – an entertainment/shopping/dining complex on the riverside popular with Thais and tourists – now hosts a nightly stage show like no other, Muay Thai Live, celebrating the art and history of the Thai boxing art. This sounds a lot drier than it is, one recent reviewer in The Nation describing how the Taiwanese woman next to him couldn’t stop expressing how astounded she was by the moves of the dancers/boxers. Others however were disappointed the show was not actually a Muay Thai fight... Tickets are B 1,200-2,200 for the 8pm shows, which are in Thai with English and Chinese subtitles. See www.muaythailive.net for more details. Among other attractions in the market is the official Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theater restaurant, elegant Thai and international venue with dinner demonstrations by the puppeteers Fri-Sun evenings at 7.30pm and 9pm. Call 083-826-1126 for reservations.
FOR REAL BOXING MATCHES
The Lumpini Boxing Stadium has moved from its historic site on Rama IV (D3) to a new stadium on Ramintra Road (J1), while retaining the same name. The new venue is reportedly able to seat many more spectators and has modern facilities, but be forewarned, it is a trek to get out to. Fights are on Tuesdays and Fridays from 6.30-11pm, Saturdays 4-8.30pm and 9-12.30pm. We'd recommend visitors consider the older Rajadamnoen Boxing Stadium on Rajadamnoen Nok (B2) instead. Fights there are held on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 6.30-10.30pm.
ADVENTURES IN THE DARK FOR ALL AGES
It’s on the map, but we wanted to mention this here as well: Dialogue in the Dark, part of the National Science Museum’s NSM Science Square on the 4th floor of Chamchuri Square, Rama IV (C2-3) offers the chance to experience a tour of the dark with blind guides (B 90/adult, B 50/child, manager assures us same price for Thais and non-Thais despite what we heard earlier) and then visit the NSM’s activity labs Mon-Sun 11am-5pm. We haven’t tried it yet, but we hear several expatriate families are repeat visitors. Closed: Dine in The Dark at the Ascott Sathorn (C3).
MORE FOR THOSE EXPLORING OLD BANGKOK AND KHAO SAN
Follow the link above in our menu bar for details about our map of Khao San and Old Bangkok, which includes many small sights, shops, restaurants and more that we just couldn’t squeeze onto the Bangkok map.
GOING TO CHINATOWN?
The 100 year old gold shop at the corner of Sampeng Lane and Soi Mangkon (H4), officially Tang Toh Kang, has opened a small Gold Museum. It’s dusty and a four floor climb up, packed with old equipment, only for the especially interested. For a private viewing, call 02-224-2422. Note: You may need an interpreter and, again, it’s only for those especially interested (in other words, not for the casually interested). Seeking a place to stop for a drink or nibble, check out the aircon Double Dogs Tea Room on the alleyway opposite Nan Mee on Rama IV (H3). A bit further out of the way, is the simple Samsara next to the Loy La Long hotel (H4) in an old house (with lots of cats) on the river (follow signs from the main road next to the wat to find it). Open eve. only Tue-Sun, reservations for a table on the terrace recommended, tel: 02-639-6853.
FOR MUSIC IN THE PARK
Our apologies. The Music in the Park program in Lumpini Park runs from December through February, not February through April as stated in the map’s directory (thank you, Daniel Hudson). How we missed that mistake, we’re not sure. We assure you however that the park is worth visiting year round regardless!
NEW KLONG BOAT/FLOATING MARKET DAY TRIP OPTION
The Klong Saen Saep longtail boat taxi service has been extended into Minburi, where a new ‘traditional’ floating market welcomes visitors on the weekend. For those who want to get off the beaten tourist track, catch any Klong Saen Saep boat heading to the eastern suburbs and change boats at Wat Sri Boon Rueng pier, which is off Ramkamhaeng (Sukhaphiban 3) just north of the Lard Prao/Ramkamhaeng intersection (J2). There are nine stops on the new service into Minburi, ending at a weekend floating market at Wat Bam Phen, which is just off our map, east of Suan Siam water park (those with kids can easily catch a taxi from the last stop to the water park). The service at last check runs daily 6-9am and 4-7pm. Have someone Thai call 083-056-1903 to make sure it is still in operation if you want to go.
ADDITIONAL RIVER CRUISE OPTIONS
For small private cruises on an old workboat, contact the personable Charlie at 081-837-5501 or by email at email@example.com. Friends rent from him regularly for lazy Sunday tours of the back canals, boats complete with coolers, ice and cold towels.
For English meditation, mindfulness and other Buddhist programs, see Little Bangkok Sangha (www.littlebang.org) which is active again, hosting talks and other functions all over the city. Omroom (www.omroom.net) is new on the 8th floor of the Alma Link bldg on Chidlom (E), offering meditation, reiki and more. Shambala (www.bangkok.shambala.info) operates out of the Vanissa Building next door on Chitlom (D2), with free meditation classes every Saturday afternoon.
NEW SPAS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA
The highly respected Oasis Spa has opened a second branch opposite the northern end of Sukhumvit Soi 51 (F2). Tel: 02-262-2122. So Thai Spa is new on Sukhumvit Soi 31 (F1) just north of the Euro Grande, offering some very reasonably priced packages. Tel: 02-662-2691. New in the A Square complex at Sukhumvit Soi 26 and Rama IV (F2, J3) is the Yunomori Onsen & Spa, Bangkok’s first Japanese style (translation: spa goers go nude) public bath. Tel: 02-259-5778.
OTHER SPA UPDATES
The Wat Po Thai Traditional Massage School, off Maharat in between the Aurum and Arun hotels (A2) has changed its telephone number a few times in recent years. Try these numbers instead of the one in your directory: 02-622-3550-51 or 02-221-3686. Among new spas we think worthy of mention though not on the map is the Retreat on Vitayu which is on Soi Polo (Soi Sanam Khli) just north of the RBSC Polo Club (D2-3). It’s understated and reasonably priced but chic, with a tempting array of desserts for those who want to pamper themselves in more ways than one. Tel: 083-777-8500. Nearby, The Touch has a popular second branch on Soi Ruam Rudee just south of Jim's Lodge (D2). If you live in the area, they also offer service in your home for a B 200 surcharge. Tel. 02-651-4360.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART TOURS
Among listings we overlooked in updating this map are two photography ‘schools’ which also offer walking photography tours of Bangkok. Check out The Bangkok Photo School (www.bangkokphotoschool.com) and the Photography School Asia (http://photographyschoolasia.com) for more details. New but also offering a unique way to explore Bangkok is the free Bangkok Sketchers group which meets one day on the first weekend of each month to ‘explore by hand’ a different area of the city. Bring your own sketch pad and pencils. See BKSketchers on Facebook for more info.
The city's Green Bike program has been replaced by the Bangkok Smiles Bike Free project, with stations dotted around Old Bangkok and Thonburi. To 'rent' a bicycle, you must allow attendants to photocopy your passport as a guarantee. You can reportedly return the bike at any station now, which is an improvement on the old program. No helmets are provided however. Hours are Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 9am-7pm. Among stations is one in front of the Bangkok Information Center on Phra Athit (A1-2), where you should also be able to pick up a map of suggested routes and stations elsewhere.
We wouldn’t really recommend touring by bike without a guide to explain the intricacies of Thai traffic however. Among cycling tour companies we do recommend is SpiceRoads which has moved to Sukhumvit Soi 71/26 in the J3 area on our map (see www.spiceroads.com for a more detailed map if you need to visit their new offices). New tel: 02-381-7490. SpiceRoads has also opened an office in the Grand China (Princess) hotel in Chinatown (H1-3). Co van Kessel has moved his office to River City on Charoen Krung (B3). Tel: 02-639-7351
The young Organic Way City Farm on Rat Burana Soi 30 (I3) opposite Kasikornbank's HQ, south of the river, allows visitors to experience its unique renovation of an old bus depot where it offers workshops on the ecosystem, growing crops in limited spaces, eco-friendly practices, and how to mill rice among other things. Also onsite is a organic cafe.To arrange a visit, have a Thai check online for contact details. You may need to take an interpreter with you as well.
WINERY TOUR NOW ON OFFER
Siam Winery now offers tours of its Samut Sakorn Winery, approx. an hour from Bangkok. Tel: 02-996-6083 or see www.siamwinery.com for more details.
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO DO?
Consider volunteering while in Thailand. See www.starfishventures.co.uk for everything from English teaching to turtle conservation and dog rescue programs from two week packages to longer term placements. For those with just a Saturday to give, Sanuk My Saturdays is a young ‘funlanthropy’ program which welcomes volunteers on Saturday afternoons to help slum children, by giving English classes or doing other community work. See www.insearchofsanuk.com and look under Volunteering for more information. (Last time we checked, they have weekday activities too.)
ASIATIQUE, THE NEW NIGHT ‘MARKET’
An ambitious new development, Asiatique is a massive riverside pedestrian mall built around old warehouses now stocked with shops between Charoen Krung Sois 74 and 76 (I3) aimed at both locals and visitors. On the waterfront boardwalk are fine restaurants, behind are zones with crafts shops, fashion boutiques, small beer gardens, a fine French restaurant and an Irish pub among other eateries, as well as the Calypso cabaret show and the artfully designed Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theatre restaurant (short ‘demonstration’ shows Fri-Sun at 7pm). To get there, join the longer line on the left side of the southernmost pier at Saphan Taksin (B3), which is marked for Hotel Shuttles. The usually crowded Asiatique free shuttle runs every 10-15 minutes from 5pm-midnight. If too crowded, take a taxi south on Charoen Krung but be aware, traffic in this part of town is horrendous.
GOING TO CHATUCHAK?
Our top recommendations for a rest that are on the map have changed, with several closures. Cafe Ice in Section 7 (G3) and Viva Section 8 are still good rest spots, the latter now with Spanish chef dishing up paella on site, while the owner has started playing DJ, impressing regulars to her corner of the market. Closed: Le Bua 1919 Bistrot on the bottom lane of Jatujak Plaza C (G1) and Lann Cha Tea Cafe in Section 3 (G2). Among shops closed is Coffee Art in JJ PLaza Section B which used to carry our maps.
RETRO RAILWAY NIGHT MARKET RELOCATED TO EASTERN SUBURBS
The much loved retro bars and antique knick knack shops that made up the Rod Fai Night Market which was just southwest of Chatuchak Weekend Market (I2) have relocated to a space behind the Seacon Square mall on Srinakarin Road (J3) to make way for a new skytrain line. It claims it is home to the biggest number of antique shops in the city, open nightly Tuesday through Sunday, but the tented portion of the market is only open Wednesdays and weekends 4pm to midnight. See TaradRodFi on Facebook for photos. For those seeking something similar but more easily accessible by public transport, Jatujak Green north of Chatuchak (G3) hosts the Siam Gypsy Market Fri-Sun nights.
MAJOR NEW SHOPPING MALLS
Central Embassy on the northwestern side of the Wireless and Ploenchit intersection (D2) is the biggest new mall to open in Bangkok, catering almost exclusively to the most upmarket of shoppers (sunglasses for B 45,000 anyone?). In the Central Shopping Area, Siam Center has reopened as an ‘Ideaopolis’, every boutique within offering unique protoypes or first views of its collection, every restaurant with menus exclusive to the mall. Highlights include a digital closet on the 4th floor with stylists to help. More midmarket although no longer so new (but still very popular) is the ‘world tour’ themed Terminal 21 (highlight: high tech Japanese toilets) on Sukhumvit next to the Asok BTS Station (F1).
‘THE MALL’ FOR CLOTHING SHOPPERS
Bargain clothing hunters, take a deep breath. On the map but worthy of special mention is the Platinum Fashion Mall on Petchburi Road (E) which has four large floors packed with the latest fashions at wholesale prices, and jewelry and a huge food court on the fifth and sixth. And, more importantly, it’s all airconditioned. Note: There are few dressing rooms and most clothes are Thai size but there are several now selling larger sizes. Also, the mall closes around 6pm, so go during the day.
MANSION 7 NOW A BAR VENUE, NOT A SHOPPING MALL
Described in our current directory as a gothic theme shopping mall, the evening-only Mansion 7 on Ratchadapisek (I2-J2) has in fact evolved into a bar destination, with only the attached Dark Mansion Haunted House worthy of special mention (see SIGHTSEEING above), the few shops there no more than tiny kiosks, most unmanned or closed when we visited. Also, please note that Mansion 7 is actually south of Huai Khwang MRT station (not north as shown on the current map) – ask for directions when exiting the station.
The very impressive Amantee has moved downtown from the northern suburbs to Chan Kao near the Kalae Warehouse (D3-4), where it is also home to a fine bakery and cafe. Tel: 081-814-0920. Himapan is a new Chinese antique shop at 35/14 Sukhumvit Soi 31 (F1), offering pieces from remote parts of the continent including Inner Mongolia. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6.30pm. Meanwhile, Pascal Butel’s Private Collection is now on Sukhumvit Soi 65 (F2) - open by appt only, call 080-944-0208. Closed: Kalae, Narathiwat Rajanakarin Soi 17 (C3-D3).
NEW ART GALLERIES IN DOWNTOWN BANGKOK
NEW ART GALLERIES IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
NEW ART GALLERIES NEAR THE RIVERSIDE
NEW ART GALLERIES IN OLD BANGKOK
NEW ART GALLERIES IN THE SUBURBS
MORE FOR ART LOVERS
The non-profit Reading Room, (www.ReadingRoomBkk.org) on Silom Soi 19 (C3) offers the opportunity for serious art lovers to study Thai art archives, catalogs, electronic media and other reference books on Asian arts, of which the curator Khun Narawan is an expert. Open Wed-Sun 1-7pm, regular book launches, round table discussions and talks in Thai and English are also held here. 02-635-3674.
NEW ART LOVER’S DINING OPTIONS
See Dialogue, Hlung Raak and Speedy Grandma above, all of which double as a gallery and a bar. At 71/2 Sathorn Soi 10 (C3), Moko is an artsy cafe with good breakfast and Mediterranean dishes. Tel: 02-635-3673. Also new is The Jam Factory on the Thonburi side of the river, in a renovated old warehouse on a soi heading north from Klong San Market (B3), which is also home to an open air, modern Thai restaurant and independent bookshop. Tel: 02-861-0953. Mentioned in the directory but worth noting here as well is Attic Studios on Sukhumvit Soi 31 (F1) which hosts an art exhibit/drinks night the first Friday of each month, open to all 7.30-11.30pm. Closed: Club Arts near Wat Rakang (A2) which used to stage performance art on Saturday evenings.
We highly recommend a visit to a ThaiCraft Fair Trade sale to visitors and expatriates alike. The highly respected social enterprise dedicated to maintaining and promoting Thai arts and crafts from the villages hosts regular sales around the city – see www.thaicraft.org or our Events listings for upcoming dates/venues. It will soon have a small shop at its new offices at 35 Bamrung Mueang (B2) as well. The government sponsored One Tambon (Village) One Product program has opened OTOP The Gallery under the expressway at the junction of Ploenchit and Sukhumvit (D2) which is worth a peek at if you are in the area. An OTOP walking street has opened under the Silom expressway (B3-C3) too. For more modern crafts, the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre on Rama I (C2, E) has some very unique artsy craft shops.
NEW GIFT IDEAS
Among other neat new gift shops we’ve stumbled on is the Green Thai Product shop on the 3rd floor of the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (E), which sells a wide range of products made from recycled materials.
FOR GEMS AND JEWELRY
U.N.Y.A. is a new jewelry (and gifts) center atop Sukhumvit Soi 55/6, home to a number of jewelry designers, several of whom offer custom design services. Shopping near the river? Do check out the unlisted jewelry shops in O.P. Garden on Charoen Krung Soi 36 (B3). For those interested in jewelry design classes. Shannta, new in the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (E), offers classes in non silver clay jewelry design (its own designer pieces also on sale there). Tel: 02-214-3018 for more info, open Tue-Sun 10am-9pm. The Lohameka Studio of Jewelry Art on Maha Pruek Haram (B2-3) also offers 3-5 day metal working classes for all levels. For those interested in studying gemology, the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences is now on the 48th floor of the Jewelry Trade Center (JTC) on Silom (B3-C3), new tel: 02-267-4315.
FOR ASIAN DECOR & TEXTILES
We left one neat antique furniture shop off the 26th edition map by mistake: Thong-Ek’s unrestored teak furniture and decor outlet at 1339 Sukhumvit east of Wat That Thong (F2) near Ekkamai BTS Station, open Mon-Sat, noon to 7pm. The frontage of the shop is small and easy to miss but we hear there are real treasures out back. Also, for those into faux-antique and intricately detailed Indian and Chinese decor, check out Industique at 90 Sukhumvit Soi 33 (F1). New is Oxobject on the south side of Sukhumvit under the Thong Lo BTS (F2), which creates Asian inspired objects d’arte. Closed: Jim Thompson’s Silk Factory Outlet on Surawong (C3) and Indese Oriental furniture, Sukhumvit Soi 39 (F1-2).
FOR ART SUPPLIES AND STATIONERY
Good Studio on the 4th floor of the Bangkok Art & Culture Center (E) sells imported art supplies and also offers ink jet printing on canvas plus workshops for all ages. Office Mate has replaced all Office Depots and opened a new branch in the recently renovated Silom Complex on Silom Road (C3). Closed: Office Depot, Sindhorn Bldg, Wittahyu Road (D2).
NEW ART & PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES
Among listings we overlooked in updating this map: The Bangkok Photo School offers classes, tours and workshops out of the Neilson Hays Library on Surawong (C3). See www.bangkokphotoschool.com for more details. Offering similar classes and weekend workshops is the Photography School Asia above the DOB Gallery (B2) on Rama IV opposite the main railway station. See photographyschoolasia.com for more details. The Paron School of Art, now on Sukhumvit Soi 63 between Sois 11 and 13 (F2), offers fine art, printmaking, and portfolio classes for artists aged 9-19. The Pikture Gallery has moved to the 3rd floor of the new Elysian Cafe, a bit further down the lane it used to be on off Sukhumvit Soi 49 (F2). It has Kids Art, still life, oil and watercolor painting classes, most held on Saturdays. Closed: Clay Play on Sukhumvit Soi 33 (F1) (not Soi 31 as mistakenly listed on page 34 of the map’s directory).
OTHER CLASSES AND HOBBY RELATED ACTIVITIES AND SHOPS
For those into sewing, please note that The Loom, which offers silk weaving workshops, has moved from Sukhumvit Soi 55/13 to the third floor of the Gateway Ekkamai mall (F2) atop Soi 42. Closed: Hobby House, Sukhumvit Soi 49 (F1-2); Scrap It (scrapbooking outlet) in K Village, Sukhumvit Soi 26 (F2, J3).
Among new bookshops is Hardcover Art on the 3rd floor of the Bangkok Art & Culture Center (E), with an impressive selection of art, architecture, design, photography, travel and rare out of print titles. Open Tue-Sun 11am-8pm. Candide Books is also boutique, focusing on independently published books, most Thai, but not all, in a renovated warehouse down a soi heading north off Klong San market (B3). Asia Books has opened on the 3rd floor of the Silom Complex on Silom (C3). Moved: Carnets d’Asie, Alliance Francaise to a new center behind the Japanese Embassy of Wireless (D3). Closed: Basheer Graphic Books, H1, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2, J3) and Odeon, Siam Square Soi 1.
FOR BARGAIN BOOKS
It’s on the map, but we have to give it a special plug: The Dasa Book Cafe (F2) (betw Sukh. Sois 26 and 28) is well worth browsing, even just its website (www.dasabookcafe.com). It also buys used books for those trying to lighten their load or clean off some shelves at home.
Looking for XL size clothing? (Note to visitors: In Thailand, L is a US size 6 or smaller.) The Export Shop, which is mostly menswear, has reopened in the recently renovated Silom Complex (C3) between Saladaeng and Convent on Silom Road.
FOR THE CHILDREN
For those living in Bangkok seeking a different kind of play activity, check out Active City Asia, which offers custom design adventure beds, tree houses, playgrounds, caving, and climbing walls. See www.activecity.asia for more details. Among new mega stores catering to the needs of growing families looking for imported quality supplies and organic products is Baby and Beyond with branches in Mega Bangna (J3) and The Mall 8, Bangkapi (J2).
Among our most fun finds: New costume shops! In addition to those listed on page 37 of the Bangkok map’s directory, we’ve stumbled upon two others: The Character Costume Company (081-405-3003) which does child and adult size costumes (think Snow White, Superman, French Maid, etc) for stage shows and parties, and an as-yet-unnamed shop run by Khun Nong (089-137-0011) renting fabulous creations (Egyptian, Victorian, Edwardian, etc.) off Sukhumvit Soi 71 on side soi 20/1 (J3 on the map).
FOR MODERN DECOR
Decor Mart Design Center on Sukhumvit Soi 55/19 (F2) has been rebranded D M Home to reflect its refocus on luxury furniture imported from the US and Europe and built in kitchens. Further afield, the Thanya shopping mall on Srinakarin in Suan Luang district (J3) is now home to the Bangkok Furniture Center with a range of shops including Hemp Thai. Closed: Lampada lamp shop, Sukhumvit Soi 55/5 (F2).
Innovative Modern Decor & Gifts
Among listings we overlooked in updating this map: the French-managed Toneinbangkok designs unique Asian inspired modern decor, stationery, kids clothes and more now with outlets on Soi Convent opposite Indigo (C3) and in the Sofitel So on Sathorn (D3). See its Facebook page for examples. Interested in eco-friendly designer decor? Visit the Eco Shop Common, now on the GR of the Bangkok Art & Culture Center featuring inspiring, functional eco-friendly innovations in Thai designer decor. Across town is Ox Object, which sells designer decor created from recycled metals, the shop at 806/4 Sukhumvit Soi 38 on the side soi connecting to Soi 36 (F2), open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm.
For Retro Furnishings
For those who are looking for Papaya’s warehouse of retro (not on the map but a longtime big name in retro), it is now at 306/1 Lard Prao Soi 55/2, west of Pradit Manutham (J2). Open daily 10am-7pm. Tel: 02-933-0661. Among new retro stocked shops is the Machine Age Workshop at 281/7 Sukhumvit Soi 63/15 (F2), which is essentially full of vintage American flea market finds – furniture, decor, curios, and more. Also see markets above for the Rot Fai Night Market (relocated to the Eastern Suburbs) and the Siam Gypsy Market at JJ Green.
FOR PET LOVERS
There are always rescued animals that need new homes here and abroad. See www.soidog.org for more details if interested. For those with pets already, Paradise Park on Srinkarin (J3) now has 30 shops stocked with pet supplies and accessories for dogs, cats, rabbits, and fish.
FOR SPORTING GOODS
Supersports has reopened in the recently renovated Silom Complex on Silom Road (C3). More specialized is the Thailand Outdoor Shop selling all kinds of camping gear on Soi Saha Kan Pramun off Pracha Uthit, just south of the All Star Driving Range & Archery club shown on the map (J2). Tel: 084-388-2007. Cyclists might also want to check out the stock at the new Culture Cycliste by LA Bicycle which is on Sarasin near Wireless (D2), offering imported bike brands, incl. electric bikes, parts, maintenance, training, and nutritional tips; InterBike Studio, a chic bike and accessory showroom at 26/3 Yen Akart Soi 1 (D3); and Tokyobike which is in an old house on Soi Ari 2 off Phaholyothin Soi 7 (I2).
NEW CHARITY LINKED SHOPS
For those willing to go a bit out of the way, Second Chance is a thrift shop treasure house, with value added by the special staff who work out of the Klong Toey area outlet off At Narong expressway (J3). Call Oiy on 087-026-4205 for directions. Free pick up of donations available too.
OUR TOP THAI
While not new, for a really special evening, we highly recommend dinner at the Na Aroon in the Ariyasom hotel at the end of Sukhumvit Soi 1 (F1), especially if you can book a poolside table. The ambiance and food are both excellent, something we were only recently reminded of when hosting a candlelit farewell dinner for a friend. For a more formal setting, we still stand by Ruen Urai behind the Rose Hotel, off Surawong (C3). Soul Food Mahanakorn, a more casual establishment near the top of Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2) also deserves mention here for its highly acclaimed regional Thai dishes at reasonable prices. We've recently been wowed by Eathai, a modern Thai food market in the basement of the new upmarket Central Embassy mall on the corner of Ploenchit and Withayu (D2). They've brought in the best of every region (we recommend khao soy from the Northern section), added dessert and cocktail stalls, and opened a gourmet Thai supermarket. Just make sure you don't lose the tablet they give you to order with (security will not be amused). For other recommendations, look for entries in bold in your map directory. Closed: Saladaeng Cafe by Jim Thompson on Saladaeng Soi 1 (D3).
Thai Dining Tours
Bangkok Food Tours (http://bangkokfoodtours.com) are on the map and in the directory, but we want to give them an extra plug here. Even though we have never been on one, they sound like so much fun! On offer when we last visited the website were lunchtime tours of Old Bangkok classics (10am-1am for B 950/adult) and dinner tours through Chinatown (6-11pm, B 1,550/adult). Newcomer Taste of Thailand (www.tasteofthailandfoodtours.org) offers fun, educational tours covering walks through the backstreets to select venues for Royal Thai dishes, regional delicacies, herbal drinks, Thai desserts, and a ‘fruit class’ (10am-2pm, US$ 35/adult or about B 1,200).
Other Unique Thai Dining Experiences
For a uniquely modern Thai treat, try the Maya on the 3rd floor of the Millenium Hilton (B3) where a modern Thai performance artist troupe surprises and delights over dinner Mon-Sat. As with stage shows, guests are asked to book in advance and wait outside to be seated promptly at 7pm for the 2 1/2 hour show. Dinner was B 1,250 at last check for an authentic Thai tapas dinner of 15 courses, each accompanied by different acts, some you’ll see coming, others not... Tel: 02-442-2000.
NEW THAI RESTAURANTS
In Central Bangkok
In the Sukhumvit Area (F1-2)
In Old Bangkok
In the Riverside Area
Cross the river to Klong San Market (B3) to hunt down The Never Ending Summer, which serves old school Thai dishes in a modern renovated factory, also known as The Jam Factory, home to Candide independent bookshop and an art gallery / event pace, open 11am-3pm and 5-11pm. Tel: 02-861-0953.
In Greater Bangkok
Closed: Tabchang, off Lard Prao Soi 71 (J2).
OTHER THAI DINING UPDATES
New Thai Dinner Shows
The Jim Thompson House Museum restaurant on Kasem San 2 (C2) is now open evenings, offering fine Thai dining with wine pairings and nightly thai dance shows. Tel: 02-612-3601. The Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Theater at Asiatique on Charoen Krung (A3, I3) has yet to open, but the troupe manages an elegant Thai and international restaurant in the complex of shops with 20 minute dinner demonstrations by the puppeteers Fri-Sun evenings at 7.30pm and 9pm. Call 083-826-1126 for reservations. Closed: Club Arts, Wat Rakang (A2) which used to host modern performance art on Saturday evenings.
New Thai Riverside Dining
In Chinatown, the simple Samsara tucked behind Wat Pratum Khongkha (H4) offers good Thai served at a casual pace in an old house on the river (follow signs from the main road next to the wat to find it). Open eve. only Tue-Sun, tel: 02-639-6853. Further north, at the end of Si Ayutthaya just south of Kaloang (A1-B1) is Steve Cafe & Cuisine (the name based on the Thai owner’s western nickname partially to assure westerners that it is ‘farang-friendly’), which dishes up authentic Thai on the riverfront, the chef formerly with the one-time very popular AdMaker’s uptown. Tel: 02-281-0915.
New Isaan Food Venues
Left off the Lao/Isaan listings in our map’s directory by mistake were the following two outlets: Baan Somtum at 9/1 Soi Srivieng (the road south of the Holiday Inn Silom), near Ban Chiang (C3), which serves more than 20 types of somtam at street prices. 02-630-3485. And Somtum Der which dishes up somtam with cocktails and air-conditioning on Saladaeng near Silom (C3), open Mon-Sat 11am-10pm. Tel: 02-632-4499. BK Magazine also recommends Tor Um Tum on Sukhumvit Soi 61 (F2) for a variety of cheap Isaan eats; the colorful Kai Yang Sua Yai in Piman 49, a new collection of eateries and bars opposite 49 Terrace on Sukhuvmit Soi 49 (F2), which is slightly more mid range priced; and Z Cafe on Sukhumvit Soi 33 (F1) which is more modern and also mid range. Among others of note is Kum Poon on the 7th floor of CentralWorld near the cinema (reservations advised, it’s that authentic).
New Thai Cooking Classes
New Finds: Thai Farm Restaurants
The Bangkok Post’s Guru Magazine coined the term “farmestaurant” for places that double as petting farms. We wanted to share their findings. All of the below are open eve. only. Alpaca View on Lard Prao Wang Hin Soi 71 (near Tesco Wanghin, J2) has ducks, rabbits, birds, pigs, sheep horses, cows, and alpaca. Karaoke, live music, and indoor/outdoor dining are also on offer. Tel: 081-406-6400. Dek Liang Kae Farm & Restaurant is on Lard Prao Soi 71 (J2) with live sheep, chicken, ducks, and rabbits as well as karaoke rooms, live music, and animal dolls for sale. Tel: 083-888-8765. On the other side of the city in Thonburi atop Charan Sanitwong Soi 86 (near Yan Hee hospital, I3) is Sheep Village, managed by the same team as Dek Liang Kae, with less animals but good river views. Tel: 085-777-5544. (Note: Dog and cat lovers should scroll down to Living / For Pet Lovers below.)
EATIGO: SAVE WHEN YOU EAT OFF PEAK HOURS
Don't mind eating a bit early or later than others? Check out the deals on www.eatigo.com, which offers discounts up to 50% off at a range of restaurants, from the upmarket Elements at the Okura Prestige (D2) to the healthy Dressed salad bar in Mercury Ville (C2-D2) and branches of Bangkok Burger.
FOODIES MUST TOUR THONGLOR AND EKKAMAI
Sukhuvmit Soi 55 (Thonglor) and Soi 63 (Ekkamai) (both F2) are home to many of Bangkok’s most innovative restaurants, and bars, well worth exploring if you are a foodie. While several are listed on the map and in our directory (eg. Iron Fairies, Soul Food Mahanakorn, and the Burger Factory), so many come and go so fast that we can’t keep up with them.
For those interested in exploring the modern Thai phenomenon of ‘food courts’, the new Terminal 21 mall below Asoke BTS station (F1) has devoted two floors to Thais’ penchant for eating at all times. Its 4th and 5th floors are home to over 50 restaurants, cafes and a large international food court as well as the Ai Japanese Village. Looking for something more upmarket? Check out Groove, new on Rama I in front of The Offices@CentralWorld (E), home to several high end gastrobars and restaurants from around the world.
SPECIAL DELIVERY UPDATES
Le Lapin (www.lelapinbangkok.com) now delivers designer and custom made sandwiches, including low carb options throughout the day, not just for lunch. Its new hours are Mon-Fri 8am-8.30pm and Sat 9am-6pm. Closed: Pigwit (http://pigwit.com) sandwich delivery service. See Gourmet Foods below for other delivery services specializing in freshly baked breads and cheese.
NEW AMERICAN RESTAURANTS
The pub-like American Bar & Grill is new, down a lane opposite what was the Soi 8 pub, now The Kiwi, on Sukhumvit Soi 8 (F1). Tel: 085-486-1155. Fatty’s Bar & Diner is on Asoke-Din Daeng northwest of the intersection with Asoke (I2-J2), offering short order delights (see Facebook). The Great American Rib has a branch in the new Central Embassy on the northwestern side of the Wireless and Ploenchit junction (D2). Tel: 02-160-5705. For something different, the young Apoteka on Soi 11 opposite Q Bar now offers Cajun and Creole dishes, as well as live music ala New Orleans. Closed: Angel City Diner, Sukh. 11 (F1); The Avenue New York Grill, Sukhumvit Soi 16; Circle, Soi Ruam Rudee (D2; and Woodstock, Sukhumvit Soi 55/13 (F2).
New Burger Joints
Burger fans should see p. 44 of the map’s directory for details on contenders for best burger in Bangkok. Among new burger joints: A branch of the Bangkok Burger Company on Saladaeng off Silom (C3) and the tiny, artsy Escapade Burgers & Shakes on Phra Athit just north of Pla’zz (A4), open Tue-Sun noon-midnight. El Osito next to La Monita in Mahatun Plaza off Ploenchit (D2) also deserves a mention here having launched a special burger menu in early 2013. More recently, Mavericks in surf zone Flow House on Sukhumvit Soi 26 (F2, J3) has opened with steak cut burgers. Closed: Heawen for Burgers, K Village, Sukhumvit Soi 26 (F2).
New Hot Dog Joints
You could say hot dogs are the new burgers in Bangkok, with trends showing a number of new hot dog joints opened in 2014. Opposite Eight Thonglor on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2) is Bangers which serves gourmet hot dogs (as well as sausages and mash plus a variety of milkshakes) daily noon to midnight. Hotdogs & Buns operates out of a food truck, with regular hours daily 11am-10pm in front of Big C Extra on Rama 4 Road at the bottom of Sukhumvit Soi 26 (J3). Superbdog has a kiosk at BTS Nana Exit 4 (F1) and a new permanent shop on Sukhumvit Soi 53 (F2) opposite Bangkok Prep, with preservative free pork and beef dogs, hours daily 11am-10pm.
… Bangkok Betty, in a Class of its Own
Celebrity bar designer Ashley Sutton created another landmark restaurant in 2013 with the opening of Bangkok Betty, a gastrobar with 1940s American bomb factory theme, regular Broadway and big band nights, and more recently, burlesque cabaret performances in the style of legends Liza Minelli and Marlene Dietrich (Wednesdays from 8pm at last check). The venue is on the ground floor of the Holiday Inn Sukhumvit, new atop Sukhumvit Soi 22 (F1).
Other Special Mentions
For those in Old Bangkok, we'd highly recommend a dinner at the relatively upmarket Sheepshank Public House which offers modern American in a renovated boat workshop just north of Tha Phra Arthit Pier (A4). Don't be deterred by having to walk through a car park. Do remember to ask what specials are on offer. Call for reservations: 02-629-5165. Not far away is Mad Moa, a Hawaiian inspired bar food joint on Chakkraphatdiphong (B2) where Seven Spoons used to be (it moved down the road a bit). Tel: 085-155-2601.
Coffee lovers have been flocking to the first Bangkok branch of Australian The Coffee Club which is new in Major Cineplex Ekkamai (F2), and dishes up all day breakfast along with coffee and more. Much more special and intimate are two branches of Casa Lapin, one on Sukhumvit Soi 26 (F2) just north of K Village, and another on a tiny lane on Sukhumvit Soi 49 (F2) opposite the exit of Samitivej Hospital. Moved: Amantee antique house cafe is now on Chan Kao near the Kalae Warehouse (D3-4). Tel: 081-814-0920. Closed: Bagel Cafe, which was new on Sukhumvit Soi 63 (F2); BKK Express, Sukhumvit Soi 11 (F1); Elefin, Sukhumvit Soi 1 (F1); Mes Amis, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2); and Wawee Coffee, Park Lane.
New Tea Salons
Cafe at Ease is a new tea room/designer shop on the same soi as the Jim Thompson House, easy to combine with a visit to the museum on Kasem San Soi 2 (C2). The young Elysian Tea House tucked down a side soi near 49 Terrace on Sukhumvit Soi 49 (F2) is proving very popular among the ladies-who-lunch set. The new TWG Tea Salon on the GF of the Emporium (F1-2), offers a full menu as well as 450+ kinds of tea. The Peony House on Saladaeng Soi 1 opposite TISCO (C-D3) boasts over 50 blends of tea and scones – walk through to the tiny garden and cozy restaurant in the back. Tea Avenue offers 70+ blends at 353 Sukhumvit Soi 53/17-19. The colorful Vieng Joom On is in the new Emporio Place on Sukhumvit Soi 24 (F2) just north of The Davis. Also upmarket is Harrods Tea Room, new in Siam Paragon (E). Across town, the elegant riverside The Siam (A1) now offers afternoon tea service Sat-Sun 2-6pm. Tel 02-206-6999 for reservations and shuttle boat booking.
For Sandwich Lovers
Listed in our map directory, but only open since September 2012, El Osito in Mahatun Plaza on Ploenchit (D2) dishes up scrumptious sandwiches (including Reubens) Mon-Sat 11.30am-3pm (Spanish tapas by night). The Bagel Cafe on Sukhumvit Soi 63 betw. Sois 63/4 and 63/6, open Tue-Sun 9am-6pm, severs fresh bagels, sandwiches and more. In Eight Thonglor on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2), the new Harlem Shakers offers artesanal breads and signature sandwiches. Closed: Pigwit sandwich/bagel delivery service.
Trendy New Cafes
Rocket Coffee Bar on Sathorn Soi 12 opposite Abode (C3) is attracting cafe culture lovers with a healthy brunch menu, cold brew coffee, and aperol spritzes. Tel: 02-635-0404. Next door is its sister restaurant Lady Brent which offers heartier meals, open eve. only. Tel: 02-635-0405. On the other side of the city, Tribeca Restobar in the Nihonmura Mall on Sukhumvit Soi 55/13 (F2) offers delicious brunch dishes and stylish sandwiches. Tel: 02-712-9209. Nearby on Sukhumvit Soi 63/10 is Melange, a brunch bar with pool earning oohs and ahhs. Tel: 02-391-8019.
NEW CHINESE RESTAURANTS
The longstanding and well respected Thai-Chinese An An Lao has reopened to much acclaim, now with a large (reportedly handicap friendly) space in the A Square complex at the lower end of Sukhumvit Soi 26 (F2, J3). Reservations recommended. Tel: 02-261-8188. Chain Hong Kong Kitchen has branches in the Esplanade on Ratchadapisek (I2-J2) and Rain Hill mall atop Sukhumvit Soi 47 (F2). Closed: Royal Vanilla, Sukhumvit Soi 63/12 (F2).
NEW UPMARKET CHINESE RESTAURANTS
Chef Man has opened in the Eastin Grand Sathorn (C3) and on Mahad Lek Luang 2 (D2), offering high end Peking duck and more. As it’s booked out a month in advance, reservations are wise. Tel: 02-212-3789 (Sathorn); 02-651-8612 (Rajdamri area). Chyna is a new rooftop restaurant serving contemporary Cantonese atop the Centra Central Station hotel on Maitrichit (H3), opposite the Chao Chit Chia Mar temple on our map (ignore its official address on Traimit). Tel: 02-344-1699. Closed: what was the new Mandopop in the Oriental Residence on Witthayu (D2).
NEW ENGLISH AND IRISH PUBS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
The Chef’s Bar, a small venue opposite Prasarnmitr Plaza on the green route between Sois 21 and 23 dishes up good pies, burgers and steaks. The Dubliner has moved from its former location betw. Sois 22 and 24 to Soi 33/1, between Robin Hood and the Royal Oak. Tel: 02-204-1841. Fat Gutz has opened a second outlet in the Seenspace minimall on Soi 55/12. The Soi 8 Pub is now the Kiwi Sports Pub & Grill on Soi 8. Closed: Durty Nelly's, Sukhumvit Soi 55; The Londoner atop Soi 33; and Manchester United on Soi 11.
NEW ENGLISH AND IRISH PUBS ELSEWHERE IN BANGKOK
London Pie is on Narathiwat Rajanakarin Soi 25 (C3). Tel: 087-266-5983. Fish n chips shop Cafe Fish now has branches in Siam Paragon (E) and the Silom Complex next to Saladaeng BTS station (C3). Meanwhile, O’Reillys on Silom underneath the Saladaeng BTS (C3) is now Flann O’Brien’s (which also has pubs in Asiatique, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, and on Sukhumvit Soi 55 in Eight Thonglor). Closed: two legendary stalwarts of the Bangkok scene – the Barbican, Thaniya (C3) and Witch’s Tavern on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2). Also closed, Jameson's in the Holiday Inn Silom (B3-C3) and what was the new British Pie Shop on Soi Yen Akart (D3).
NEW FINE FRENCH RESTAURANTS
Le Beaulieu opened in the Athenee office tower off Ruam Rudee as shown on the map (D2), serving fine French with attached wine bar and patisserie. For reservations, call 02-168-8220. Bonjour on Sukhumvit betw. Sois 59 and 61 (F1) has reopened as Rendezvous, the former palace it occupies now called The Gardens of Dinsor Palace. Among new venues is The Garment Restaurant on the eastern end of Narathiwat Rajanakarin Soi 24 (C4-D4) where the chef recreates classic French dishes he learned to prepare from Michelin-starred chefs in Europe. Tel: 02-674-2128. Closed: Bouchot Mussels Bar & Restaurant, Sukhumvit Soi 24 (F2); D'Sens atop the Dusit Thani on Silom and Rama IV (C3-D3); La Colombe d’ Or on Sukhumvit Soi 8 (F1) and Villa Be My Guest, Sukhumvit Soi 53 (F2).
NEW CASUAL FRENCH RESTAURANTS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
Calin La Boulangerie and Cafe offers brasserie staples and in-house baked goods at Eight Thonglor on Sukhumvit Soi 55. Tel. 081-586-7305. Chic’n’French is new on Sukhumvit Soi 43, offering traditional French roasted chicken, currently for delivery only (see www.foodpanda.co.th or chefsxp.com). Parisian bistro Comptoir Eiffel has replaced Le Petit Zinc on Soi 23. Tel. 02-259-3033. La Creperie is in a nicely appointed white house with garden at 86 Sukhumvit Soi 39 where Hobby House used to be. Tel: 02-662-6499. Surface offers a casual setting for higher end French dishes by a former ambassador’s chef at the very end of Sukhumvit Soi 53. Tel. 02-258-2858. Closed: 39 Thirty- Nine, Sukhumvit Soi 39; French to Go / Paname, Sukhumvit Soi 12; Le Jardin, Sukhumvit Soi 55/13.
OTHER NEW FRENCH RESTAURANTS
In the Sathorn area, Breizh Crepes (02-679-3393) is dishing up delights on Suan Plu Soi 8 (C3-D3) and Le Petit Zinc has relocated from Sukhumvit into a casual bistro on Yen Akart opposite Mama Dolores (D3). Closed: Chez Pepin, which was new on Suan Plu (C3); Le Pre Grill, Narathiwat Rajanakarin (C3).
NEW GERMAN RESTAURANTS
Brotziet German Bier Bar serves Bavarian classics, Paulaner and sports on tv from its new venue atop Sukhumvit Soi 55/10 (F2). Tel: 081-920-5929. Deutsches Eck is also new, in Rembrandt Towers on Sukhumvit Soi 18 (F1). Tel: 02-262-0263.
NEW GREEK RESTAURANTS
Highly respected and long lasting Olive has only one formal restaurant remaining, its new one on Ekamai down a side soi off Sukhumvit Soi 63/12, open for lunch and dinner as well as afternoon snacks. Tel: 02-713-1112.
NEW INDIAN RESTAURANTS
Taking on the city’s most established fine Indian with a view, Rang Mahal in the Rembrandt Hotel, is the Northern Indian Maya which has opened on the 29th floor of the new Holiday Inn Bangkok Sukhumvit, atop Sukhumvit Soi 22. Reservations advised. Tel: 02-683-4888. Also new is The Great Kebab Factory in the Majestic Grand on Sukhumvit Soi 2 (F1), offering tasty and generous set menus only. Tel: 02-262-2999. On Sukhumvit Soi 11 in the Fraser Suites is the new Charcoal, a swanky Tandoor in a colonial era setting on the 5th floor (check out the cocktail pairings). Reserveations advised. Tel: 089-307-1111. Across town on Sathorn Soi 1, Bawarchi has opened a higher priced branch where Planet Bollywood used to be (D3). Tel: 02-677-6249. Correction: Himali Cha Cha has new telephone numbers for two of its branches: Sukh. Soi 3/1 is at 02-655-6223 and Soi 31 is at 02-259-6677. See Vegetarian below for more listings. Closed: India Gate, Sukhumvit Soi 12 (F1).
NEW INTERNATIONAL DINING IN CENTRAL BANGKOK
Cloud 47 is a designer’s rooftop restaurant which doubles as a trendy bar atop the United Center on Silom. Reservations advised. Tel: 091-889-9600. Wine Connection has opened a bistro in the recently renovated Silom Complex on Silom Road (C3). Among older venues, we now recommend Uncle John’s where a five star hotel chef dishes up his dinner specials at a fraction of the price in a little shophouse on Suan Phlu Soi 8 (C3-D3). It may take twice the time, but the wait is worth it. Daily 6.30-10.30pm. 081-373-3865. Among changes, the Boqueria in All Seasons Place off Witthayu (D2) has been renamed Pomodoro.
New at the very end of Silom Soi 7 (C3) is the intriguingly innovative Le Du which creates Asian-inspired dinner menus, including a tasting menu comprised of amuse bouche, ant larvae, oysters, pranws, Thai porcini mushrooms, and fermented milk ice. Other fine dining options: raw Wagyu beef, venison, pork tongue, chocolate pot, and pork blood pudding. Tel: 092-919-9969. On Silom Soi 7, The Namsaah Bottling Trust has society banging down the door for seats in the 100 year old house renovated into a striking restaurant/bar serving twists on Asian dishes, eg. salmon wonton tacos. Tel: 02-636-6622. Also worthy of note is The Garment Restaurant mentioned above under New Fine French Restaurants, which serves dishes originally designed by Michelin-starred chefs in Europe.
NEW INTERNATIONAL DINING IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA
Hemingway’s has opened on Sukhumvit Soi 14 (F1), serving European cuisine inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s travels in a wonderful old house, once an ambassador’s residence. Tel: 02-653-3900. Packed nightly is the young Quince attached to Casa Pagoda on Soi 45 (F2), a fashionable warehouse style venue devoted to ‘simple home cooking at good prices’, most ingredients sourced locally and dishes meant to be shared. Tel: 02-662-4478. Nearby, in the 88 minimall on the back soi betw. Sois 55/5 and 55/7, Johann Bistro has earned good reviews for its ‘casual contemporary’ global cuisine and deli. Tel: 02-712-5070. Opposite on Soi 51 is now the Opposite Mess Hall dishing up small plates to midnight with creative cocktails and an open kitchen. Tel: 02-662-6330. More upmarket is the chic Water Library in Grass Thonglor (F2), now with wine bar, chef’s table and soft live music Fri and Sat. Tel: 02-714-9292. Moved: Minibar Royale, Soi 23 to the new Central Embassy mall at Wireless and Ploenchit (D2). Closed: Garden of Dream, Soi 51.
NEW ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
Amalfi on Soi 55/5, opposite where Lampada used to be, is worth checking out, its chef formerly of the respected Calderazzo and the dishes exceptional. 02-712-7817. Roman-style trattoria Appia is making its mark on Soi 31 where Fat Fish was with fine meat, handmade pasta, and wines from small Mediterranean producers. 02-261-2056. Nearby, Peppina close to Brown Eyes offers Neapolitan pizza and grilled meat. 02-119-7677. Bellino is a tiny home-style restaurant on Soi 55/13. Vivant Table is a neighbourhood Italian at 12/5 Soi 63/2. 02-714-2996. Medinii in the Continent Hotel atop Soi 21 adds a dash of Asian flavor to its Italian, with fine dining with views from the 35th floor. 02-686-7000. Cafe Buongiorno has opened on the first floor of 55th Plaza atop Soi 55/2. 02-714-7763. The Watermark on Soi 55/9 is now a branch of the very popular and established Limoncello. Tel: 02-712-9991. Also new on Thonglor is Plamani at Grass Thonglor. 02-714-9771. Closed: Antonio, Sukhumvit Sois 23-31; La Piola, Soi 11; and Il Tartufo, Soi 51.
On the Southern Side of Sukhumvit
Scalini in the new Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok on Soi 24 offers Italian-American recipes from the days of the speakeasy. Tel: 02-620-6666. More casual is La Cantina at 25/4 Soi 16, a short walk into the soi. Tel: 02-259-6669.
OTHER NEW ITALIAN RESTAURANTS
Vino di Zanotti opened on Nang Linchee (D4) as shown on our map, serving traditional dishes with a jazz quartet nightly. Tel: 02-678-1577-9. Limoncello has opened a branch at 60 Lang Suan (D2). Tel: 02-650-4725. Open kitchen wine restaurant Luce is new on the 14th floor of the Eastin Grand Sathorn (C3). Tel. 02-210-8100. London’s award-winning Signor Sassi which originally opened in the Anantara Bangkok Sathorn on Narathiwat Rajanakarin (C3) has now moved to a space on the ground floor of Siam Paragon (E). On Narathiwat Soi 17 (C3) is Sensi, a fine dining venue in a renovated old home open Mon-Sat. Tel: 02-117-1618. In Old Bangkok, Delicatezza has opened in what was Coffee & More on Phra Athit (A4). Closed: Cafe No. 43, Calderazzo and Ugolini on Lang Suan (D2) and Paesano on Tonson (D2).
New Pizza Joints
For those looking for something a bit more interesting, Bangkok Bitter, new on Sukhumvit Soi 55/5 (F2), serves up stone-oven pizzas with black squid ink base among other dishes.
NEW JAPANESE RESTAURANT DESTINATION MALLS
While Nihonmachi off Sukhumvit Soi 26 near Rama IV (F2, J3) is home to several Japanese, so is its neighbour, K Village, and A Square just south of both. Similarly, the Sukhumvit Soi 55-63 area is dotted with all kinds of Japanese eateries, too many for us to keep track of. Explore the area on foot (including the Digital Gateway atop Sukhumvit Soi 42 which was designed for Japanese).
NEW JAPANESE RESTAURANTS IN THE THONGLOR/EKKAMAI AREA (F2)
Aburamen is new on Soi 55/16. Tel: 02-392-2480. The high end Honmono Sushi has opened a sushi bar on the 2nd floor of Seenspace on Sukhumvit Soi 55/13 (Tel: 02-185-2806) and a branch at 19 Soi 55/23 (Tel: 02-185-1447). In The Mood for Love has moved to Sukhumvit Soi 63/1. Tel: 02-392-8477. Kenji’s Lab offers Japanese tapas and sake on Soi Thararom 2, off Soi 55. Tel: 02-381-0024. The chic Mugendai in Grass near Soi 55/10 continues to attract big spenders for its setting as well as its dishes. Tel: 02-726-9222. Ohsho Fosho has its first gyoza outlet in Thailand in the 55th Plaza near the top of Soi 55. Tel: 02-381-0701. Sushi Otaru, run by a Japanese TV celebrity chef, is new on the third floor of Arena 10 on Soi 55/10. Tel: 02-392-7737.Toro Sushi is in the 88 minimall on a back soi betw. Sois 55/5 and 55/9. Tel: 02-712-8447. Closed: Iza, Thonglor.
OTHER NEW JAPANESE RESTAURANTS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
Often full, Akanoya Robatayaki on Soi 49 in the new Piman 49 Plaza opp. 49 Terrace, serves up meals to order in front of diners who point and pick. Tel: 02-662-4247. Bankara Ramen (02-662-5162) and new izakaya Chiba Cham (02-662-6117), which serves up big portions in wooden boats, are both in The Manor on Soi 39. Gold Curry at 20/3 Soi 39 (F2) dishes up Japanese curry rice with a dare – eat 2kg of curry rice in 15 minutes and it’s free. 02-662-5003. Izakaya Imoya in a small dingy bldg next to the Emporium on Soi 24 (F2) isn’t new but we’ve been strong-armed into mentioning it here by friends who rave about it, simple though it may be. 02-663-5185. In the Mood for Love, which takes diners back in time to a 1920s setting, has moved to Soi 63/1. Tel: 02-392-8477. Yuutaro has earned rave reviews since taking over the premises of Il Tartufo on Soi 51 (F2). 02-662-6070. Fine food, wine and sake bar, Zipangu is new in Sacha’s Hotel Uno on Soi 19. 02-651-2180.
NEW JAPANESE RESTAURANTS IN THE CENTRAL SHOPPING AREA
Here’s one we think worth checking out: A couple of artists/comedians/musicians from Chiang Mai have opened the artsy Krua Khun Kan within Hof Eat and Art on the 2nd floor of the Bangkok Art & Culture Center (E), the centerpiece of which is a noodle vendor’s cart. Nearby, celebrity chef Yasuji Morizumi is behind Chabuton, a ramen joint next to the Lido in Siam Square (E). Tel: 02-635-7930. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Isetan, CentralWorld (e), is popular with families on weekends. Tel: 091-995-1817. Kaizen Sushi & Hibachi dishes up teppanyaki and sushi just north of the Evergreen Place and just south of the Asia Hotel on Phayathai (E). Tel: 02-215-2972. Upscale Shintori is new atop Zen at CentralWorld (E). Tel: 02-100-9000. The upmarket YTSB (Yellow Tail Sushi Bar) in the Vie Hotel on Phayathai (E).
OTHER NEW JAPANESE RESTAURANTS ELSEWHERE IN BANGKOK
The Gallery Sushi Bar is just north of the Vanissa Bldg on Chitlom (E). Tel: 02-250-7280. Honmono Sushi has a branch in the City Viva mall on Narathiwat Rajanakarin (C3). Ogu Ogu is in Park Ventures on Ploenchit (D2) with a big sake selection and innovative dishes. Tel: 02-108-2255. On Saladaeng Soi 1 (C3-D3), Seiryu Sushi, just east of Siri Sathorn, is packing in the lunch crowd. Tel: 02-636-3342. In the Ari area (J2), Oji offers modern Japanese at 111/1 Phaholyothin Soi 7. Tel: 089-209-0323. Among changes: Drinking Tea, Eating Rice in the Conrad hotel off Witthayu (D2) has changed its name to Kisara. Closed: Taketei, Rambuttri (B4).
NEW KOREAN RESTAURANTS
Only the most established of Korean restaurants are listed in our map’s directory, but for those interested in additional, here are some new ones: Bibimbab offers Korean fast food on Sukh. Soi 24 opp. the Emporium and on Sukh. Soi 31 near Mousses & Meringues (F1). 02-663-4646. Bulgogi Brothers 26, a branch of Seoul’s Itaewon, offering Korean style bulgogi barbecue, is in the Nihonmachi off Sukh. Soi 26 (F2, J3). 02-258-4894. Dae Jang Gum is in Prasarnmitr Plaza, Sukh. Soi 23 (F1), offering all kinds of Korean dishes. 080-960-7437. Omuto Tomato bills itself as ‘Korean fusion’ with its rice omelettes with 40 choices of toppings available in the GF of the Digital Gateway atop Sukhumvit Soi 42 (F2). School Food is in the Mercury Ville at Lang Suan and Ploenchit (D2). 085-484-7373.
NEW MEXICAN RESTAURANTS
NEW MIDDLE EASTERN DINING
Al Saray on Soonvijai Soi 7 near Bangkok Hospital off New Phetburi Road (J2-3) has won good reviews for its 100% halal Lebanese and north Indian served in a colorful, cozy setting. Tel: 02-319-4388. Pardis dishes up Iranian on Rama IV near Rama III (D3). Call for directions: 02-637-1008. Among new venues is Al Dubai, an Arabic, Indian and Thai restaurant and shisha bar on Sukhumvit Soi 16 opposite Foodland (F1). 02-258-2628. Arabesque is new at 68/1 Sukhumvit Soi 2 (F1), deep down the soi, serving Egyptian in a fine dining setting. 02-656-9440. We also spotted a ‘Muslim cafe’ named Peen at 786 Silom, just before Soi 15 (C3). Moved: Al Majlis, from Sukhumvit Soi 63/12 to Soi 21 down the lane just south of GMM Grammy. Tel: 081-825-2799. Closed: Beirut's branch in Eight Thonglor, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2) and Casablanca, Legacy Express, Sukhumvit Soi 1 (F1).
The nautical theme Danish-Thai Admiral’s Bar and Restaurant, which reopened in the Hotel Mermaid on Sukhumvit Soi 29 in 2012, has since relocated to the basement of Oakwood Residence on Sukhumvit Soi 24 (F1-2), where it dishes up traditional Scandinavian. Tel: 02-612-5791.
NEW SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS
The Cockle offers B 499 all-you-can-eat deals on seafood buffets at its Rama IV location, which is just north of Chula Soi 9 (C2). The Raw Bar at 440/9 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2) between Sois 55/14 and 55/16 serves raw food only, but it’s a seafood restaurant rather than a health food cafe, catering to a more upmarket crowd with oysters from around the world, open eve. only. Tel: 02-713-8335. On Sukhumvit Soi 31 (F1), the Fat Fish Bistro has closed, but T Restaurant, a modern seafood restaurant and wine bar has opened just a couple of doors south. Tel: 02-662-2347. Also closed: Bouchot Mussels Bar & Restaurant, Sukh. 24 (F2).
NEW SPANISH DINING
El Osito in Mahatun Plaza on Ploenchit (D2), new just north of La Monita, impressed us with its decor and delicious Spanish tapas and mains served at dinner only (lunch service limited to great salads and sandwiches). Also new on Sukhumvit is El Lugar Tapas (Tel: 02-662-1875) on Soi 23-31 opposite Incredible Decor (F1), the Spanish run Hola (Tel: 02-713-8387) in Eight Thonglor, Soi 55/8 (F2); and gastrobar Maverick (02-665-2772) on Soi 19 (F1) which offers pintos and what it calls ‘molecular tapas’. Jamon Jamon opened just after we went to print with the new Bangkok map, but is earning good reviews for authenticity. It is at 9/1 Sukhumvit Soi 20 (F1) between Chesa and Sara's. Downtown, Vesper Bar is a swanky new cocktail joint serving Italian and Spanish Basque on Convent Road (C3) opposite the Swiss Lodge. Tel: 02-235-2777. Meanwhile, El Chiringuito (086-340-4791) is a retro-theme tapas bar open Thu-Sun eve. only, located off the beaten path in Chinatown just north of Rama IV on Soi Nana, the unnamed lane running north opposite Kalantan Road on the map (H3-4).
NEW STEAKHOUSES IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
The new American Bar & Grill on Sukhumvit Soi 8 down a lane opposite the Soi 8 pub (now The Kiwi) has an all-you-can-eat ribs deal nightly and 50% off steaks on Mondays. Tel: 086-050-6355. The District is a new New York-style grill room and bar in the new Bangkok Marriott atop Soi 57. Tel: 02-797-0400. Knife & Fork Urban Bistro on Soi 55/13 is getting rave reviews from those that can find it (see Facebook for directions). Not exactly a steakhouse, but listed here for meat lovers, is celebrity chef Ian Kittichai’s Smith, an industrial style warehouse converted into a ‘nose-to-tail’ restaurant, serving up, well, every part of an animal – calves heart, pig’s tail, etc at 1/8 Soi 49. Note: Prices are higher end. Tel: 02-261-0515. Waguyaki SteakHouse at 45/1 Soi 34 serves high quality Matsusaka beef, plus other steaks and Japanese dishes. Tel: 02-258-5746.
New South American Steakhouses
Brazilia, a Brazilian steakhouse and churrascaria, is new in the Hotel Mermaid on Sukhumvit Soi 29 (F1), open daily evenings only. Tel: 02-261-3841. Argentinian El Gaucho is new atop Soi 19 (F1), also open eve. only. Tel: 02-255-2864.
OTHER NEW STEAKHOUSES
The Great American Rib has opened a branch in the new Central Embassy on the northwestern side of the Wireless and Ploenchit intersection (D2). Reservations are advised: 02-160-5705. More upmarket is the fine New York style steakhouse Meat on the 2nd floor of 661 Silom which has replaced Niu’s on Silom in Baan Silom atop Silom Soi 19 (C3). Tel: 02-266-8661. Wholly Cow serves Australian steaks in a glasshouse at 34/1 Ari Soi 2 near Ari BTS (I2-J2), with live jazz Fri-Sat. Tel: 02-619-8177. Among older steakhouses of note: The Japanese Baru-za at 135/18 Suriwongse Road (opposite and a bit west of the Tawana, C3) offers imported steaks from the US, Australia and Japan, plus seafood. Tel: 02-634-4433.
NEW SWISS RESTAURANTS
Fondue House has moved from the Sukhumvit area to Soi Chamnan Aksorn, which is off Phaholyothin Soi 9 (I2) near Ari BTS station, an area where we didn’t have room to include it on this edition of the map. Tel: 02-279-4731. Fondue Sweet Home has moved from Ruam Rudi (D2) to the Nihonmura mall on Sukhumvit Soi 55/13 (F2). New at 3/3 Sukhumvit soi 43 (F2) is Swiss Choice which offers Swiss specialties (fondue, raclette, and more) served in its 2nd floor Swiss chalet style dining room Mon-Sat 6-10pm. Tel: 02-259-0590. (Warning: Downstairs is its deli stocked with imported Swiss cheese and chocolate!)
NEW VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
Among new vegetarian restaurants is May Veggie Home on Ratchadapisek just south of Sukhumvit north of where Thai Celadon is marked on the map. Tel: 02-118-2967. (The original on Soi 55 is closed.) Off Sukhumvit Soi 42, but much closer to Rama IV is Phuk Yar, a Thai vegetarian venue in the new Qiss Place community mall (see Facebook for directions). It does not use MSG or synthetic sugar. Tel: 02-339-2859. Tien Yarn, halfway down Sukhumvit Soi 36 at the corner of Naphasup Soi 4, serves Thai vegetarian ala carte from B 49 and up, open daily to 9pm. Tel. 089-182-7679. Closed: Brown Rice Kitchen, Sukhumvit Soi 49, and Kwan-Imm Jae, Soi 24/1.
NEW VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS ELSEWHERE IN BANGKOK
NEW VIETNAMESE RESTAURANTS
The new Eat Viet has two branches now, one at 84 Narathiwat Rajanakarin Soi 15 (C3) and another on Sukhumvit Soi 63/12 (F2). Tel: 089-698-0930. More upscale, serving authentic Vietnamese on antique plates with Vietnamese decor and music is Saigon Recipe in the new Piman 49 opposite 49 Terrace on Sukhumvit Soi 49 (F2). Tel. 02-662-6311. In a part of town that attracts mostly Thais, Dalad at 36/7 Phaholyothin Soi 7 near the Ari BTS (I2) serves very reasonably priced, vegetarian-friendly Vietnamese in a simple, comfortable setting. Tel: 02-271-2109. Vietnamese and More on a southern leg off Sukhumvit Soi 16 (F1) offers simple delights. Call 02-259-0675 for directions. Zoulviet is also new, a casual Vietnamese on the second floor of J-Avenue Thonglor on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2). Closed: Xuan Mai, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2).
FOR THE SWEET TOOTH
Chocolate lovers, rejoice. Among new openings in Bangkok: in the Sofitel So on Sathorn (D3), Chocolab – an open kitchen, shop and cafe that stops those passing by in their tracks and, on the third floor of the new Central Embassy mall at Ploenchit and Wireless (D2), Swiss chocolatiere Teuscher. For ice cream lovers, Boston and NYC’s Emack and Bolio’s is now in CentralWorld (E). Closed: Spice Story, Siam Paragon (E).
FOR HEALTH FOOD FANS IN THE CITY
The highly recommended Seven Spoons has moved a bit west of its original location on Chakkraphatdiphong (B2) to the south side of the road. New tel: 02-629-9214. Farm to Table is a small new organic cafe offering waffles, salads, sandwiches, and unique ice cream flavours (pumpkin, anyone?) at 179 Atsadang, north of Pak Klong Talaat Flower Market (A2). Across town Sustaina organic restaurant offers macrobiotic set menus and more at 1/40 Sukhumvit Soi 39 and also sells produce from the Harmony Life Organic Farm. Simple at 235/5 Sukhumvit Soi 31 (F1), near Mousses & Meringue, bills itself as a’natural kitchen’ cafe and organic grocery/farmer’s market. Brown Eyes has moved from Sukhumvit Soi 31 to Soi 12 south of Cabbages & Condoms (F1). Theera, new on Sukhumvit Soi 42, offers gluten-free, non-dairy baked goods and breakfasts Mon-Sat to 6pm. Tel: 090-506-2222. See our Gourmet Food and Organic Outlets listings under Living in the map directory and below for new organic supermarkets and wholesome bread and other items sold only by delivery.
New Salad Bar Concept Restaurants
Dressed is an American style salad bar (which also offers made-to-order sandwiches, paninis, wraps, pastas, soups and smoothies), now with branches in Mercury Ville on Ploenchit, on the map under the name of attached office tower Mercury Tower opposite Central Chidlom (E) and on the ground floor of Siam Paragon (E). Green, now in the Emporium atop Sukhumvit Soi 24 (F2) after a move from Sathorn Soi 8 where it first opened, also offers a range of make-your-own salad and sandwich options Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 10am-8pm only. For those in the Banglampoo area, check out the salads to go at the ASTV Thai health food shop opposite what was Coffee & More (now Delicatezza) on Phra Athit (A4).
NEW SKY HIGH DINING
There are so many rooftop restaurant and bars in Bangkok now, most attached to hotels, that we’ve only listed the most established and impressive ones in the directory to the the map. Don’t be deterred to try any others you may come across though. Among new ones worth mentioning: Axis & Spin is a new speakeasy with unique vintage decor pieces in The Continent Hotel near the top of Sukhumvit Soi 21 (F1). Tel: 02-686-7000. The Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar is atop the new Bangkok Marriott Hotel on Soi 57. Zense has reopened atop Zen at CentralWorld (E) offering a view (best for those seated outside) along with menus from five top restaurants – Thai, Italian, Japanese, Fusion, and Indian. We hear service is still ‘a work in progress’ though. Tel: 02-100-9898. Closed: D'Sens atop the Dusit Thani on Silom and Rama IV (C3-D3).
NEW IN THE BANGLAMPOO (PHRA ATHIT/KHAO SAN) AREA
Phra Athit Road (A4) continues to prove it’s a destination for food and music lovers. Among new venues on the stretch of artsy bars:
Changes have also happened on Khao San Road and Rambuttri, where backpackers from around the world gather. Among them:
EXPAT FAVOURITES UPDATE
The coolest little new hip expat hangout is Smalls, a truly characterful, artistic three floor venue on Suan Plu atop Soi 1 (C3). Half speakeasy, half art gallery, it's a hub for those in-the-know, with live music downstairs regularly now (see Facebook for details) while its rooftop is an oasis for those seeking a cool place to talk. Among more pub-like new expat hangouts is the Overground Bar & Cafe behind No Idea off Sukhumvit Soi 22 (F2), which hosts regular comedy nights, live bands and DJs. Moved: The Dubliner to Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 (F1) behind the Royal Oak. Closed: The legendary Barbican on Thaniya (C3) and Londoner atop Sukh. Soi 33 (F1).
FOR BEER LOVERS
Beervana (www.seekbeervana.com) has made imported craft beer the new trendy thing across town, and continues to organize tastings, theme parties and games. Check it out! WishBeer (www.wishbeer.com) has since launched its own home delivery service including craft beers from 16 countries, as well as a ‘discovery case’ order option. Among new beer bars are Brew which has a new branch in Asiatique (A3, I3); Brotzeit German Bier in the @10 Thonglor Building on Sukhumvit Soi 55/10, which seats 300 and screens live sports on TV; HOBS (House of Beers) branch in Rain Hill, atop Sukhumvit Soi 47 (F2); Mikkeller at 26 Sukhumvit Soi 63/10 (F2) with 30 beers on tap; Sapporo Bar on nearby Soi 55/15, which serves only Japanese lager; and craft beer house Sway in Arena 10 on Soi 55/10. Closed: Singha Beer Park, Sukh. Soi 21 (F1).
FOR BEER LOVERS IN THE SUBURBS
For those looking for the Beer Mansion, please note that Mansion 7 is actually south of Huai Khwang MRT station (not north as shown on the map) – ask for directions when exiting the station. (And please don’t go way out of your way to see this bar, which is smaller than we thought when we listed it in our directory in 2012. Then again, there is a haunted house next door which would make a trip here worth it.) New on the scene are imported beer emporiums Niche Cafe in The Nine community mall on Rama IX (J2-3) and Niche BeerVille just north of the Crystal Design Center on Pradit Manutham (J2). The latter reportedly offers a B 777 three hour all you can drink beer buffet Sun-Thu evenings.
NEW CHI CHI BARS FOR THE SOCIETY SET
Bangkok’s most impressive new bar is Maggie Choo’s, an old Shanghai style speakeasy in the basement of the Novotel Bangkok Fenix on Silom (C3), complete with a noodle stall shophouse posing as a front, curtained entrance to the bar manned by a bouncer. Reservations wise: Tel 02-635-6055. Among other high end new venues is Zuma in the St Regis hotel on Rajadamri (D2) which now hosts ‘Sunday Chill’ evenings on its terrace, DJs playing from 7pm. Similarly, the Sofitel So on Sathorn (D3) organizes ‘So Cool’ pool parties at its 10th floor ‘Water Club’. See Facebook for upcoming dates. Note: Both these regular parties are priced for the ‘society set’, so come cashed up or with credit card. Among other new high end bars is the Woobar in the new W Bangkok hotel, part of the Sathorn Square complex near Chong Nonsi BTS station (C3).
NEW CLUBS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
Badmotel is new next to J-Avenue on Sukhumvit Soi 55, with cocktails inspired by Bangkok itself. Grease is on Sukhumvit Soi 49 opposite Villa Market, a 4 floor wine-live music-dance club-and rooftop bar complex open late Mon-Sat. Ocean Bangkok is a poolside club and lounge bar just north of Tenderloins on Sukhumvit Soi 33. Tunnel Bar & Eatery is a new ‘underground’ club on Sukhumvit Soi 12 behind what was late night club Insomnia which has been rebranded Insanity. Closed: Blue Velvet, Sukhumvit Soi 55/5.
On Sukhumvit Soi 11
The legendary Bed Supperclub has closed but Sukhumvit Soi 11 (F1) is still busy every night with clubbers heading to Levels in the Aloft hotel and moving onto Wax next door to the Australian Pub. Q Bar meanwhile has been reborn as the Azura Lounge.
NEW CLUBS ELSEWHERE IN CENTRAL BANGKOK
Ku De Ta has opened in the Sathorn Square complex just below the Chong Nongsi BTS station (C3), taking clubbing in Bangkok to a new level with two dance floors and several lounge bar areas. Offering something very different is the art gallery and performance art space Soy Sauce Factory on Charoen Krung Soi 24, which hosts the occasional club night. Closed: Cafe Democ, Silom (C3), Club Culture, Rajadamnoen Klang (B2), and Concept CM2 in the Novotel Bangkok Siam Square (E).
NEW CLUB NIGHTS (AND AFTERNOONS)
Check out www.siam2nite.com for the most comprehensive listings of upcoming club nights and other special events planned for the Bangkok party crowd. Among them, the young Levels dance club (www.LevelsClub.com) in the Aloft hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 11 (F1) has started organizing Friday night theme parties and the occasional ‘Six Pack’ nights for ladies. On Sukhumvit Soi 33 (F1) just north of Tenderloins, the new Ocean Bangkok offers Sunday Escape BBQ brunch/pool parties with club music running from noon to 9pm.
NEW LOUNGE BARS
A.R. Sutton Engineers Siam is the latest Ashley Sutton creation, a colonial style bar with wicked cocktails served up in Park Lane, Sukh. Soi 61-63 (F2). Vesper Bar is a swanky new cocktail joint serving Italian and Spanish basque on Convent Road (C3) opposite the Swiss Lodge. Tel: 02-235-2777. U.N.C.L.E. also offers premium cocktails to an upmarket crowd atop Lady Brett, a new restaurant on Sathorn Soi 12 opposite Abode (C3). Reservations are recommended. Tel: 02-635-0405. Less pretentious than any of those above and a bit of ‘secret’ among those in-the-know is Smalls an artsy, four floor venue with rooftop bar atop Suan Plu Soi 1 (C3), south of where Holistic Health is marked on the map. Closed: turn-of-the-century Parisian lounge bar Derriere in Q Bar, Sukhumvit Soi 11 (F1), which we had a serious crush on during the short time it was open.
NEW ROOFTOP BARS
See Sky High Eats on p. 57 of the map’s directory and New Sky High Dining above for several high end rooftop venues – the Moon Bar, Red Sky, The Roof, Sirocco, Three Sixty, and our favorites, Above Eleven and The Speakeasy – which are also popular bars. Among new ones are the 35th floor NYC inspired Gramercy Park atop Fraser Suites, Sukhumvit Soi 11 (atop Above Eleven); Cloud 47, a designer’s rooftop restaurant /trendy bar atop the United Center on Silom; the luxe. Park Society at the Sofitel So Bangkok on Sathorn near Rama IV (D3); and Zoom atop the Anantara Bangkok Sathorn on Narathiwat Rajanakarin (C3). Up & Above on the 24th floor of the swanky Okura Prestige at Witthayu and Ploenchit (D2) offers jazz and alfresco cocktails with a view too. Meanwhile, the backpackerish River View Guesthouse rooftop bar is now only open 7.30-10.30pm.
TOP PICKS FOR JAZZ LOVERS
Jazz lovers must check out what’s on at the Brown Sugar (B2), a legendary jazz bar which is now off Phra Sumen (ignore online mentions of it still being on Sarasin). See www.brownsugarbangkok.com for details. Evenings at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit’s Living Room are also highly recommended. Niu’s on Silom in Baan Silom atop Silom Soi 19 has closed sadly, but Jazz Sushi has opened in the Sax Society across the lane from Baan Silom atop Silom Soi 19 (C3), with photos of jazz musicians (including HM The King of Thailand) and a fully stocked sax shop. Students entertain during the week, Jazz bands on weekends. Among other newcomers is the intimate Smiles Jazz and Bistro in Ruam Rudee Village on Ruam Rudi (D2), with life jazz nightly Tue-Sun.
OTHER NEW VENUES FOR JAZZ LOVERS
Sunday afternoon jazz sessions reportedly run from 2-6pm at the Check Inn 99, a characterful dive bar betw. Sukhumvit Sois 5 and 7 with a talented Filipino band that plays there most nights. Closed: Black, a NYC style jazz bar that was new on Sukhumvit Soi 33.
FOR LIVE MUSIC
Our favorite new live music joint is the Apoteka, opposite Q Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 11 (F1) which has been hosting some groovy live bands lately. Its second branch which opened in Grass on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2) has closed, but the one on Soi 11 continues to pack in the crowds. Party House One (PH1) in the Siam@Siam hotel on Rama I (C2) has a new line up of live music acts including regular swing nights on Tue, Latin lounge beats on Wed, Indie nights on Thu, Jazz on Fri, Blues on Sat and Grand Ol’ 60s and 70s nights on Sun (as of the last time we checked, web listings didn’t match advertised acts though so don’t hold it against us if the schedule changes!). Closed: Witch’s Tavern on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (F2).
FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC
Opera, symphonies, chamber music and other special classical performances are now listed online by the Bangkok Music & Arts Calendar at http://sites.google.com/site/bkkmacaldetails. While we post many of the same performance details on our Events page, serious music lovers should note that several are held at the highly respected Mahidol University which is about 45 minutes west of the city outside of rush hour, which is off the map and therefore not posted on our website. Also worth checking out for recitals are the Bangkok Music Society (www.bangkokmusicsociety.org), the Bangkok Opera (www.bangkokopera.org) which now has a shop on the 3rd floor of the Bangkok Art & Culture Center (E), the Bangkok Guitar Society (www.bangkokguitar.com) which promotes classical guitar and has a recital hall on Sukhumvit Soi 71/16 (J3) and the Thailand Guitar Society (www.thailandguitarsociety.com), which has a studio on Sukhumvit Soi 60 (J3).
NEW CABARET AND OTHER STAGE SHOWS
Burlesque, Broadway and big bands are regularly scheduled at the new Bangkok Betty in the Holiday Inn Sukhumvit, new atop Sukhumvit Soi 22 (F1) – check its Facebook page for upcoming acts. In more traditional ‘Thai cabaret’ (meaning ladyboy acts), the Playhouse Theater Cabaret has taken over the premises of the former Calypso cabaret in the Asia Hotel on Phayathai (E). This small “boutique cabaret” features spectacular sets and glitzy costumes, with acrobats and other circus entertainment rounding out the \ experience nightly, shows at 8.15pm and 9.45pm. Tel. 02-215-0571. For more slapstick, the Nanta Theatre offers hilarious Korean mime acts in RCA (see where the cinema symbol is shown, J2-3), shows daily at 8pm with second showings on Wed, Fri and Sat at 5.30pm. Tel: 02-641-4407. Note: We highly advise you and your friends/family use the restroom before entering the theater.
STAND UP COMEDY AND POETRY NIGHTS
There are comedic and literary geniuses aplenty in Bangkok, but only recently have we seen regular stand up nights reintroduced to the Bangkok scene. Bangkok Hilarious and Improv Bangkok (see Facebook for events) stage shows twice a month normally and Bangkok Poetry (www.bangkokpoetry.com) every six weeks or so. New groups include Bangkok Lyrical Lunacy, Bombyx Stories, Off Centre Open Mic Comedy Night, and PechaKucha (all on Facebook – note we do try to list their events under Seasonal Events at right too). For those interested in the ‘imported’ Punchline Comedy shows, see www.punchlinecomedy.com for upcoming dates instead of calling The Barbican as it has closed.
NEW SALSA & LATIN DANCE NIGHTS
While we’ve listed regular salsa venues and nights on p. 67-68 of our map’s directory; changes are guaranteed so see www.salsabangkok.com and http://tangobangkok.com for the latest listings. Also, a minor correction to avoid confusion: the salsa nights listed as being held Wed at 10pm at Fraser Suites are in fact happening in the property’s rooftop Above Eleven bar. Among new salsa venues: Le Bar De L’Hotel at the Sofitel Sukhumvit betw. Sois 13 and 15 (F1) hosts salsa dancing on Thu from 9pm and Spanish on 4 on Silom Soi 4 (C3) has dedicated its 3rd floor to classes run by well-respected dance studio Rumpuree. These include zumba and bachata on Mon 7-9pm, salsa on Tue 7-8pm for beginners, 8-9pm for advanced; tango on Thu 7-9pm as of last check. See www.rumpuree.com for more details. Closed: Elefin, Sukhumvit Soi 1 (F1).
SWING DANCING, ANYONE
New on Silom between Sois 18 and 20 (C3) is The Hop, a swing dancing studio and art space. See www.thehopbangkok.com for details of upcoming workshops and dance nights.
NEW PUBS & SPORTS BARS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
The Dubliner has moved from its former location betw. Sukhumvit Sois 22 and 24 to Soi 33/1, between Robin Hood and the Royal Oak. Tel: 02-204-1841. Flann O’Brien’s has opened its second branch in Bangkok on Soi 55 in Eight Thonglor. Mulligan’s in the Citadines on Soi 11 is now open 24 hours. The Sportsman has moved from betw. Sois 22 and 24 to the Trendy condo complex on Soi 13. Tel: 02-168-7241. For American sports, try the new American Bar & Grill (085-486-1155) on Soi 8 opposite what was the Soi 8 Pub, now The Kiwi, or The Game on Soi 9, an American theme pub with 14 tv screens, pool tables, and sports memorabilia. Closed: Brotziet German Bier Bar which was new on Soi 55/10; The Londoner atop Soi 33; and Manchester United on Soi 11.
Beach Club Sports Bar
Mavericks Restaurant and Sports Bar is now open in Flow House, A Square, on the lower end of Sukhumvit Soi 26 (F2, J3), offering live sports on TV as well as the opportunity to watch surfers catch waves below deck. Serving burgers, pizzas, and Thai, it also has a pool table, foosball, and darts.
NOTES FOR WINE LOVERS
Wine bars were the new black in Bangkok for a couple of years, so we’ve limited listings in the directory on p. 68-69 to only the most established or focused concept-wise, most in the city center. Do see LOOKING FOR GOOD WINE? under the Living section of this page and FOR WINE LOVERS on p. 80 of your directory for more as several wine shops listed there do regular tasting nights, such as the Great Hornbill Bistro.
NEW FOR WINE LOVERS IN CENTRAL BANGKOK
Vino di Zanotti is in the former Italian embassy on Nang Linchee (D4) as shown on our map, complete with very cool wine cellar and cigar bar. Tel: 02-678-1577-9. Wine Connection has opened in the recently renovated Silom Complex on Silom Road (C3) Nearby, The W Terrace in the new W Bangkok hotel in Sathorn Square (C3) is a wine lounge with free flow wine deals every evening.Wine I Love You has a new branch in the Groove complex in front of CentralWorld’s The Offices (E).
… IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
Belinno Wine Room is new on Soi 55/13, with wine from small Italian vineyards at reasonable prices. Bottoms Up is a high end bar on Soi Tharom 2 off Soi 55 with wine taps and intl craft beer. The Cellar 11 Wine Bar & Bistro on a soi heading north off the green route betw. Sois 11 and 13 is more upmarket, with private Moet & Chandon underground dining room. The new gastrobar Maverick opposite Rossano’s on Soi 19 offers regular wine tasting dinners. Water Library in Grass Thonglor (F2) boasts a 600 label wine list, chef’s table and soft live music Fri-Sat. Wine at Home Wine Cellar is betw. Sois 29 and 31. Wine Bibber Sangria is betw. Sois 55/9 and 55/11. Nearby is the Wine Republic on Soi 55/10. Wine I Love You has opened a Parisian-inspired cafe in A-Square on Soi 26 near Rama IV. The W@C wine bar on Soi 53 has been renamed Moon Glass and X Wine Z on Soi 39 is now Wine Digest. Closed: Club Nove, Soi 55/9; Wine Loft, Soi 33; and Wine Me Up, Soi 55/13.
NEW COCKTAIL BARS
In the directory but worth mentioning here: The Alchemist tucked behind Cheap Charlies off Sukhumvit Soi 11 (F1) offers cocktails at reasonable prices and has earned a loyal following. More upmarket is The Bookshop, a fabulous little imaginarium with staircases that lead to bookcases in the air, books that drop and rise above diners, and a cocktail menu that will delight the literary. It’s a whimsical pre-party spot off Sukhumvit Soi 38 (F2), tucked down a driveway in the Ashton Condo (about 100 meters down the soi). Gossip is also new, a gastrobar on Sukhumvit Soi 55/15 (F2) managed by the same people who run Oskar Bistro on Soi 11.
OTHER CHARACTERFUL BARS IN BANGKOK
See Maggie Choo’s and The Bookshop above for Bangkok hottest new concept bars. One of our favourite old characterful bars, Shades of Retro, has not closed although we thought it had. A unique retro furniture store/bar and restaurant, popular with Thais and expats in the know, it is located on Soi Tararom 2, off Sukhumvit 55 just north of the Thonglor Midtown complex and Soi 55/18 on the east side of the soi (F2). Meanwhile, across town, Jam Cafe, new on Charoen Rat Soi 1 (B3-C3), is a hole-in-the-wall of a haunt for artists, musicians and writers Mon-Sat nights, with activities ranging from indie movie nights to garage sales (see its Facebook page JamCafeBkk for details of upcoming events). Closed: the -5 Ice Bar in the Holiday Inn Silom (C3); Medieval theme bar Blue Velvet on Sukhumvit Soi 55/5 (F2); Cafe Trio on Mahad Lek Luang 1 (E); the Phra Nakorn Bar & Gallery on Soi Rajadamnoen Klang Tai (A2, B4); and the Zheng He Lounge in the Eugenia on Sukhumvit Soi 31 (F1);
OTHER CHARACTERFUL BARS IN THE SUBURBS
Only in late 2012 did we finally visit Mansion 7 on Ratchadapisek (I2-J2), now a Thai nightlife venue with wine, whiskey, beer bars and one late night dance club, surrounding the warehouse’s main attraction: the Dark Mansion Haunted House. For those intrigued, entry to the haunted house was then B 600, doors officially open nightly from 6pm to 2am (but call 02-692-6311-2 to be sure if going out of the way to visit it). Note: there are strict rules for entry including a ban on ‘inebriated’ visitors which is amusing as we think you might need to toss back a few to make it through. Please note that Mansion 7 is actually south of Huai Khwang MRT station (not north as shown on the current map) – ask for directions when exiting the station.
KHAO SAN NIGHTLIFE ADDITIONS (A4-B4)
LADIES (and MENS) NIGHTS ROUND UP
Almost every bar in Bangkok now hosts a ladies night. See www.siam2nite.com for a relatively comprehensive list.
Film lovers might want to stroll down Sukhumvit Soi 22 to the soi just south of the Imperial Queen’s Park hotel where the new Friese-Greene Club offers something unique. Described as a private member’s club for people passionate about films, it offers a library of film books, magazines, trailers, classic and cult films, a private screening room and more. See www.fgc.in.th. Meanwhile, the Alliance Francaise, which hosts regular art film nights, has moved to a building behind the Japanese Embassy of Wireless (D3). Among other new venues with film nights is Jam Cafe on Charoen Rat Soi 1 (B3-C3), a hole-in-the-wall with cult movies Wed nights (see Facebook). and Ocean Bangkok north of Tenderloins on Sukhumvit Soi 33 (F1) which hosts Cinema Tuesdays. For something more upmarket, check out the new Embassy Diplomat Screens in the new Central Embassy opposite Wave Place on Ploenchit (D2), tickets a whopping B 900 each. For something more downmarket, consider the Cinema Winehouse on Samsen near Soi 1, which screens classics nightly.
OUR ODD HOURS FOR ALCOHOL/TOBACCO SALES
In an imaginative ‘social order’ move, general stores are officially banned from selling alcohol outside the hours of 11am-2pm and 5-10pm, unless they are located near schools or temples, in which case there is supposed to be a total ban on alcohol and tobacco. The stated purpose of this new policy is to protect minors from indulging and drunk driving. Enforcement varies, but it is worth noting that hypermarkets and other wholesalers may sell alcohol outside the permitted hours as long as customers are buying in bulk (officially, in ‘wholesale quantities’). On the other hand, select Thai restaurants seem to be applying the letter of the law, not allowing diners to order alcohol outside official hours. Hotels however appear to have won the right to sell to visitors within normal hours.
FOR THOSE MOVING TO THE NICHADA THANI/CHAENG WATTANA AREA (I1)
The Nonthaburi Neighbourhood Reach has launched an online guide to attractions and necessities in the area surrounding the International School Bangkok in the northern suburbs. See https://sites.google.com/a/isb.ac.th/nnr. Also, within Nichada Thani, a monthly expat-oriented night market is held the first Saturday each month from 5-9pm in the new Nichada Secret Garden, which is in the far east of the estate.
The Russion Orthodox St. Nicholas’ Parish, formerly on Sukhothai Soi 3 (C1), has moved to 28 Soi Wachiratham Sathit 36 off Sukhumvit Soi 101/1 (J3) in the eastern suburbs. For more information or directions, see here.
NEW CULTURAL VENUES
The Alliance Francaise has moved to a purpose-built building behind the Japanese Embassy of Wireless (D3). The All Soul Chamber Theatre has moved from Srinakarin Soi 24 (J3) to the KS Residence at 3 Sukhumvit Soi 54 which is in the J3 area of the map. The Indian Cultural Center has moved to the 23rd floor of the Lake Rajada Bldg which is on Ratchadapisek near Sukhumvit Soi 16 (F1). Hosting several small recitals is the new Sala Sudasiri Sobha concert hall, which is on Lard Prao (J2) Soi 41 (easiest to reach by Soi 35 and following signs). Note: For those taking the MRT subway to the Thailand Cultural Centre (J2), there is now a free shuttle from Exit 1 on performance days.
NEW HOSPITALS & MEDICAL CLINICS
Chiromed offers specialized chiropractic and physical rehabilitation services in the Bangkok Mediplex atop Sukhumvit Soi 42 (F2). Tel: 02-713-6745-6. For those in the northern suburbs, the World Medical Centre (WMC) is a new premium hospital on Chaeng Wattana (I1) just west of Central Chaeng Wattana. For those in the western suburbs, Samitivej Thonburi Hospital is a new international standard hospital on Somdet Phra Chao Taksin, near Krungthon 1 Hospital (I3). Tel: 02-378-9000. Closed: Bangkok International Clinic, Rambuttri (A4) and what was the new BNH Surawong.
Omroom (www.omroom.net) is new on the 8th floor of the Alma Link building on Chitlom (E), offering a wide range of healing courses aimed at achieving spiritual growth, emotional and physical balance and self discipline, including traditioinal medicine, yoga, meditation, reiki, qi gong, chakra balancing. For those seeking help with personal challenges, marraige issues, or group therapy, The Psychotherapy Clinic offers services in the Huay Kwang district area off Rama IX (J2). Tel: 083-007-4675. Closed: what was the new Concordia, at the bottom of Sukhumvit Soi 24 (F1-2).
FOR PET LOVERS
Bangkok now has two proper dog parks – Ozono on Sukhumvit Soi 29 (F1) and the new Barkyard (complete with dog pool) on Sukhumvit Soi 26 (F1) – see its Facebook page for directions. For those seeking delivery of pet supplies, check out Shamu Shamu (www.shamuquarterly.com), which offers an IKEA-like catalog of all things for cats and dogs. The Shamu Pet Galleria is on Charoen Rat (B3-C3 on the map) but there’s no need to go out of your way to visit as all its stock is online for home delivery at very reasonable rates. Invest in membership at B 199 a year for extra special discounts and promotions. Younger is the online Petloft (www.petloft.com) which stocks dog, cat, fish, and other small pet supplies and offers free delivery in Bangkok.
Cat and Dog Rescue, Adoption and Other Services
Soi Cat and Dogs (SCAD) has closed, but former volunteers have set up Paws Bangkok (on Facebook only) which provides spay/neuter and veterinary health services (and welcomes adoptions) for stray and community animals in Bangkok, with a cat shelter on Sukhumvit Soi 93. Soi Dog (www.soidog.org) offers similar services, takes donations for those who want to make a different in the life of strays, and offers adoptions.
New Petting Cafes
There’s been a spurt of new cafes allowing one to play with the cafe’s pets. Cataholic, in the long standing pet-friendly Ozono mall on Sukhumvit Soi 39 (F1) near Phetburi, allows guests to play with its cats or just sit among them and nibble on desserts, Tue-Sun 11am-9pm. For cat lovers,Caturday is new in Cocowalk (E) on Phayathai, noon-10pm. On Sukhumvit Soi 53 (F2) are Chico a cat-friendly cafe/decor shop open Wed-Mon 9.30am-6pm, and the Purr Cat Cafe Club, a cat grooming salon/bakery/cat art gallery with a section for visiting cats and another for those who wish to pet the club’s own pure-bred cats, open Tue-Sun 11am-8pm. Not a cat person? Coccola Cafe at 111/1 Sukhumvit Soi 55/5 (F2) caters to dog lovers, but it is a bring-your-own, open daily 10am-6pm. For other options, see Farm Restaurants above.
AA & SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINES
Call the Alcoholics Anonymous 24 hour hotline at 02-231-8300 if you need support or advice anytime, day or night. Also see http://www.aathailand.org for more information. The Suicide Prevention hotline is 02-713-6791 or 02-713-6793, calls monitored daily noon-10pm. Note that you may have to leave your number so someone with fluent English can call you back as soon as possible. Other support groups are listed on page 73 of the 26th edition’s map directory.
NEW COUNSELING SERVICES
Among new counseling services is Relate Siam (www.relatesiam.com) in the Phra Khanong area (J3), which offers support with marriage and family counseling, and hypnosis. Tel: 086-880-7688. Bangkok Counseling, meanwhile, has moved to the Thonglor / Sukhumvit Soi 55 area (F2). New tel: 085-065-6452. Note: The New Community Services listed as in the Sutthisan area (I2-J2) is now called the New Counseling Service (www.ncs-counseling.com) and offers workshops on dreams, life planning, habits for teens, and letting go of your college kid.
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL & UNIVERSITY UPDATES
The St. Andrews International School has opened a Dusit campus on Ratchawithi just west of where the Royal Lapidary is shown on the map near the corner with Sawankhalok Road (C2).
WEB COURSES BANGKOK
Looking for an excuse to extend your stay or to make the most of your stay if you are here for a while? Consider adding to your skill set by taking one of the many group or private courses on Adobe Photo Shop, Illustrator, or WordPress, available at Web Courses Bangkok. We know this sounds like an ad, but, really, we’ve recommended it to several friends and everyone has raved about how helpful and useful the company’s courses are. See www.webcoursesbangkok.com for more information. Note: The company recently moved from Asoke to Rama IV, where it is in the Pongamorn Bldg, down a lane opposite what was the Lumpini Boxing Stadium (D3).
OTHER CONTINUING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES
See SHOPPING above for art and photography classes now offered in Bangkok, as well as p. 34 of the map’s directory. Among other new programs of note is Joseph Boroski’s BAR:School on Sukhumvit Soi 55 near Soi 55/7 (F2), which offers beginner and more advanced bartending courses – see www.BarSchoolBKK.com. The Brave Roasters (see Facebook) on Sukhumvit Soi 63/12 offers barista courses in Thai and English. Raitong Organics Farm (089-217-0606) hosts workshops for those interested in home gardening and cooking.
Left off our list of libraries in the map directory by mistake: The US Embassy’s Information Resource Center (IRC) library, now on the 9th floor of the GPF Building on Witthayu (D2) open to the public Mon-Fri 7am to 4pm, closed holidays. Included in its collection are books, magazines, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs and more. Moved: Alliance Francaise is now located in a purpose-built building behind the Japanese Embassy of Wireless (D3).
THAI LANGUAGE SCHOOLS & THAI TRANSLATIONS UPDATES
Highly recommended for those serious about learning Thai is the intense but effective Piammitr (www.piammitrschool.com) on Sukhumvit Soi 13 just north of Sukhumvit (F1). Tel: 02-168-7060. Among changes: The AUA Language Center has moved to Chamchuri Square on Rama IV (C2-3). New tel: 02-657-6411-7. The Summa Language and Culture Inst., off listed on p. 76 of the map’s directory is in fact called Sumaa, (www.sumaa.net) as on the map. For those who prefer online learning, we’ve heard great reviews about www.womenlearnThai.com, which is not just for women. For those looking for translation services, there are several fronting the road that wraps around Mahatun Plaza on Ploenchit (D2).
IMMIGRATION OFFICE NOTES
For those who need to visit the new Immigration Bureau office at the Government Center in Chaeng Wattana (I1-J1), note that there is a mini mall on the floor below the main immigration offices with plenty of dining options, and taxis queue outside so there is no need to hire a car and driver for the day.
NEW SUPERMARKETS & HYPERMARKETS
Tops Marketplace has reopened in the recently renovated Silom Complex on Silom Road (C3). UFM Fuji, the Japanese supermarket, has opened a branch on Sukhumvit Soi 49 just north of where Bangkok City Ballet is shown on the map (F2). Villa Market has opened in the new Sena Fest mall on Charoen Nakorn just off the bridge exit ramp (B3) and in K Village on Sukhumvit Soi 26 (see pull out map in J3), while its Nichada branch has moved into a new minimall on the eastern edge of the Nichada Thani estate (I1). MaxValu meanwhile now appears to have small supermarkets all over the city, too many to list here. Closed: Tops Market, President Park, Sukh. 24 (F2, J3).
NEW ORGANIC PRODUCE OUTLETS
The new Sunshine Market on Sukhumvit Soi 31 near where Mousses & Meringues is marked on the map (F1) is a natural health shop selling organic and allergen free bread and other baked goods Mon-Sat 9am-6pm. Radiance Wholefoods (www.radiancewholefoods.com) has an all organic, wholesome foods (produce, nuts, seeds, grains) kiosk in La Maison off Sukhumvit Soi 22 on Soi Sanam Thip 2 (F1). Can’t find what you want? Try Good Karma, a new online health food store at www.healthfoodthailand.com.
Organic Delivery Services
Among new services is Absolute FIT Food which delivers personalized ‘SuperFood’ meals 24 hrs a day prepared with organic and ethically grown produce. They offer menus tagged for weight loss, healthy eating, anti-aging, detox & cleanse, and more. For pricing or to book a tasting at its 9 seat Chef’s Table lunch in the Portico on Lang Suan (D2), see www.absolutefitfood.com. Paleo Robbie offers something similar, healthy menus for those seeing to improve their health. See PaleoRobbie on Facebook. For those who would like fresh organic fruits and veggies delivered to their home weekly, see the CSA Munching Box on Facebook, which helps organic farmers by delivering directly to consumers at fair prices. (See the Helping Hands Fresh Foods Delivery Service on p. 78 of the directory if you prefer to pick and choose what you want, as the CSA boxes are full of surprises.)
Organic Markets all the Rage
See our Events page for the next Bangkok Farmer’s Market and Spring Epicurean Market, which host events at least once a month. Amarin Plaza (E) on Ploenchit has launched the Amarin Green Market on its 3rd floor, held every Monday. More established are the organic Green Market held every Sunday 9am to 2pm in the Bangkok Adventist (Mission Hospital) compound on Phitsanulok (B2-C2), and the Thai Green Market held every Thursday 8am-noon in the Regent House on Rajadamri (D2). No longer active: Eat Responsibly Day and the Shama Sukhumvit Farmer’s Market which used to happen monthly as well.
LOOKING FOR GOOD WINE?
Wine Connection has opened branches in Mega Bangna (J3), Mille Malle on Sukhumvit Soi 20 (F1), and the recently renovated Silom Complex on Silom Road (C3). Wine Selection has a new outlet in Thaniya Plaza, just north of the Saladaeng BTS (C3) station. Wholesale bargain Wines Warehouse opened shortly after we released this edition of our map, but you will find it on the map on Sukhumvit Soi 36 on the side soi leading to the Santisuk tennis courts (F2). Hours are Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Other new wine merchants include Wine Garage on Sukhumvit Soi 45 (F2), which deals in boutique artisanal wines (see WineGarageAsia on Facebook for details). Closed: Wines Warehouse, Sukhumvit Soi 36 (F2).
CRAFT BEER DELIVERIES
For those who live in Bangkok, Beervana (www.seekbeervana.com) now offer imported craft beer deliveries to members of its Craft Beer Club. Annual membership is only B 1,990 and includes discounts, promos and freebies. Since it launched, it has been joined by the Black Sheep Beer Store (See BlackSheepBeerStore on Facebook) and Wishbeer (www.wishbeer.com), which offers free delivery for orders of B 2,000 or more within central Bangkok.
NEW GOURMET DELIS
Among new small companies offering artisanal breads for delivery is Conkey’s Bakery (089-166-6080) on Sukhumvit Soi 63/22 (F2) and Maison Jean Philippe (082-670-6706) on Soi 31. See p. 79 of the map directory for others. For fans of Swiss cheese and chocolate, the new Swiss Choice deli atop Sukhumvit Soi 43 (F2) offers both Mon-Sat 11am-8pm. Also new, The Fresh Olive Company (www.olivesandmore.co.th) now offers delicacies from the Mediterranean (think olives, artichoke hearts and baby plum tomato antipasti) for delivery. Good Food 4 U (www.goodfood4ubkk.com) offers delivery of healthy bread, hummus, yogurt, ratatouille, sauces, dips, homemade sausages, fresh produce, and cookies and creams. Yogi (www.yogi-dairy.com) delivers home made Mediterranean salads, gourmet yogurt and cheese (including fromage blanc) to hotels, restaurants and now homes too. Meanwhile, cheese specialist Quintessence Delicatessen has moved to Asoke Towers on the northwestern side of Sukhumvit Soi 21 (F1). Closed: Le Jardin, Sukhumvit Soi 55/13 (F2).
For Meat Lovers
The Accidental Butcher, located at the end of Sukhumvit Soi 63/10 (F2) offers choice cuts of beef and lamp as well as its own range of sausages. Asia West Foods offers home delivery of its prime pork, bacon, ham, steaks, and much more via www.asiawestfoods.com. El Gaucho atop Sukhumvit Soi 19 (F1), open 4pm to late, offers fresh quality meats for sale from its own selection. The Johann Bistro in the 88 minimall on the back soi betw. Sukhumvit Sois 55/5 and 55/7 also offers an in-restaurant deli with meat, fresh oysters, pasta, truffles, and vinegar, balsamic and truffle oil. Sloanes sells English sausages, sauces, pate and more via www.sloanes-sausages.com.
BANGKOK HAS TWO AIRPORTS AGAIN
If you are flying a budget airline (Air Asia, Nok Air, Orient Air, etc.), check your ticket to ensure you go to the correct airport. Suvarnabhumi International Airport is 40-60 min east of the city during normal traffic hours and designated BKK on tickets. The old, recently reopened Don Muang airport is 30-40 minutes north of the city (I1), designated DMK on tickets. If travelling between the two, allow two hours for traffic, not something you want to do if you went to the wrong airport first. If you do need to transfer, we hear there is a public airport shuttle bus operating 5am-10pm daily, but we would highly recommend taking a meter taxi instead if time is a concern.
ABOUT SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT
Suvarnabhumi International Airport (pronounced Sue Wanna Poom) is relatively easy to navigate. The 4th floor serves both domestic and international departures, with the 3rd floor home to airline lounges and shops, plus a medical clinic by Samitivej Hospital. Arrivals exit on the 2nd floor. Taxis are available on the 1st floor and the Airport Rail Link station is in the basement. Wifi is now available within the departure gates, but passengers must visit an information booth for an access password and time is limited.An observation deck is on the 7th floor. Note: smoking rooms are only provided in the international departures gate area.
Our Assessment of the New Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (SA)
We recommend the new SA only for commuters to the Eastern Suburbs and those with time on their hands who want to try it for the novelty or the scenery enroute to the airport. Otherwise, we feel metered taxis are more cost-effective. Going to the airport express Makkasan SA station in a cab at any time of the day will not save you time due to traffic in the area. (A skywalk linking Makkasan station to the Phetchaburi MRT subway station has opened recently however, making the transfer a bit easier.) Using the BTS or MRT to get to the SA however can involve security checks amid impatient crowds, waiting for a train with room (we had to let 3 pass with just a small bag during rush hour), and lugging one’s bags everywhere (there were no trolleys on either end when we went). At the stations, the width of the escalators is ‘unfriendly’ to oversized luggage and people. If you want to use it, however, read on.
More about the New Airport Rail Link Route
The SA runs 6am to midnight, leaving every 10-15 minutes, on two routes: The Express Line links Makkasan to the airport, B 90 one way and B 150 round trip (down from B 150 one way) and takes 15 minutes (although we hear it leaves only every 40 minutes now and, as mentioned above, getting to this station from anywhere within the city could take much longer). Baggage check in service is available only for Thai International from 8am-9pm, and only at the difficult-to-get-to Makksasan station, and you have to check in 3 to 12 hours before your flight. The City Line, which does not have baggage check in services, stops at all stations, costs B 15-45 and takes 30 minutes, with trains running every 10 minutes.
Other Airport Transportation Options
Meter taxi services into the city are on the 1st floor, fares based on the meter plus B 50 surcharge and expressway fees (give the driver B 100 when getting in for the ‘thang duan’ expressway). Airport Express Bus services into Bangkok are no longer but, if you insist, you can get public buses. For public buses, board the Airport Shuttle Bus to the Public Transport Center 3km away where they run from 5am to 9pm, serving Minburi-Bangkapi, Victory Monument, Onnut BTS Station, and Rangsit, among other destinations.
The BTS skytrain’s Silom route has been extended deeper into Thonburi, with four new stations added after Wongwian Yai (A3): Pho Nimit and Talat Phlu, Wutthakat and Bang Wa. For most visitors, this is not a part of town you will be headed, but what is important to note is that signage in stations has changed to show the southern end of the Silom line as Bang Wa instead of Wongwian Yai.
NEW TAXI SERVICES
Getting a taxi in Bangkok is not always easy, especially when you need to go a fair distance – Thai cab drivers prone to claim they can’t take you for one reason or another. Instead of fighting the ‘system’, get around it with one of the new taxi dispatch services. Among those with good customer service in English is Grab Taxi, currently available only as an app. The app is free, a B 25 surcharge added to the meter for downtown calls, bookings possible as much as seven days in advance, all taxi driver details shared to ensure safety. Others which we have yet to test are Easy Taxi, which offers a similar service, and Uber which is a high end booking company, promising premium taxis (flag drop rate of B 45-75 and airport transfers at B 1,000, way more than you would pay in a normal cab).
RIVER BOAT FARES RISING
Fares on the Chao Phraya River have increased, with orange flag boats B 17, yellow flag boats starting at B 22, local line boats starting at B 12.
FITNESS HOLIDAY PACKAGES INTRODUCED
The Lab by Total Body Training in the RSU Tower at the entrance to Sukhumvit Soi 31 (F1) offers customized fitness holiday deals now - whether you are interested in a beach body or warrior workouts, sports performance or injury rehab sessions. Call 02-662-1618 or see tbtlab.com/sessions/fitness-holidays for more details.
NEW GYMS & SPORTS CLUBS
FOR BADMINTON FANS
Bestminton Square is a massive new complex with 18 Olympic size badminton courts, top instructors, a dance studio and fitness center located in the Srinakarin Road area (J3). See www.bestminton.com for more details.
MARTIAL ARTS CLASSES
For those looking for bicycle shops, see Sporting Goods above. For those interested in bike rental programs and other options, see Cycling Tours under Sightseeing above.
New Cycling Routes
Cyclist Friendly Cafes Opening Across the City
IN HORSERIDING NEWS
The city's outskirts are now home to three young equestrian clubs including:
NEW ICE-SKATING RINKS
Sub Zero has opened at Major Cineplex Ekkamai (F2) and Mega Bangna (J3). Closed: Ice Planet, Siam Discovery (E) and Sub Zero Esplanade Ratchadapisek (I2-J2).
NEW ROCK CLIMBING GYMS
The Rock Domain Climbing Gym has opened in the city’s eastern suburbs on Bangna-Trat near The Nation (J3), and describes itself as a ‘full scale indoor rock climbing gym’ with climbing walls (lead, top rope, and bouldering) as well as climbing gear store. See Facebook for more details. Meanwhile, The Rock@49 in the Soi Klang Racquet Club has reopened after renovations.
NEW TAI CHI & QI GONG CLASSES
The Om Room (www.omroom.net) on the 8th floor of the Alma Link building on Chitlom (E) offers classes in Qi Gong as well as many other programs aimed at emotional and physical balance and healing. Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan is new to Bangkok, offering study in many traditional forms. See www.wustylebangkok.com for more details.
NEW YOGA STUDIOS IN THE SUKHUMVIT AREA (F1-2)
NEW YOGA STUDIOS ELSEWHERE IN BANGKOK