Discover The Vogue Guide To Enjoying Bangkok
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Vogue’s Insider Guide to Bangkok

Courtesy of The Siam Hotel

Courtesy of The Siam Hotel

Your ultimate guide to eating, drinking, shopping, and exploring bountiful Bangkok.

As one of the most visited cities in the world, Bangkok is a destination plugged in and buzzed 24/7. By day, traipse the ornate temples and pristine palaces, or get lost in grid upon grid of markets bursting with colorful product and produce alike. By night, down bowls of authentic Thai curries from ground-level street stalls or cheer Chok Dee on new rooftop bars morphing both sides of the Chao Phraya river. Like Manila, Bangkok’s tropical climate means a city well adapted with mega malls—so stash back-up plastic because you’ll be hard swiping at some of the most spectacular and luxurious retail spaces imaginable, and then winding down with exceptional Thai hospitality in spas and suites. Time spent here can be as fast as you make it. Here’s a little help in taking full advantage of Thailand’s exciting capital.

Where to Stay

Courtesy of The Siam Hotel

Chatrium Grand Bangkok

The independently-owned Chatrium Grand has every ingredient for the perfect Thai stay, and we mean ingredient. Rooms come with sticky-mango-flavored welcome treats, bathrooms bounce with local Panpuri pamper products, and their breakfast buffet is legendary. Cutting-edge tech from eco-smart temperature control to A.I. command electronics makes this Siam district’s premier sleep.

The Siam Hotel

Further up the Chao Phraya in the historical district sits a secluded oasis that’s housed A-List celebrities from David Beckham to Sam Smith. Think of it as an urban sanctuary, a boutique refuge dotted with art and antiques and surrounded by acres of beautifully manicured gardens.

The Shanghai Mansion

Acclaimed four-star boutique, The Shanghai Mansion, can be found in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown, amidst excellent shopping and a thriving nightlife scene. The vibe is 1930’s China and this retro boudoir was previously the venue for the Chinese opera.

What to Do

Admire the Beauty of Buddha

The Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) house two of the grandest Buddha in the country, one made of green jasper and the other of gold-copper alloy—the latter is the largest in Thailand at over 150 feet long. Tip: check the dress code before visiting any of Bangkok’s temples, as most require long pants and covered shoulders.

Bargain Hunt at Chatuchak Weekend Market

15,000 vendors at the same time equate to the world’s largest weekend market. It’s no exaggeration to say that here, you’ll find literally anything if you have the stamina. Books, souvenirs, clothing, dried food, fresh food, and even pet goats, it’s here. You’ll probably need a foot massage when you’re done (there’s that too!).

Or Go All Out at ICONSIAM

This isn’t just a shopping mall. ICONSIAM is also a cinema, hotel, food court, fine dining destination, fashion village, residence, and observatory all rolled into one. It’s perfectly acceptable to spend the entire day here encased in its luxurious AC’d walls, and that goes for any budget: experiences here range from modest to blowout.

Witness a Drag Extravaganza

Calypso is a celebration of talented Thai transgender artists. Combining drag, burlesque, show-stopping choreography, and a ton of glitter, prepare to be dazzled by performers who identify simply as individuals. Famous guests have included Lady Gaga.

Book a Luxurious Thai Massage

Banyan Tree Spa Bangkok is one of the most decadent wellness experiences money can buy, the ideal route to melt away. Select the Thai Blossom Romance treatment: a 150-minute session consisting of aromatherapy massage, body wrap, scrub using Thai safflower, and a fragrant bath to finish. Absolute bliss.

What to Eat and Drink

Thiptara

For a romantic evening on the Chao Phraya River, make a sunset reservation at Thiptara within The Peninsula Bangkok. You’ll dine on traditional Thai cuisine on a breezy outdoor deck surrounded by banyan trees and lush tropical gardens. Live music frequents.

Jek Pui Curry

As a city famed for its street food, a visit to Jek Pui Curry is a must for all foodies. This Old Town curry stand has been serving delicious yellow pork and green chicken curries to the community for decades, and despite being featured on Netflix, has remained unchanged in both price and beloved local clientele. Just expect longer lines.

BKK Social Club

Like trophies with your liquor? Head to BKK Social Club, officially named one of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022. Inside you’ll discover a chic space that hinges on Buenos Aires and modern Bangkok. Our favorite pour? Their signature La Pampa.

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