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  • Hilary McCormack

Eating out Bangkok

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

Thailand: Bangkok, it is a mad place, and you either love or loathe it. I have been going there since my airline days and I guess the madness feels very familiar to me at this stage. Or maybe I am just a bit mad myself!

In recent times, I like to stay close to Sukhumvit Road. It's easy to jump on and off the BST, there are plenty of good markets and a wide selection of shops in the area. You will find restaurants, street food stalls and it's as safe as Bangkok gets for a female to wander about at nighttime alone.

Typically, where I stay depends on how long I plan to be in town. For a short stay, I head for Travelodge Sukhumvit 11 and for a longer stay I like House by the Pond, Sukhumvit 22 Khlong Toei. Each time I visit I find something new.

The places I frequent may not be at the cheap, cheap end of the market but I do feel I get good value for my money and an amazing experience.

On my first day, I head straight to Cabbage and Condoms on 10 Sukhumvit, Soi 12 for lunch. This restaurant serves amazing local food. It also supports ‘Social Progress’ and all their profits support their Population & Community Development Association (PDA). That means programs in primary health, education, HIV/AIDS, rural development, environment, and water around Thailand.

Basically, these guys do great work in the community, and on top of that their food is divine. You can't help but laugh at the tongue-in-cheek decor either. You can dine outside in the shaded garden or retreat indoors if it's too humid. The best part it is not expensive at all. So it’s really a little gem of a find and I recommend a visit or two for so many reasons. I suggest you try the hot, sour, salty, and sweet mix of Miang Kam.

The next place I liked to visit is the Emporium. Take the BTS to Phrom Pong. Once the smartly dressed doormen open the doors for you take the elevator to the top of the building to the café and exhibition space. There is nearly always a fabulous exhibition going on there and afterward, you can drink very good coffee and admire the view out over Benchasiri Park.

All along Sukhumvit Road, there are plenty of nice places to eat. El Gaucho on Soi 19 or EL TORO Steakhouse Soi 29 and if you would like a good steak and a drop of red to go with it.

Terminal 21.. has an extensive food hall on the lower ground floor and on the top floor, you will find all their restaurants if you want to take a seat and eat in. On the middle floors, you will find many great local designers and they are definitely worth a visit for a special handmade, locally designed, leather handbag of the finest quality, or dress or a new piece of jewelry... If you want to shop for quality this is a very good place to go.

Now I know you want to eat mostly Thai food on your trip and I will get to that in a moment. But here is another great place to eat right beside Asok BTS. It's called Pala and it serves the best Italian pizza and other homemade Italian dishes. They will also deliver to you at your hotel if have overdone it on the shopping and want to put your feet up in your hotel room for the evening.

If you want to rub shoulders with the jet-set of Bangkok, then I recommend you get all glammed up and go for drinks in the Moon Bar of the Banyan Tree Hotel. It is situated in Sathorn and you have to book at its very popular when you get there you will see why. I would say it is the most amazing sun-downer I have ever had. For me, dinner is always in Bai Yun which is situated on the 59th floor of the building.

If you cant get into the Banyan Tree, then you should check out Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology on the 5th floor of Fraser Suites, Sukhumvit Road Soi 11. Sadly not the same level of views but I can assure you the flavors of this restaurant will linger in your memory for a long time to come. The tandoori Jhinga which is fresh jumbo prawns marinated in yogurt, red chili, turmeric, and garam masala has got to be tasted, to be believed. In the words of Jim Carrey, Its gooooooooooooooood!

For shopping, I don't know where to start pointing you too! There is just so much. Let's take a look in the direction of Pratunam and the Palladium Night Market. This area has all the wholesalers who provide the markets around the city. If you go to Palladium World Shopping Mall you might not come out for a good few hours. Everything is here.

Bangkok is all about shopping so I think it will be easier if I just list a few of the places I like to go and you can research them yourself to see if they are what you are looking for.

· The Jim Thompson House Museum, cafe, and silk factory.

· Jim Thompson Factory Outlet Store ( in a different location)

· MBK Shopping Mall

· Silom Night Market

· ASIATIQUE The Riverfront. ( tends to be a bit expensive but it does have unique items)

· Chatuchak Weekend Market, go early its get mad busy. but it’s great for local artists if you go right around the back of the market

· China Town - to see the largest gold Buddha in the world

· Art Galleries, (there are many wonderful galleries dotted all around Bangkok) Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is only 4 mins from MBK!

· Victory Monument

After all that shopping you will need something to feed the soul, so check out Lumpini Park.

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