However, I don’t visit it as often as I’d like – I seem to always be using my annual leave on something happening somewhere else, like a wedding in London or Ian’s marine conservation project in Fiji.
Thankfully, in May, I had the perfect reason to travel to Bangkok again – one of my Thai friends was getting married! I’d never been to a Thai wedding before and it was an unforgettable experience – more on that in a separate post. I spent the rest of that weekend catching up with old friends and discovering new places to eat.
- It’s really easy to get a local SIM card – there are a number of shops at Suvarnabhumi Airport where you can get one with minimal hassle. They’ll even install it for you. I got a 7-day one from True for THB299 (approx. SGD12).
- I use the BTS Skytrain wherever possible (it’s cheap and there’s no need to deal with traffic!) but sometimes, if your destination is relatively near the airport, it’s much faster to just take a cab, so it’s important to check.
- I like to change most of my cash only after arriving as the exchange rates are better there than in Singapore – I assume this goes for most places, but I know this is the case in Thailand at least.
This is a mainly residential area and I don’t think there is much in terms of tourist attractions, but on this trip I stayed with my friend Ploy who lives around here.
There’s a nice little square with a number of restaurants, and I tried The Beacon Burger for dinner the first night.
They not only serve burgers but also rice-based dishes like grilled beef on rice. I had teriyaki chicken with rice (and soup) for THB70 (under SGD3), which was pretty decent.
Address: 12 Soi Sukhumvit 50, Prakanong, Klong-Toei, 10260 Bangkok
Opening hours: 4 – 10pm
The best brunch in town, according to my friends! I personally don’t have much basis for comparison but the food was indeed good and I adored the decor. The toilet even has a reed diffuser!
I had Ceylon Rose tea – don’t you just love it when tea is served like this?
We ordered a number of dishes to share between 4 of us. Highlights included:
I’m not a big beef eater, but I do make an exception for wagyu!
I like the idea of gnocchi but am usually somewhat disappointed whenever I order it. This was probably the best gnocchi I’ve ever had – light and tender.
Personally, I don’t love goat cheese, but am including it because the rest loved it and kept gushing about it.
For dessert, I recommend this very intriguing combination of salt caramel, chocolate soil and peanut candy. It’s a little like mousse.
For 8 shared dishes (and tea/coffee for each of us), we each paid about THB900 (about SGD36). Incredibly cheap by Singapore standards.
Address: Sukhumvit Soi 45 (in between Thonglor and Phompong BTS stations)
Opening hours: 11.30am (10.30am on weekends) until late
Som Tam Nua
A perennial favourite among Singaporeans as well as Thais – I’m not sure why it took me so long to check this restaurant out! It’s incredibly popular and even outside of peak hours (I went at 2+pm, albeit on a Saturday) we had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated.
The signature dish is the papaya salad (after which the restaurant is named) – we had the version with dried shrimp and peanut. This refreshing yet spicy salad is definitely one of my favourite Thai dishes. It goes perfectly with sticky rice, which I also love.
Another dish that I really enjoyed was the fried chicken – highly recommended!
Address: Siam Square Soi 5 (Siam BTS station)
Opening hours: 10.45am – 9.30pm
This dessert shop specialises in – you guessed it – mango! Mango ice cream, mango pudding, mango sticky rice, etc. There are a number of branches all over BKK and There’s one conveniently located right outside Som Tam Nua.
It’s the perfect way to end a meal / satisfy some mid-afternoon snack cravings / just simply to beat the heat!
I had the Mango Thai Sundae (THB75), which consists of mango ice cream, sticky rice and fresh mango.
Don’t be fooled by the French name – this charming restaurant located in the Nai Lert Park Heritage Home actually offers classic Thai food.
Doesn’t it look perfect for a special occasion type of meal? Catching up with old friends (some of whom were also colleagues) definitely qualifies as a special occasion, I think!
Highlights of the meal below – the descriptions are rather vague unfortunately, because my Thai friends did all the ordering and I was too interested in eating to get details like the specific name of the dishes. In hindsight, that was a mistake!
This was my first time trying this dish – the soup base is coconut milk.
This has actual coconut bits in it. Super yummy!
One of those things that are (almost) too pretty to eat.
I was totally stuffed by the end of the meal, which cost THB750 (approx. SGD30) per person – again, you would never get this amount of food in this kind of restaurant for this price in Singapore.
Address: Nai Lert Park Heritage Park, Wireless Road (Chit Lom BTS station)
Opening hours: 11am-2pm, 6-9pm
Thai Massage at Sakura Spa
Getting a massage is one of my must-dos when in Thailand. I’m a fan of Thai massage, although not everyone is. My back and neck always feel better after a Thai massage!
A 1-hour massage here cost just THB300 (approx. SGD12) and we tipped THB40. According to my friend, it’s normal to tip a little if you’re happy with the massage (apparently, at the Healthland chain a THB100 tip is expected). I had no idea and now feel a little bad about all the massages I had and for which I didn’t tip!
The 2-hour massage is even more worth it – just THB500! Sadly, time didn’t allow us to go for it.
Address: 9/41- 42 Soi Sukhumvit 63 Sukhumvit Road (Ekamai BTS station)
Opening hours: 9am – 11pm
Tip: This spa seems quite popular; it’s probably a good idea to book beforehand if possible!
Have you been to Bangkok? What’s your favourite thing to do there?