After arriving at Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), take a limousine to the ultra-modern W Hotel Bangkok hotel, asking the concierge to book your long-tailed boat excursion through the property’s sister hotel Royal Orchid Sheraton, and secure a table for lunch at The Never Ending Summer. After freshening up, it’s time to explore Thailand’s vibrant capital city, starting with a cruising trip along Chao Phraya River by traditional long-tailed boat, passing Chinese shrines, Muslim mosques and many Thai temples. The highlights are Temple of the Dawn and Royal Grand Palace, while along Bangkok Noi canal you will experience the authentic Thai way of life, where rich and poor live alongside one another in large mansions and small wooden abodes. You might also see the boats selling food, but save room for lunch.
When your belly begins to rumble, The Never Ending Summer (41/1-5 Charoennakorn Road, Khlong San; +66 2 861 0953) sits along Chao Praya River – just ask the boat driver to drop you at its pier for an authentic Thai lunch created from its open kitchen. The watermelon with dried fish flakes, the soft-shell crab with egg curry and the nicest tasting Penang curry are fabulous. Set in a converted warehouse, the trendy restaurant is one of the city’s hotspots, and it’s always packed – so you’ll be glad you made that reservation.
After lunch, soak up some art at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) (499 Kampheangphet 6 Rd.; +66 2 016 5666 7), which houses the country’s most comprehensive collection of contemporary art from different generations, from the legendary big names to young-blood artists.
Sit back and relax in the heart of the house at The Courtyard, The House on Sathorn (106 North Sathorn Road, Silom, Bangrak; +66 2 344 4000) a 127-year-old colonial mansion that has become Bangkok’s latest destination for an unforgettable culinary experience. One of the signature menus at The Courtyard is an afternoon tea featuring sweet and savoury favourites paired with premium TWG tea, served every day between 2.30-5.30pm (THB1,150 (US$33) for two). Advance booking is recommended, and don’t forget to ask for the complimentary herbal drink of the day to refresh you from your Chao Praya boat trip.
Get ready to experience the night market, Asiatique The Riverfront (2194 Charoen Krung Rd., Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem; +66 2 108 4488). Set along the waterfront of Chao Praya River, you can get there by car or by boat. As the biggest night market in Bangkok, it’s ideal for snapping up local artworks and crafts, handmade artisanal souvenirs and clothes, with plenty of restaurants and bars. Get there around 5.30-6pm for a sunset view and to avoid the crowds.
Book dinner at the award-winning OSHA Bangkok (99 Witthayu Rd., Lumpini, Pathum Wan; +66 2 256 6555), a luxurious, authentic Thai restaurant that actually hails from America. A member of the OSHA family founded the restaurant in San Francisco in 1997 and after launching an additional nine branches, OSHA opened in its motherland to offer the same delectable experience to the people of Bangkok. Within genial surroundings, foodies can enjoy the same ambiance as San Francisco on Bangkok’s Wireless Road. Some must-try dishes are the dancing king prawn and the phad thai.
Toast the end of a wonderful day with a curated cocktail and beats from a DJ at WOOBAR, the signature bar of W Hotel Bangkok. The lively bar is one of the most modern haunts in the city, but as always, there’s a hint of tradition in the design, inspired by a muay thai (traditional Thai boxing) boxing ring, and even the drinks. Order one of the Thai-culture-inspired cocktails such as Forever Pink topped with cotton candy and chor muang with butterfly-pea infusion.