LUXE City Guides
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Bangkok: The LUXE Lowdown

Think it’s all honey-money, ping-pong balls and backpacks? Wake up and smell the frangipani! Bangkok is firmly on the style and jet set circuit, bursting with awesome shopping, eating, drinking, partying and good old fashioned chilling. So, go on, baby, take a bite into the Big Mango…


Taking frenzied Siam as the centre, extending east is main artery Sukhumvit, lined with malls and offices, along which are hipster Thonglor and Ekkamai. To the west is Yaowarat (Chinatown) and Charoenkrung, home to the riverside hotels, while Silom and Sathorn are south. Weekend market Chatuchak is north.   

Need to Know

Weather: Nov-Feb is the best time to visit, it’s oven-hot between Mar-May and rainy Jun-Oct with occasional floods

Holidays: Certain public holidays e.g. Buddhist holidays, the King’s birthday and election days = no alcohol in restos and bars

Getting Around: The Bangkok address system can at first confuse, but remember that odd sois (lanes) are on one side, evens t’other – easy peasy!

Tuk-tuks: Once fun, twice shy. If you like having frizzy hair, a filthy face and reeking of gas, go right ahead

Transport: Taxis are dirt cheap, but no meter, no go. Brightly coloured cabs (hot pink and burnt orange) tend to be newer and comfier, and the BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are great for traffic-free shuttling, especially during peak hour

Etiquette: Don’t fiddle with the monks, point with your feet or pass remarks about the Royal Family

Dress Codes: There are dress codes in temples and shrines – bare shoulders, shoes and shorty shorts are no-nos. So no mink hotpants, and wear easily-removed footwear

 Talking Points

Events: Songkran Festival (mid Apr) is a nightmare of filthy water, flour and ‘get the farang’ ie. you; avoid like the plague. On the other hand, Loi Krathong Festival (Nov) is a magical joy, so don’t miss it

Culture Goss: Ratchadamnoen Contemporary Art Centre is a fab new art space; the excellent Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC) is due to open in its new digs in the Old Post Office on Charoenkrung Rd in April. Owner of The Jam Factory, architect Duangrit Bunnag is opening a new riverside creative depot, Warehouse 30 in Apr-May

En Plein Air: Bangkok Symphony Orchestra’s Concert in the Park series takes place Dec-Feb and is one of the loveliest times to be outdoors in BKK

Take a bigger bite out of the Big Mango with the LUXE Bangkok guide…

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