Bangkok is a city that never sleeps, and if you’re new to it, you probably won’t either. It’s an intrigue and infatuation that hits everyone hard in the beginning. The only constant here is that it’s all rapidly changing. The beauty is that you can have any existence here that you like, whether that’s peaceful laidback living or the hustling, bustling chase of urban thrills.
By Luxury Society Asia team
The Thai capital is constantly evolving with new offers and openings, so we’ve rounded up some of the best for both relaxation and excitement that you must try if you haven’t already. Here are 10 of the latest luxury experiences that Bangkok locals can’t stop raving about:
Up in the Air
Chartering a helicopter is perfect for covering Bangkok and shorter distances within Thailand. Flying inside the cockpit is an unforgettable experience, providing not only butterflies but amazing views of city and riverside of Bangkok. Helicopters can fly wherever you wish, provided there’s a helipad available.
The Chao Phraya River will always be enchanting, a source of timeless entertainment from teakwood rice barges rides to waterfront terraces boasting a refreshing breeze. However the River of Kings has just gotten a new dose of cool factor with the Supanniga Cruise, a new evening cruise concept by one of Bangkok’s premier restaurants for authentic Thai cuisine. Supanniga Cruise has created two exclusive boat rides of just 40 seats a journey: an evening Champagne and cocktail cruise or a six-course dinner menu. Guests can expect to be treated to imaginative Thai fine dining with sumptuous heritage dinnerware for a truly Thai experience, while jaunting past some of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples and attractions.
Bangkok’s rooftop bar scene has evolved to new heights, with exciting concepts and brave concoctions taking the stage. Le Bua has complemented its famous Sky Bar with Alfresco 64, the world’s highest whisky establishment mixing elegant Chivas cocktails 800 feet in the air. Red Sky, Centara’s luxe rooftop venue dramatically poised atop Centralworld, has also opened a new Champagne bar called CRU. Come for jaw-dropping city views and an experience popping with exclusive indulgences, from Caspian Sea caviar to Mumm No.1 Pink Champagne.
Bangkok’s fine dining scene is going through a renaissance, with more restaurants on San Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list than any other city. It has also been confirmed that Thailand will finally get its own Michelin Guide too by the end of 2017. Now is a better time than ever to visit some of Bangkok’s gourmet hotspots before they are graced with those coveted stars.
Gaggan, the number one restaurant on Asia’s 50 Best, recently introduced an intriguing new menu with dishes named after emojis, and Chef Anand Gaggan has said the restaurant will close for good in 2020. Sühring, a modern German fine dining concept of which Gaggan himself is a partner, is turning heads for its playful plates and rustic interiors, and Japanese restaurant Sushi Masato, is booking about three months in advance. Owner Masato Shimizu became the youngest chef in New York City to ever to win a Michelin star and the omakase menu at his Bangkok restaurant, now his sole venture, is said to be a masterpiece.
Bangkok just might be the world capital of pampering, and while the spa scene is culturally rooted in ancient Thai techniques and traditions, it is also extremely progressive, with a wide variety of innovative therapies and cutting-edge wellness technology. Spa Botanica (Sukothai), Spa Studio (Mandarin Oriental), Spa InterContinental are highly regarded as the city’s best hotel spas for their blend of ancient practice and modern technology throughout a variety of treatments. Divana Spa brings forth the best of both worlds, offering lush organic treatments and the latest in anti-ageing and cosmetic treatments. I.Sawan Residential Spa and Club at the Grand Hyatt Erawan is also perfect for an all-around approach to health and renewal, with a notable day package that includes breakfast and a range of treatments to choose from.
The Museum of Floral Culture is an attraction unique to the Thai capital, and offers a beguiling exploration of flowers and their importance to Thai culture in everything from special occasions to Buddhist ceremonies. Visitors can take part in a flower-arranging workshop, designed by the museum’s founder, the celebrated floral artist Sakul Intakul. The class is held twice a month and in high demand, so booking well ahead is advised.
Thai cuisine is famous for its zesty complexity, and learning the tricks of a good curry or stir-fry is sure to impress at your next dinner party. Learn the ropes (which are actually simpler than you think) at a cooking class, where a skilled chef will guide you through shopping at the market for ingredients right to the stove.
Issaya Cooking Studio is generating a lot of buzz since celeb chef Ian Kittichai of the lauded Restaurant Issaya Siamese Club founded it. This is a great spot for learning more innovative, lesser-known dishes getting to the soul of Thai cuisine, and they also offers cocktail classes.
Blue Elephant, one of Bangkok’s most longstanding cooking schools, offers traditional menus and a class in ancient recipes exploring the cuisine’s essence. Mandarin Oriental, a grand riverside hotel that’s hosted everyone from Morgan Freeman to Barack Obama, offers a cooking experience that will make you versed in Thai culinary customs from grinding pastes to stir- and deep-frying techniques.
There is no shortage of verdant knolls to seek peace and tranquillity in Bangkok when the urban hustle becomes too much. Samyan is Bangkok’s latest public park opened in March. Designed by the trendy architectural studio Landprocess, it’s beautified one of the capital’s oldest neighbourhoods with splendour. Of course, Lumpini Park is adored for its calm ambience and the opportunity to watch or take part in tai chi, fencing and yoga, or there is also Benjakiti Park, replete with playgrounds, fountains and low-hanging palms providing shade from the sun.
Bangkok’s art scene is booming, with galleries ranging from elegant to edgy spread across the city. During the day go to MOCA, an architectural gem showcasing the astounding person collection of billionaire mogul Boonchai Bencharongkul. By night, hop over to Chinatown which has become a hotspot for eclectic exhibitors, such as Speedy Grandma, known for its hip openings and bohemian crowd. Cho Why, a shop house turned multidisciplinary space offers more relaxed gatherings and it’s just across the street at 23 Bar and Gallery, an expat-beloved bar where the owner displays his own whimsical works and hosts wild parties.
Muay Thai, or the ancient art of Thai boxing, has been revived into global mainstream popularity in recent years for the challenging mental and physical discipline it requires. RSM Muay Thai Academy is the only Muay Thai academy certified by Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium, located in the heart of stylish Thong Lor and frequented by a few Thai celebrities. Bangkok Fight Club is a boxing gym specialising not just in Muay Thai, but also Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA techniques for those who seeking a rounded fitness approach.
Time is too precious to worry about the details. Black Tie, a luxury concierge service, can plan your travels in Thailand. Black Tie offers a one-stop service for luxury travelneeds for high-end clientele in Thailand and they are now expanding to those in Asia.
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