Wanderlust Travel Magazine asked some of Bangkok’s expert tour guides to reveal their Bangkok Insider Secrets, from the best bars and restaurants to hidden gems. Experienced tour guides Wipaporn Ord (Wi), Sarawut Thinpathom (Oh), and Pascal Rimpault share their knowledge…
What’s the Best Bar in Bangkok?
Wi: The Skybar at Lebua on Silom. This glass-sided open bar on the 64th floor guarantees the most spectacular views of the city, as well as a fair chance of vertigo. Get there for sunset. The drinks are expensive, but worth every baht. This is a place to splash out for your last night in town.
Oh: I love the Brown Sugar Jazz Boutique on Phrasumen Road in Banglamphu. They’ve featured great live jazz now for 30 years and are still going strong. Eclectic sounds and an eclectic audience make for a great night out.
Pascal: I’d go for the Rolling Bar on Prachatipathai Road, a 10 minute walk from the Khao San Road, tucked away alongside a canal. It’s well worth seeking out for its friendly vibe, atmospheric location, great music and good service. A fun evening is guaranteed.
Where can you can find Bangkok’s best food?
Wi: Try Baan Khanitha with one outlet on Sathorn and another restaurant on Sukhumvit. I like the way they concentrate on local food only, without trying to cover all of Thailand’s bases. It’s a great spot to sample authentic Bangkok dishes, with a delightful setting and reasonable prices.
Oh: It might seem like an odd choice, but I’d go for Ban Kamnan on Luang Phaeng Road, Lat Krabang. It’s out of town, close to the airport, but that’s where Thai trips often start and finish, so if there’s any hanging around involved I prefer to grab a cab for the short ride to this wonderful family-run restaurant. The quality and price are hard to beat downtown.
Pascal: Without a doubt, Chinatown is my pick. You get wonderful Thai and Chinese street food at great prices with an unbeatable atmosphere. It’s about Southeast Asian flavours in every sense.
What are Bangkok’s hidden gems that most tourists miss?
Oh: The centrally located, but generally overlooked, Thewet Market, just north of the popular Banglamphu district. It’s a traditional market with plenty of friendly vendors, plus a picturesque flower and plant market alongside the canal. A short walk from many hotels, it’s easily accessed by foot or boat, avoiding any traffic.
Wi: Thaling Chan floating market is great. This is my part of town, so I know it well, but very few foreigners make it out this way. This one is the real deal. Get there while it’s still off the radar.
Pascal: Koh Kret for traditional village life on an island in the Chao Phraya River in the northern suburbs of Bangkok. At weekends, you can take public ferries all the way there and explore the narrow lanes on foot or rented bicycle. It’s all very laid back with plenty of local cafes and coffee shops to break up your wandering.
For more expert insights, such as the best way to get around Bangkok, tips for the most famous sites and the best galleries, museums and monuments, visit Wanderlust.co.uk