Bangkok is absolutely massive, and as a first time visitor, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. On our first visit to Bangkok, we weren’t aware that we were staying on the outskirts of the city. So it took a while before we got to all of the action. Once we did, we were lost for hours on foot trying to find a certain massage shop and a famous pad thai place. And, none of the taxi drivers understood where we were going or what we wanted to do. So as you can imagine, it was a very frustrating experience. And needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of Bangkok.
But on our second visit to Bangkok to attend TBEX, I explored the city a bit more, and I realized there’s tons of neighborhoods and areas where there’s lots of stuff to do and see. This made our Bangkok experience so much more pleasant, and it made navigating through the city so much easier.
This is why I love the Ratchaprasong District. Located near the touristy part of town (some locals refer to it as the “Times Square” of Bangkok), there’s so much hustle and bustle over here. You can find huge malls selling designer clothing and goods, pop-up performances from street performers, curbside markets with vendors selling delicious street food and more. What makes this neighborhood really special for me is the access to all of the amazing bars in the area. There’s nothing worse than having to drive across town to continue the “turn up”, so this area is super convenient for those who like to drink. Need to know where to bar hop in Bangkok? Here are my suggestions for a few places in this district:
Bar@494 at Grand Hyatt Erawan
Bar@494 is the perfect place for a happy hour drink after doing some heavy shopping in the area. The bar/restaurant has a great list of wines, handpicked by the in-house sommelier, as well as cocktails, and the crowd is equally mixed with business professionals, couples and singles. If you’ve been following along with our Chiang Mai drinking posts, you’ll know that getting quality wine in Thailand can be a challenge because of the price, import issues and availability. This place does not have that issue: there’s a daily all-you-can-drink wine buffet for 750 baht. So basically, I just need to move into the Grand Hyatt Erawan JUST FOR THE WINE. Kidding! (kinda…)
If you didn’t already know, Bangkok is famous for its skyscraper buildings and rooftop bars. I had a chance to visit two bars when I was in town for TBEX, Cloud 47 and Red Sky. Red Sky’s upscale locale is evident by the plush lounge seating, premium cocktails and liquor and the mandatory dress code. I felt quite fancy as I sipped on my strawberry mojito, noshed on the complimentary peanut bowl and took in the massive view overlooking Bangkok.
Paste at Gaysorn
Want to eat modern Thai appetizers to accompany some seasonal, handcrafted cocktails during your night out? Look no further than Paste, a restaurant/bar located in the Gaysorn shopping mall. During my visit, I tasted several of their bite-sized appetizers, which were the perfect size for one person (or two if you’re not terribly hungry). With dishes like the roasted duck with nutmeg, curry paste and coriander on top of a rice cracker and the watermelon and salmon bowl, I experienced a ton of heat and spicy along with a great balance of acidity and crunch.
The bar contained the exact things it should have: housemade-infused spirits, fresh spices and herbs. I was in awe by how many of the cocktails on the menu were reminiscent of the cooler weather, and was even more pleased to hear that they plan to update their drink menu seasonally. The price point for this place is what you would expect at a typical restaurant in Atlanta, with apps and cocktails starting at $10 dollars, but it’s obvious that they take their time in curating a great dining experience for their guests.
Where’s your favorite place to bar hop in your city?
Disclosure: Thanks to TBEX for introducing me to these bars and organizing the tour.