Whether it’s your first or umpteenth visit, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in the diverse and ever-changing city of Bangkok.
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First-ever Michelin guide
For the very first time, a Michelin Guide Bangkok has been unveiled showcasing the best of Bangkok’s diverse dining scene. Three restaurants received the distinction of two stars: Gaggan helmed by India’s most celebrated chef, Gaggan Anand; opulent French restaurant Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental; and Mezzaluna, a fine-dining European affair on the 65th floor of lebua hotel.
Of the 98 restaurants included in the guide, there are 14 that gained one star. Seven of these offer Thai cuisine, including Chim by Siam Wisdom, where the chef blends the old and new; Bo.Lan and Saneh Jaan, both fine dining venues with authentic dishes; and Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, serving innovative modern Thai.
There are also 28 street food stalls in the guide, embracing the essence of authentic Bangkok cuisine. The most impressive is one-star honouree Raan Jay Fai, a 70-year-old street vendor who creates dishes such as crab curries and drunken noodles on homemade charcoal stoves in the Phra Nakhon District. guide.michelin.com/th/en/bangkok
What’s a visit to Bangkok without a sky-high drink? The city has plenty of rooftop venues with a view but Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre has one of the best vantage points in its luxe CRU Champagne Bar. The hotel also sits on top of the city’s largest shopping complex. centarahotelsresorts.com
Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, also known as the River of Kings, has been the city’s lifeblood for hundreds of years. Some of Bangkok’s most famous ancient attractions, such as Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho, are found here. But today its banks are a brilliant contrast of ancient temples and old wooden shacks, with modern high-rises and cool, new enclaves.
One such hip and happening place is The Jam Factory, a former factory that comprises restaurants, a bookshop, art gallery and homewares store; it also hosts a market once a month. Then there’s the whole riverside neighbourhood of Bang Rak, also known as the ‘Creative District’, which is going through a renaissance. It’s now thriving with galleries, including a street-art gallery that stretches from Samphanthawong to Bang Rak, boutique hotels and a fabulous food scene.
Shoppers will find their fix along the river with IconSiam, a sparkling retail and entertainment complex with two luxury shopping malls, a national gallery, cinemas and more (opening late 2018); while antique aficionados will love River City, the largest arts and antiques hub in South-East Asia. bangkokriver.com