A visitor staying with Chaophya Park Hotel Bangkok need not go far to enjoy outstanding food and drinks as we have several restaurants that serve not only awesome Thai cuisine specialties, but also different international cuisines. But we also encourage guests to explore the city and take advantage of what it offers as Bangkok has very few equals in terms of gastronomic delights, from the very high-end to the humble street food – indeed, to suits all budgets.
Thailand on a Plate
Ask most travelers to Thailand what makes a visit to the kingdom unique and many well say first and foremost, it’s the food. Every Thai dish, whether you’re ordering it from a small neighborhood shop of a fancy five-star eatery is always creatively presented. Each dish is designed not only to delight the taste buds but also the eyes, the smell, and the touch. With its sensory pleasures, it is no wonder then that Thai food is on the front row of international cuisine favorites today.
Eating on the street has always been integral to Thai culture, and street food vendors are dependable for quick-service and wallet-friendly goodies. Think American burgers and fries’ chains; street foods are our style of fast food that you can either grab and go, or sit down and finish it before your lunch break ends. The most essential quality perhaps is the inexpensive prices, which make street food the go-to meal you can afford to eat every day.
Almost every corner, especially in big cities like Bangkok, has a food vendor one way or another. Just walk down a street and you can easily fill up your belly with both savory and sweet grub, and some drinks—at a very good price. It’s quite fun too as the atmosphere is lively, and there’s so much variety: from the noodle shop house and curry-rice stall to a grilled-pork street cart and vendors carrying pole and selling grilled eggs. No wonder, Thailand’s street food is one of the country’s main attractions today.
Here are some areas to enjoy great food – street food and otherwise — in Bangkok:
Chinatown (or Yaowaraj as locals call it) is a favorite of many foodies in Bangkok. Yaowaraj is famous for authentic Chinese food, and you will find a lot of dim sum, roasted chestnuts, and pomegranate juice outlets around the area. During the day, it is a bustling business area with lots of retailing and wholesaling going on, but at night, it transforms into a neon town alive with street treats and throngs of foodies. The atmosphere is electrifying and the fun energy is contagious.
An area that never sleeps, SIlom is packed with tall buildings and the sidewalk is always filled with the office crowd. Lower Silom (starting from Rama 4 junction to Narathiwas Road) is very crowded especially at lunchtime. On top of the classic shop houses by the main road near Sala Daeng BTS station — such as Samai Suek Pochana, which sells khao mun gai (Hainanese chicken rice) and Chuan Savoey, which specializes in Chinese roasted pork — are fabulous places hidden in the sois (sub-roads).
Charoenkrung, the first road in Bangkok, is also known as Bangrak. This is an area with an old world charm, thanks to the line-up of colonial style houses that remain standing to this day, and an energy that seems to have frozen in time a more gracious period in Bangkok. And that’s what makes eating in authentic local places here unique.
Very popular among foreign tourists, Khaosan Road is at its liveliest peak at night. Restaurants, bars, and hostels stand on both sides of the road while right in the middle of the street are various stalls and food carts. You are likely to see a lot of pad Thai carts, which will seduce you to get your belly filled before finding nice real treats on Tanao road just around the corner. Keep your eyes open for vegetarian food at Ethos and May Kaidee. Or, take a quick walk toward the Democracy Monument and hop on to Rambutri Road for a Muslim feast at Aisah Ros Dee.
Less bustling than Khaosan, Banglamphu spans a big area with a more “community feel” than a “touristy” atmosphere. But a lot of good foodstuff can be found here, just a short walk from each other. Stroll down Phra Sumen Road for a little food trek and onto the Wat Baworn Niwet area where there are Nai Ngum’s noodles, Pa Tong Go for some eponymous snack, and Mae Siri for some khao chae (refreshing steamed rice soaked in jasmine-fragrant water). Go down farther at the end of the road, turn left, and you’ll see Phra Athit Road, which is another street food hub.
Starting from Phaya Thai Road down Chulalongkorn Soi 42, you can see some food outlets. What’s more exciting is that several alleys surround the area where “hidden gems” such as Somtum Je Dang and Joke Samyan can be found. A short walk from the end of the soi to the right is the New Samyan Market, a two-storey building comprising a fresh market on the ground floor and wallet-friendly food stalls on the second.
It will probably take you months before you can dine at every food place in Thonglor (Sukhumvit 55), the new trendy foodie hub and hipsters’ favorite in Bangkok, and by extension, Ekkamai. But if you are looking for more international, more contemporary type of meals, these two streets that are paralled with each other are the place to go for foodie trips
If you would rather not go farther from the hotel, don’t worry. Ratchadapisek itself has transformed into a foodie center in its own right, offering everything else you can find around the city. Our hotel, Chaophya Park Hotel Bangkok itself can easily fulfill your daily meal requirements during your stay, not only with the quality food served at our restaurants but also with the value offered in our restaurants. Several promotions are available from time to time to make your pleasurable meal even more worth it!
Enjoy street food at Yaowaraj
Yaowaraj is the main artery of Bangkok’s Chinatown. While this area is hardly on top of the foreign visitor’s Bangkok to-do lists, locals love this area, especially in the evening when the gigantic neon signs are really alluring, and the streets are filled with food stalls, carts, and makeshift restaurants offering various goods and delicacies. If you like Chinese, try to find Soi Phadung Dao (Soi Texas) for the city’s best selection of Chinese restaurants.
Haggle at Chatuchak
Chatuchak is a weekend market where you can buy just about anything. Said to be one of the world’s largest weekend markets, it covers an area of 27 acres (70 rai) altogether divided into 27 sections. It contains more than 15,000 booths selling goods from every part of Thailand. Popular to both locals and foreign visitors, an estimated 200,000 visitors go to Chatuchak on weekends.
Go to the Malls for Shopping and Arts
Bangkok’s fame as a shopping haven is quite justified, and with the proliferation of new trendy, plush mega malls within easy reach of tourists, shopping in Bangkok has become all the more an appealing proposition. Two of the major shopping venues that rank high as tourist favorites are CentralWorld on Ratchaprasong District, and Mah Boon Kong (MBK) on Phaya Thai Road. But don’t forget to check out Gaysorn Plaza, Erawan Shopping Mall, Amarin Plaza, Central Chidlom, Central Embassy, Siam Center, Siam Paragon, and the newest, The EM District – all along the skytrain route. MBK is very tourist oriented, and indeed, it can be crowded day in and day out especially during the peak season of tourists. These shopping centers are all accessible via the BTS skytrain.
Get trendy in Thonglor
They say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Well, when in Bangkok, go where the Bangkokians go for dining, drinking, shopping and sheer fun. And where is it today, but in Thonglor? Thonglor – more officially Sukhumvit 55 — is the new hip street for entertainment as far as young Thai professionals congregate and the city’s chic crowd, including discerning expats and tourists are increasingly getting attracted to. Once simple known as Bangkok’s “Beverly Hills “of sorts – meaning the place where a great many well-placed, high-heeled people live — Thonglor today (and by extension, Ekamai) has become a veritable true-blue entertainment hub with restaurants, stores, bar and clubs – often described as hip, trendy, chic — proliferating since the 1990s. The main access to Thonglor, if you’re a visitor, is by the BTS skytrain (Thonglor Station), but many streets from main Sukhumvit Road actually cut through it.
Cruise along the Chao Phraya River
Rivers and canals have always been vital forms of communication for Thais and the Chao Phraya River is especially central to the kingdom’s history. It was on this river that the Bangkokians first settled before gradually spreading into the core of the country. Traces of this past history can be seen in the varying architectural landmarks along the river. The river throbs with many river cruises that offer not only magnificent views but also delectable Thai food, topnotch service, and sometimes, even great live music. Tourists can book such a river cruise through travel agents or rent a boat at Tha Chang (Tel: 02 225-6179, 02 623-6169), a pier near the Grand Palace, or Tha Si Phraya (Tel: 02 235-3108) near the River City Shopping Complex.
Take in the view up on the rooftop restaurants
Scaling the heights is a continuing trend in the Bangkok wine and dine scene. Proof? The excellent rooftop bars and restaurants that have been mushrooming around the city, and there are many. Besides the awesome city views of these rooftop venues such as Red Sky or Vertigo, many also boasts stunning décor, fabulous food and drinks, and gracious service. One particular place to enjoy rooftop bliss, in a manner of speaking, is The Dome and Lebua at State Tower, which hosts a number of bars and restaurants with different names and themes such as Sirocco, billed as the world’s highest open-air restaurant.
Ride a Local Vehicle
The tuk-tuk has become a unique symbol of Thailand, well known the world over. The tuk-tuk is for those who would like to try a different, exciting experience other than the typical taxi. Travel by tuk-tuks to visit a mall or a temple, and enjoy a thrilling open-air ride that captures the spirit of the destination.
Visit the Temple Fairs
Thai temples are the veritable center of the community unit. As such, the temples are not only places of worship or religious activities it is also a place where people come together for fun. Nothing exemplifies this best than the temple fairs. From the North to the South, temple fairs represent the best of the fun local lifestyle. Especially during public holidays, the temples are dressed up with a carnival atmosphere where fun-seeking Thais can go: there will be booths selling local products, food stalls to enjoy local food and drinks, and, of course, entertainment outlets. One can ride the Ferris wheel; enjoy games such as shooting, darts, quoits, Girl Overboard, and other fun activities.
See Muay Thai
Every first time Thailand visitor should watch the live Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) match. There are several dedicated stadium for these kind of sports and the atmosphere is really electrifying!
The hip soi (street) of Bangkok entertainment, Sukhumvit 11 offers just about everything a visitor wants to experience during a holiday. Its location makes it a Bangkok “hotspot” — within walking distance of hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs, spas and massage centers, shopping centers, tailor shops and street bazaars, and even internet cafes, banks and currency exchanges. The street was first made famous by resident expats who live in it or would frequent places like Cheap Charlie’s to network, make friends and enjoy an evening the inexpensive way. Soon the word spread out, the business-minded saw its potential and built establishments that cater to both tourists and locals. Today, it’s really a microcosm of what a Bangkok holiday is — whether you’re up for budget choices or have high-end preferences. The fastest way to Sukhumvit 11 is the BTS skytrain (Nana Station). But there are other areas too, like SIlom, Nana, Soi Cowboy – and in our very own turf, Ratchadapisek, which is home to some of the biggest massage centers in the country, for one!
Khao Sarn Chill-out
This famous destination for travelers and budget tourists is like an icon in the world’s backpacker culture, that it is even said that missing Khao Sarn on a trip to Bangkok is akin to missing the Eiffel Tower on a trip to Paris. This short street on Bangkok’s Banglamphu area – dubbed as “The Place to Disappear” by Susan Orlean, offers relatively cheap accommodation (hotels and guesthouses), restaurants, pubs, clubs, shops selling all kinds of night bazaar items; travel agents, etc. It is very near the city’s major tourist landmarks (The Grand Palace is just 1 km away), and it is said that you can arrange your entire Asian trip from here. “Khaosan” translates as “milled rice” and indeed the street was a former major rice market. One Thai writer has described Khaosan as “a short road that has the longest dream in the world.”
Bangkok has several theme parks for all kinds of travelers who want to have more fun during their stay. There is the worl-renown Ancient City (Muang Boran) and the unique Erawan Shrine, tboh located outside the tourist belt leading to Samut Prakan (where there is also a Crocodile Farm), there is the Rose Garden on the other side, and of course places like DreamWorld, which is perfect if you bring your family.
Many travelers think that to enjoy golf in Thailand, you have to go to places like Pattaya or Hua Hin. But in fact, there are some golf clubs within the metropolitan area and suburbs where those into the game can enjoy a putt or two. Of course, there are more, because as travel experts say, “Bangkok has many faces and exploring everything it has to offer is a lifetime endeavor.” Check with our tour counters for more information.