Bangkok is full of iconic landmarks. From the historical elegance of the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun, to shining shopping malls and world-class entertainment, it is little wonder that Thailand’s capital is now the most visited city on the planet. In the millennial era of “living like a local” however, visitors to this captivating city are increasingly going in search of untraditional experiences.
Bangkok is known as the “Venice of the East” due to its extensive canal network. But guests who want to explore these famous waterways without booking a tourist boat should head to Khlong Saen Saeb, the major canal that flows through the city. Within walking distance of the hotel, Pratunam Pier is the main boat stop for local commuters. Amidst the hustle and bustle, visitors can catch a boat and soak up the canal-side scenery, which includes classical wooden homes, temples and ornate bridges.
Alternatively, visitors can head over to the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC). While not exactly hidden, this multi-storey space opposite Siam Discovery is certainly a gem. BACC showcases a wide variety of exhibitions, from historical works to contemporary art, plus regular activities and performances. Afterwards, fans of street art can take a short walk or skytrain ride to Chalerm La Park, near Ratchathewi BTS station, which is famous for its colourful graffiti.
Feeling hungry? Bangkok is one of the world’s great foodie cities with eateries for every occasion, consider dining shoulder-to-shoulder with the locals for a taste of authentic Thai Cuisine. One of Thailand’s most popular dishes is khao man gai, which simply means “chicken and rice”, and the best place to sample it is Kuang Hen, a traditional shophouse which has been feeding locals in the Pratunam area since 1932.
Another hugely popular Thai dish is som tam, and diners can experience this spicy salad alongside the trendy millennial set at Som Tam Nua, which is located in Siam Square. Then, after the sun sets, head over to Victory Monument – just three BTS skytrain stops from Siam – and experience the cool vibe of the Saxophone Bar, which is one of Bangkok’s oldest jazz bars and regularly hosts live performances.
There are so much to do and see in this well-rounded and fascinating Thai capital, and a visit to Bangkok is a great introduction to the country’s history and culture.