Essential Bangkok experience

Take the Airport Rail Link and SkyTrain. If you don’t have too many pieces of luggage, says our tour guide Nattapong Jongboonsab, the Airport Rail Link is the quickest — and cheapest — way to get into the city. The SkyTrain is also the best way to get around Bangkok and beat the traffic jam. The trains run regularly and are often quite busy.

Check out Siam Premium Outlet. The perfect starting point for most tourists — with shopping as the first order of the day — just 20 minutes away from the Suvarnabhumi Airport. It is where the world’s biggest fashion stores and high-end brands are located. Think Balenciaga, Chanel, Burberry, Versace, Ferragamo, Bally, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs etc., alongside a host of casual, sporting and accessories brands, including Adidas, Nike, Fred Perry, Onitsuka Tiger, Samsonite, Swarovski. The outdoor complex houses a number of air-conditioned restaurants — like the popular S&P Thai Restaurant (try their Chicken Green Curry and Seabass Yellow Curry on Rice — the best!) — and food stalls selling popular Thai street food dishes. Other high-end stores in the city you must visit: Central Village, Iconsiam and Siam Paragon.

Explore Iconsiam — The most impressive shopping center in Bangkok with more than 7,000 shops, 100 restaurants and even a floating market. The ground floor is a bustling indoor night market filled with food stalls dishing out classic Bangkok street snacks, including oyster and crab omelet, spicy and pungent curries, grilled squids, prawns and eels, pad thai, rice bowls, noodles, deep-fried chicken and pork, pomelo salad and their ever-popular mango sticky rice — all at affordable price. Our guide says it is best visited on a rowdy weekend, with endless orders of beers to chase away the fiery flavors.

Walk around Siam Square. It’s a unique hipster block with something for everyone, from boutique stores to cool cafes and patisseries. The area is so popular among the young generation who enjoys hanging out with friends over cups of iced coffee or milk tea, specially from the most-talked about and most Instagrammable dog-friendly restaurant, the Dosan Dalmatian by Mammia. It offers western and Korean dishes with indoor and outdoor sitting. It’s best to order a cappuccino or latte because there’s an adorable puppy face cream on top. Sooo cute.


Shop till you drop at Jodd Fairs. Another open-air night market selling local and imported items from branded clothing to bric-a-brac. Pick up a plaid shirt, slap on some oversized sunglasses and pair it all with sandals and socks while you’re at it. After your retail therapy, stop by for a cold beer or mocktails and a snack of churros at one of its outdoor food stalls.


Pamper yourself at Let’s Relax. After a long day of shopping and sightseeing, one of the best things you can do for your body and mental well-being is hit the spa. Some of the world’s best spas are in Bangkok, and Let’s Relax is one of them. It offers authentic, traditional Thai body massage. However, we just opted for the one-and-a-half-hour foot massage. Not bad at all.