Mandarin Oriental on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.
We’ve got one night in Bangkok (long story), so we need to make the most of our time. Where should we eat (late lunch and dinner for two)? We’ve never been to Bangkok before. –Brie and Jackson
Change your plans. Stay longer. Bangkok rocks… Check into the Mandarin Oriental(formerly called The Oriental, it’s the original “Oriental” in Mandarin Oriental). Located on the big river that runs through the city, this is one of the world’s top hotels—make sure to arrange for the hotel car to pick you up at the airport so that you can arrive in style without wasting a second in the taxi line. (If you were staying longer, I might recommend the Sukhothai or The Metropolitan, which are less expensive and also superb, but their Sathon location isn’t as picturesque.)
For lunch, hire a tuk tuk to take you to the Sathon area. Tell the driver to take you to Convent Road between Sathon and Silom streets, where there’s an outdoor food mall. It’s just a bunch of old Thai women cooking in woks on folding tables selling all sorts of food. Each cook specializes in one dish. You’ll eat like a king for about $5. This is one of my favorite places. It’s wildly chaotic and packed all day with locals.
For dinner, first head to Sky Bar for a cocktail at the alfresco rooftop bar atop the State Tower skyscraper. The view from here is jaw-dropping. Plan on rubbing elbows with the international jetset for about an hour, then head down the street to dinner at a lovely Thai restaurant calledNaj. Dress up. It’s very sexy, chic and relaxing, located in an old mansion. The curries are blisteringly spicy, and the grilled river prawns are simply amazing.
Then, for breakfast the next day, sit on the hotel’s terrace overlooking the river and enjoy savor every last minute. And of course, plan on having a spa treatmenat the hotel as well.