3 Ways to do Bangkok in Style
Navigating this teeming megacity can be a dizzying affair. T+L tapped three locals to show us around town. By Jeninne Lee-St. John.
Published on May 27, 2015
1. THE IMPRESARIO
Sanya Souvanna Phouma
Managing partner at Maggie Choo's nightclub
Moved to Bangkok in 1997
LAST GREAT MEAL Some buddies and I went on a dining tour: five restaurants, lots of drinks, and everything from andouillette with whole grain mustard at Maison Blanche (maisonblanchebkk.com) to the nose-to-tail burger at Vesper (vesperbar.co). AFTER DARK By the river, I like Jazz Happens (jazzhappens.org), on Phra Athit. At Maggie Choo's (320 Silom Rd.), we started a highbrow gay cabaret Sunday—something Bangkok hasn't seen before. PACKING TIP Guys, yes, it's hot here, but bring a pair of linen trousers. You can't get into nice clubs in shorts. BOUTIQUE HOTEL Cabochon (cabochonhotel.com) has Shanghainese sofas and an old-Orient feel.
2. THE POP STAR
Born and raised in Bangkok
MY FRIDAY NIGHT I usually grab a cocktail on the two-story porch at Oskar (oskar-bistro.com), a lounge overlooking busy Sukhumvit Soi 11. WEEKEND GETAWAY Koh Samet, a 21/2-hour drive and quick speedboat ride away. It is like a second home for a lot of people here. I stay at Paradee (samedresorts.com), for its peaceful beach with beautiful villas and complete privacy. IN-TOWN GUILTY PLEASURES I admit I like the touristy area around Khao San Road! The fun restaurant My Darling (Soi Rambuttri) is great for people-watching. To evade the heat and chill out, I stop by the bar at Buddy Hotel (buddylodge.com) for a Guinness. QUINTESSENTIAL BANGKOK SHOP One of the first Thai brands to hit it big was Greyhound (greyhound.co.th), known for its chic, simple designs and high quality. I love the caf.—the spicy salmon and fruity yogurt shake are delicious.
Lychee Breeze at Oskar Bistro.
3. The Curator
Artistic director at the Toot Yung Art Center
Moved to Bangkok in 2006
UNDERRATED The amazing paintings and bronze Buddha statue at Wat Suthat in the Old City, a lesser-known temple that is just as beautiful as the eternally crowded Wat Pho. CULTURE PICK The RMA Institute (rmainstitute.net) has well- curated exhibitions and serves a nice brunch in the garden. Its Gastro 1/6 café does a perfect poached egg with asparagus and truffle oil. WEEKEND GETAWAY I usually go to Muak Lek, in the Saraburi province, to visit friends and vineyards like GranMonte Asoke Valley (granmonte.com), run by a young female winemaker. THE NEW CHINATOWN Several friends have opened studios and galleries on Soi Nana, off Charoen Krung, including illustrators Marc Stuart and Nicolas Dali of KÜOZ (kuoz.co); Victor Hierro's El Chiringuito (+66 8 6340 4791) tapas bar and showplace; and Cho Why (17 Soi Nana) exhibition space owned by an artist collective.
The vineyards at GranMonte Asoke Valley.