Header image: cocktails at Namsaah Bottling Trust and the overhead walkway
In the fourth and final installment of our Eat Thailand series exploring the local gastronomy, Sofie Lisby gives us her 24-hour guide to Bangkok.
If you thought Bangkok was just about floating markets and street food, think again. The city has something to offer everyone, whether it's fresh food shopping at a local market or exploring the city's burgeoning art scene. Join us for a 24-hour whirlwind tour of Thailand's ever-evolving capital.
07:00 Lumpini Park
Start the morning like the locals do with a walk in Lumpini Park. Located in the middle of the central business district, the park fills up at dusk and dawn with Bangkokians enjoying a stroll, practicing yoga or reading a book. Don't be surprised by the odd turtle or monitor lizard.
09:00 Silom Road
Refuel with the juice from a young coconut or some freshly cut mango from one of the many vendors on Silom Road. Street vendors set up stalls early in the morning selling a plethora of food and drink to the many office workers in the area who buy their breakfast and lunches to take away.
11:00 Or Tor Kor Market
Sample the riches of Or Tor Kor, a high-quality fresh market in the north of the city. Known for its top-notch produce, the market sells everything from fresh seafood to fruit, vegetables, meat, spices and herbs. There are also several vendors selling readymade food to enjoy on the spot or to take home.
13:00 Somtum Der
Feel the burn of authentic northeastern Thai food at Somtum Der, which serves Isan dishes such as unripe papaya salad with raw crab and fermented shrimp paste. If that sounds a bit too exotic, go for the grilled catfish salad or the grilled pork neck with spicy dipping sauce.
14:00 Elevated walkway
See a different side of Bangkok from the elevated walkway running parallel to Sukhumvit Road on the south side. The walkway starts just off Lumpini Park and ends close to Asok intersection, treating pedestrians to a look into the small communities living along the walkway.
15:30 HOF Art Space
Get inspired by the exhibitions at HOF Art Space, a contemporary art gallery, which is part of a fast-growing art community around W District. Showcasing the works of established and up-and-coming artists, HOF Art Space is a great place to explore what goes on just under the surface of Bangkok's burgeoning art scene.
17:00 Wat Mangkon Kamalawat
Learn about Bangkok's Chinese influence at Wat Mangkon Kamalawat in the middle of Chinatown. The temple is the largest Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok and is a centre for local celebrations such as Chinese New Year and the vegetarian festival taking place every year around October.
One of the most historic and dynamic places in Bangkok, this city-within-a-city never sleeps. Buy roasted chestnuts, local and imported fruits, tea, crockery, clothes, fabric and everything in between. In the evening, popular seafood restaurants set up along the main artery, Yaowarat Road.
20:00 Namsaah Bottling Trust
Wrap your head around the curious name Namsaah Bottling Trust while you enjoy colourful cocktails and creative takes on Thai food. Tucked away behind Silom Road, the restaurant and bar is set in a bright pink building and decorated with Chinese antiques and old Thai erotic posters. Don't miss the salmon tartare wonton tacos or the lemongrass- and grapefruit-infused gin and tonic.
23:00 Tep Bar
Continue the night at Tep Bar in up-and-coming Charoenkrung, where nibbles and Thai-inspired drinks are accompanied by live traditional music in intimate surroundings. This is also the place to try ya dong, a traditional Thai herb-infused whisky, which is either served straight or used in cocktails.
02:00 Pochana 55
Call it a night with an early (or late) meal at Pochana 55, a popular late-night eatery selling no-frills Thai-Chinese food such as fried duck topped with crispy holy fried basil or baked vermicelli with prawns. Pochana 55 won't win any awards for design or service but the food makes for a great finish to 24 hours in Bangkok.