Bangkok is a true bounty of spectacle amid the hustle and bustle. The perfect city destination for anyone seeking a mix of ancient history fused with contemporary modern-city living. Follow this two-day itinerary for our pick of what to do and how to do it.
Check in and check out the ultra-cool Kempinski Hotel (www.kempinski.com). Choose a room or a spacious suite in this five-star hotel, and take the chance to unwind in the on-site spa before you get set to shop.
With your hotel perfectly located in Siam – the centre of Bangkok – take an evening stroll and enjoy a welcome drink or snack at one of nearby shopping malls. Central World (www.centralworld.co.th) and Siam Paragon (www.siamparagon.co.th) are two of the biggest and the best. They also stay open late and there’s usually some live music or stage show to watch when you’re not inside the glittering shops.
Savour a filling hotel breakfast and your next stop is Bangkok’s premier tourist attraction. The Grand Palace/Wat Pho temple is unmissable. Remember to check up on the dress code before you turn up.
Next, head west to the historic river bank and take a table in the sumptuous setting of the Mandarin Oriental (www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok). Their famous afternoon-tea – though not cheap – will make you feel like you have arrived in style.
Request one of the staff book you a riverboat and for just a few carefully bargained Baht, take a riverboat tour around the backwaters. Time it with sunset and you’ll have a guaranteed happy ending to your day.
Eating out in Bangkok is a pleasure, with so much to chose from. Mix the business of eating with pleasure at Bed Supper Club (www.bedsupperclub.com). Serving a consistently good set menu, followed by the chance to dance your Saturday night away as the venue doubles as one of the city’s top nightclubs.
One of the more curious attractions in Bangkok is the museum of Jim Thompson (www.jimthompsonhouse.com). Take the guided tour of the silk king’s teak house and treat yourself to one of his many distinctive silk garments.
As the day heat builds, grab a revitalizing lunch at the highly recommended Red Sky restaurant (www.centarahotelsresorts.com) and enjoy some spectacular rooftop dining.
Then, take a tuk-tuk west through the busy traffic to Chinatown. It’s like a mini metropolis: fun to explore and brimming with all sorts of wares and exotica.
After all this sightseeing and partying, its time to drop into one of the many spa and beauty joints to recover some of your zest. Perhaps the city’s most luxurious is I.Sawan (www.isawan.hyatt.com), a Thai-Zen garden complex for all over body repair.
Refreshed? Feeling pampered? We hope so! Because your Bangkok swansong is taking in one of the excellent cabaret shows in town. Mix with locals and tourists as you enjoy or endure a distinctive, high-tempo mix of Thai entertainment. Try the Mambo (www.mambocabaret.com) or Calypso (www.calypsocabaret.com) shows for two of the best.
As the curtain falls on your show and your two days in Bangkok nears, we hope you’ll leave suitably happy after experiencing a glimpse of the Land of Smiles.
See which cheap airlines fly from the UK to Bangkok.