Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Bangkok
By Jason Szep
BANGKOK (Reuters Life!) - With its gilded temples, tuk-tuk taxis, spicy cuisine and racy nightlife, Bangkok is full of contradictions, congestion and centuries-old exotic allure.
Here are some suggestions from Reuters correspondents with local knowledge to help you make the most of a 48-hour visit:
6:00 p.m. - First, get the big picture. Head to Sathorn for a sundowner at Banyan Tree Hotel's Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar (www.banyantree.com).
Perched on the 61st floor, the open-air roof-top bar is not for the those inclined to dizziness, offering a spectacular panoramic view of Bangkok. Get there early to secure a table at the edge. Its chic lounge is popular with the cocktail crowd, drawing the rich and the beautiful. Strictly no shorts or flip-flops. Opening hours: 5 p.m. - 1 a.m. (weather permitting)
8:00 p.m. - Fuel up with a traditional Thai dinner at Ruen Mallika, a converted 19th-century teak home with a mammoth menu specializing in dishes for royal families. (www.ruenmallika.com) Sit on the floor upstairs slung around low tables and enjoy delicacies like deep-fried flowers and chicken wrapped in banana leaves. Bring a map to find this spot in an obscure corner of the Asoke neighborhood off busy Sukhumvit Road. 10:00 p.m. - Stroll down Sukhumvit, elbowing your way through teeming sidewalk markets selling knock-offs of just about everything, and then cool off with a drink in the Bed Supper Club (www.bedsupperclub.com), a futuristic white oval pod with a bar and lounge area with beds suspended from walls. Those looking to dance into the night can venture into "Q Bar," known for its good local and international DJs (www.qbarbangkok.com/).
8:00 a.m. - If you're awake, start the morning off in style with a leisurely breakfast on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The Mandarin Oriental's Riverside Terrace's all-you-can eat morning buffet is an institution. (www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok/) Continued...