Here is some trivia for you.
Which city in the world hosts the most overnight visitors in a single year?
Nope, not London… not New York…not Paris either… It’s actually Bangkok. That’s right, according to the MasterCard global destinations cities index, Bangkok hosted 21.47 million overnight visitors in the last year (followed by London with 19.88 mil).
Prior to this trip, my only other South East Asian experience was Kuta in Bali during ‘Schoolies’ week – now that was an experience. Having only heard second hand stories about lady boys, ping pong shows and cheap street food that will probably give you debilitating gastro, I had a few reservations about visiting Thailand. Even so, I was willing to give it a go.
Needless to say, it blew my expectations out of the water and I’ll definitely be back. The streets were surprisingly clean. The people, excluding the odd taxi driver, were kind and didn’t hassle or interrupt us. There is an extremely diverse food scene that will appease your culinary delights. Not to mention, they have pretty fast Wi-Fi. It totally makes sense as to why this city is so visited.
When I travel I like to eat my way around so, I have complied a short list of some of my favourite BKK eats.
// Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin – Located in the grand Siam Kempinski Hotel, the foyer alone will make your eyes pop. The tasting menu will take you to the moon and back with rich Thai flavours you wont ever experience at your local Thai restaurant.
// Whales Belly – When it comes to awards, Chef Mai Apirawit has enough to fill the Kerrigan family’s pool room twice over. Their seafood is delicious, their service is very attentive and if you pre book and put down a deposit they will give you free wine. #winning
// Little Bao – Do you have a local watering hole where you meet up with friends to eat and drink yourselves into the weekend? Well, I guarantee that the 72 Courtyard dining and drinking complex will make you feel right at home. Grab at seat at ‘Little Bao’ and indulge yourself in their Asian influenced American comfort food.
// La Table de Tee – This tiny, questionably decorated restaurant located in a back alley may have you think twice about hanging around but, the food will make you stay and keep you wanting more. For such low prices, I don’t know how they produce such an incredible feast. They also have 80’s power ballads pumping in the background with a bit of Sam Smith mixed in.
// Brekkie – If you’re feeling home sick, go to ‘Brekkie’. Here, you can order an Acai bowl with a window view that kinda looks like a normal inner city suburb (minus the tangled power lines).
// Viva 8 – At some point you will probably visit the Chatuchuk market and after spending a few hours walking around looking at the miscellaneous goods, you’ll become hungry and thirsty. There are a few places to eat, however there is only one place that has a fat, dancing Spaniard whipping up a seafood Paella big enough to feed a footy team.
// The Commons – This new complex is what I would call a permanent food truck alley. Loaded with incredible coffee, pastries, Thai, burgers, and many other amazing eats, you will definitely find something you like here. On the top level is a café called ‘Roast’ and they do a delicious brunch style menu with a farm to table model, giving more profit back to the Thai farmers.
// Octave rooftop lounge and Bar – For drinks with 360deg views of Bangkok, this place will change your inner being.
// Street Food – So many people rolled their eyes at me when I told them I ate Thai street food because, they either got sick or know someone who did. Anyway, I followed these 3 rules and I was fine.
- Look for the vendors who are busy with locals – If no one is eating there, there is probably a good reason.
- Watch the vendor’s food handling practices. A good vendor will have someone on service and someone on food. You don’t want someone handling your money and your raw meat.
- See where they store the food – many vendors keep their meat in an esky… but some don’t. We all know what happens when you leave the chicken on the bench for too long.
If you have any feedback or questions feel free to leave a comment or message me directly in the ‘contact me’ link.
Thanks for reading.