Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bangkok Favorites

I'm getting ready to go to Bangkok and just had an e-mail from a friend who is also Thai bound. So, I'm reminding myself of the wonderful aspects and locations of Bangkok I must revisit:

Four Seasons Hotel: This is an absolute oasis set in the middle of hazy, hot Bangkok. Walking in the front doors just takes a huge burden off of me and I am still in awe of the night I spent there, when they updated me to a deluxe executive suite!

Weekend Market: I love its kitsch, its crowds, its randomness and its bargains! Can't wait to hit it again for goodness knows what.

Nancy Chandler Maps: And or course if I'm going to hit the weekend market, I'll have my Nancy Chandler map in hand. It's like a secret source code to the stalls of the weekend market.

Rasi Sayam: I love this store located at 32 Sukhumvit Soi 23 -- it's a treasure trove of Thai products from throughout the country. I've shipped things back from here unscathed....and the staff is wonderful.

Jim Thompson House: Another oasis of tranquility. Must go there for lunch and tea.

River boats: One of my fondest memories of Bangkok is renting a long boat (and driver of course) and cruising the canals around dinner time. People bath, brush their teeth, fish and LIVE on these canals and it's a fascinating insight to life in the Venice of the East.

Tailors: I was referred to Queen Thai silk at 199 Sukhumvit Road (in the Ruamchitt Plaza) by some previous Embassy employees last time I was in Bangkok. I had a beautiful suit made and a great skirt...time to go back. They will even come to your hotel for final alterations.

Amantee House of Oriental and Tibetan Antiques and Art: Probably saved the best for last; one of my favorite Thai memories is having an exquisitely prepared simple lunch with the owner at this architectural wonder after salivating over antique benches, scrolls and wedding beds. From the moment you walk through the wooden gate, you know you are in a special place. Did I mention the owner grew up in Chechnya...and married a man with Thai connections?

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