24 hours in Bangkok
Do you ever wonder if it’s worth taking the stopover option on a long haul flight? After my recent experience in Bangkok, I would definitely say yes. If you want to arrive at your destination feeling good, 24 hours in this crazy city can work wonders.
Here are my tips for the ultimate 24 hours in Bangkok:
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport
Airport hotels are usually the most ‘meh’ of the lot but the Suvarnabhumi Novotel is surprisingly stylish. I was trapped there for two days when my flight was cancelled a couple of years ago and I can honestly say that despite my growing aggravation with Etihad (‘Come back tomorrow’, wait around, and repeat), I grudgingly enjoyed my stay. The rooftop pool is a thing of beauty, there’s a good day spa and the buffet rivals some of the best, in both price and range. I went back there last week for lunch and yep, the buffet is still cracking.
Central shopping precinct
Provided you’re not built like Hodor from Game of Thrones, you should be able to find something that fits in this three-part shopping temple. Made up of a regular shopping centre (Central Market), a David Jones-esque department store (Central Chidlom) and a high-end luxury centre (Central Embassy), there are plenty of ways to foolishly spend money. If you’re hungry, there are fancy food courts galore, as well as medi-spas if you want to get a bit of non-invasive work done. All three centres are linked together by raised walkways so if you find one, you can easily find the others.
RarinJinda Wellness Spa
One of the things that Thailand does brilliantly is day spas and yet the range on offer in Bangkok can be baffling. After all, you don’t want to wind up with the wrong kind of happy ending or, alternatively, paying a fortune because you were too scared to leave your hotel. Make your life easy and head straight to RarinJinda Wellness Spa located on the 30th floor of the Grande Centre Point Hotel in Ploenchit, conveniently located right next to the Central shopping precinct. The range of treatments is extensive and grouped into multi-hour themed packages (ie.Trekker Rejuvenation, Vitality of Life, Elements of Life, etc) or you can select the treatments you want from their super long list. As it’s well-staffed and oft-reviewed on TripAdvisor, you can generally get in on the spur of the moment, the prices are very reasonable for the quality (I paid AUD$87 for a two hour Thai massage that was killer in both pain levels and expertise), and they give you dessert at the end – bonus!
Issaya Siamese Club
If you like heritage Asian architecture, exquisite Thai food and bonkers desserts, this restaurant is definitely worth checking out. According to the restaurant’s website, founder and chef Pongtawat ‘Ian’ Chalermkittichai ‘came from humble roots pushing a food cart through his Bangkok neighborhood as a child. Fate guided him to a culinary school scholarship, a French fine-dining apprenticeship in Sydney’s legendary Claude’s’. The proof is on the plate at this restaurant. It’s worth making the effort to find it (it’s kind of hidden away) because this is a classic Bangkok institution that is elegant, authentic and not as expensive as you might fear.