Bangkok, Thailand
Coco, 32
Travel blogger & food critic
see her Bangkok city guide

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café cocktail bars steakhouse spas fine dining asian food japanese food

What are the Bangkok spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Rod Fai Train Night Market, visiting China Town by boat, Wat Pho pagoda, rooftop bar hopping, Onsen & spa retreat in Japanese style.

Do’s and don’ts in Bangkok: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

Do: Do Smile. It's the country of smiles. The more you smile and say "Koopkhun ka" (means "thank you" in Thai), the more people will be friendly and helpful to you. Don't: Don't touch people's heads, ruffle their hair or enter the house with shoes on. The head is considered the most sacred part of human body, hence touching people's head and hair means creating embarrassment for them as it suggests that they are lower than you.

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm running my own fashion business in collaboration with local designers' brands. In my free time, I'm a travel and lifestyle content creator and blogger. I quit my corporate job to follow my dream of discovering the world by travelling and running a business on my own. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take, right?

How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?

Around 50 US$ for a not too fancy night out, including dinner with street foods or at a local restaurant, then some drinks at a bar.

Which Bangkok shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

Platinum Shopping Mall is my to-go when I need something new to wear. It's not expensive but the design and quality are good for the prices. For something more fancy, I would visit Siam Center and Siam Squares with small little alleys filled up with local fashion shops, electrical and hi-tech stores, spas and cafes.

Your all-time favorite musicians:

Fryderyk Chopin & Sergei Rachmaninoff. I love playing piano, especially his masterpieces such as valse and listening to Rachmaninoff's concertos for piano.

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

For the daytime, I would recommend having lunch and spending the afternoon in the Siam area. There are all kinds of restaurants, shopping spots, local eateries and hipster coffeeshops. For night time, definitely visit China Town. You will be amazed with the vibrancy of another side of Bangkok, from delicious street food lined up on both sides of Yaowarat Road to small alleys with hidden no-name bars. Or you can hop into 342 Bar.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Thonglor's never dead! What could be more lively than having a Japanese teppanyaki (this area is famous for the Japanese community) and having drinks at the almost-impossible-to-find-a-seat-at Iron Fairies bar where one of the best live bands play every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.

What’s the one place in Bangkok you think is underrated?

Suan Phlu. Green, leafy and blessed with street food, coffee bars and cocktail lounges, it's one of the city's most livable streets. It's also the residential area long loved by the French expats, close enough to the BTS to be convenient and far enough to stay away from touristic fuss.

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

A dinner at Gaggan, one of the world's top 50 restaurants, then drinks at Moon Bar rooftop at Banyaan Tree Hotel.

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Bangkok?

Foodland! The 24-hour Foodland grocery stores, with locations around the city, also feature coffee shops inside that are classic late-night eating spots in Bangkok. Get your salty morning glory fix or order up a super cake and coffee to treat your late-night sugar demon. The prices are low, the service is sweet, and you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time.

It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?

Take a 45 min onsen (Japanese bath) with your choice of mineral water then be pampered with aroma oil or a Thai massage. Kaishikiri Onsen & Spa at Sukhumvit 49 feature private or couple bathrooms while Yunomori Onsen will delight you with different types of mini-pools in public bathrooms if you are not shy.

Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?

Above 11 Rooftop Bar & Bistro for a Japanese-Peruvian dinner then some rum cocktails at the hidden Latino bar next door La Habana Social Club.

Your go-to brunch spots:

D'ARK at Emquartier. I love the bustling ambience and their Spanish eggs in the pan with amazing cold-brew coffee. Not to mention their to-die-for chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream.

Your perfect night out in Bangkok includes:

Happy hour drink during sunset at Park Society at Sofitel So Bangkok Hotel, then dinner at my favorite restaurant Bunker in Sathorn, then enjoying live music with some drinks at Iron Faires.

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Mike Towers