Bangkok, Thailand
Rainer, 38
Entrepreneur
see her Bangkok city guide

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cocktail bars food markets hidden bars rooftop bar night markets thai food clothing

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

Frankly there are just too many places that deserve to be mentioned. The bar & restaurant scene is changing especially quickly, so I recommend you have a look at my spots as I keep the list always up-to-date. However, if you are looking for something specific, shoot me a message and I will help you out.

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

Do's: learn a few basic words in Thai, the locals will answer your efforts with a big smile; try authentic local food at places tourists usually would not go (you can find some great spots in my list). Don'ts: do not argue with locals over (small) money, e.g. taxi or tuk-tuk drivers; never enter a taxi without making sure beforehand that the driver will turn the meter on (do not raise your voice but stay calm in case you get into an argument). Heated discussions even about small things can turn into something serious very quickly, so stay out of trouble :)

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

On an average night out I can spend as little as 1,000 Thai Baht or as much as 10,000 Thai Baht. Bangkok is a city of contrasts; you can have great food and drinks and an awesome party for small money, but in the "wrong" places you can easily spend a month's salary in a single night. Generally speaking, on an average night out you will be fine with 2,000 - 3,000 Thai Baht.

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

If you plan to spend a full day in one of the many shopping malls in Bangkok, I would definitely visit MBK, Terminal 21 and Central World. MBK is the place to go if you are looking for cheap souvenirs, electronic items and fake clothes and brands. Terminal 21 and Central World are two of the biggest and most popular malls in the city where you can find just about anything and easily spend an entire day. If you would rather spend your day shopping outside, visit Pratunam Market (open every day) for wholesale and bulk shopping and Chatuchak Weekend Market. (Saturdays and Sundays)

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

During the daytime I would definitely recommend visiting Chinatown and the area around the Grand Palace with its many temples. Or you can go down to the Chao Praya river and take a river cruise. If you are in need of some fresh air, you should definitely visit Lumpini Park (if you have little time) and Bang Kachao (if you have more time). For the night-time, I would definitely recommend visiting Khaosan Road for a more casual and budget-oriented night out, or the neighborhood around Thonglor with its rather upscale, modern bar and restaurant scene.

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

Bangkok has a few areas I would not recommend that the average tourist visit. One of those areas is called Patpong, a very quiet area during daytime, which turns into a market and red-light district at night. The Patpong night market is purely set up to "attract" tourists with all kinds of overpriced souvenirs and things you don't really need. The night market is nestled inside one of the older red-light districts with many bars and table dance clubs. There are always stories about rip-offs and as a casual traveler you don't want to have this kind of experience.

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

The Deck Restaurant and Bar by the river during sunset.

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Bangkok?

To the closest 7/11 store.

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

Vertigo bar and restaurant on top of the Banyan Tree hotel.

Your go-to brunch spots:

I personally like the Sunday brunch in the Red Oven restaurant at So Sofitel. There are countless spots in Bangkok where you can have a great brunch - I recommend downloading the "Eatigo" app, which is for restaurant recommendations and bookings.

Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:

One of the many food stalls on the streets.

photos by

Mike Towers