Jun 02 2012
Bangkok is a land for love both pure and strange. If you’re on your way down south to dip your toes in the sand with your fiancée, or up north to hike through the mountains with your backpacking beau, don’t let the quirky and frenetic pace of the capital deter you from stopping by. Bangkok may not be synonymous with blissful romance, but its atmosphere of possibility – eating barbecued prawns at 2:00 am on a corner in Chinatown, seeing a blockbuster hit in four dimensions at Terminal 21 – can make anyone feel like they are capable of great things. Navigating the city as honeymooners may make you test the limits of your compatibility, so here are a few ideas for honeymooners on where to stay, what to eat and what to do, to ensure your love will flow like the Chao Phraya River.
For a high-end stay, Sofitel So Bangkok in Sathorn is your standard high-end luxury hotel with a touch of quirk. Centrally located and near public transportation, the hotel overlooks Lumpini Park; for a sensual experience for the tastebuds, Sofitel So features a Chocolab, a dreamy boutique specialising in soft folds of gourmet chocolate.
For a taste of the romance of old Shanghai, stay in Shanghai Mansion, a boutique hotel with easy access to all of the main tourist sights. Built in 1892, the rooms are artfully appointed, seamlessly blending Shanghai elegance with Thai warmth. The jazz bar, Cotton, is a perfect evening haven for wine and intimate tête-à-têtes with your amour.
If staying in the vibrant Sukhumvit area, head to Davinci Suites, a small European-style boutique hotel with only 15 rooms. The rooms are nothing to write home about, but the atmosphere is quaint and quiet for the locale.
Bangkok’s closest option to a romantic sea or pristine lake is the murky Chao Phraya River. Though the experience may pale in comparison to a villa in Venice, the hotels directly on the river offer stunning views at night and an easy commute to Wat Arun or The Grand Palace. Mandarin Oriental lives up to its outstanding legacy as, one of the best hotels in Bangkok — if not the best. But if you spent most of your savings on the wedding, Navalai River Resort is a boutique hotel with equally as stunning views at a fraction of the price, with a tranquil ambiance and impressive facilities.
It’s important on your honeymoon to remember to eat, and in a city like Bangkok, no meal should ever be missed. Though street food is my first recommendation for newbies in Bangkok, honeymooners may want to alternate between street dining on plastic chairs and more romantic atmospheres.
Start your day off with a lazy Bangkok brunch; VIU at St. Regis serves a New York-style Sunday buffet, complete with oysters on the half shell and unlimited mimosas. If you still have room, move on to Agalico Gardens and Tea Room, an all-white tea room only open on the weekend. This frequent haunt for hi-so Thais looks like the inside of Martha Stewart’s brain, with chic furniture, doilies galore, and private outdoor gazebos to reserve for you and your loved one.
In the Mood for Love Sushi Bar and Bistro is an uncomfortable name for two people on a first date, but perfect for those who have already exchanged nuptials. The sushi, on taste alone, comes in second place after ISAO, but the stylish decor and mood-lighting create an ambiance begging for honeymooners to come inside. To keep with the theme, order the Sweet 16, their signature strawberry maki which oozes with pink love. Bo.lan, a high-end Thai restaurant with a strong philosophy dedicated to using fresh, local ingredients, defies the Bangkok standard that the more you pay for Thai food, the worse your food tastes. Bo.lan features a five-course set meal that changes with the whims of the chef, and just might be the best meal you will have in Thailand.
The mystique of Bangkok heightens by night; watch the glittering skyline from a rooftop bar or party until night turns to day. Both Nest and Vertigo and Moon Bar flaunt panoramic views of Bangkok for the taking, with prices as steep as the setting. Nest has personal cushioned cocoons for ultimate privacy while you take in the cityscape. Leave your honeymoon bed to go to Bed Supperclub, a futuristic nightclub.
Just basking in each other’s glow might be enough, but if you want to keep busy while in the city, plenty of activities await. While visiting the famous Wat Pho on your temple circuit, stay a while for a massage at their on-site school, the oldest in Bangkok. While Wat Pho doesn’t offer a special couples’ massage package, per se, you can still request to be within inches of each other.
While visiting the sites, opt for your own private boat rather than the Chao Phraya Express Boat – once you get over the initially unromantic task of trying to negotiate a price – the experience of being on your own love boat might be worth the extra hassle and price. Ask your boatman, whom you can pick out at the Saphan Taksin Pier, to take you to Bang Kra Jao, where you can do a bicycle tour of the lush jungle, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For a cool-down experience in your other half’s arms, reserve the loveseat at any of Bangkok’s movie cinemas, known for their comfortable seating and arctic air-conditioning. Explore the depths of your new husband or wife’s fine-motor skills at the privately owned Thai Art and Culture Centre, which offers classes in the art of fruit and vegetable carving, soap carving or Thai traditional dance. If you’re not feeling crafty, visit their Thai Costume Photo Studio, for souvenir shots of you both in traditional Thai garb.
Sofitel So Bangkok
2 North Sathon Road
T: (02) 624 0000
Shanghai Mansion Bangkok Hotel
479-481 Yaowaraj Road
T: (02) 221 2121
Davinci Suites and Le Spa
3/8 Sukhumvit 31 (Sawasdee)
T: (02) 260 3939
BTS: Phrom Pong
48 Oriental Avenue, Charoenkrung Soi 40
T: (02) 659 9000
BTS: Saphan Taksin
Navalai River Resort
45/1-2 Phra Athit Road
T: (02) 280 9955
Vertigo Grille and Moon Bar at Banyan Tree
21/100 South Sathorn Road, Sathorn
T: (02) 679 1200
Vertigo open daily 18:00-23:00, Moon Bar 17:00-1:00
33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11
T: (02) 305 4000
Open daily 18:00-3:00
26 Sukhumvit Soi 11
T: (02) 651 3537
Open daily 19:30–3:00
St Regis Bangkok, 12th floor
159 Rajadamri Road
Sunday buffet: 12:00-16:00
T: (02) 207 7819
Agalico Gardens and Tea Room
20 Boonchiradorn Building, Sukhumvit Lane 51
Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10:00-18:00
T: (02) 662 5857 ext 111
BTS: Thonglor, exit 1
In the Mood for Love
9/9 Sukhumvit Soi 36
T: (02) 661 5076
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 17:00-12:30; Saturday and Sunday 11:00-14:00
42 Soi Pichai Ronnarong, Songkram Sukhumvit 26
T: (02) 260 2962
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 18:00-late
BTS: Phrom Pong
Thai Art and Culture Center (ITDA)
3rd Floor, Times Square Building
246 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 12
T: (02) 229 5533
Open daily 09:00-21:00, but call ahead to book a class
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