Bangkok: A Creative’s Guide
Bangkok: A Creative’s Guide
Design Anthology’s series of travel guides give you an insider’s look at some of our favourite destinations. Our first? The creative's guide to Bangkok,
From the editor
As a team of creatives at heart, we want to see and experience how local creatives live. We are habitual note-takers, map- markers and tip-takers (and now givers)
Why a city guide? ‘And why Bangkok?’ you might ask.The Design Anthology editorial team is a group of frequent, curious and passionate travellers. When we’re away from our Hong Kong home, we love to visit new places and old favourites, from the obvious to those off the beaten track — and more importantly, we seek out local recommendations that may not make it into other guide books. As a team of creatives at heart, we want to see and experience how local creatives live. We’re habitual note-takers, map-markers, tip-takers and, now officially, tip-givers.
An obvious place for us to start a series of guidebooks would have been Hong Kong. But, put off (albeit temporarily) by how quickly our home city changes, we deferred to another regional favourite. Bangkok also seemed an obvious choice given its popularity as a tourist destination, and given that we’d begun our research when compiling our Thailand edition (DA14) in 2017. After countless trips back and forth between home base and Bangkok for DA14, we had compiled an enviable map that was shared among friends both Thai and foreign so frequently that we concluded it would be much easier to just give them a guide book. Little did we realise that the Thai capital is as energetic, fast-paced and ever- changing as Hong Kong! So here it finally is; we were somewhat delayed but certainly not deterred.
We’ve done our best to make sure this guidebook is as current as possible, without skewing it towards only the newest places. It was also important for us to distinguish it from other Bangkok guides on the market. You’ll notice it’s geared more towards a young, mobile and creative audience. Co-working spaces and places to keep fit feature alongside the latest bars, restaurants and hotels. And as much as we love Bangkok, we also recognise that many people travel through the capital en route to another destination, so we’ve highlighted side trips to Phuket and Chiang Mai, each with its own tips and spots. And, because what we really love about most of the cities we visit is the people, there are several profiles and essays interspersed throughout this guidebook; we hope they give you a sense of the characters who colour Bangkok.
We’ve also included a special section for you to add your own notes, and blank pages for sketches. Ultimately, we hope that this book becomes a souvenir in and of itself, a memento of a trip (or maybe many) and an item to keep and treasure, even after some locations have closed or moved on.
Editor-in-Chief, Design Anthology
An introduction to Bangkok, its rich history, culture and modern quirks, plus our tips on getting through the airport, hopping on a Skytrain or in the back of a taxi, typical Thai weather and when to visit
Where to Stay
Start by choosing a room to bed down in during your stay in Bangkok with our round-up of thefinest hotels, inns and guesthouses, all includingthat magic element of tremendous Thai hospitality
While the eastern side of the river is very much the epitome of a modern Asian metropolis, Thon Buri offers tantalising glimpses of the water-bound charmer that Bangkok once was
Rattanakosin, Dusit & Little India
Pomp and circumstance dominate the old royal city, but nearby areas offer a pleasing spectrum of character from leafy European- inspired Dusit District to louche Bang Lamphu
Chinatown, Yaowarat & Talat Noi
Delving deep into the melee of the old town affords the opportunity to savour its heady atmosphereand to experience the fresh spin being put onone of the city’s most charismatic enclaves
Silom & Sathon
These twin hoods have evolved to offer one of the most rounded lifestyle packages in Thailand’s capital — outward-looking and sophisticated, but with enough quirk to keep things from getting dull
Lower Sukhumvit’s northerly counterpart includes long-established hubs for hip dining, shopping and drinking, but a host of new ventures make the lesser-explored areas well worth a visit
Traditional Thai culture is not really a thing in this part of the city, which is resolutely ‘new Bangkok’. However, for entertainment and creature comforts there are few better places to be
Siam is ‘new Bangkok’ writ large. The nominal centre of the modern metropolis is an anarchic hodgepodge entirely in keeping with the upliftingly erratic character of Thailand’s capital
Chatuchak & Ari
Spend the day trawling through Chatuchak’s heaving namesake weekend market, then head to leafy Ari and replenish your energy at the neighbourhood’s cool restaurants amd bars
Chiang Mai is calmer, slower and cooler than Bangkok, and its vast concentration of studios and galleries are evidence of its status as the country’s creative capital
Phuket is in many ways the archetypal tropical haven, but scratch the surface and there’s much more to Thailand’s largest island than pretty beaches lined with sunseekers