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Bangkok, a city guide to my favourite places

The grand palace Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world. Sizzling streetfood on every corner, cool cocktails bars tucked away down quiet roads, serene temples, dazzling skyscrapers and hidden heritage houses that are right in the city centre.

Street scenes from China Town in Bangkok
Street scenes from China Town in Bangkok

Chinatown bursts to life at night as street vendors line the neon-lit roads and cook up a storm for hungry diners. Drunken rice was one of my favourite dishes; beautifully fluffy egg fried rice, prawns, squid, pork, holy basil, chilli and fish sauce. Literally banging. I did a fantastic tour with Expique who took me to the best off-the-beaten-track stalls.

If like me you’re always on the lookout for authentic, knock your socks off tasty food, then I can’t recommend lunch at Soei enough. This unassuming restaurant moved from a railway track cafe to a new home in Ari, north Bangkok. The food is central Thai and incredible. I ate beef with holy basil and chilli, spicy tom yum goong, fried fish heads (bit weird, but try), incredible raw shrimp with lime and chilli and stir-fried morning glory. The menu is all in Thai but they do have a handy photo album to help you decipher the different dishes.

thai street food
thai street food

The laid back vibes of Talat Noi are just enchanting. This old neighbourhood was established 200 years ago by Chinese Merchants and is still a hotbed of industry and incredible Chinese food. I loved the walking tour with Backyard Travel, they unlocked the neighbourhood for me.

Street Scenes in Talat Noi Bangkok
Street Scenes in Talat Noi Bangkok
Street Scenes in Talat Noi Bangkok
Street Scenes in Talat Noi Bangkok

Forget seedy ping pong bars and crappy backpacker joints, head to Nana Road where you will find slick bars with killer cocktails and all the cool kids – be warned there are two Nana Roads in Bangkok; one in Chinatown, which is the one you want, and one in the red light district. Avoid! I loved Tep and Teens of Thailand.

bangkok street food
Showing 4 comments
  • Martin
    Reply

    Beautifully written and photographed!

    • John Gregory-Smith
      Reply

      Thanks so much – i have just added in more details. have you been to bangkok?

  • Ben
    Reply

    Great article John. It makes me want to book a flight there immediately.

    • John Gregory-Smith
      Reply

      Thanks Ben – hope i am seeing you soon. been an age

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