Boasting a rich cultural tapestry and an impressive culinary landscape, Bangkok is a city that never ceases to amaze. As an explorer at heart, dig deeper into the city’s thriving art scene, indulge in craft cocktails, and discover local secrets that only natives know. Embark on this unique tour, uncovering the less-traveled path in Bangkok.
Artistic Bangkok: The Flourishing Art Scene
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)
Start your artistic journey at the BACC, a contemporary arts hub showcasing Thai and international artworks. Its changing exhibitions, art workshops, and performance art shows make it a cultural powerhouse.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
This museum houses an extensive collection of modern paintings and sculptures, giving insight into Thailand’s recent history and cultural identity. The works of Thawan Duchanee, a renowned Thai artist, are a must-see.
Chinatown’s Street Art
For a more urban art experience, head to Chinatown. Here, you will find street walls transformed into a canvas, showcasing impressive murals that reflect the area’s vibrant culture and history.
Bangkok’s Craft Cocktails: The Elevated Bar Scene
Sala Rim Naam at the Mandarin Oriental
For a classic cocktail experience with a twist, Sala Rim Naam offers a unique pairing of traditional Thai dance performances and finely crafted drinks. Their ‘Tom Yum’ cocktail, inspired by the iconic Thai soup, is an adventurous choice.
Hidden in plain sight, Rabbit Hole is a sleek, three-story bar known for its creative cocktails. Its drink menu, categorized by taste (sweet, dry, strong, etc.), offers a unique approach to selecting your libation.
This colorful, tropical-themed bar is a paradise for rum lovers. Tropic City boasts a selection of craft cocktails highlighting local and tropical ingredients.
Local Secrets: Bangkok’s Hidden Treasures
Rod Fai Train Market
While most tourists flock to Chatuchak, locals prefer the eclectic Rod Fai Train Market. Here, you can find vintage collectibles, local designer clothes, and delicious street food.
Bang Krachao: The Green Lung
Escape the city hustle by visiting Bang Krachao, a preserved area known as Bangkok’s Green Lung. Rent a bike and explore its lush park, local temples, and the floating market.
Talad Noi Community
Tucked away in the bustling Chinatown, the Talad Noi community offers a step back in time. Explore its winding alleys, adorned with street art and filled with decades-old automotive shops, and enjoy the riverside view.
Culinary Adventures: Where Locals Dine
Jae Koy Som Tum
For an authentic Thai meal, head to Jae Koy Som Tum in Victory Monument area. Known for their delicious som tum (papaya salad) and grilled chicken, it’s a local favorite.
On Lok Yun
This 80-year-old establishment serves up traditional Thai breakfast. Try their kaya (coconut jam) toast and soft-boiled eggs for a true local breakfast experience.
Tucked away in an alley near Ratchathewi BTS station, P’Aor serves one of Bangkok’s best Tom Yum Goong. Their creamy, flavorful broth and generous servings of prawns make it a must-try.
Unwinding in Bangkok: Local Wellness Retreats
Health Land Spa & Massage
Bangkok is known for its massages, and a visit to Health Land offers an authentic Thai massage experience. Offering a variety of wellness treatments in a serene setting, it’s a local go-to for relaxation.
Yunomori Onsen & Spa
For a Japanese-inspired spa day, visit Yunomori Onsen. It’s the first authentic Japanese onsen (hot spring) in Thailand, blending the traditional Japanese bathing culture with Thai spa therapies.
Nightlife Beyond the Red Lights: Locals’ Favorite Spots
WTF Bar & Gallery
This art gallery and bar in one offers a different kind of nightlife experience. Enjoy curated art exhibits on the ground floor, then head upstairs for delicious cocktails.
Experience a Thai cultural night at Tep Bar where you can enjoy locally distilled spirits, traditional live music, and even occasional Thai puppet shows.
Shop Like a Local: Bangkok’s Less Known Markets
Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market
To see a vibrant part of local life, visit Bangkok’s biggest flower market. Open 24 hours, this market is most lively just before dawn.
Khlong Toei Market
As the largest fresh market in Bangkok, Khlong Toei offers a raw glimpse into daily Thai life. Here, you can find a variety of local products, from fresh produce to clothing.
Offbeat Museums: Beyond Traditional Art
Museum of Counterfeit Goods
This lesser-known museum displays an array of seized counterfeit products, raising awareness about intellectual property infringement.
Siriraj Medical Museum
Often called the ‘Museum of Death’, this institution offers a unique exploration of medical history, including forensic pathology and parasitology sections.
Venturing beyond Bangkok’s typical tourist sites allows you to truly understand the city’s vibrant spirit. As you immerse yourself in the local art scene, savor innovative cocktails, shop in bustling markets, and unwind in wellness retreats, you become less of an outsider and more a part of the city’s captivating fabric. These local insights transform your Bangkok journey from a simple visit to an unforgettable narrative of exploration and discovery. So here’s to the road less traveled, the true heartbeat of Bangkok.