Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Bangkok] Day 2

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Day 2 in Bangkok, woke up early for coffee and breakfast at Rocket Coffeebar (address at the bottom of this post). This popular cafe now has three branches in Bangkok, and I went to the original one on Sathorn Soi 12 as it is conveniently located at a 10-minute walking distance from where I was staying. Time-pressed, I simply ordered an ice latte with cinnamon bun, though friends have told me that the egg dishes here are real hits.

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I’m not really big on visiting tourist attractions, but I figured I shouldn’t leave Bangkok without taking a look at the Grand Palace. This complex was the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) from 1782 to 1925, and though the present monarch currently resides at Chitralada Palace, the Grand Palace is still used for official events. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand, so expect huge crowds even early in the morning. Still, it’s worth the visit.

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Adjacent to the Grande Palace is Wat Pho, also known as Temple of the Reclining Buddha. If you, like me, only want to visit one or two temples while in Bangkok, Wat Pho is a good choice as it’s just a short walk from the Grand Palace. The most distinctive feature of this temple is of course the reclining Buddha, which is 15 meters high and 43 meters long. This temple is also home to one of the earliest Thai massage schools, and I ended up getting an hour and a half of foot and Thai massage here – a perfect way to recharge after long walks in the sun.

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Late lunch at Sara-Jane’s, recommended by a local friend. This place has been around for almost 30 years,  and is popular with locals and visitors alike. Recommended dishes include spicy papaya salad, grilled chicken and/or grilled pork neck with sticky rice, as well as northern Thai sausages. If only I had more room…

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After lunch, we hopped over to Mandarin Oriental, whose original structure was the first hotel built in Thailand when it opened as The Oriental in 1879. It has accommodated a string of celebrity visitors such as Joseph Conrad, Tennessee Williams, Neil Armstrong, George H. Bush, Jacques Chirac, Sean Connery, Mel Gibson, Audrey Hepburn, Henry Kissinger, David Beckham, Richard Nixon, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson…etc., etc., etc. That aside, its lobby is magnificent with huge window and gorgeous floral arrangements. I’m a fan.

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We then hopped on a little boat and crossed the river to The Peninsula, which is also quite nice, but less memorable than Mandarin Oriental in terms of design.

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We then crossed over back to the other side of the river, this time via taxi, and stopped at the riverfront for a late afternoon stroll. A group of local women (and one man) was doing aerobics to upbeat music, a sight that reminded me of the dancing in random parks of Shanghai.

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No smoking and no alcohol. Alas, I cannot do my favorite activity in Paris – drinking by the river – here in Bangkok.

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Then, my friend led me through this garage…

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…and arrived at Sheepshank, a stylish restaurant bar renovated from an abandoned boat shed. The design is modern and industrial, with lofted ceilings and large windows that look out onto the river. Friend said the food here is just alright, so we went for the drinks only. I tried the Aviation, made from Botanist gin, Maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice, while he went for a glass of white, and there’s also a selection of craft beers. Now this is a place that I definitely wouldn’t have ventured in if not led by someone in the know.

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Rocket Coffeebar

Add: 147, Sathorn Soi 12, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500
Tel: 02 635 0404

The Grand Palace

Add: Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200
Tel: 02 623 5500

Wat Pho

Add: 2 Sanamchai Road, Bangkok 10200
Tel: 02 226 0335

Sara-Jane’s

Add: 55/21 Narathiwat Road, Bangkok 10120
Tel: 02 676 3338

Mandarin Oriental

Add: 48 Oriental Ave, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500
Tel: 02 659 9000

The Peninsula

Add: 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok 10600
Tel: +66 2 861 2888

Sheepshank

Add: 47 Phra Arthit Road, Bangkok 10300
Tel: 02 629 5165

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Written by sugarednspiced

March 16th, 2015 at 8:08 am