Following on from our first Own Your City article, which featured influencer Adam Chase in Toronto, we now bring you something entirely different. At 8,465 miles, Bangkok is quite literally on the other side of the world to Toronto. And with that comes a bunch of cutural shifts - nightlife, cuisine, sightseeing, local etiquette.
A popular farflung holiday and honeymoon destination, to understand Bangkok we thought it was worth catching up with Richard Peterson, Goodwin Smith’s Bangkok-based ambassador.
Must-see places in Bangkok
Sitting by the Damnoen Saduak floating market (we cover what this is later), and rocking a pair of our popular Milton loafers, Richie skyped GSHQ. It was lunchtime in the office, which converted to 7pm in Bangkok. Looking at the fresh fruits and meats on offer behind him, we’d have swapped our Boots meal deals in a heartbeat. But unfortunately Skype doesn’t allow this feature yet.
Anyway, we started by asking him advice on the best places to visit if you’re spending some time in the Thailand capital. Here’s what he said…
“One of the most breathtaking places you’ll see over here is in the Old City. The Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew. It’s been here for around 230 years and is has quite the presence. It’s imposing stature has made a fitting home for Thai Kings and the Royal Court. Put simply, the Grand Palace to Bangkok is what the Sagrada Familia is to Barcelona. Iconic.”
The Wat Arun buddhist temple in Bangkok is a photographer's dream.
“Next up on your list should be the Wat Arun - also known as The Temple of Dawn. Another piece of fine architecture, this oozes grandeur and just being near it will give you goosebumps. Call me nerdy, but it’s architecture like this that really gives destinations their vibe isn’t it?”
Sure is Richie, as we all nodded in agreement. But we were hungry to learn more about the food over there (epic pun right). So we asked about the market behind him.
The best food in Bangkok
“Bangkok’s floating markets offer an authentic experience despite its increasingly touristy atmosphere. It’s basically a load of wooden row boats floating by, each filled with farm-fresh fruits, vegetables or flowers. Some savvy food vendors have cauldrons and charcoal grills so they can whip up a bowl of ‘boat noodle’ or seafood skewers. I definitely advise visiting this place for a unique dining experience.”
The floating markets around Bangkok offer a unique and authentic food experience.
“Other hotspots for great food include China Town (Yaowarat) and Khao San road in the Old City. The range of street food here is incredible, all authentic and fresh. My tip is to just follow you nose, whatever smells good to you will taste even better. It’s a backpacker’s dream.”
“If gourmet dining is more your thing, then I’d say check out La Table de Tee in Silom. The restaurant is small with a casual atmosphere but the food is incredible, both in its presentation and taste. Each evening, the chef has a set menu where you can choose between two starters, two main dishes, and two desserts. The food fuses the best of Thai and Western influences. Highly recommend.”
Khao San Road is often referred to as 'the centre of the backpacker's universe'.
The final word
As locals scurried by in the background, we asked him what final bits of advice he’d give to anyone looking to visit the place.
“Seriously, add it to your bucket list. I’m sure everyone will say this about their city, but I can’t recommend Bangkok enough. It’s a melting pot of authentic culture, great people and fantastic history. Whether marvelling at the temples, or meandering through the backstreets, you’ll constantly discover something new in this place. It’s a hive of activity, with a real buzz and zest for life. By night it’s spectacular too, with street signs illuminating the streets. They say New York is the city that never sleeps, well neither does Bangkok.”
Quite the review from Mr. Peterson there. Keep your eyes open for the third installment of Own Your City, which is coming to The Weekly Buck very soon. Is there a destination you’d like us to feature? Then let us know and we will put our ear to the ground and see if any of our global ambassadors are based there. Until next time!