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HOT SPOT: BANGKOK


THIS VIBRANT CAPITAL BLENDS MODERN LIFE WITH HISTORY AND THAI CULTURE


B THAILAND 18 HOTELS NEW OPENINGS GET INVOLVED


• Visit Thailand’s important Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) at the Grand Palace


• See the reclining Buddha and get a cheap massage from trainees at Wat Po


• Check out Royal City Avenue (RCA) or Sukhumvit’s clubs and bars


• Dine in top restaurants like Dusit Thani’s French D’Sens and The Metropolitan Bangkok’s Nahm. Experience the stunning panoramas offered in the roof top restaurants of Sirocco at Lebua and Vertigo at Banyan Tree


• Explore Tah Prachan’s Buddhist amulet market near Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)


Centara Watergate Pavilion Hotel Bangkok This four-star hotel opened in 2013 above a mall and 32 of its 281 rooms are family-friendly. An Airport Express stop is five minutes away. The 20th floor Chili Hip restaurant has great views (pictured centre right). centarahotelsresorts.com/cwb


Centra Central Station Close to Hua Lamphong rail terminus and Chinatown, this hotel has 150-rooms, a spa, meeting facilities, Chinese restaurant and all-day café. centarahotelsresorts.com


Hua Chang Heritage Hotel Vintage Thai/European style meets contemporary décor in purples and blues at this 80-room property with pool, near Siam Square’s malls. Butler service and limousine transfers are available. huachangheritagehotel.com


dusitD2


Thailand’s third design-led dusitD2 opens late 2014, two hours from the capital in Khao Yai. Just 13km from UNESCO- listed Khao Yai National Park, the property will boast a winery and grill restaurant as well as a hot spring spa and library. dusit.com/dusit-d2.html


HOTELS UPGRADED Furama Silom


Bangkok’s gained another venue for rooftop cocktails with Furama’s 20th floor Sky Bar, beside an outdoor pool. The 251-room hotel is near Chong Nonsi SkyTrain stop. furama.com


Amari Watergate Bangkok The hotel saw a second wave of refurbishment, with its gym, ballroom and deluxe rooms enhanced in 2013. The property has an impressive seven dining venues and the luxury Breeze spa. amari.com/watergate


POINTS OF VIEW Head to the rooftop bars and restaurants for a neon vista of the city. Bangkok’s traditional temples, rice barges and commuting monks can be seen when taking to the river


angkok’s glittering palaces and temples can be explored in a day, leaving more energy for shopping sprees and nights spent at an eclectic mix of cutting-edge clubs, ladyboy cabarets, swanky rooftop cocktail bars and blues pubs.


The shopping alone prompts some travellers to book a stopover in Bangkok. Air-conditioned malls are clustered around Siam Square, while hardy


hagglers head for the vast Chatuchak Weekend Market, browsing handicrafts, homewares and just about everything else you could imagine. New riverside night market Asiatique has around 1,000 boutiques, restaurants and bars.


Bangkok’s continual development keeps hotel prices keen and the choice is great. For a resort feel book a riverside hotel with gardens, while there are plenty of boutique boltholes and Sukhumvit Road is handy for shops and entertainment. Getting around this sprawling city is half the fun. Savvy visitors fly over the traffic on the SkyTrain (BTS), or beneath it on the MRT. Or travel by boat along the Chao Phraya river for a different perspective. Bangkok is a beguiling mix of contemporary and traditional architecture. For the latter, schedule a visit to the beautiful teak Jim Thompson house, former home of the American silk trader and museum.


Bangkok


combines well with... Pattaya or Hua Hin by road,


or anywhere in the country by air


BANGKOK


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