Ready to (re)explore Bangkok, but prefer secret spots known only by locals to well-travelled attractions? We’ve rounded up some lesser-known hidden gems in the city for you to check out including a deviously hidden bar, a taxidermy museum housed in an airplane and a breezy rooftop craft beer spot.
1. Shop at a unique market centred around a decommissioned passenger jet
The decommissioned airplane sits as the centrepiece at Chang Chui Creative Park. Here you’ll find a variety of businesses, including restaurants, bars and designer shops, along with a cinema and theatre for performances. A taxidermy museum is what’s housed in the old Lockheed TriStar jet. The buildings in this unusual mall/market are made from upcycled corrugated iron, and old windows and doors.
460/8 Sirindhorn Road
2. Tuck into rustic wood-fire cooking at Quince
Quince, a down-to-earth eatery in a restored 1950s home, serves up delicious contemporary dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Look out for the slow-cooked organic pork belly. Locals flock here for the lazy weekend a la carte brunch, which has become a much-loved institution.
14/2 Soi Somkid Lumphini
3. Get a taste of Bangkok’s Chinatown in the ’70s
Ba Hao is an atmospheric Chinatown bar that looks like a scene straight out of a Wong Kar-wai movie. This secret spot in Bangkok leans fully into its theme – think all red mood lighting, bright neon signage, and Sino-inspired decor. The cocktail menu offers a superb selection of Chinese-accented cocktails, with an excellent menu of classic snacks like jian bing (savoury wheat crepes).
8 Pom Prap, Pom Prap Sattru Phai
4. Grab coffee and take in art at this secret café in Ekkamai
Bangkok is not short on great cafés, but Ink & Lion – hidden at the end of a nondescript lane in Ekkamai – has a unique charm. Maybe it’s the whitewashed brick walls and the changing art exhibitions they play host to, perhaps it’s the Melbourne-esque chilled vibes, but mostly, it’s the amazing coffee.
7 Ekkamai 2 Alley, Phra Khanong Nuea, Watthana
5. Discover a dining destination in Thonglor
With Bangkok already saturated with malls featuring ubiquitous shops, The Commons broke all the rules when it opened its Thonglor venue, with its indoor-outdoor atmosphere, multi-layered spaces where free music performances are held, and emphasis on community. Locals can’t get enough of the eateries and shopping – not to mention the markets and fairs regularly held here. It now has another outlet in Saladaeng.
335 Akkhara Phatsadu Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea
6. Can you find the most hidden bar in Bangkok?
There’s no shortage of upscale speakeasies and cocktail bars in Bangkok, but Find The Locker Room is unique in just how difficult it is to locate – even for locals! Up for a challenge? This secret spot in Bangkok is ostensibly located at 406 Sukhumvit Soi 55 in Thonglor, but instead of a shopfront, you’ll have to navigate a narrow dark corridor till you see a locker room. The wall of lockers at the far end will slide open to reveal another room where a second locker door will lead to the bar proper. Once seated at the cosy, intimate space, you’ll be treated to a selection of novel cocktails including the F8. The striking drink is inspired by the Magic 8 Ball toy and even features an ice cube embedded with the message “OUTLOOK GOOD”.
406 Thong Lo Road, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana
7. Stroll through a welcome stretch of green in the city
Until recently, this roughly 2ha wooded park – just west of Suvarnabhumi airport – was a dumping ground. Remarkably, Metro Forest has been transformed into a natural habitat and wetland, which can be traversed by elevated walkways, and features informational exhibits on green living.
81 Sukhaphiban 2 Road
8. Take in the view at this secret craft beer rooftop bar
The Thai capital is not short on rooftop bars – some even featured in movies – in hotels around town. However, residents know that the best deals, and views, can be found along Sukhumvit Road; don’t miss Brewski, a secret craft beer pub on the 30th floor of Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok Hotel.
489 Sukhumvit Road, Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok
– TEXT BY SIMON OSTHEIMER
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.