‘David Beckham Temple’
You’d be forgiven for considering that Bangkok shrines all look alike after you’ve visited your fifth one. Nevertheless, you’ll be hard-pressed to seek out something like Wat Pariwat, a temple complicated within the metropolis’s south-eastern nook. At first sight, it might appear to be your typical run-of-the-mill wat – however look nearer and also you’ll uncover ornate depictions of emoji pandas, Surprise Girl, Pikachu, Disney figures and an angelic bare-chested Obama (to call just a few) all mixing in with the normal intricate mosaics overlaying the partitions and ceiling. It’s a visible feast and value spending a while at as you hunt for popular culture references, together with David Beckham, after whom it’s nicknamed.• 734 Rama III
Road meals central

Satay hen stall on Phraeng Bhuthorn Highway
Within the thick of Rattanakosin, considered one of Bangkok’s oldest districts, the realm round Phraeng Bhuthorn Highway is house to among the metropolis’s most legendary avenue meals establishments. In the event you’re an adventurous eater, begin at Samong Moo Thai Tham, well-known for its bowls of pork broth loaded with crispy fish pores and skin, innards and melt-in-the-mouth … pig mind. Just a few doorways down, a meal at Udom Pochana requires much less braveness. The celebs on the menu of this decades-old restaurant are creamy Chinese language-style curry, made with stewed beef and served over rice, and contemporary spring rolls drizzled with spicy gravy and flecked with succulent crab meat. Quiet down with a bowl of corn-topped coconut ice-cream at Nuttaporn, arguably one of the best place on the town for this basic Thai dessert.
Classic design studio

Papaya Studio

There are few higher locations to rummage by way of classic items than Papaya Studio, a furnishings depot within the far-flung Lat Phrao suburb. You title it, they in all probability have it – in a number of sizes and styles: lifelike Star Wars figures, pompous rococo mirrors, chinoiserie vases, basic Eames chairs – organised by period and performance in one of many many warehouses or mock dwelling rooms. The gathering is introduced collectively by Mr Tong, a long-time vintage vendor and revered determine within the metropolis’s design scene. Whereas all gadgets are technically on the market, the hefty value tags discourage potential patrons; as an alternative, they’re usually rented out for movies or picture shoots. Admission is free however these toting skilled digicam tools are requested to make a small donation.• 306/1 Soi Lat Phrao 55, papaya55.com
Fab 40s restaurant

Muslim Restaurant
Stepping inside Muslim Restaurant looks like stepping again in time. The inside of this Islamic-Thai eatery within the multicultural Bang Rak district hasn’t modified a bit because it opened within the 1940s. With its wood cubicles, sky-blue partitions and light household portraits, it’s as charming as it’s photogenic. Individuals don’t simply come right here for the outdated world ambiance, although – the meals is incredible. My private favourites embody roti mataba, a flaky pocket of beef and spices; and sup dangle wua, spicy oxtail soup with a pleasant tang to it. Drop by on a Monday or Friday for his or her signature khao mok phae, a aromatic mutton biryani with falling-off-the-bone goat meat hidden beneath a pile of brilliant yellow rice. Better of all, a full meal with a number of curries, snacks, and drinks will solely set you again a few kilos. • 1354-56 Charoen Krung Rd
Bangkok’s inexperienced lung

Ban Krachao island
A brief rickety boat experience from Bangkok’s enterprise district, Ban Krachao – also called “the inexperienced lung” – is a welcome respite from the busy streets. This small peninsula in a horseshoe bend of the Chao Phraya river is house to a patchwork of banana plantations, dense jungle, and small villages. Solely the occasional sight of the town’s skyline shimmering by way of the dense foliage reminds you that you just’re nonetheless in the midst of considered one of Asia’s most sprawling metropolises. It’s finest found by bicycle (accessible on the arrival jetty, £2.30 for a full day or £1.20 an hour), which lets you pedal the stilted pathways meandering by way of mangrove forests and native backyards. Whereas merely getting misplaced right here is an journey in itself, it’s price plotting the Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and the Bang Namphueng floating market in your map.
Distinctive Chinese language mansion

Sol Heng Tai Mansion
Hidden in a maze of alleyways in Talad Noi (a employees’ district bordering Chinatown), stately Sol Heng Tai Mansion is likely one of the final remaining conventional Chinese language homes within the metropolis. Constructed by a notable Hokkien household some 200 years in the past, the construction consists of 4 wings surrounding a courtyard, all in conventional Hokkien model. Handed down by way of eight generations, it nonetheless features as a household residence. The present residents function a diving faculty (together with a four-metre deep pool) and a beagle breeding kennel on the premises. Components of the home have seen higher days. (Sadly, its homeowners don’t obtain monetary assist from the federal government to assist restore it – the town is notoriously detached about preserving heritage buildings). Guests are inspired to order one thing from the makeshift espresso store as a method of contributing. • 282 Soi Wanit 2, Khwaeng Talat Noi
A style of the north

Khao soi
In a district dominated by glitzy eating places and mall meals courts, Gedhawa stands out for its quirky decor and unfussy ambiance. In a quiet alley off Sukhumvit Highway (the realm’s major thoroughfare), this small eatery is filled with northern Thai prayer flags, Lanna-style wooden carvings, and retro knick knacks in opposition to a backdrop of stunning pink partitions. The handwritten menu focuses totally on northern Thai fare – a rarity in Bangkok – such because the basic khao soi (curry noodle soup) and the nam prik num, a northern Thai chilli dip served with boiled greens. Regardless of its “hidden gem” look, it’s in style with the realm’s giant Japanese neighborhood, so name forward (+66 2 662 0501) to safe a desk.• 24 Sukhumvit Soi 35
Traditional neighbourhood cafe

Kope Hya Tai Kee

Current years have seen hipster cafes pop up like mushrooms in Bangkok. And whereas exposed-brick partitions, naked mild bulbs and letter-board menus are all the trend, few cafes can drum as much as the ambiance that Kope Hya Tai Kee, opened in 1953, exudes. There’s no hipster-chic right here; as an alternative, the place is suffering from marble-top tables, old-school tea bins and black-and-white photographs of the unique homeowners. It’s normally filled with uncles chatting the day away in Teochew dialect. They’re pleasant, and also you’re greater than welcome to hitch them over a cup of kafe boran, a sturdy brew served with beneficiant helpings of sugar and sweetened milk. Easy “American model” breakfasts are served right here, too. Attempt the signature kai kata, with fried eggs, candy Chinese language sausage, floor pork and peas alongside a slice of buttered toast.• Wisut Kasat Junction, restaurant-27062.enterprise.website
Riverside consuming den

Jack’s Bar
A ramshackle consuming den within the shadow of the Shangri-La Resort, Jack’s Bar is a favorite with native cooks, in-the-know vacationers and expats. And for good purpose: the mixture of prime river views, low cost drinks and an unpretentious ambiance is tough to beat. Perched on a stilted platform over the water, it’s an ideal spot to observe the river with a chilly beer (drink it the Thai method, poured over ice, as there isn’t any air-conditioning to chill you down). And are available hungry when you’re a fan of no-frills, genuine Thai meals. The seafood-centric menu covers the standard classics and harder-to-find southern dishes that pack a spicy punch. Chef’s suggestions are the stir-fried stink beans with shrimp, and the khua kling, a peppery dry curry with minced pork and lemongrass.• On the river between Shangri-La and The Peninsula Pier, jackandxbar.blogspot.com
Previous-style B&B

Baan Pra Nond
This pastel colonial villa within the Surasak district was as soon as surrounded by fruit orchards and canals. Quick-forward 70 years and it’s now sandwiched between buzzing expressways – however hasn’t misplaced a pinch of attraction. It now homes Baan Pra Nond, a homey B&B operated by the granddaughter of the villa’s unique proprietor (whose portrait is the centrepiece of the lounge). It’s a far cry from the luxurious digs across the nook, however what it misses in facilities, it makes up with heaps of old-world attraction and genuinely pleasant service.• Doubles from £35 B&B, 18/1 Charoen Rat Highway, baanpranond.com
Greatest time to goBangkok is busy year-round however particularly so at Songran (Thai New 12 months), in mid-April. January and February are good instances to go to, when the solar shines however the hottest climate hasn’t but set in. September and October are the rainiest months.
Chris Schalkx is a author, photographer and Bangkok resident who scours the town for his journey weblog Rice/Potato