Shopping, spa visits and simply delicious food
One of the perks of living in Hong Kong is the accessibility to some of Asia’s most exciting cities. Just a two-hour flight away, Bangkok offers cultural sights a plenty, mouthwatering food (pad thai all day, every day please) and unbeatable shop-portunities. Ideal for a weekend break, the Thai capital was number one on the list when I was looking for a quick, convenient girls’ getaway.
Where To Stay
There’s a vast array of high-end hotels, hostels and everything in between in Bangkok, suitable for any budget. However, as there’s no beach to enjoy, a hotel with a pool was definitely a priority for me (who doesn’t want some lazy time in the sun, sipping on a coconut?!).
Located in the business district, COMO Metropolitan offers a sleek, sophisticated environment and a sense of calm amidst the chaos of the city. Although slightly pricier, the spacious pool, spa facilities, delicious breakfast and comfortable rooms made this perfect spot for a short stay.
As with all COMO hotels, the service was impeccable and the staff were all incredibly friendly and helpful. We stayed in a Metropolitan twin room, which was spacious and had everything we needed. However, if you’re planning a trip with a big group of girlfriends and really want to splash out, I’d recommend the enormous Penthouse Suite; this luxurious duplex is truly a home away from home!
What To Do
You won’t run out of things to discover down the endless winding streets of buzzy Bangkok. Every street corner will fascinate all the senses, and there are some stunning sights to see if you’ve never visited the city before: The Grand Palace (go early!), The Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), The Emerald Buddha, Jim Thompson House… the list of beautiful temples and shrines goes on. You won’t be shy of things to see!
If you’ve been to Bangkok a few times before (like I have), then take advantage of the cheap-as-chips massages that can be found on almost any street. To save time on our two-day trip, we were invited to try a Thai massage at the COMO Shambala Urban Escape Spa on-site. The soothing, signature ‘Invigorate‘ scent wafted throughout the spa, and our therapists managed to expertly balance a sense of relaxation with the firm, yoga-like movements of the Thai massage. After the massage, we were able to enjoy the jacuzzi pool and steam room (I feel relaxed just remembering it!) and we left feeling like we were walking on air…
Bangkok is a shopping paradise and Chatuchak Market is an intensified microcosm of this sprawling shopping haven. This giant market has everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you could imagine. If you’re planning a weekend trip, it’s an absolute must.
We decided to hit up Chatuchak and make a head start on Christmas shopping, focusing on Section 6 (full of vintage clothes) and Section 22 – 26 (homeware).
From tie-dye tees, cowboy boots, vintage shirts and suede moccasins, to Thai ceramics, spices, plants, artwork and much much more, there’s a plethora of goodies on offer. We happily browsed the stalls despite the heat (just make sure you have lots of water to stay hydrated), stopping off for some pad thai and beer at lunch.
Pro tip: Beat the heat and grab one of the delectable coconut ice-creams from one of the stalls on the main street… it’ll give you an extra energy booth for shopping, round two!
What to Eat
Food is one of the main reasons why I love Thailand so much; that unmistakable blend of sweet, spicy, salty and sour is totally addictive. After munching on street food bites at Chatuchak and indulging in the delicate pastries and healthy options at the COMO Metropolitan breakfast, we were keen to go somewhere exciting and trendy for Thai food.
Luckily, we were invited to try Issaya Siamese Club and Namsaah Bottling Trust, both of which turned out to be just that. After opening in Hong Kong, I couldn’t wait to try the original Issaya Siamese Club, set in a 100 year old Thai house and one of ‘Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016’. The setting is beautiful, with stunning gardens, brightly coloured walls and quirky yet elegant vintage furnishings.
To put it simply, the food and service was outstanding. The lovely manager made us feel so welcome, and everything from the Banana Flower Salad starter and Truffle Rice, to the melt-in-your-mouth Osso Bucco Curry and the whimsical petit fours was delicious.
The same can be said for Namsaah Bottling Trust, which is similar set in a bright pink old Thai house. With a dark, more mysterious bar downstairs, Namsaah is slightly more casual that Issaya, focusing on fabulous ‘classic hipster cocktails’ with an Asian twist. We tried the Salmon Tartare Tacos, Popcorn Shrimp, an amazing Chinese-style Orange Chicken, Seafood Nasi Goreng, Red Beef Curry and a sweet Banana Nutella Pancake and Lime Cheesecake. Just what we needed after a long day at Chatuchak!
Although you can find mouthwatering food all over Bangkok and for all prices, I would definitely take the time to visit one of these establishments for a truly unique dining experience. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’re looking for an easy girls’ getaway for the weekend, Bangkok is a fail-safe option. Fit in a day by the pool and at the spa, some delicious meals out, a cocktail or two and an awesome shopping trip for a guaranteed fun trip with your besties.
COMO Metropolitan Bangkok, 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand, www.comohotels.com/metropolitanbangkok
Chatuchak Market, 587/10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Issaya Siamese Club, 4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Road, Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand, www.issaya.com
Namsaah Bottling Trust, 401 Silom Soi 7, Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, Thailand, www.namsaah.com