With first class air links from every corner of the globe, travellers flock to Bangkok to bask in the sun and marvel at the grandeur of an ancient culture.
Away from the crowds, we’ve tailored a luxurious itinerary for you to take in Bangkok’s world-famous wonders and secret hidden gems. From delicate lotus root dishes served at one of Asia’s top restaurants – to a breathtaking island trip aboard Prince Rainier’s yacht, we discovered an elegant Bangkok, replete with the finer things in life, designed just for you.
Day 1: Get to know Bangkok
The perfect way to ease into your trip and get your bearings in Bangkok without having to brave the crowd is to book a private luxury boat cruise along Chao Phraya, the river that runs through the heart of the city. Engage a local guide to take you through the history of Bangkok as you cross it, and don’t miss the stop at the floating market of Taling Chan.
To set the culinary tone for your trip from day one and acclimatise your taste buds book a table at Taling Pling (+66 02 585 3089) at Sukhumvit 34, crowned as one of the best in the city by Thai Tatler. A true Bangkok original, the restaurant is intriguingly built right on top of the childhood home of the owners. Make sure you try the house signature dish of lotus stem and mae glong mackerel in coconut soup.
If you have your heart set on a suit or new dress from one of Bangkok’s world-famous tailors, it’s a good idea to go for a fitting early in your trip. That way you’ll leave ample time for delivery and alterations. Perry’s on Silom Rd (+66 02 233 9236) comes highly recommended, and photos of The Duke of Edinburgh and Robin Williams sporting their finest suits hang from the walls. If you are looking for a hassle-free experience book Club InterContinental at InterContinental Bangkok, where they can make arrangements for a tailor to visit the hotel – one of the many exclusive benefits and personalised services on offer if you are a Club InterContinental guest.
Day 2: Live like a king
Construction on the unparalleled Grand Palace began with the founding of Bangkok in 1782, and each subsequent monarch has added their own enhancements and personal touches within the vast outer walls. Highlights include the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, a royal chapel where centuries of kings have bowed in prayer to a famous statue of the deity carved from imperial jade. Meanwhile the on-site palace museum is home to a priceless royal collection of ancient artefacts and cultural treasures.
The temple of Wat Trimit to the South East of the palace is home to the biggest golden Buddha statue in the world. The mysterious icon towering over worshipers is of unknown origin but was likely constructed in the 13th or 14th Century. At 3m tall the statue is a staggering 5500kg of pure gold, though for centuries it was covered in plaster to stay hidden in plain sight and trick would-be thieves. It wasn’t until somebody tried to move the Buddha in the 1950s that the ropes snapped and he tumbled head first down to the ground. The plaster cracked and the true golden identity shone through the cracks.
If you’re feeling blinded by the ancient wonders and need time to reflect, give your eyes a rest and head for a truly unique meal at Dine In The Dark, 250 Sukhumvut Rd (+66 02 649 8358). Existing at the intersection of restaurant and sensory experiment, the restaurant’s team of visually impaired waiters lead you by the hand into a pitch-black room. Unable to see any of the dishes being served in front of you, you’ll have to rely on finding your plate and cutlery by touch. The restaurant serves up a delightful 4-course modern Asian fusion menu and every smell and taste is heightened by your lack of sight. For every diner, the restaurant makes a donation to the Foundation for the Blind in Thailand.
Emerging from the dark your eyes will adjust to the setting Bangkok sun. Make the most of it with a martini and an outdoor table at the cutting-edge Vesper Cocktail Bar (+66 2 235 2777) at 10/15 Convent Road. Mention your plans to the Club InterContinental, who have a dedicated team to suggest bars that match your individual taste and call ahead to arrange you a VIP booth.
Day 3: Hit the beach
Mid trip it’s a good idea to get away from the bustling city crowds and plan a trip out to the beach. Head further out to the National Park of Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet 200km South East of Bangkok. The serene T-shaped island of Ko Samet is 13km2 of protected tropical jungle and white sand stores surrounded by tropical reefs and clear sea.
To get you there, Prestige Car Rental Bangkok (+66 02 207 2303) can either send a town car and driver or hire out a range of luxury vehicles. Everything from BMW sedans to a Lamborghini or Ferrari is available to rent on a daily basis. If you want to be mobile throughout your trip, arrange in advance to have a car waiting for you at the airport or your hotel.
Once you reach the open shore, arrange for Pattaya Boat Charters (+66 08 7645 7771) to have a yacht waiting. Their fleet includes a ‘Hunter 31’ mono hull sailing yacht and a ‘Sayer 14’ 46ft racer, both available for private bareboat charter or with a captain provided.
If you plan on visiting islands further out we recommend hiring the motor yacht Mabilia, which was previously owned by Crown Prince Rainer of Monaco and moored in Cannes.
After you’ve built up an appetite out on the waves, retire to celebrity chef Theo Randall’s famous namesake Theo Mio restaurant at InterContinental Bangkok. Here you’ll experience exquisite Italian fusion dishes such as Arancini di tartufo, delicate rice balls laced with truffles. Seafood lovers will rejoice at the rich Taglierini al Granchio, which pairs local soft shell crab with anchovies on a bed of fine pasta.
Day 4: Bangkok’s booming contemporary art scene
The Museum of Contemporary Art (+66 02 953 1005) at 3 Vibhavadi Rangsit is a five-storey gallery displaying 800 of Thailand’s most striking and experimental paintings and sculptures. All modern day National Artist award recipients are on show here and conceive of the gallery as a place where they are free to explore difficult themes such as the interplay of religion, politics, corruption, and the loss of traditional values in modern life.
If you’re in the mood to pick up a brush yourself, public art involvement concept Paintbar (+66 081 612 6105) at 46 Sukhumvit Soi 49 mixes cocktails with a step-by-step painting class. It’s a very fun and unintimidating way to get into the art scene and a canvas by your own hand is a superb souvenir to take home with you from Bangkok.
For a change of scene after a day of art head to a traditional Muay Thai boxing match at the Ratchadamnoen (+66 02 281 4205). Located in Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok’s most famous stadium has matches every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30pm to 11pm, and on Sunday afternoons starts up at 3pm.
Day 5. Relax and Unwind
On your last day, make sure you leave fully relaxed by booking yourself a visit to the Asia Herb Association (+66 2 617 4013) on Sukhumvit Soi 24, described as a sanctuary of wellness at the heart of Bangkok. Local Sodashi therapies are designed to improve your wellbeing inside and out, regenerating the skin at the same time as refreshing the spirit and focussing the mind.
It’s often said that the best traditional food in Bangkok is to be found in the tiniest of restaurants. We recommend Baan Khanitha on 67 Sathorn Rd (+66 02 258 4181) for a romantic meal including such local dishes as Miang Kham coconut prawns and famous Massaman chicken curry. All of the fruit and vegetables served are sourced fresh from the restaurant’s own Baan Palanai Organic Farm.
For a more futuristic dining experience, head to late night hotspot Chi Ultralounge on Sukhumvit Soi 13. Just look out for the giant silver spaceship! Incorporating Bangkok’s famous Bed Supperclub concept, a private meal is served in sleek white bed pods. After dinner head down to the dragon shaped lounge below where 3D projections form images on the walls framing a giant Buddha.
For a nightcap worthy of your last night in Bangkok, head to Face Bar (+66 02 713 6048) on 38 Sukhumvit Rd. The signature Jing Jing cocktail is a complex concoction built on sweet Thai basil and passion a fruit, and is the perfect tipple to toast your 5 days in Bangkok luxury.
For a trip to Bangkok that redefines luxury, you can trust the Club InterContinental team at InterContinental Bangkok to provide a unique experience attuned to your personal interests and preferences. Whether your first love is fine dining, art, sailing, boxing, or flying, a dedicated Club InterContinental team will be on hand to ensure you have a memorable stay. In addition to personalised service and attention, you will also enjoy a number of benefits, including Club InterContinental rooms with stunning views of the city, complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea delights and sophisticated cocktails in the evening at the exclusive Club InterContinental lounge. See you in Bangkok!