A Local’s Guide To Bangkok, Thailand

Visit Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market, one of Thailand’s less commercialised weekend markets. Take a ferry across the river for interesting sights such as the Thai Fighting Fish Gallery, Sri Nakhorn Khuen Khan Park, Mon Village, Suan Pa Lampoo (Tree Forest) and many local temples. Alternatively, if you have time to spare, visit Ladmayom Floating Market. A 40-minute drive away, you can find all kinds of tropical fruits such as chompoo (Thai rose apple) and sapodillas (chikoo) here. Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for something different, have a go at Khlong Toei Market, the largest fresh market in Bangkok. Not only will you find fresh produce here, but there is also a plethora of street food stalls, printing shops, express photoshops and local barbers. There are also local food options in the vicinity such as Phad Thai Mea Um or Heng Chun Seng. If you’re visiting the latter, make sure to try their Moo Satay and Mawfai Ruam (Thai fire pot with mixed beef).

Shop the best bargains at… Chatuchak Market (or Jatujak, also JJ Market to the locals). There are plenty of wholesale goods, interesting graphic tees and handmade Thai crafts and toys to be found, with each category of product in its designated zone within the market.

Best spots in the city to get close to nature… Benjakiti Park. This is one of the less-crowded parks in Sukhumvit with stunning fountains and a mesmerising view of the flower-lined lake – perfect for evening strolls, cycles or jogs. Two other great options are Benjasiri Park or Lumpini Park. Benjasiri Park is a convenient respite from the city, located just next to the Emporium Bangkok, while the latter is a multi-functional park with a variety of facilities for outdoor leisure activities. Editor’s Note: Benjakiti Park is a 10-minute stroll from Modena by Fraser Bangkok, while the latter two are under a 10-minute drive away.

Get the best local dining experience from… Usman Muslim Thai Restaurant. Located on Sukhumvit Soi 22, this halal-certified eatery is good for guests who love authentic Asian flavours. The oxtail soup is a must-try if you love flavourful broths with a slow, spicy kick. And if you don’t have the time to dine out, you can opt for delivery instead. For a taste of local Thai Seafood, you can consider a visit to the popular Sornthong Pochana, a restaurant that serves Thai Seafood and Chinese food, just a 15-minute walk from Modena by Fraser Bangkok.

For dining with a view… Nothing beats a meal at Riva Arun Restaurant. Not only will it be a feast for your appetite, but also your eyes as you gaze upon the captivating view of Wat Arun, the Temple of the Rising Sun, and sights of the Grand Palace while you dine on the rooftop.

For a bustling shopping experience… Rot Fai Market (Train Market) is the place to be. Located on Srinakarin Soi 51, just behind Seacon Square Shopping Mall, it’s quite hard to miss the iconic sea of colourful canvas roofs. From vintage collectables and memorabilia to antique furniture and the latest fashion, this is where I get my daily wear from as everything is affordable. Head down and visit the market from Thursday to Sunday each week in the evenings. Editor’s Note: If you have limited time, visit the other newly opened Rot Fai Market in Ratchada, just off Thailand Cultural Centre MRT Station. More compact and conveniently located in the heart of the city, it is just an 8-minute MRT ride from Modena by Fraser Bangkok. The market opens 6 pm – 12 am Thursdays through Sundays.

One architectural landmark you must see… Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the temple of Emerald Buddha. Keep a lookout for Pra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha) on the grounds of the Grand Palace.  Meticulously carved from a single block of jade, it is an architectural feat of pure beauty.

What I would go out of the way for… Khao Yai National Park, which is located in the west of Nakhon Ratchasima Province. A 3-hour drive away from Bangkok, the cool and lush landscapes of this magical nature park makes this a great city escape. Every time I get the opportunity to witness the majestic and beautiful mountain views, it helps me appreciate life more. Editor’s Note: You can choose to take a hike on one of the trails or make a visit to any of the majestic waterfalls including Nam Tok Haew Suwat, which scored a starring role in Danny Boyle’s film The Beach; and Nam Tok Haew Narok, the largest in the park with a 150m drop.

Credit: Fraser Moments, Off Duty Where the Locals Go in Bangkok, 17 August 2018.

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