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The Sky Bar at Lebua Hotel on top of the State Tower is without a doubt the most famous rooftop bar in Bangkok. It was already famous since its opening for it good location no far from the river, it's height and mostly for its golden dome. But after being featured in the Hangover II, it suddenly became a must on every traveller's list. Now is it my favourite bar? Not quite.
Sky bar stands majestically above the rest of Bangkok and wherever you stand on this roof top is breathtaking. Once you step out of the elevator the first thing you will see if the very large staircase leading down to this famous corner where a circular bar glows of an ever-changing color. Unfortunately taking this photo from the top of the stairs is not allow, a security staff makes sure you won't. I asked why, supposedly it's to avoid accidents which I didn't really believe since I was not standing by the stairs but by a safe side mezzanine. I think they want to keep the rights to that angle.
Views from the bar area is no less impressive. With a sea of roofs down down below and the skylines of the ever-growing skyscrapers of Bangkok divided by the mighty Chao Phraya River and the gigantic golden dome in the foreground, it's hard to beat this feeling to be on top of the world.
However, what made Lebua famous is also its downside. Sure it's expensive, but it always was and a beer can cost you 320++ and imported 420++ baht for a local beer. If you don't know yes what ++ means, you'll have to add 10% service charge and 7 Government tax... that's would actually cost you 376 and 494 baht. A glass of wine would start at 640++. But the place has become so crowded that you just stand there wit your glass in the middle of little elegant crowd slowly trying to make their way to the edge for the compulsory photo. Nowhere to seats, no space to talk, not a romantic experience, definitely not the place you would pick to unwind at the end of long exploration day.
The restaurant is very unique, more spacious than any other rooftop dining in town, but very expensive and not as good as you would expect it to be for the price you paid. It could have been bad luck but all the dishes arrived cold on the day we had dinner there. Maybe the wind was stronger than usual in such altitude, but since the bill was the same...
So to conclude, it is definitely a nice place, a photo to take and a memory to bring back home, but if your idea is to sit down and enjoy the sun going down while having a romantic chat, better go to Red Sky at Centara or Vertigo at Banyan Tree.
Sky Bar is open daily from 06.00 pm – 01.00 am
The Dome at lebua, Silom Road, Bangrak
Tel. (+66) 2624-9555
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The Bangkok Flower Market or Pak Klong Talad is located near the riverside, not far from Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. People often talk about it, but in fact not so many actually went there. For three reasons, and even after living in Bangkok for months, it took me a while to stop and explore it.
First, as far as I saw, Thailand doesn't have a huge range of flowers. Sure the ones available are beautiful, but it rotates a lot around orchids, lotus, roses and these famous yellow flowers used at temple, so my expectations were limited.
Bangkok Forensic Museum is not on my top 10 list of things to see while in Bangkok, at least not on a first trip, but it seems to rank quite high on Lonely Planet and other guides. I guess curiosity and desire to see something really unusual is irresistible to the new generation of travelers. So once again, I had to see it for myself.
The museum consists of three gruesome rooms and three less noticeable inside the Siriraj (pronounced Sirirat) hospital. The ones everyone really want to see are the forensic and the pathology rooms, displaying bodies, parts of bodies and babies preserved in glass jars. As often in Thailand, photos were not allowed which always surprises me, but well, I managed to get some shots so here they are, the most horrible at the bottom, so SCROLL ONLY if you are not faint of heart!
Wat Saket, or more officially Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan is a Buddhist temple in Rattanakosin, not very far from the famous Khao San Road. And the famous 'Golden Mount' easily visible from the distance is called Phu Khao Thong, but when asking directions, everyone simply calls it 'Wat Saket'.
The golden mount we see today is built on the remains of a previous unsuccessful attempt to build a very large chedi on the soft grounds of the temple. The remains of this collapsed chedi formed the artificial hill on which the Golden Mount is standing today. The construction started under the reign of Rama IV (1804-1868) and was only completed during the reign of Rama V(1853-1910) at the end of the 19th century. A relic of the Buddha brought from India was placed inside the chedi and a concrete wall was added later to consolidate the hill.
The Sunday Brunch at St Regis is something we have wanted to try since it started few months ago, a luxury treat at 2,650 baht per person for the non wine option. We might not do it twice at least for a while, but we wanted to know how it compares to the Sunday brunch at the Four Season next door.
Set in the beautiful VIU restaurant on the 12th floor of the St Regis, the restaurant offers a unique bird view on the exclusive middle of town 'Royal Bangkok Sports Club' golf course. With high ceilings, fluffy carpets and red and white tones, it sets the luxury mood as soon as you step in, even featuring a live saxo player sitting the reception corner, maybe a bit loud from where we were sitting.
I often believed that the best Som Tum is found by the street, often in dirty tiny shops or at the carts of local markets. And in most cases it is true, but we found 'Somtum Der', a great som tum in a cool restaurant in the middle of Silom. The staff is young and very friendly, obviously taking great pride in the preparation of their appetizing selection of Som Tum.
Somtum Der means nothing more than 'Som Tum' with the typical way Issan people end their sentences, and just in case you don't know it yet, Som Tum is a spicy and sour salad made with grated green papaya mixed with many possible ingredients. The restaurant is simple yet trendy, painted white and orange tones with a warm lighting and using a lot of pine wood. Dine at one of the few tables in the main room downstairs or upstairs at the mezzanine floor. You also can eat at a small outdoor terrace, probably for smokers, but traffic in this street can be really busy at rush hour. Music is cool and not loud, just adding the right touch to create an easy going atmosphere.
House of Museums is not your traditional town museum. It's doesn't display paintings or potteries or mannequin frozen in some forever war. No, it's a lot more interesting than this. House of Museum is a three floors display of daily items from the sixties and beyond. It's fun, cute and laughable as well. Even if you are not Thai, many objects displayed will look very familiar.
Located in the most unlikely remote location half way between Bangkok and Nakhon Pathom, The House of Museums would be hard to find without Google map navigator. It's so hidden at then end of a series of small streets, it feels like to owner wanted to see only the worthy ones, those who would really make the effort to find it. In any case, you'll need a car to get there, I doubt any taxi would find it, not mentioning the fare.