On my way back to Canada this summer, I decided to save a few bucks and go via Thailand instead of flying direct from Canada. I took a couple of days stop over in Bangkok to meet up with some friends there from Japan, and to have a few beers with friends I already know in Thailand.
I've never officially lived in Bangkok, but thanks to friends there, I've gotten to know quite a few good places to hang out. So in the days leading up to our summer vacation, me, my office mate, Tim, and his wife, Nobuko, had a few good nights out over beers in Japan talking about things that might be fun to do in Thailand. They would be in Bangkok for a few nights in transit to Chiang Mai, and I would be there in transit to Canada. They planned to do their own thing during the day, then they left it up to me to suggest a few night activities. Most of them involved food or beer.
Our first day there, we had a late lunch at a restaurant / bar called Bus Stop on Soi Nana. It's not the street you'd expect to find good food, but here it is. However, although it was Tim and Nobuko's first day in Thailand, notice that we all had British fish and chips. You can take the Brit out of England, but you can't take England out of the Brit.
For dinner, there are two places we hit that I'm sure Tim and Nobuko would recommend to others. One was the Suam Luam Night Bazaar. We chose an outdoor restaurant / beer garden that had a menu with both Thai and foreign food. Tim is a vegetarian, and had no problems finding stuff to eat. To get there, just take the subway to Lumpini Station. Ask somebody where the Thai theater is, and if you can get there, you'll arrive at an intersection with a load of restaurants. The one we went to has the huge Heineken beer keg and glass in front.
One other night, we went to a more upscale Thai restaurant called Lan Na. Tim and Nobuko said it was the best food they'd had on the trip, which is saying a lot coming from them, since they love food. We ordered a lot of food, beers, and some fancy desserts, and the final total came to about $70 a person. Not bad at all if you knew the quality of the food and the atmosphere of the place. Definitely worth a visit. Sorry, no pics, but here's a pdf map for those interested: http://www.facebars.com/bg/c_4.pdf
As for after-dinner nightlife, it was pretty standard fare. One night, we went to The Londoner Brew Pub on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 33. Loads of fun there. And the highlight party, at least for me, was a gathering with Tim, Nobuko and some of my Thai and ex-pat friends at the Absolute 7 bar on Sukhumvit 7\1. They always have great live music there and I love the atmosphere, so it's a place I always seem to return to whenever I pass through Bangkok.
Overall a great stop in Thailand, but as I write this, I'm actually far away, sitting in my brother's basement – my home away from home – in Victoria, Canada. More about the Canada trip to follow.