An Insider's Guide to Bangkok
Navigating this teeming megacity can be a dizzying affair. T+L tapped three locals to show us around town.
The Impresario: Sanya Souvanna
Phouma Managing partner at Maggie Choo’s nightclub
Moved to Bangkok in 1997
After dark: I often head to Jazz Happens, on the hipster strip Phra Athit, where everyone dances around the band. At Maggie Choo’s (320 Silom Rd., Bang Rak), we started doing a highbrow gay cabaret night on Sundays, something Bangkok hasn’t seen before.
The Curator: Myrtille Tibayrenc
Artistic director at the Toot Yung Art Center
Moved to Bangkok in 2006
What’s underrated: The amazing wall paintings and bronze Buddha statue at Wat Suthat in the Old City, a lesser-known temple that is just as beautiful as the eternally crowded Wat Pho.
Culture pick: The RMA Institute has well-curated exhibitions and serves a nice brunch in the garden. The ladies who run the café do a perfect poached egg with asparagus and truffle oil. weekend getaway I usually go to Muak Lek, in the Saraburi province, to visit friends and tour vineyards like GranMonte Asoke Valley (pictured), run by a young female winemaker.
Favorite bangkok street: Several friends have opened design studios and galleries on Soi Nana, in the old part of Chinatown, including illustrators Nicolas Dali and Marc Stuart of KÜOZ and Cho Why (17 Soi Nana, Charoen Krung), an exhibition space owned by an artist collective.
The Pop Star: Debbie See
Born and raised in Bangkok
My friday night: I usually grab a cocktail on the two-story porch at Oskar, a clubby lounge overlooking busy Sukhumvit Soi 11.
Weekend getaway: Koh Samet, a 2½-hour drive and quick speedboat ride away, is like a second home for a lot of people here. I stay at Paradee, which I like for its peaceful beach with beautiful villas and complete privacy.
In-town guilty pleasures: I admit I like the touristy area around Khao San Road! The fun restaurant My Darling (Soi Rambuttri) is great for people-watching. To evade the heat, I stop by the bar at Buddy Hotel for a Guinness—it’s a nice place to chill.
Quintessential Bangkok shop: One of the first Thai brands to hit it big was Greyhound, known for its chic, simple designs and high quality. What I love most is the café—the spicy salmon and fruity yogurt shake are delicious.