There is so much more to Bangkok than its famed red light district. The jasmine-scented Thai city of 8 million is peppered with temples and stunning cultural monuments and boasts a distinctly modern sensibility that can invigorate even the most seasoned urbanite. But how does one approach such a vast, complex whirlwind in just a hot minute less than half a day?
To Do | Get yourself to a market as soon as your jet lag allows. The three-sectioned Rod Fai Market is accessible by Metro and is the place to be on a weekend night. You can buy everything from vintage cars to edible insects here (and everything you can imagine in between). Yes, you and many thousands of your new best friends will be shopping together, but there are numerous bars that spill out on to the market, all providing reprieves from the intensity. Bring cash.
To Drink | The Hair of the Dog is a taproom and bottle shop with two locations in Bangkok. I was very pleasantly surprised by the international superstar tap line up that they were offering. And bottles to boot. Pro tip: check their website before you go to see if they have a movie screening (these happen often).
To Eat | Browsing Rot Fai will do the trick (the street food is amazing), but if it all gets a little too much seek out Gedhawa, a Northern Thai restaurant in a bright pink house on a manicured tropical oasis down a quiet street. You probably can’t go wrong with anything off the extensive menu of local affordable dishes but the whole steamed fish and the nam phrik ong are the things to do.