Destination: Thailand: Bangkok
You all but expect to come across Joseph Conrad or Graham Greene nursing a whiskey at the venerable, but fun, Bamboo Bar in the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, which features leopard- and tiger-print fabrics and an array of potted greenery. It’s not memorable enough to warrant a special trip, but if you’re having dinner at one of the restaurants, it’s a nice spot for a drink before or after.
Dome at State Tower
The three bars on top of the State Tower—Distil, Sky and Ocean 52—may be overpriced and their ambience a bit too-cool-for-school, but their views are so spectacular that a cocktail here is a must for anyone, especially the first-time visitor. Sky and Distil are on the sixty-fourth floor. Don’t be surprised when, once out of the elevator, you find yourself accosted by staff asking to escort you to either venue (the staff-to-guest ratio seems to be 5:1). Distil, to the right of the elevator bank, is relaxed and chill: it is lined with wide, cushy seating areas where you can lounge as Bangkok twinkles in the background. Sky is the more aggressively hip and arguably more breathtaking place: a stand-only bar-in-the-round, lined with lit glass, that looks as if it hung suspended over the city (you can actually see it from the river). The newest addition, Breeze, on the fifty-second floor, offers a more traditional bar; the ambience is more tranquil and intimate. The Dome has four restaurants as well (read an Indagare member’s review of Sirocco, on the sixty-fourth floor), but most come here for cocktails and the view.
TIP: To get to the Dome, you can use the main entrance to the State Tower (walk through the strange, mall-like space and use the back left exit to get to the elevators leading to the Dome), but it’s easier to look for the signs leading to Lebua, a hotel located in the multi-use tower.
This special bar-restaurant complex, sister of Face in Shanghai and Beijing, is housed in the heart of a complex of beautifully restored traditional Thai buildings. Even though its only a few minutes’ walk from the buzzy nightlife of the Sukhumvit (along Soi 38, recommended for its food stalls), Face is a calm enclave. It has several levels and small sitting areas outfitted with raised Chinese beds and cushy chairs, and a beautiful old-wood bar where you can lounge over a martini or a fresh Thai smoothie. There’s a pool table, but the place has a distinctly chill, quiet vibe, perfect for a cocktail before dinner at Hazara, also located on the premises, or at any of the other restaurants in this area, like Spring-Summer-Winter.
Skip the restaurant of the recently opened the Long Table and reserve a leather sofa on the terrace for cocktails instead. Located on the twenty-fifth floor of a residential building, the Long Table bar boasts incredible views of the city, and drinks are a fraction of the price of those at the bars in the State Tower. Afterward, go for dinner at any of the restaurants in the Sukhumvit area, like Hazara or Spring-Summer-Winter. Bed Supperclub, managed and launched by the same group behind Long Table, is also a quick Sky Train ride away.
Technically, the bar at the Metropolitan hotel is a “members only” hot spot, but you can call ahead and get yourself on the list. There are comfy leather-chaise seating groups, trendy cocktails (think Tom Yumtini), loungy music and Bangkok’s beau monde to watch. But be sure to come on a weekend after dinner, as the bar tends to be dead during the week.
Search By Keyword
With lunar-like landscapes, deep glacial lakes and spectacular glaciers, Patagonia...
South Africa's many stunning private game reserves are successes of...
New on Indagare
Give the Gift of Indagare The perfect present for travelers: a membership to Indagare. Buy now
Indagare Insider Trips: Cuba, Myanmar and India: We’re planning trips throughout the year. Contact Indagare (212-988-2611) to be added to the wait list.
- Community: Share advice with fellow members asking about your favorite travel discoveries.
- Indagare Insiders: Three-day itineraries for families in London and art lovers in Vienna. Plus, fashion insider Chiara Ferragamo’s picks on what not to miss in Florence, Bonnie Gokson, owner of Hong Kong’s lofty Sevva on Hong Kong, Culinary Insider: Budapest.
- Rant & Rave: Indagare members can share their advice with the community by logging in first, then clicking here: Rants & Raves.
- Give the Gift: Indagare: Give the gift of travel intelligence with a membership to Indagare. For details or to order, call us at 212-988-2611 or click here: Gift Membership.
- Indagare Plus: Remember that hotels marked by an Indagare Plus symbol offer preferential rates and benefits to members.
- Indagare Share Feature: Share articles, postcards and reviews with family and friends on such networking sites as Twitter, Facebook and Delicious. Simply click on the three small dots that symbolize our connect icon, at the end of every article, and follow the link to the networking site of your preference.
- Sample Indagare: With free bi-weekly email blasts on new hot spots and insider tips when you sign up for our mailing list.
- Profile feature: Members share your profiles, comments, favorite articles and IQs. Just click on the Profile tab on the upper right of your screen and look for the Edit My Profile blue tab.
- Indagare means to discover, explore, seek, scout in Latin.