But a stay in the Thai capital should not be overlooked. With an emerging arts scene, killer cocktail bars and some of the best food in the world, Bangkok is worth your time.
Ditch the usual itinerary of overcrowded temples and seedy night markets for something more fitting for such a cool destination.
Here’s how to spend 24 hours in Bangkok…
Check into your swanky room at the St. Regis Bangkok which is perfectly located in the centre of town with a wonderful rooftop pool, well equipped gym and fabulous spa. Rooms at the St. Regis Bangkok start from £224 excluding breakfast.
After a quick shower, flag a cab and whisk yourself off to the Floral Café in the exquisite flower market. Surrounded by beautiful florists selling a vibrant array of blooms from provinces all over Thailand, this hipster café does a mean iced coffee that will help to kick-start your day.
Packed with traditional low rise buildings and a thriving food scene, Talat Noi is an authentic neighbourhood that has a laid back charm you won’t find anywhere else in Bangkok. Established by Chinese merchants over 200 years ago, the architecture of the area is typically Chinese and very different from the rest of the city. Wander through the quiet streets and take in the temples, street food stalls and independent shops. Make your way to Trok San Chon Rong Kueak and see the dazzling display of street art that lines the road and then stop for lunch at Kwan Sim Kee, an accidentally Wes Anderson dim sum restaurant, tucked down an alley off Charoenkrung Rd. Backyard Travel tours of Talat Noi start from $108 per person for a minimum of two people. Solo tours from $180 per person.
Head back to the hotel and iron out the knots from the flight with a deep tissue body massage at the slick Elemis Spa. Once rejuvenated, jump into the ice bath and dust off the jet lag before dinner. The one-hour full body massage costs £104.
Every street corner in Bangkok has a delicious something sizzling away and to help you navigate, take a seat in a tuk tuk and explore with city with an Expique food tour. Start with chicken satay, cooked Indonesian style at Tee Moo satay. These guys have been dishing up succulent skewers for over 20 years and boy have they nailed them. Then feast on the best fried noodles in Bangkok at Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai. Finish the evening in Chinatown, a neon lit neighbourhood that explodes into life at night. Try the rich and peppery Guay Jub noodle soup and then end on a high with a soy sauce ice cream from Deksomboon.
Expique evening food and Tuk Tuk tour from £55 per person.
Flanked with the coolest cocktail bars in Bangkok, Soi Nana in Chinatown is the place to be on a night out. It’s not to be confused with Soi Nana in the red light district of Sukhumvit. Grab a seat at Tep Bar and imbibe sophisticated tumblers of Thai whisky and then hit up Teens of Thailand for gin cocktails and late night dancing. Remember to stay up until the early hours of the morning on your first night to stave off the dreaded jet lag.