JASON FRIEDMAN, The Siam, Bangkok — For decades, one of the pleasures of arrival in Bangkok was being greeted in the lobby of The Oriental (now the Mandarin Oriental) by Kurt Wachtveitl, the greatest of the old-school GMs. Before he retired in 2009, Kurt was the public face of his hotel, your effortlessly charming [...]
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The Mandarin Oriental and Peninsula hotels offer prime riverfront locations for leisure tourists in Bangkok, but for business travelers and serious shoppers, The Sukhothai’s setting in the commercial and diplomatic district can be more convenient. One of the chief draws of this six-acre resort is its gourmet Thai restaurant, Celadon, set in a temple-like sala surrounded by lotus ponds. It presents beautiful renderings of local dishes throughout the year, but if possible, gourmands should plan a stay when a notable guest chef takes the reins.
As the walls and shelves of our house house will confirm, Bangkok is full of wonderful shopping opportunities, particularly with regard to silks, gemstones, jewelry and handicrafts. But finding the quality shops takes some effort — they’re frequently buried in vast commercial complexes and at first glance tend to appear profoundly unremarkable. On a recent [...]
Good Thai cooking is a careful balance of four distinct tastes: hot, sour, salty and sweet. Take any Thai dish, and you will find varying proportions of these elements coming together in delicious harmony. Or so we learned several years ago at the Thai Cooking School at the Oriental, a gratifying multi-day immersion in ingredients, [...]
In the wake of the recent unrest in Bangkok, many travelers seem to be steering clear of Thailand and its fascinating capital. But now that calm has returned and the State Department’s Travel Warning has been lifted, there is no reason not to take advantage of the reduced crowds. We’ve seen this sort of situation [...]