red|guide Tipps: Bangkok
EAT in Bangkok: Ruen Urai
When the guest turns into this tiny soi he is within spitting distance of a completely different world. The Ruen Urai is part of the Rose Hotel and is located in an age-old Thai teakwod house. At the entrance the guests are asked to take off their shoes before they are guided by a traditionally dressed Thai to the second floor (make a reservation!) where teakwood tables provide for a private atmosphere. The view wanders outside and lingers on the lush green of the tropical garden. The noise and heat of Bangkok already seems to be far away. On the menu you mainly find Tai delicacies that can be recommended without exception. The prices are a little bit above average - however, it's absolutely justified considering the quality of the dishes and the wonderful atmosphere. In brief: the Ruen Urai is a must.
SHOP in Bangkok: Victory Shopping
Most of the tourists see the Victory Monument passing by through the windowpane of the Sky-Train when they are on the way to the crowded Chatuchak weekend market. They don't know that they have just passed by a little shopping jewel. Around the Victory Monument those Thais go shopping who can't afford the popular markets and shopping centers - hence, the majority of the population. Here one can find women's clothing, accessories and shoes - offside the typical mass-produced goods. Many merchants sell their own designs. The chances of finding a special piece are consequently rather big. The best time to come is at sunset when the city has cooled down a bit and one can sit in front of a restaurant after a successful shopping tour. With the wooden benches, the little trees and the walled market stalls one can almost get a slightly European feeling - if there wouldn't be the almost ten-lane street around the Victory Monument.
STAY in Bangkok: Sofitel So
The setting: Lumpini, Bangkok's business and entertaining district. The protagonist: the second So-Hotel of the Sofitel Group, after Mauritius. At the end of February the 30-storey design hotel opened adjacent to Lumpini Park in the Thai capital. Regarding the interior design Sofitel Group was influenced by an elegant Frenchman: Christian Lacroix. The interior of the 238 rooms and suites are sensuous and inspired by the five elements: water, earth, metal, fire and wood. There's also an Apple Mac-Mini in every room and additionally in every suite - an iPad. At the restaurant Red Oven the cooks deliver their show - behind a red open oven! Market kitchen flair with modern touch. And then there's the Chocolab. A chocolate boutique with self-made chocs and a picturesque view. The latter is also provided from the rooftop terrace of the Park Society Restaurant. By the way: two more So hotels will follow in Mumbai and Singapore.
SEE in Bangkok: Grand Palace
When you see the travel buses in front of the entrance you'll immediately want to turn around again and stroll through the Old Town instead. But for this experience it is worth while waiting in line, for what you get to see in the huge area (200.000 square meters) is truly amazing. Altogether there are more than 100 buildings in different architectural styles behind the almost 2-kilometer-long wall (tenements, temples, ministries, palaces etc.), also including the Wat Phra Kaeo. This temple is home to Thailand's most revered statue, the emerald Buddha. For at least getting a general insight into the exciting history of this important landmark you should consider a guided tour. These are offered in English, are for free and start daily at 10.00, 10.30, 13.30 and 14.00. Important: there's a strict dress code: with flip-flops, shorts and co you'll have to stay outside. Right next to the entrance (on the right-hand side) you can borrow adequate clothing for free. Admission for non-Thais: 6 Euros.