THAI Airways International flies daily to Bangkok from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. More: thaiairways.com gling cocktail thing. The fusion food is very good, with plenty of snacks to help the Thai mojitos and similar mixes slip down. More: marriott.com.au.
Z ZOOM GOES BOOM: At Anantara Sathorn Bangkok, ZOOM Sky Bar offers a different perspective on the city from its 40th-floor vantage point, with the bright lights of the city’s docklands in the forefront. Its expansive size and relative newness means you’re unlikely to be cramped for space. There is a twolevel terrace with comfortable lounges and bar seating, all with a 360-degree perspective of the city. Cocktails are very reasonably priced, service is excellent, and the menu of Thai-Chinese chef Adtavorn Charoonpontithi (otherwise known as chef Gibb) is innovative and impressive. More: bangkok-sathorn.anantara.com.
T TOP OF THE TREE: The 61st floor of the Banyan Tree is sky bar nirvana, with the Vertigo and Moon Bar offering open-air drinking and dining at its finest. The long, narrow shape makes it feel like a ship sailing through the Bangkok night. Moon Bar’s reputation precedes itself, and it can get insanely busy at sunset. If you have a reservation at Vertigo, you’re assured a more relaxed experience. The 360-degree view over Sathorn Road, the river and CBD, is among the best in the city. A particularly nice touch is when your waiter takes a photo of you while dining, later presenting it to you in a commemorative frame. More: banyantree.com/en/ap-thailand-bangkok.
A ALL ABOUT THE ATMOSPHERE: You can’t be guaranteed a meteorite blasting through the Earth’s atmosphere and bathing the world in unearthly green light as you dine at the Pullman Hotel G’s Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant, but it can add a certain excitement to your dining experience. Even without such a stellar cosmic event, Scarlett delivers fabulous French food and an equally spectacular view from the 37th floor above Silom Road. There’s an open terrace and an enclosed dining room, both of which share the same brilliant panorama, with the serpentine Chao Phraya front and centre. More: pullmanbangkokhotelg.com.
ROOM WITH A VIEW: Most of the sky bars sit atop five-star hotels, with prices commensurate with the luxury and ambience. The River View Guest House is a much less imposing place lost in the tangled streets of Talad Noi district. There’s a two-level bar and cafe on the eighth floor with a great perspective of the river as it curves gently downstream of the historic centre towards the business district. Local company Hivesters will take you there for a drink as part of a highly recommended walking tour of Talad Noi led by a local “aunty’’, or you can find your own way, which is easier said than done. It’s also a great spot at lunchtime. More: riverviewbkk.com; hivesters.com/home.
UP A LAZY RIVER: If we’re talking bird’s-eye v views, it’s only fair to consider the sight of, say, a duck paddling happily in the Chao Phraya. There are countless ways to enjoy a panorama of Bangkok, but the ground-level view from the river, especially at night, is simply gorgeous. River ferries and longtail boats stop around sunset, so a dinner cruise is the best way to enjoy the city as it lights up. Manohra Cruises has been plying the river in converted rice barges for years, serving excellent Thai food while gently chugging along in the cool of the evening. The Grand Palace and Wat Arun look especially alluring at night. More: manohracruises.com. SO SPECTACULAR: Bangkok’s main green space, Lumpini Park, spreads like an exotic carpet beneath the guestrooms, restaurants and bars of So Sofitel Bangkok. There is singular style here, highlighted by guest relations officer Khun Paul, with his Little Richard quiff and Edna Everage glasses. Staff are dressed in Christian Lacroix and accommodation is based on the four prime elements of water, metal, earth and wood. The 29th-floor Hi So bar and terrace overlooks Lumpini, and a level below is the superb Park Terrace restaurant, overseen by Australian Paul Smart, twice winner of Thailand’s Iron Chef contest. This is Asian-European fusion cuisine on a grand, glorious scale. More: so-sofitel-bangkok.com.
Gary Walsh was a guest of THAI Airways International, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Accor Hotels.