The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION ASIA -

THAI Air­ways In­ter­na­tional flies daily to Bangkok from Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, Bris­bane and Perth. More: tha­iair­ gling cock­tail thing. The fu­sion food is very good, with plenty of snacks to help the Thai mo­ji­tos and sim­i­lar mixes slip down. More: mar­

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.anan­

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:­land-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: pull­man­

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: riverview­;

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: 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-sof­i­

Gary Walsh was a guest of THAI Air­ways In­ter­na­tional, Tourism Author­ity of Thai­land and Ac­cor Ho­tels.

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