BANGKOK BREAK

FOR LEISURE TRAV­ELLERS LOOK­ING TO SQUEEZE IN AS MUCH AS POS­SI­BLE INTO THEIR WEEK­END GETAWAY, CEN­TRAL GROUP’S PLETHORA OF DIN­ING AND RE­TAIL OP­TIONS WILL EN­SURE THAT EVEN THE BRIEFEST OF JAUNTS WILL STILL BE A WORTH­WHILE ONE

Escape! Malaysia - - Contents -

Tips on how to squeeze the most out of your trip as pos­si­ble

ROYAL TREAT­MENT

Sit­ting along the busy streets of Wire­less Road and Ploen­chit Junc­tion, Cen­tral Em­bassy, Bangkok’s new iconic re­tail land­mark, rises a stag­ger­ing 37 floors up. The now-touted ‘Asia’s Most Lux­u­ri­ous Mall’ is presently home to high-end, in­ter­na­tional la­bels in­clud­ing Bot­tega Veneta, Chanel, and Her­mes. This ar­chi­tec­tural won­der stands as two build­ings weaved into a fluid, in­fin­ity de­sign sym­bol to re­flect the old and new Thai­land and the prom­ise of “in­fi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties.”

Har­boured within the mas­sive 144,000 square me­tre ex­panse is Em­bassy Diplo­mat Screens, a swanky six-star theatre that no fre­quent movie­goer can re­sist. It boasts five con­cept cine­mas (with 203 palatial seats each) and is pow­ered by Reald, the lat­est vis­ual and au­dio sys­tem in the film mar­ket. Fur­ther en­hanc­ing the view­ers’ cin­e­matic ex­pe­ri­ence, Em­bassy Diplo­mat Screens fea­tures real leather couches, 180-de­gree flat beds, plush sofa seats, and all-you-can-drink mini­bars. Also, the pre­mium grade pop­corn choices add a ritzy layer to an al­ready il­lus­tri­ous set­ting.

If the day’s events bog the body down, find heav­enly respite from the cos­mopoli­tan jun­gle’s bus­tle at Dii Di­vana. Ar­tis­ti­cally adorned in fu­tur­is­tic in­te­ri­ors, this well­ness and med­i­cal spa dis­plays a sense of spi­rally per­pet­ual eu­pho­ria, thanks to the pres­ence of tow­er­ing turquoise mod­els of the DNA dou­ble he­lix as its cen­tre­piece. An aris­to­cratic-like ses­sion or two from Dii Di­vana’s com­pre­hen­sive range of cut­ting-edge med­i­cal and aes­thetic treat­ments can un­doubt­edly char­ter a cleansed mind and re­plen­ished soul with ev­ery visit.

PALATE PLEASERS

Tast­ing Bangkok’s gas­tro­nomic flavours is al­ways a must when in the area, so it’s best to sate grum­bling bel­lies first in Nara’s cosy am­bi­ence and art­fully cu­rated space. Lo­cated in the fifth level of Cen­tral Em­bassy, Nara evokes a sense of au­then­tic Thai spirit with its lo­cal se­lec­tions that are crafted from age-old recipes and qual­ity in­gre­di­ents. Eathai, on the other hand, is a food junc­tion where the best street food ven­dors from all over Thai­land are brought to­gether in a modern dwelling. Picky eater or not, there will al­ways be some­thing to

tickle the taste buds here.

Tucked in the mid­dle of Eathai’s novel food arena is the Is­saya Cook­ing Stu­dio. The fa­cil­ity fea­tures a panoramic kitchen space where aspir­ing chefs can learn how to con­coct clas­sic Thai cui­sine, and whip up in­dul­gent pas­tries and desserts un­der the men­tor­ship of celebrity Thai chef, Ian Kit­tichai, and his team. Af­ter­wards, savour a quiet af­ter­noon tea at Is­saya La Patis­serie, where sin­ful cre­ations from the kitchen stu­dio are sold, pur­chased, and rel­ished in a dainty pas­tel-em­bel­lished nook.

PROUDLY THAI

One stand­out trait of Thai peo­ple is that they are as­tound­ingly proud of their roots. Otop Her­itage ev­i­dently mir­rors that with their prod­ucts. Specif­i­cally pro­mot­ing world-class arte­facts from all over Thai­land, each metic­u­lously helmed piece from Otop Her­itage is hand­crafted by a skilled group of Thai vil­lagers whose ex­per­tise has been passed from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion.

On an­other note, Si­wilai has a dif­fer­ent ap­proach when show­cas­ing the Land of Smiles’ his­tory. Set in a brightly lit multi­brand con­cept store, the prod­ucts sold here strongly echo the Thai her­itage while in­fus­ing them with con­tem­po­rary flair. Aside from cloth­ing, Si­wilai also mar­kets au­then­tic silk scarves, vin­tage vinyl records, and a lot more trea­sures.

When it comes to fash­ion, it’s a fact that Bangkok never fails to step up its game. Sret­sis – by Thai sis­ters Pim, Kly and Matina Sukhahuta – prides it­self for its sig­na­ture whim­si­cal de­signs that draw out age-old fem­i­nin­ity and avant-garde fetishes. Then there is Disaya by award-win­ning Disaya So­rakraik­i­tikul, who has stamped her name on the in­ter­na­tional scene for al­most a decade and has dressed celebri­ties like Jen­nifer Lopez, Kelly Os­bourne, and the late Amy Wine­house.

ONE PLACE FITS ALL

The mish­mash of colours and the flurry of ex­cited ac­tiv­ity are sure to cap­ti­vate peo­ple from all walks of life to Cen­tralworld’s colos­sal re­tail space. Span­ning a mas­sive 550,000 square me­tres, the largest known shop­ping des­ti­na­tion in Bangkok has ev­ery mall rat’s dream down pat. En­gorge in guilt­less plea­sure over its 100 multi-cul­tural restau­rants and cafes, 15-screen cine­mas, plus a dozen more en­ter­tain­ment and re­cre­ational out­lets that are sure hits for any age or gen­der.

Be­decked with graphic modern fur­nish­ings, ZEN, a life­style mega­s­tore within Cen­tralworld, al­lows con­sumers to ex­plore new heights of cre­ativ­ity with its seven-lev­els-worth of vis­ually pleas­ing em­po­ri­ums. For more five-and-dimes, cross the con­nect­ing bridge from Cen­tral Em­bassy to Cen­tral Chid­lom and ex­plore this one-stop shop­ping av­enue for ir­re­sistible bar­gains. Feel­ing fam­ished from hop­ping from shop to shop? Troop to EAT (Eat All Thai) and chow down clas­sic home-cooked Thai dishes that re­main faith­ful to the lo­cal palate.

Fi­nally, if you’re seek­ing a place to sit down and chill, direct your feet to Groove@ Cen­tralworld. This pop­u­lar hang­out des­ti­na­tion along Rama I Road mostly ap­peals to ur­ban­ites and tourists who long to kick their soles up at an in­ti­mate din­ing or cof­fee joint. Noc­tur­nal party an­i­mals can also climb all the way to the top of Cen­tralworld for a de­li­cious night­cap at Heaven Bangkok that over­looks the city’s en­thralling sky­line.

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