LUXE City Guides - Bangkok
Gems are big business in Bangkok, and you can get badly ripped. Go see the nice folk at Lambert Industries / 4/F / Silom Shanghai Bldg / 807 Silom Rd / corner Soi 17 / 02 236 4343 / closed Sun. Harry Winston it ain’t, but there’s no pressure to buy, and there is a no quibble cash back guarantee with no time limit. How good is that? Their craftsmen will set your stones, help you realise a design and copy loved or lost pieces. Bling sorted, strut across Silom Rd where you’ll espy faux-vintage retailvana Silom Village / 286 Silom Rd. In you go, and remember to bargain hard. Don’t enter through the main arch, go up the alley on its extreme left, and about five shops up on the right is J.J. Gift Shop / 02 635 6295 / a dinky store chokka with great mango, teak and coconut plates, bowls and vases. Carry on into the open courtyard to find Artisan’s / 081 444 5919 / on the left for antique Siamese and Asian furniture and artefacts. Continue to the little fountain and swing left towards the carpark where you’ll find kooky hardware central Silpakhom / 02 635 6283 / with a treasure trove of oldstyle door handles, lighting, fans and wind-up toys. Retrace to Silom Rd and turn right to find Anita Thai Silk at #298/2 for bountiful dress silks and plaids by the metre, plus ties n’ more to go / 02 234 2481 / 8am-6pm. Now, cross the road, head left and you’ll come to a Hindu temple on the corner of Thanon Pan. Dive right here and almost immediately to your left is Kathmandu Photo Gallery at #87 / 02 234 6700 / kathmandu-bkk.com. The pistachio-hued space is a tad ramshackle, but Manit Sriwanichpoom is one of Bangkok’s best photographers and you can buy his prints here, as well as a sprinkling of arty books, tees and trinkets. Hang out with Bangkok’s art crowd and hop up to the gallery on the 2/F to see if you can catch one of the quirky exhibitions they often host. Back out onto Silom, skip right two streets up to Decho Rd on the left for the lovely House of Chao (see Antiques) at #9/1. Next, grab a cab and zip along to the excellent H Gallery at 201 Sathorn Soi 12 / also accessible via Silom Soi 9 (see Art) / repping Thai modern art in a beautiful house. H. Ernest Lee runs the joint and is informative, browser-friendly and awfully nice. By now you’re probably chafing for a chomp. Fret not, the following are all close by: Rocket Coffeebar (see Coffee), Opus (see Rest/smart) if it’s closer to wine-o’clock, or pamper yourself silly at metro-swish COMO Shambhala (see Spa). Oh, go on dolly, you’ve earned it!