Your ultimate guide to Bangkok

Discover the best events, attractions, restaurants, bars, clubs and more in the city

Best places to enjoy sport in Bangkok
Sports and fitness

Best places to enjoy sport in Bangkok

From trampolines to Indoor climbing, Bangkok’s got it all

Best places to Instagram in Bangkok [UPDATED]
Things to do

Best places to Instagram in Bangkok [UPDATED]

Food isn't the only thing Bangkok is best known for

Time Out meets Rhatha Phongam
Movies

Time Out meets Rhatha Phongam

The superstar talks about her role as a vengeful, flesh-eating spirit in her latest film Sisters

The best khao chae restaurants in Bangkok
Restaurants

The best khao chae restaurants in Bangkok

The Thai Meteorological Department has just announced that Thailand was moving into the summer season. Cringe. A moment while we whack our heads against the wall and start putting aside money to pay for our soon-to-become-exorbitant electricity bills. Foodies, however, see this season as the chance to feast on their favorite Thai summer dish, khao chae.  Khao chae is a traditional Thai dish usually served during the hot summer months. Refashioned from a Mon dish a few hundred years ago, khao chae is steamed rice soaked in jasmine-scented water and served with mix-ins such as luk krapi (deep-fried shrimp paste balls), hom daeng yud sai (deep-fried shallots and shredded pork), prik yuak sod sai (egg-wrapped steamed green chili stuffed with minced pork) and moo foi (sweet shredded pork). The more toppings added, the merrier. Khao chae was, in the past, eaten only in the royal court and at the homes of the affluent because it required fine ingredients, culinary craft and a lot of time. Today, however, khao chae has become more common and is offered at many restaurants around town.

Coolest Thai swimwear brands that should be on your radar
Shopping

Coolest Thai swimwear brands that should be on your radar

Your summer wardrobe sorted!

Latest restaurants and cafés review

Karo Coffee Roasters
Restaurants

Karo Coffee Roasters

This coffeehouse by Sri Lanka-born roaster Karo Iyash occupies one floor of a shophouse on Soi Pridi Banomyong 26

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Cantina
Restaurants

Cantina

Following the success of its Italian trattoria in Ari, Soho Hospitality has opened the second branch of Cantina Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Ici
Restaurants

Ici

Arisara “Paper” Chongphanitkul, the pastry chef responsible for the sugary finales at restaurants by the Issaya Group (remember the deceptive mango and sticky rice surprise at Issaya Siamese Club, or the pumpkin custard at Saawaan?) puts her sweet creations on center stage at Ici, a dessert café hidden deep within one of Sukhumvit’s many labyrinths. Getting there is a bit tricky. The house (look for number 24) in which Ici is located bears no signage and looks like your typical city residence. But that doesn’t matter—the café has a reservation-only policy and will tell you where you need to go when you book a table. A gate leads to a leafy garden that features a gigantic blue balloon with “Ici” written on it and the compound’s main building. The café part is somewhat oversized, decked out in blue patterned wallpaper and cartoonish reproductions of world-famous art pieces, including a faceless Mona Lisa and a wacky rendition of Jeff Koons’ blue Balloon Dog. Observe more closely and you’ll find tiny depictions of Paper’s dessert hidden within each artwork. “The desserts at Issaya’s restaurants are works I must create for different challenges and requirements, dictated by the identity of each restaurant. Here, I can do what I really want,” Chef Paper explains. The fancily plated desserts we’ve come to expect are toned down at Ici, and have become cute creations with playful elements. Mr. Religieux (B195) is her take on the religieuse (snow man-shaped choux pastry), and comes w

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Soho Pizza
Restaurants

Soho Pizza

Right next to Cantina is probably one of very few pizzerias in the city where you can savor New York-style pizzas

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Sarnies
Restaurants

Sarnies

A Stimulant by Sarnies captivated Bangkok’s caffeine devotees and Instagram-addicted caféhoppers with a small roaster-slash-coffee shop on Soi Sukhumvit 39 and a brief pop-up run at Dim Dim. Now, the café has come into full bloom, opening a full-scale establishment in historic Charoenkrung. Nestled deep inside Soi Charoenkrung 44, Sarnies takes up the space of two connecting shophouses (linked by an arch door on the second floor) that were once a boat repair shop. “The story [of the building] changes all the time,” says Eric Chan, co-owner of Sarnies. “But according to the original landlord, it used to be a boat repair store. Because we are really near the river and that’s where all the engines were brought.” Unlike other repurposed establishments in the city that have been touched up to deliver a modern appearance, the structure in which Sarnies occupies retains the the grit of its former life. Random scribblings on the wall and black stains resulting from the smoke emitted by the engines are still visible. “Most of the work we did were fixing and repairing,” Eric adds. “For us, we didn’t want to change anything. We wanted to celebrate the beauty of it.” Sarnies proves it ranks above other brunch destinations that serve pretty-looking, Instagram-friendly dishes by putting intricate details and a lot of heart and soul into its food. What you get are classic brunch dishes done right, but made with a few Asian twists. Winning dishes include eggs benedict with tom yum hollanda

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Latest bars review

Wet
Bars

Wet

Wet is fun and laidback, showcasing Gaggan’s take on the currently trendy natural wine bar concept

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Sul
Bars

Sul

Thonglor's latest gastrobar plays with traditional Korean elements and reconstructs them with innovative twists

008
Bars

008

It's unfortunate that the concept of the Prohibition—a temperance movement spanning the 1920s that banned alcohol consumption in the US, but ironically when the cocktail culture blossomed in the country—has been reduced into a marketing gimmick for many a retro-inspired cocktail bar. 008, a new secret bar in Thonglor hasrescued the concept by offering a drink menu that pays proper respect to the spirits of the era. Pailin “Milk” Sajjanit, the former head mixologist at Vesper and Zuma, and 2016 Diageo Southeast Asia World Class champion, is in charge. She makes sure the drinks are well-rounded and appropriately play along with the Prohibition theme. Inspired by the zeitgeist of the era, Pailin has come up with spirits-forward numbers with empowering names such as Great Power (B460). Based on a classic Manhattan recipe, this drink mixes Rittenhouse rye with oregano-infused Ysabel Regina brandy and aromatic bitters. Another signature drink, the 1920s (B360), is a more well-rounded version of Negroni, combining Whitley Dry Gin, Campari and clarified orange-infused vermouth. Forgotten Prohibition classics are also reinterpreted by Pailin. A drink called Pyroblast (B420) is inspired by a recipe from the cocktail tome, Lost Recipes of Prohibition by Matthew Rowley, and has been resurrected as a refreshing rum-based cocktail with coconut syrup and a “Pyroblast syrup” made of spices.  Apart from playing up the Prohibition theme, one of the agendas of 008 is to focus on classic cock

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Dr. Fetch
Bars

Dr. Fetch

Octo Seafood Bar has made its name to Sukhumvit’s dining scene as a one-stop seafood destination with eye-striking giant octopus clinging majestically at the very store front. Helping to fulfill the ocean theme of the shipshaped restaurant is a cocktail bar serving cocktails with references to the underwater world. Perching on the second floor of the seafoodcentric complex, Dr. Fetch is embedded with narratives alluding to a laboratory hidden underwater operating by a fictional scientist. That explains the reasons why all the bartenders are dressed up in white laboratory gown. In contrast to the bright restaurant setting, the inside of Dr. Fetch is dimly-lit and succumbed to the heavy beats from live band performing nightly. If you look for a more private corner, take a seat in a connect room quirkily surrounded by wooden rabbits and animal skeletons. To comply with the bustling seafood restaurant downstairs, Dr. Fetch cocktails are conjured up with strong influence from the sea — dominantly via the name of the cocktails, garnishes and the shape of the glasses, not in the drink as we had expected. There’s the Pirate Spice Rum (B400), the concoction photogenically served in a siphon machine with the combination of pea flower-infused rum, toasted coconut and Maraschino liqueur brewed with lemongrass, ginger and butter, before being served hot in a Chinese-style tea cup. (The item is big enough to feed 3-4 people). Ocean Bouquet (B400) is nicely-flavored with accent of spicy a

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New movie releases

Shazam!
Movies

Shazam!

If you think most superhero movies are basically about overgrown kids, ‘Shazam!’ is here to prove you absolutely right. Be prepared, though, for it to win you over with its goofy, Tom-Hanks-in-‘Big’-ness: This is a story in which foster child Billy Batson (Asher Angel) suddenly becomes a man with massive guns, a white cape and a giggly sense of invincibility. Director David F Sandberg (‘Lights Out’) gets the trippy origin nonsense out of the way fast: there’s an ancient cave and a benevolent, ultra-serious wizard (Djimon Hounsou) who needs to find a champion. One boy fails the test – he’ll become the villain (Mark Strong, doing his villainy thing) – before Billy steps up. ‘Gross,’ he says, when commanded to grab the wizard’s magical staff. Still, the transformation works, and the movie explodes into a riotous midsection, mainly thanks to Zachary Levi’s perfect, gleeful turn as the adult Billy and ‘It’ breakout star Jack Dylan Grazer as his painfully neurotic foster brother. Big emotions don’t tend to be common currency in the DC Universe, so I’m happy to report that this one comes with a heart-filled script, plus a richly developed surrogate family, a visible appreciation of Philadelphia and its heroic ‘Rocky’ iconography, and two expert jokes involving a strip club. Yes, there are some weighty moments near the end, and the usual splurge of cheesy CGI, but in the spirit of a spandexed Harry Potter, it’s a teen-centric flick that’s euphoric and playful. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Dumbo
Movies

Dumbo

Review by Phil de Semlyen Let’s tackle the baby elephant in the room first: How does Disney’s beloved Dumbo look in a live-action movie? Happily, the teeny pachyderm is a suitably heart-melting presence in Tim Burton’s relatively orthodox redo of the 1941 animation classic. All giant expressive eyes and beach-towel ears, he’s a computer-generated creation that exudes picture-book warmth. It’s only when flying that he seems a bit clunky. Then again, maybe that’s the point. He is, after all, the least aerodynamic character to fly in a movie since Brian Blessed wobbled through Flash Gordon.
 The fact that you know his story inside out presents a challenge that Transformers screenwriter Ehren Kruger tries to overcome by introducing swathes of new human characters. Danny DeVito plays pompous impresario Max Medici, whose traveling circus is going a bit Grapes of Wrath in the dust bowls of the Midwest. Money is short and his last hope is the magical baby elephant tended to by damaged WWI veteran Holt Farrier (an oddly forgettable Colin Farrell) and his two willing kids, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins). 
Both are grieving for their mom, providing an obvious connection with Dumbo when the baby elephant’s own mother is sold. In truth, Burton, that great lover of scrappy outsiders, struggles to mine much beyond ponderous sincerity from these sluggish early scenes. Even a cast of oddball circus regulars—strongman, mermaid, snake charmer, etc.—fails to fire the director's

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Us
Movies

Us

Film review by Joshua Rothkopf You lean forward while watching Us, the new horror film from Jordan Peele, since his last one, Get Out, rewarded that kind of attention. So, when his movie tells us early on that there are thousands of miles of tunnels under the United States with “no known purpose,” you squirrel that away in your brain, knowing it’ll be important later. When Peele shows us a TV commercial for that weirdly faceless 1986 publicity stunt Hands Across America—or when there are a bunch of bunnies in cages or an apocalyptic Bible quote on a sign—those details get stored away, too. But none of it quite adds up to the nightmare in your head. Us is too confidently made, too expert in its scene-to-scene command, to call it an example of sophomore slump. Still, after the film reveals itself to be the home-invasion thriller it is (and then the lesser Invasion of the Body Snatchers it becomes), you feel a slight letdown. Peele, as ever, blends comedy and screams like a champ—muscles he toned on TV’s radical Key & Peele—and his actors are terrific. After a brief mid-’80s prologue in which a lonely kid (Madison Curry) in a Michael Jackson T-shirt encounters something awful in a beachside carnival fun house, she becomes the grown-up Adelaide (a finely haunted Lupita Nyong’o), now with two children of her own and a dad-joke–dispensing husband (Winston Duke). For some reason, they’ve bought a summer house by that same beach, and it’s where Adelaide must return—unless, of cours

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Greta
Movies

Greta

A sweet, naïve young woman trying to make it on her own in New York City, Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) doesn't think twice about returning the handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta (Isabelle Huppert), an eccentric French piano teacher with a love for classical music and an aching loneliness. Having recently lost her mother, Frances quickly grows closer to widowed Greta. The two become fast friends - but Greta's maternal charms begin to dissolve and grow increasingly disturbing as Frances discovers that nothing in Greta's life is what it seems in this suspense thriller from Academy Award®-winning director Neil Jordan.

The latest Time Out interviews

Naphat Siangsomboon
Movies

Naphat Siangsomboon

Get to know more about the young actor who—with his looks, lineage and sensitive smarts—seems bound for Asiawide success

James Teeradon and Cherprang Areekul
Movies

James Teeradon and Cherprang Areekul

The starlets talk about GDH’s new thriller-fantasy flick Homestay, and how it pushed them beyond their boundaries

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Music

Ryuichi Sakamoto

The musical polymath on his five-year documentary journey and the inspiration behind ‘async’, his first album in eight years.

Pat Chayanit
Movies

Pat Chayanit

Meet the actress who’s redefining what it means to be a teen star

Best hotels in Bangkok

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

The stunning, brand-new Waldorf Astoria Bangkok shoots up from the bustling Rachaprasong intersection like a flower; in fact, it was designed to look like one—a magnolia, to be exact. Inside, design elements by Hong Kong-based architect Andre Fu—such as wrought iron sculptural panels and an assortment of intricate chandeliers—pay homage to local Thai culture as well as the Waldorf legacy. The property boasts 171 rooms and suites, each with interactive entertainment systems, well-stocked mini bars and sprawling bathrooms with rainfall showers, high-tech toilets and toiletries by Salvatore Ferragamo. Guests have access to three restaurants, two bars and a tea room lounge; our favorites are the Front Room, a lobby-level eatery serving innovative Nordic-Thai fare, and the top floor Champagne Bar, offering flutes of bubbly to be enjoyed on plush green velvet couches overlooking the city below. A small (three rooms) but lovely spa sits next to the open air, rooftop pool, scattered with giant wicker chairs and affording one of the best views from the property. There's also a 24-hour fitness center, as well as the aforementioned lounge, Peacock Alley, perfect for whiling away the hours between city exploration and dinner—look for the clock behind the bar, a quiet nod to the storied hotel brand's first property in Manhattan (every Waldorf Astoria has a version of the first location's beautiful wall clock).  Time Out tip: Book ahead at the spa and the Front Room, both popular must-d

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
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W Bangkok
Hotels

W Bangkok

W Bangkok integrates twisted Thai culture with quirky Western motifs

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
The Okura Prestige Bangkok
Hotels

The Okura Prestige Bangkok

The Okura Prestige Bangkok has set a new standard for luxury hotels

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
SO Sofitel Bangkok
Hotels

SO Sofitel Bangkok

Gorgeous views and unique designs are the key reasons you’ll love SO Sofitel Bangkok. Located a few blocks away from Lumpini Park, the enclaves lush greenery can be spotted from most rooms. Room styles are crafted around four different themes: earth, water, wood and metal. The Earth rooms are embellished with playful, curvy walls inspired by prehistoric cave paintings found in Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani. Metal rooms are decked out like an urban refuge with minimal, modern decor and pristine white furniture. The Wood room, on the other hand, is inspired by a traditional Northern Thai wooden house, while the Water room—the sexiest room of all—features concrete walls and semi-transparent glasses partitions.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars

Out of town

Check-in: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay
Travel

Check-in: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay

Get away to a Vietnam resort built around whimsy and fantasy

Doi Tung: a mountainous land transformed with love and nurtured with faith
Travel

Doi Tung: a mountainous land transformed with love and nurtured with faith

If you visited Doi Tung, one of Chiang Rai’s northernmost peaks, some 30 years ago and never had a chance to return, you’d barely recognized it today. The once desert-like mountains suffered from mobile plantation and—worse—opium planting; now, it’s one of the lushest areas in the north. Everything changed when Princess Srinagarindra, the grandmother of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, set up the Doi Tung Development Project in 1988 with an aim to improve the quality of both the people’s lives and the area they lived in. She even had a house built in the vicinity so she could watch her project grow at close range.     Learning from the consequences and successes of previous projects initiated by her son King Bhumibol, the Princess Mother opted to start out “small,” taking a slow contemplative pace—like with everything in her life. She didn’t want to merely give money to those in need; she wanted to help the people stand on their own feet, which is why she carefully created an environment and cultivated micro-industries that the community could benefit from. Thirty years have passed and, though Princess Srinagarindra didn’t get the chance to see Doi Tung in full bloom, her wish did come true. The once scraggly mountainside is now a lush plantation that produces gorgeous textile, paper and pottery—all trice handmade—and, most importantly, some of the world’s best macadamia nuts and coffee beans. Opium was replaced by harvests more beneficial to the community, both morall

5 reasons why you should visit the Maldives
Travel

5 reasons why you should visit the Maldives

November marks the beginning of the travel season in Thailand and Asia, and Maldives is one of the best holiday destinations you may want to consider.

The best of Tokyo (in 72 hours)
Travel

The best of Tokyo (in 72 hours)

For the second year, Time Out Bangkok’s editor (okay, that’s me) was invited to be one of the judges of Time Out Tokyo’s Love Tokyo Awards, which celebrates the best that the vibrant Japanese capital can offer. I joined editors from London, New York, Barcelona, Australia (Melbourne and Sydney), and China (Beijing and Shanghai). Like the year before, it was more or less like a treasure hunt—we were individually tasked to visit and experience (that means eating, drinking, shopping and, well, beyond) the shortlisted nominees for this year, all in three days. Time Out Tokyo staffers accompanied us to some venues to help communicate with the locals and to act as translators, but, for the most part, I got to visit and discover some places on my own, which was not a problem as—like many Thais—Tokyo is my holiday playground and very familiar to me. The complete list of winners and nominees is available on the Love Tokyo Awards website, but I’ll go ahead and share my best finds, greatest discoveries and most exciting experiences. Hopefully, it can come in handy especially for those who are visiting Tokyo this coming holiday season.