They say New York is the city that never sleeps. Perhaps, yes. But in the exotic East, that accolade belongs to Bangkok. The Thai capital is always buzzing, all year round. From its busy markets and shopping districts to its 24-hour restaurants and famous nightlife, there’s never a dull moment. So it’s no surprise so many ﬁlms have chosen Bangkok as the backdrop to their storylines. Thanks to its vibrant city scenery combined with rich cultural heritage, Bangkok is unlike any city you’ll ever visit.
THE HANGOVER II
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galiﬁanakis, Justin Bartha
Where: State Tower No other movie sums up the madness of Bangkok more than The Hangover Part II. From the markets of Chinatown to the busy streets of Sukhumwit, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galiﬁanakis, Justin Bartha and co gave a clear impression of the place. The most famous scene was ﬁlmed at the award-winning Sirocco restaurant located on the 64th ﬂoor of the city’s State Tower. Besides incredible food, you’ll also ﬁnd the best views the city has to offer, making it a highlight of the nightlife scene. Be sure to try their signature Hangovertini, which was created especially for the cast while they were ﬁlming there. Whether you’re a fan of The Hangover movie series or just want to live like a star, you can also stay in the expansive and lavish suite at the Lebua Hotel (lebua.com) that hosted the cast while they were ﬁlming there. If it’s good enough for Bradley Cooper, it’s good enough for us!
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON
STARRING: Hugh Grant, Renee Zellweger
WHERE: Soi Cowboy
Did we mention Bangkok is famous for its nightlife? Soi Cowboy is one of its most famous tourist streets in the city. Hugh Grant visited Soi Cowboy while shooting the movie Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. It hosts around 40 bars close to Sukhumvit Road. The Tilac Bar and several local bar girls are seen in the ﬁlm. It was reported at the time that Hugh was chased by bar girls and had to ﬂee, though he later denied the claims. Bangkok Dangerous with Nicholas Cage and The Hangover Part II also ﬁlmed scenes in this famous party road.
ONLY GOD FORGIVES
STARRING: Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas
WHERE: Nana Thriller ﬂick Only God Forgives, featuring Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas, was ﬁlmed entirely in Bangkok. Probably the most easily recognisable part of the city is the chase on foot through the Nana area, thanks to its many neon signs. If you want to experience the real Bangkok, head over to Nana where you will ﬁnd countless affordable Thai restaurants, bars, nightclubs, markets and, of course, street food stalls. Our go-to place in Nana for the best Thai green curry is a little spot called Bus Stop in Soi 4. But don’t be afraid to sample the street food for starters!
WHERE TO STAY
SOFITEL SO BANGKOK
Being such an enormous city, with so many locations to choose from, it can be diﬃcult deciding on an area, never mind a hotel. But if you’re looking for a luxury hotel in the heart of the city in close proximity to most of the famous landmarks, shopping districts and party spots, try the Soﬁtel So Bangkok in Bangrak.
Contemporary and sophisticated Soﬁtel So Bangkok is styled by legendary designer Christian Lacroix. From the bold staﬀ uniforms and the visionary installation in the lobby to his unmistakable design stamp at the enchanting Club Signature lounge, it’s one of the most fashionable hotels you’ll ever see! And they haven’t neglected technology either. All rooms are equipped with 40-inch ﬂatscreen LCD TV’s and fully integrated Apple Mac mini media solutions used to
access the entertainment and guest services at the touch of a button, plus the latest iPad in all suites!
Along with four restaurants and bars, the hotels also features a fully-equipped So Fit gym and So Spa, which is a cool urban retreat. The highlight, however, is their 10th ﬂoor inﬁnity pool, which overlooks the luscious green gardens of Lumphini Park below. INFO: Rooms cost from Dhs630, 2 North Sathorn Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, +66 2 624 0000, soﬁtelso-bangkok.com
ANANTARA SIAM BANGKOK HOTEL
If you’re looking for old-world Thai glamour, complete with a colonialstyle courtyard boasting a cocktail bar manned by waistcoat-wearing mixologists, then Anantara Siam is the spot for you. The leafy open-air courtyard, called Aqua, is ﬂanked by restaurants. Spice Market serves up classic Thai, Madison’s is a steakhouse, and the three venues combine to host Sunday brunch, hugely popular with expats (sound familiar?). Shintaro serves Japanese cuisine, Biscotti oﬀers Italian fare and Mocha and Muﬃns bakery and café is known for its spicy Thai sausage roles, a snack you have to try.
By now you’re getting an idea of this hotel’s impressive size, and don’t forget about the Lobby afternoon tea – this is where you can lift your little ﬁnger to the skies amid grand columns, hand-painted glistening silk panel murals and a fabulously frescoed ceiling.
Getting around Bangkok can be a headache, but extra brownie points go to this hotel for having a metro station on its doorstep. The must-do MBK mall, full of fashion stores and topped with a fascinating food court, is just a few stops away, and both Gaggan and Nahm are less than a 10 minutes away in a cab ride– signiﬁcant as these Bangkok only two entries on the current World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
At the Anantara spa you’ll be rubbed with gold leaf for luck after your treatment (we recommend the bamboo massage for untying knots), and when it’s time to chill, hit the outdoor pool surrounded by loungers and palm trees – a real inner-city oasis.
Inside the rooms, you’ll ﬁnd L’Occitane toiletries, Thai artifacts, teak furnishings and silk screen prints. It’s every inch the golden age of Thai glamour.
INFO: Rooms cost from Dhs566, A nantara Siam Bangkok, +66 2 126 8866, firstname.lastname@example.org, siam-bangkok.anantara. com
GETTING THERE: Thai Airways flies from Dubai direct to Bangkok from Dhs2,423. To book call 04 268 1701 or visit thaiairways.com
CURRENCY: Thai baht, Dhs10 = 98.24THB
TIME DIFFERENCE: The UAE is three hours behind Bangkok