If you're looking for a vacation packed with lip-smacking Thai food, Buddhist temples and unlimited shopping, then pack your bags for Bangkok. Crowded and busy, the city never sleeps. When a super hectic day gets over, the night flea markets and the road side food joints take over.
One of the big attraction of Bangkok is the skyscrapers. One of such high-rise is Lebua Hotels and Resorts, who invited us to experience the city from a great height. The highlight of this place is the Sky Bar -- an open air bar, and Sirocco -- world's highest alfresco restaurant that serves mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine. Perched on the 63rd floor, here you can enjoy live jazz music against the breathtaking view of river Chao Phraya river.
Known for its aromatic Thai and sea food, on every street of Bangkok you will find noodle stalls. Take your pick from chicken noodles, duck noodles, egg noodles, beef or meatball noodles. Red and green Thai curries are also a must-try. Do not miss their Pad Thai (Thai style fried noodles), Kai Jiaow (Thai-style omelette) and Kaao mun kai (rice and steamed chicken). The best street food is available at Chinatown, Ratchadamri Road, Victory Point and Sukhumvit Soi 38 food stalls. And if you happen to crave for Indian food, you can head to Taste of India on Khaosan Road or Sagar Ratna on Silom Road. And when you feel tired, you can sit by the roadside to pamper your feet to a relaxing foot massage from the local street masseuse. If you are ready to splurge, head to a nice spa for a complete body Thai massage. And, if street food is not your choice, then you can head to Lebua's fine dining restaurant, Mezzaluna, where twin brothers, chefs Thomas and Mathias SÃ¼hring change the menu everyday. "Natural flavours and texture are dominant in each dish," say the chefs, admitting that guests often get surprised seeing the twin faces at their open show-kitchen.
Bangkok is a heaven for shopaholics. From high-end products at Siam Paragon mall and CentralWorld mall, to the more affordable MBK mall, Bangkok has something for everyone. However, what you must not miss are the flea markets and the night markets. With over 15,000 stalls, at Chatuchak weekend market you get everything from clothes, accessories and decor items. Khao San road and Patpong night markets are also a delight. On Sukhumvit Road, you'll find shopping malls, department stores and street side vendors selling souvenirs, knock-off clothing and pirated DVDs. For electronic goods, you can head to Pantip Plaza, New Phetchaburi Road.
Thai Bhat (1 Bhat= R1.7)
Bangkok has many swanky and luxurious hotels. One such is Lebua Hotels & Resorts, Silom Road. Tel. (+66) 2624 9999
How to reach:
You could take Thai Airways or Cathay Pacific. It takes four hours to reach Bangkok Airport from Delhi.
What to see:
Bangkok boasts of temples and palaces which include Grand Palace, the temple of Wat Pho -- also called the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, and Lumphini Park.
Best time to visit:
May-June is good time to go before the rains begin. "We get the highest number of Indian guests in June, which is the time for summer breaks. In the first quarter of 2012, we got over 1,000 Indian guests," says Deepak Ohri, CEO, Lebua Hotels & Resorts.
What to carry:
Don't step out without wearing sunscreen. Umbrellas, hats and sunglasses are a must.