Follow these instructions carefully and you will have a great half day in Bangkok, and one of the best Thai meals in the capital.
1) Get your lifestyle manager (I have mine through my Vertu mobile phone ) or your hotel concierge to organise a longtail boat for half a day’s river trip. We paid Bht5000 for 5 hours (no doubt you can get it cheaper, but I like to spread my money into the economy).
2) Set off around 10:30am and go on an explore around the Klongs for an hour or so. Well worth it to see the wildlife, the temples and businesses along the canals.
3) After an hour or so head upriver to Suan Thip, it takes around 60mins and it’s just fascinating seeing all the action on the river. The barges, the military installations, the temples, the timber yards, the houses etc. It’s a lovely way to spend an hour relaxing whilst watching the world go by.
4) Stuff face at Suan Thip which is a lovely old complex comprising a restaurant/cooking school/banquet hall and a beautiful garden. (If you are there in the daytime then ask to sit in a sala by the river. At night I’m not sure how horrific the mozzies might be, so consider carefully whether you want inside or out for dinner).
5) Roll back in your boat and digest the huge amount of food you are likely to have eaten whilst you whizz back to BKK, in time for a shopping spree and a massage before dinner.
Suan Thip is very popular at night, and I’m sure it would be all sorts of romantik in the garden but you would miss seeing all the life along the river if you went in the dark. Lunch wasn’t very busy so it was super relaxing.
Food: Surprisingly it’s Thai… They have a huge menu, and they do pride themselves on showcasing the country’s cuisine, and it’s really very good. We particularly like the more jungle style soups and curries, whose flavours were incredibly delicate yet still lovely and hot, certainly not your bog standard fare.
If you like your Thai food proper Thai-hot then do impress this on your waiter as they automatically tone it down for foreigners. The other great thing is that all the dishes come in small or large portions, so if you are a couple you can let rip and order lots of different things – very smart thinking that restauranteur.
Ambience: Just lovely in the salas in the garden. Insects chirupping, the occasional roar of boat engines, surrounded by palms and pot-plants. There was a massive tour group in the main restaurant when we went and I was glad to be out in the garden. As I say – if you go for dinner make sure you have the mozzie repellant.
Service: Very good service. Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable about the food.
Price: Incredibly reasonably priced for the quality of the food and the venue. Delightful meal, around US$20-30 a head – good value.
Location: 17 Soknai,Wat Koo Road, Pakkret. Tel: --
You can also get here by going to Mo Chit Skytrain station and then it’s a 10km taxi ride – but why would you bother when the river trip is so much part of the experience.
Open: Daily from 11am to 11pm, with last orders at 10pm.
Note: If you’re not a regular to BKK then take the advice and make sure you send a lunch-box down to your boatman at the restaurant and if you buy food and drinks on the canals then share with him too. Sometimes when you are enjoying yourself these things slip your mind.