Explore Thailand’s city highlights
Thailand’s famed beaches seem to bring the most buzz, but in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Sukhothai, city slickers are made to feel right at home. And, fine living can be found too. In these urban destinations, travelers get a taste of Thailand’s fresh cuisine, wellness facilities, and astounding numbers of Buddhist and Hindu temples.
Start your journey in Thailand’s largest city of Bangkok. Abstract modern design beckons you at the Metropolitan by COMO Bangkok, where space, light and textures make a play on your senses. The location on South Sathorn Road combines the advantages of the Central Business District with proximity to Bangkok’s buzzing nightlife. Those seeking to quench their thirst and fill their tummy should stop by the COMO’s The Met Bar, which serves easy-going Asian food by day. However, by night Nahm, by Australian chef David Thompson, is not to be missed as this is one of the most popular restaurants in the city, voted best in Asia in 2014.
A few steps from your hotel will land you in the colorful seat of a motorized tuk tuk. Your driver will tell you to “hold on!” as you zip you past the city’s diverse urban landscape, including its glorious monuments, skyscrapers, street markets, and fresh food stands. Be sure to try some fresh pad thai or fragrant curry noodle soup from a street vendor. Ask the tuk tuk driver to take you on a short trip to the Grand Palace of 1782, where the Thai kings resided for 150 years.
A one-hour flight from Bangkok puts you in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second-largest city surrounded by a ring of beautiful mountains in the north of the country. Despite its name literally meaning “New City” it has weathered more than 700 years of fascinating history.
At the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, an early morning start will give you a chance to help the staff give healthy food offerings to the local Buddhist monks who visit on a daily basis. Foodies will enjoy a private cooking class to cook authentic Thai specialties like kaow soi gai and tom yum goong by a Four Seasons Hotel chef and then eat each dish afterward. Designed by the award-winning Bensley Design Studios in Bangkok, the resort’s Lanna-style cooking facility celebrates northern architecture and traditional design, and guests can tour the school’s herb garden of essential Asian ingredients, like lemongrass, ginger, galangal, turmeric and garlic.
For dinner, the local favorite, Pechdoingam, offers a chance to experience authentic Chiang Mai Thai food, like succulent Pia fish, sadow, and gang ohm. The food is so fresh that the chef may place some edible leaves on your plate from outside of the restaurant.