Advice for Bangkok and Siem Reap?


Aug 2nd, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Advice for Bangkok and Siem Reap?

My wife and I will be in Bangkok for three nights and Siem Reap for four nights later this month (it's our second visit to Bangkok). This forum has been enormously helpful in our travel planning, for many trips, so I thought I'd ask for:

Any restaurant recommendations in Bangkok? We'll be staying at the Okura Prestige and we'll also be doing the 3-hour Bangkok Food Tour that's been recommended here.

Any bar recommendations in Bangkok? Not clubs, but cool places to get a drink, maybe with a great view. The State Tower?

Any restaurant recommendations for Siem Reap?

Any suggestions/warnings if we want to check out one of the red-light districts (in terms of cultural observation, NOT in terms of bringing home a Thai bar-girl)? I've read up on that a bit, of course, and am appropriately wary, but I wondered if anyone here had any thoughts.

Thanks in advance for any and all help. It's greatly appreciated!
johnny99 is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 09:40 AM
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We had drinks and dinner at the State Tower back in 2005, and it was well worth it in our opinion. For whatever reason, there were fireworks that night, and we were actually looking down on the fireworks show, which was nice.
mistadobalina is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 10:00 AM
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What sort of "culture" do you want to observe in the red light district? When you said "we" are you taking your wife, perhaps for new ideas, or even your parents? Or is it just you and some male friends?
Hanuman is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 11:35 AM
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There are tons of great restaurants in Siem Reap. Off the top of my head, i'd recommend Wat Damnak cuisine for a wonderful prix fixe dinner at either $17 or $24 + drinks. Pull directions off their website, as your driver won't be able to find it. They're closed on Mondays, and the new menu starts on Tuesday. Reservations a good idea.

Khmer Kitchen is a good spot for Cambodian food down in the Pub Street area. Il Forno for Italian, Toiuch and Abacus are also really nice. For Lunch, the main Blue Pumpkin is good for ice cream & Pastry downstairs or go upstairs for light meals in their air conditioned room with free wifi. Ms Wong's is a fun little cocktail bar in the Pub Street area. Get a table where you can watch the people go by, or stop in at the Raffles for a drink in their bar.

Hawaii Pizza, off Wat Bo Road (on the side street across from Apsara Market) has great breakfasts, Pizza, and salads.

Tuk Tuks in town should be $2 or $3 anywhere you go, although maybe another Dollar or two for Wat Damnak or Touich.

In Bangkok, I really loved Gaggon. It's sort of Indian, sort of Thai, molecular cooking. Sounds odd, but OMG great food. Get just the tasting meal, unless you are really starving. I always hit the food court at Siam Paragon Mall on the lower floor. The first booth after the cashier makes an incredible Papaya salad while you wait and his fried chicken is out of this world. (I know, fried chicken doesn't sound Thai, but it is.
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Thanks, mistadobalina and lcuy! Lcuy, great restaurant recommendations. Gaggon sounds fun and we love the food court at SP, though haven't tried the fried chicken -- but will!

Hanuman, it will be my wife and I, and "anthropological" is probably more precise than "cultural." My wife and I are both writers, and we just like to observe the workings of various sub-cultures in different social contexts.
johnny99 is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 02:13 PM
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there are so many good rest. in bkk:

biscotti in 4 seasons hotel is a fav

face bar on like soi 38 sukhumvit

crepes and co on like soi 16, sukhumvit

harmonique off of new road

lord jim at the oriental (lunch buffet)

tongue thai behind oriental

liu rest on 3rd fl of conrad for dim sum lunch
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 03:25 PM
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A new venue that just opened not long ago, for a view, would be the new Sofitel on Sukhumvit at soi 15. There is a very relaxed "French" type restaurant up there, as well as a very nice bar and "library," and you can go outside and sit as well. I was just there about 2 weeks ago, and thought it was great. The restaurant and the bar are two separate entities, so you don't have to eat to enjoy the view. I think the bar might have finger food items. It's about 32 floors up?

Skybar for drinks only!! I don't think the food is worth it, personally. The view is THE best! A bit more pretentious (sp) though; they have a dress code. Other places do not.

Red Sky, the top of Central World Mall (Centara Grande Hotel) is also excellent. Nice atmosphere, all outside, good food, great view, also very relaxing. I think you can go just for drinks, too.

I also like Face on soi 39 (?) Sukhumvit. Kinarree on Sukhumvit soi 8 is also a good place for Thai food. Both of these restaurants are in 'houses' but Kinarree is a bit more modern. Face has wood floors and all.
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 06:13 PM
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The lobby and restaurants at the Okura have pretty good views, although I think the best is from the pool.

Around the corner from the Okura on Soi Ruam Rudee is Hyde & Seek, a 'gastro-pub'. There's no view but it has a good reputation for food and drinks. On the same street is Cafe Tartine, a small French cafe that serves simple but really delicious food. In the same building as the Okura is a Dean & Delucca as well. Lastly, in the old building complex next door is La Monita, probably the best Mexican food in Bangkok.
MichaelBKK is offline  
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 08:31 PM
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When you say that the sex show is a part of the Thai culture is very insulting and ignorant of you. Appreciate you rewording your words.
Hanuman is offline  
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 07:10 AM
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Thanks to everyone for all the great recommendations! Last time we were in Bangkok we had, thanks to recommendations on this forum, great meals at Harmonique and Tongue Thai (we stayed that visit at the Royal Orchid), and great massages and lunch at Face. We're eager to try some of the new places (to us) that have been suggested, so thanks again!
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 05:34 PM
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I second the recommendation for Blue Pumpkin in Siem Reap. We had a nice lunch upstairs where you can rest on big beds/sofas and cool down from the heat. I also recommend Viroth's. We ate there for lunch and dinner while we there and loved it both times!
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Aug 3rd, 2012, 07:46 PM
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Blue Pumpkin? Why would you want to travel all the way to SR to eat coffee-shop food? I love their ice-cream and pastries, but there are better venues for a good meal.

I think Il Forno is overrated. Pizzas may be good, but for different Italian fare head to "Little Italy". Agree with the other recommendations from lcuy.
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Aug 4th, 2012, 12:34 AM
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I like In Touch upstairs on the corner of Pub Street in SR, but the Korean Karaoke tours do too, mind it can be amusing and they only stay about half an hour. Ah Ha is lovely for a special dinner too.
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Aug 5th, 2012, 01:42 AM
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Hi a restaurant we have enjoyed a few times is Baan Khanitha they have a website We can vouch for the service and quality at the South Sathorn venue. Really good food. They have another as you will see in the website. I think the second restaurant must be very near to Soi Cowboy so maybe you could combine the two events in one evening.
Another red light district is Nana where you can sit, drink and people watch yes I am sure you will be propositioned- but a polite no always works. We once saw a couple of European girls sitting drinking with some bar girls in deep conversation.
Hope you have an interesting time there is good to see all aspects of this great cities life
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Aug 5th, 2012, 02:54 AM
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Just in case you are going to google it it's Gaggan ( not Gaagon) one of my most favourite restuarants ever!!!! It really is that amazing.

We LOVED Touich in Siem reap, book via their web as they can arrange pick up as its about 5 minutes out of town.
We had a fab Khmer 7 course dinner at merc at the hotel de la paix.
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