Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011


1 Anantara Bangkok Sathorn
Most downtown hotels in Bangkok have glorified plunge pools, but at this recently opened property guests can complete decent laps in the roomy 32-m swimming pool — the best new hotel pool in town. A dedicated butler dispenses cold towels and Evian spritzes for those keener on working on their tans. Tel: (66-2) 210 9000.

2 Phuket Town
At the nostalgic Phuket Town restaurant, kanom jeen nam ya poo — soft, fermented rice noodles eaten at room temperature with a gently spiced crab curry and fresh vegetables — are a perfectly cool alternative to Thailand's scorching mainstays. Tel: (66-2) 714 9402; dinner for two runs to around $20.

3 Soul Food Mahanakorn
Besides spot-on renditions of street-food classics, the buzzing Soul Food Mahanakorn restaurant in the posh Thonglor neighborhood also boasts some of the city's best original cocktails, melding indigenous ingredients with top-notch liquor. On a steamy day, our pick is the refreshing So Fashioned — made from Heaven Hill bourbon, Thai basil, ginger, cranberry juice and bitters. Cocktails from $5;

4 Clouds
If you like having your cocktail and dessert rolled into one, the newly opened, high-concept lounge Clouds offers sweet concoctions with Ketel One vodka. The Rocky Road to Perdition combines vodka, chocolate ice cream, nuts, marshmallow and honey. The kinetic ceiling installation of bouncing steel balls is a mesmerizing accompaniment. Special cocktails from about $10; tel: (66-2) 185 2365.

5 Tutti
The ultra-feminine frocks at Tutti, a label by Central Saint Martins-trained designer Nuttanuch Wongpuapan, are ideal for the city's sticky climate. The diminutive shop also stocks sister label Tutti Frutti's beautifully made children's wear and the avant-garde handbags of Rouge Rouge, another local brand. Tel: (66-89) 967 5989.

6 Again & Again
Feel like more summery shopping? Vintage hounds should make a beeline for Again & Again, an airy, well-organized boutique that is the antithesis of the musty consignment shop. Dresses fill the racks, but there is a well-edited collection for men. Keep an eye out for Finnegan Gingham, a homegrown menswear brand that's best described as Edwardian dandy meets geek chic. Tel: (66-89) 486 5359;

7 Baan Silapin
Located near the Temple of Dawn, Baan Silapin, a tranquil art gallery cum studio in a century-old teak house with an Ayutthaya-era chedi (or Buddhist stupa), feels a world away from Bangkok's mayhem. It's also worth exploring the wooden shophouses that line the gallery's canal-side neighborhood, Khlong Bang Luang. Tel: (66-2) 868 5279.

8 amBar
Alfresco tippling has limited appeal amid Bangkok's never-ending traffic snarls and smog — unless you're several floors up. Around the corner from Sukhumvit Road's pulsating Soi 11 is the slinky rooftop amBar at Four Points by Sheraton, where young professionals and knowing tourists gather for sundowners and shisha pipes. Tel: (66-2) 309 3000.

9 Summer Gig
Gene Kasidit, the former front man of local electro-clash legends Futon, unveils his one-man show on July 23 and 30 and Aug. 6 at Opposite, a new gallery space opened by the team behind Thonglor's popular bohemian hangout WTF. "The Closing of a Bizarre Love Triangle" chronicles the making of this flamboyant Thai musician's 2009 solo album Affairs. Tel: (66-2) 662 6330; tickets $10.

10 Elemis Spa
Keep your skin from wilting in the heat with a lime-and-ginger salt scrub at the 14-room Elemis Spa at the new St. Regis Bangkok, a stone's throw from the city's main shopping district. Not in a hurry? Book the two-hour Absolute Relaxation Ritual, which includes a body wrap and massage. Tel: (66-2) 207 7779.