Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Bangkok. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Bangkok and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Bangkok insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Meet a Local Host®
I was born in 1968 and attended Wat Rang Bua School for my basic education before studying Tourism Business at Suan Dusit Teachers College. I completed a BA in Tourism from Rajabhat Institute. Since 1988, I have worked as a tour representative. In 2006, I was voted Best Tour Guide (English speaking) at the Thailand Tourism Awards. I am a very experienced guide and am at home with groups. My professionalism is often lauded. I love to teach others about Thai culture, and I am happy to observe tourists trying to speak some Thai language or use the ‘wai’ in greeting local people. My interests are in music, movies, traveling, people, and nature. My style is friendly, approachable, energetic, and knowledgeable.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
The "Temple of Dawn" is probably the most popular sight in Thailand, but don’t let that deter you. Carefully placed over its bricks, colorful porcelain and ceramic tiles create a varied and striking design. Four smaller prang (towers) encircle the central prang of this Buddhist temple, and each is decorated with carved figures of demons, soldiers, and animals.
Ban Khun Mae
Ban Khun Mae serves traditional Thai cuisine in a comfortable setting. It’s a little homey with pictures of Thai royalty adorning the walls. The service is good; women play local music within view of most tables; and best of all, a filling meal is very affordable. Locals and tourists alike dine here.
It’s a good rule of thumb in Bangkok to ignore appearances, and Chote Chitr certainly supports that. The restaurant looks quite simple, but it serves a wide variety of Thai cuisine. Patrons come away very impressed by the delicate balance of spicy, sweet, and sour. The chef might even ask what you’re in the mood for and concoct some daily specials based on your answer.
The Blue Elephant
You may decide you can’t get enough of the delicious local flavors, and if that’s the case, spend half a day at The Blue Elephant to learn how to prepare authentic Thai at home. This cooking school takes you through the entire process—from shopping at a market to enjoying your dishes. While it’s somewhat more expensive than a half day of museums and lunch, the long-term benefits are immense.
Kite-fighting at Sanam Luang
For a truly unique competition—without the violence of Thai boxing—head out to this park on a weekend to watch the kites soar and “battle.” The idea behind the match is a battle between the sexes; the male kites, “Chula,” try to capture the females, “Pakpao.” You’ll know which is which: males are shaped like stars, females like diamonds.
Grease the elbows and stretch the knees; it’s time for a hectic shopping experience. There’s something for everyone here—from the bargain-hunter to the clinically fashionable. Clothing, jewelry, crafts, and much more are on full display in this busy area. Make sure you venture behind the street-front vendors to Pratunam Market for international goods. Keep in mind, bargaining here is more about being friendly and respectful.
Saxophone Pub & Restaurant
Saxophone has everything you’d want in a jazz club—dim lights, dark wood and brick finishes, and instruments on the walls—except, some nights, jazz. Live blues plays more often, and sometimes rock rears its head. But this is a great place to hang out regardless of the band playing.
Take a look at Bangkok in its night-lit glory from this 32nd-floor wine bar. Live jazz plays, and the glass walls are perfect for viewing the city. This is intended for a more elegant (and expensive) night out.
There are countless places offering traditional Thai massage in Bangkok. One of the best choices is the Thai Massage School at Wat Pho. Many of the local masseuse and masseurs were taught here, and you can get a 1-hour massage for $15 to $20 USD. You can also learn the techniques for yourself!
Ride a tuk-tuk
These small 3-wheeled vehicles are an interesting way to get around and should be tried by anyone traveling to Bangkok. Make sure to negotiate the fare before sitting down.