Luxury in Bangkok is not hard to come by, Thailand is known as an affordable destination for all types of travellers, making it a go-to destination for anyone travelling in Southeast Asia — and a favourite among digital nomads. It goes beyond the low cost of living, Thailand is filled with beauty, history, friendly locals, and delicious food.
One does not need to be a luxury traveller to enjoy luxury in Bangkok, one can be a budget traveller, a family traveller, a flashpacker. Here are 6 ways you can enjoy luxury in Bangkok, without breaking your travel budget!
TREAT YOURSELF TO A HOTEL STAY
Staying in hostels can be a great way to meet other travellers, but they can also wear you down after awhile — noisy roommates, uncomfortable beds, weak water power in the showers. Staying in a hotel for a night or two can be a fabulous way to add a little luxury to your time in Bangkok. You don’t have to stay in a $300/night hotel, you can stay in a hotel like Amari Watergate Bangkok which has comfy beds, an extensive buffet restaurant, and showers with fabulous water pressure; all for as low as $115/night (prices subject to change). In comparison, a private room at a boutique hostel can cost $80/night, and doesn’t include breakfast (and if it does, the croissants are likely packaged ones from 7-eleven that the hostel has opened and reheated), or come with access to a pool or gym. Other excellent choices are Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11, Movenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok, and Pullman Bangkok Hotel G.
FIRST CLASS CINEMA EXPERIENCE
Nobody does luxury in Bangkok like the cinema at Central Embassy shopping mall. Gold and beige walls, leather sofas, a bar, snacks, a welcome chocolate truffle; the moment you walk into the cinema at Central Embassy you feel like you’re walking into a luxury experience. The seats? Cocoon style sofas where each seat reclines and comes with a pillow and a warm blanket — which is great because the air conditioning can be rather cold at times. If you don’t feel up to getting popcorn or a drink, no worries, just press a button and a seat attendant will appear to serve you. Seriously. Tickets are 900 baht each, for both regular and 3D movies. It’s expensive but completely worth it. I recommend going to a longer action movie to get your money’s worth — the sound system is out of this world.
GET A THAI MASSAGE
Getting a Thai massage is one of the quintessential Thailand experiences, at the top of almost every traveller’s Southeast Asia bucket list. Finding a streetside foot massage for $3 in Bangkok is relatively easy, but visiting a massage shop and paying for a $10 massage is the way to go. A full body massage usually runs an hour or two, but if you don’t want a full body massage, a back, neck, and shoulder massage is also an excellent choice. Thai massages can involve a certain level of pain, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re being massaged too hard — most of the time they will lighten a little bit.
BOUTIQUE COFFEE SHOPS
Bangkok is crawling with boutique coffee shops, in fact, it feels as though a new boutique coffee shop opens every other week. Central Embassy mall is a new luxury mall, and home to a couple boutique coffee shops; including Coffee Beans by Dao and Rocket Coffeebar — which has another location in Silom. Other popular locations are Jam Factory, Roast Coffee, and Casa Lapin.
COCKTAILS AT A ROOFTOP BAR
There are several sky bars throughout Bangkok. While some, like Sirocco, have prices that are similar to those in Canada and the USA, there are others that serve cocktails at a more reasonable price. Some of the more popular rooftop bars in the city are: Above Eleven, Cloud 47, Red Sky and Vertigo.
PRIVATE TOUR OF BANGKOK’S CANALS
Exploring the Khlongs (canals) in Bangkok offers a very different view of the city; in many ways exploring the Khlongs makes you feel as though you’re in a small town in Thailand, not the capital city. Renting a longtail boat from the pier can be done, but hiring a guide is the best way to go as they will know the canals, which floating markets are less touristy, which places to stop and explore on foot, and so on. You can hire a longtail boat for about 3,000 THB an hour, plus the guide. Most hostels and hotels can help arrange private tours.