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    24 Hour Bangkok Guide

    Guide courtesy of Jessica Parr, blogger at The Layover Life. Follow her travels on Instagram.

    But First, Coffee:

    Photo: Jessica Parr

    Bangkok is filled with great coffee shops like Dexters. I stumbled across this gem on my first day in the city. In my caffeine-hungry, jet-lagged state, I was more than smug about finding it. Dexters serves an array of coffee types from all over the world—the most interesting was the English option served with honey and butter. I played it safe with the Indian coffee spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. It was divine! The atmosphere here is light, airy and calm. It’s a great spot to escape the chaos of Bangkok. Free wifi is available, too.

    Dexters, Soi Sathon 8.

    Get A Thai Massage:

    Photo: Jessica Parr

    There are so many options for a massage in Bangkok so I wanted to try something a little different—and no, I’m not talking seedy! Perception Blind Massage offers massages with one little difference and the clue is in the title: all the masseurs who work here have no sight. Their belief is that they’ll be more in touch with the customers’ senses. Painful at times it was, but I left the place walking on air. It will be difficult not to rush back here on my next trip instead of trying out the competition. The concept is so unique and a success to say the least! I struggled to get an appointment so make sure to book in advance. A 1 hour Thai massage costs 400 baht. A portion of the proceeds goes to blind foundations in Thailand.

    Perception Blind Massage, Soi Sathon 8.

    Do A Thai Cookery Class:

    Photo: Jessica Parr

    This is by far my favourite activity to do when I travel. Learning to create local cuisine is such a joy for me. After a little research I decided that Silom Thai Cooking School was the best option—cheap and all 5* reviews. We met at the market to have a little education on Thai ingredients then wandered down a few back streets to the chic and simple Silom cooking house. Oat, our teacher, was outrageously funny and kept us all entertained throughout the three hour class.

    I have to say this is by far the best value cooking class I’ve ever done. For what was about £20, we had such a fun and informative day cooking and eating five different Thai dishes. To find out more about our day spent cooking check out my features section on my blog.

    If you decided to do just one thing on this travel list, make it the Silom Thai Cooking School class. For 1000 baht, it’s a great afternoon.

    Take A Boat Trip Up The Chao Phraya River:

    Photo: Jessica Parr

    We boarded the river at Saphan Taksin and cruised up to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho temples. The boat journey is a peaceful moment in a chaotic city. It also is a cheap form of transport—14 baht for a 20 minute journey. Get off at the Grand Palace dock to see the stunning, glistening temples and Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Remember to cover your shoulders and wear modest clothing. This is a great option for time efficiency by ticking two things off the list here.

    For Something A Little Different:

    Photo: Jessica Parr

    Hidden down a back street in Sukhumvit, Havana Social—a 1940s Cuban speakeasy—is the perfect evening if you want something completely out of the ordinary in Bangkok. The unsigned bar requires an entry code through the telephone box—I’ll be kind and tell you its 1940# as the bouncer on the door won’t help you as you struggle to get in! Once inside you’ll be taken back in time to 1940s Havana. For those of you who follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve just returned from Cuba and I can tell you they’ve absolutely nailed it! We danced away to live Cuban music whilst sipping on Cuba Libres and donning Havana Fedora hats (until we realised this separated the tourists from the locals and they were discreetly removed).

    Havana Social, Sukhumvit Rd, Soi 11

    Avoid: Khao San Road

    Photo: Jessica Parr

    Let me save you time here: it’s not worth the hype. The place can only be described as a faux bohemian traveller’s paradise. Khao San Road was probably once a great spot to go and grab a beer with friends and party into the early hours of the morning. However, like any tourist hotspot, businesses have latched on to certain trends and commercialised the whole thing. The street is now filled with stores selling fake goods, street food that is bland and inedible, dingy massage salons and vendors bombarding you with flashy tats that no one wants to buy!

    stevie benanty

    stevie benanty

    Founder of a conversation.

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