Eat Bangkok. Three foodie neighborhoods, Victory Monument, Ari and Saphan Kwai, are all located on the Skytrain (also called the BTS) on the north side of Bangkok along with the famous Chatuchak Market. Start your day off right with one of Ari’s cozy neighborhood coffeejoints. Porcupine is a comfortable, low-key place with great espresso and iced latte
If you’re hungry for a big breakfast, go to Pla Dip on Ari Sampan near Soi 5 or Casa Lapin on Phaholyothin 7 (Soi Ari) instead. Pla Dip serves homemade yogurt with fresh fruit and granola and breakfast combos with omelets and crusty bread with jam. The eggs are from the chickens at their urban garden nearby. Case Lapin has filling, brunch-style fare: waffles topped with ham, Eggs Benedict variations, and Croque Madame.
If it’s Saturday or Sunday, after some coffee and breakfast, you should get on the Skytrain to the end stop, Mo Chit, where Chatuchak Market is located. It’s best to go early and stay for a few hours. Section 2 has young Thai designers. The Art Section, number 7, is on the opposite end. These two areas alone will occupy visitors for at least an hour or two.
Across the big road to the north, Kamphaeng Phet, is Or Tor Gor, a Thai gourmet food market. They have the highest quality fruits here and there are stalls with kitchen ware, too. There is an area with street food stalls and tables. Just across the parking lot are orchid and tropical plant vendors. If you are a gardener, this is really worth strolling through.
To take a break, you can go to the Chatuchak Park next to the Weekend Market. You can sit on benches or rent a mat from a wandering hawker. There are also paddle boats for rent. Alternatively, if you’re staying at Buff Hostel near Saphan Kwai BTS station, you can head back for a shower and a nap.
There are several options for dinner in the area and we highly recommend you try one of the excellent Isaan food establishments – Lay Lao in Ari serves fresh somtum with black sticky rice, which you don’t often find when eating this type of rustic, homey fare. The atmosphere is a little more upscale and quiet and there are creative touches, including a big crab painted on the wall and colorful fabric pillows. Another Isaan option in the neighborhood on Phaholyothin Soi 5 is Somtum Bangkok. They have a really nice outdoor garden. Expect traditional Northeastern Thai food including grilled chicken, grilled pork neck, and somtum, of course.
Further south on Rangnam, near the Victory Monument BTS station, is Tida Esarn. They have been on this little street for a long time. You know it’s authentic because a lot of locals in addition to the Japanese and European foreigners come here.
There are three very different options for the evening at Victory Monument. If you want to hear live music, head over to Saxophone Pub, a loud, raucous blues and rock club. This is a legendary spot where people come together to sing and dance. If you’re looking for something a little quieter, the Skytrain Jazz Club is an outdoor rooftop bar that attracts young creative types. Even more low-key is the WP Wine Pub in the King Power Pullman Hotel. It’s up a few floors in a dark, mellow space. They have a big wine list and feature a lot of promotions like tapas night and wine and cheese pairings.