The bustling city of Bangkok is home to around 12 million who call it 'City of Angels' or 'Krung Thep'. For decades people have visited the city to see its beautiful temples and the Grand Palace or to take a cruise along its canals or river to the old Siamese capital of Ayutthaya. Thai cuisine is an international favourite, and it's a popular thing to go there to learn the finer points of preparing it at one of the many cooking schools.
Many people find the Floating Markets worth a visit. The original was so popular, several others have popped up. If you are awake at around 3am, the Pak Klong Talaat flower market is an aromatic and colourful place to go. Vendors have buckets crammed with exotic orchids, lotus, gingers and amazing chrysanthemums, many of which will adorn the lobbies of grand hotels or be turned into garlands and offerings at temples.
Bangkok is a city of silks and cottons in myriads of colours, and plenty of tailors ready to make the fabrics into garments in next to no time. There are beautiful examples of local crafts everywhere, shops with limitless glittering gold and jewels some real, some not and there's the temptation to spend up at every turn.
Mah Boon Krong (known to everyone as MBK) is arguably Bangkok's number one shopping centre. The eight-storey marble mall is one of Asia's largest and is one of the city's most recognisable attractions. It's a one-stop centre, popular with locals and tourists for clothing, cosmetics, jewellery, electronics, furniture, restaurants, theatres and even a karaoke stint. It has around 2500 shops, is easily accessible by Sky Train and conveniently located at the beginning of the shopping centres lining Sukhumvit Road, the city's main shopping street.
Playground is a shopping experience with a difference. It covers three levels and stocks everything from designer clothing available nowhere else, home decoration, a cooking school, book shops, restaurants, sports stores and a play area for all ages.
When your feet are screaming for some relief and your arms just cannot carry any more shopping, the Sukhothai Hotel is a wonderful oasis. While most Bangkok hotels are high-rise, Sukhothai stands out because it's low-rise and set in magnificent gardens. Rooms and suites incorporate Thai fabrics, teakwood furniture and luxurious bathrooms.
Colonnade is an all-day restaurant, La Scala offers Italian cuisine and Celadon serves some of the best local dishes. Lobby Salon and the Zuk Bar serve refreshments and cocktails and the Pool Terrace Café and Bar is in informal place for a quick or leisurely meal and drink.
There is a 25-metre infinity pool, health club, gym, jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, whirlpool, squash court and floodlit tennis court.
When you are ready to find some nightlife, Bed Supperclub is the combination of an upmarket restaurant, club, art gallery, theatre and stage. It's in a new, custom-built building in a modern, futuristic all-white environment with a bar at the rear, divan-beds suspended from walls and low-slung chairs on the floor. Lighting provides a permanent glow of soft blue neon. It's where you take your shoes off, lie down and experience the cutting edge, which crosses the divide between dining and entertainment.
On weekends there's one sitting everyone should be there by 8.30pm and each course of a weekly-changing surprise four-course meal is served to all diners at the same time. During the week there's a selection of chef's specials.
Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel is 61 floors above the streets of Bangkok. The open-air rooftop lounge is stylish, sophisticated and is perfect for drinks and dinner.