I’ve been to Bangkok three times this year — once in February and twice last month. You might say that it’s a little excessive, and you’d probably think, “Don’t you get sick of it?” The answer is a resounding NO. Recently, Bangkok has proven to be more than just a quick, cheap getaway destination. It’s a place that recharges me, both spiritually and creatively, despite the heat and constant madness.
I made a conscious effort to avoid the touristy spots whenever I’d find some time to myself and this has proven beneficial. By doing so, I discovered places (with the help of some friends, of course) that celebrate the city’s creativity, whether it’s through design, retail or food. These places are hidden, but not inaccessible; hip, but not pretentious; beautiful, but not overpriced.
1/F Yada Building, Silom Road, Bangkok
Nearest BTS Station: Sala Daeng
Hidden in an unassuming alley lined with tiny Japanese restaurants, Everyday Karmakamet is a lifestyle store that celebrates the beauty of everyday life.
Karmakamet is known for its range of locally made products, such as essential oils, handmade soaps, artisanal candles, room scents and body sprays. Take your pick from row upon row of sweet smelling options. I went for the Egyptian Fig and Tobacco body spray, which goes for 550 baht each.
Aside from their own label, Everyday Karmakamet also stocks various local brands, such as Summerson Bags, which I recently featured.
There is also a wide selection of stationery, notebooks, home decor, leather goods, footwear and clothing. All made in Thailand, of course.
If you want to take a break from shopping, order their flavoured iced teas. My personal favourite would be the green apple (88 baht).
THINGS TO MAKE AND DO
THE BLOC, Ratchapruk Road, Bangramad, Talingchan, Bangkok
Located within THE BLOC, an artistic compound made up of re-purposed container vans, Things To Make And Do is a store known for its home decor. While the Scandinavian design aesthetic is present in almost everything in the boutique, all of it is 100% Thai made.
Leaving empty handed is almost impossible here, so please observe self-control.
149 Sathorn Soi 12, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok
Nearest BTS Station: Chong Nonsi
The brunch scene, like anywhere else, is alive and well in Bangkok. Leading the pack is Rocket Coffeebar, a chic cafe in the charming neighbourhood of Sathorn.
Here, a mix of well-heeled locals and expats converge en masse on weekends, sipping on cold brewed coffee (75 baht), smoothies and freshly squeezed juices.
The food is also worth raving about. The omelette topped with herbs is simple, filling and tasty, while the eggs benedict with chorizo is a good choice if you’ve got an afternoon of shopping ahead of you.
To be continued.