Bangkok has become super developed and super touristic over a short period of time. This makes it difficult to find cool spots in a such a big, well developed city. Fear not as this guide is here to help you avoid the tourists and discover what's left of Bangkok for hipsters.
You want to check out the Bangkok skyline but you're a supercool backpacker who doesn't want to spend £10 per drink and wear full length trousers and a collared shirt... So what do you do? Head to Cloud 47, it's not too far from Si Lom metro station and is on maps.me. It is the only rooftop bar that is backpacker friendly as there is no dress code and drinks are much cheaper than all of the alternatives. The long table is another rooftop with, surprisingly, a really long table but it also has an infinity pool.
If you've been on the road a while you're probably craving the sweet nectar of craft beer and are sick of swigging same old Chang. Bangkok is full of craft beer bars which import a lot of the finest craft from around Europe and the states. It does come at a price however, expect to pay around 250THB for a beer in any of these places. Si Lom houses many craft beer cafes, one of them which we recommend is the aptly named 'Craft' and is located right next to the holiday inn.
KHAO SAN ROAD
Ready for some chaos? Grab some beers from a 7eleven and head to the infamous backpacker haven of Khao San Road. Walk up and down the street being offered scorpions, laughing gas and ping pong shows. Chaos ensues all around, just soak up the atmosphere and partake if you choose. By all means visit Khao San Road but do not book to stay here as it is too loud and most of the accommodation is pretty rank. The street running parallel to Khao San has a slightly more chilled out vibe and has better music in our opinion. One of the narrow bars on the street hosts a brass reggae band most evenings which is always a party you don't want to miss.
Some of the best food in Bangkok is located on the top floor of an internationally themed mall. Here you can find crispy noodles in pork gravy, prawn in red curry encased in egg as well as plenty of vegetarian and vegan options all for as little as 50THB a dish.
Hungry for some sweet stuff but want to go somewhere unique and avoid the chains? The Unicorn Cafe is exactly what is sounds like for all my Brony bros. Grab some rainbow coloured waffles with syrup & ice-cream on your pink thrown whilst wearing a unicorn onesie surrounded by unicorns.
Avoid the tourists and head to the much cheaper Khlong Lat Floating Market which is located much closer to the city centre. It is only open on weekends and we recommend getting an Uber as most city taxis will claim they don't know where it is and try to take you to the tourist market. It hosts some of the best local food in Bangkok as well as a beautiful surrounding area which you can take a boat around for 100THB.
Most of the markets in Thailand sell cheap knock offs of your favourite brands but you want some authentic pre loved retro shit right? Head to Chatuchak weekend market, known by locals as JJ Market, for vintage trainers, denim, tees and hats. The whole market opens all day Saturday and Sunday but on a Friday night only part of the market opens making it easier to find the vintage stores. Pick up everything you can fit in your pack as you won't find another market like it in Thailand.
Want a tshirt that hangs lower than your waste but can only find Asian baby sizes in the markets? Head to MBK on the 4th floor there is a store that specialises in plus sized clothing, pick up a Kanye or Thrasher t-shirt for 100Bhat.
RATCHADA TRAIN MARKET
Ok, so no trains pass through here anymore but it's still a cool spot to chill out. There's plenty of retro fitted shops and bars. The striking colours of the market stalls tarpaulin roofs makes for a good shot and you can grab some pretty sweet clothes and gifts.
Break into a shell of a building with some of the best views over Bangkok. The graffiti filled walls and eerie interior make for an artists canvas or a free runners playground. Construction ceased in 1997 when the owner was sent to prison for conspiracy. Since which you have been able to pay a homeless local to gain access.
Cruise the river like a local by heading to one of the ferry ports on the Chao Phrya river. Tickets only cost 15THB and you can spot most of the sights in Bangkok without being a part of a lame tourist excursion. Try to head out around 5pm to catch the sun setting over the Wats and the lights reflecting off the river after sunset.
THE HANGOVER BUILDING
The Sirocco sky bar famed for the filming of The Hangover 2 is super expensive. Want to do it like a true backpacker? Walk in like you own the joint and catch the elevator 4 floors below the sky bar. Here is a restaurant only to be used by residents. Walk straight out to the balcony and get your shots of Bangkok from above.