Bangkok, Thailand has a large group of hi-sos, the Thai term for high-society people. Being hi-so in Bangkok has its advantages as, with so many high-society style places to hang out at, there’s always somewhere to be and be seen. For many Bangkok high-society types, although the ‘in places’ change often, there are still some that never go out of fashion.
Gaysorn Plaza and Siam Paragon – Two of the temples to designer label brands, Gaysorn Plaza and Siam Paragon are particularly popular with the high-society set in Bangkok. Gaysorn Plaza, situated next to Chidlom sky train station and close to several ritzy hotels, is home to more than 100 designer brand stores selling everything from clothes to shoes, artwork to jewelry. Gaysorn is also the place for many of Bangkok’s well-heeled Arab visitors, who love the quiet and, often almost empty, atmosphere and superb service.Siam Paragon is the opposite extreme in that, although a high-society mecca, it’s also loved by the wannabes, who arrive every day in their tens of thousands to window shop or enjoy a coffee in one of the many cafes.
Buying a latte here isn’t much more expensive than anywhere else, and they get to look hi-so without spending the money (not that they could if they wanted to). Siam Paragon is also idolized by the true high-sos, who shop here for Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Louis Vuitton – just about every brand name designer you’ve heard of, and many you haven’t. Siam Paragon luxury mall is right next to Siam sky train station.
Sukhothai Hotel – Famous for its elegant atmosphere, stunning grounds and superb service, the five-star Sukhothai Hotel on South Sathorn Road is another high-society hangout during afternoon tea time. The hotel serves a scrumptious British-style afternoon tea with Thai accents, with finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries and many different types of tea to choose from. For the ladies who lunch, the Sukhothai Hotel is a fun place to head if you’re not done chatting and still have time for a spot of tea. Afternoon tea is served every day from 2:30-6:00 pm.
Jim Thompson – The most famous silk shop in the world, Jim Thompson sells handmade, hand-painted silks that are stunning to look at and even more stunning when you see the price. High-society types love shopping at Jim Thompson, as there’s nothing that says you’re loaded more than wearing a bright and beautiful Jim Thompson scarf. With 13 branches in Bangkok, the most popular Jim Thompson is the one attached to the Jim Thompson House museum just off Rama I Road. This one also has a lovely cafe. An ideal place for a lunch or a drink on an afternoon out with the girls.
Zense Restaurant – The last time I wanted to eat at Zense Restaurant, one of the Thai princesses was eating there, so we had to wait (along with everyone else) until her party had finished. One of the most high-society restaurants in Bangkok, the view from the 17th floor where the restaurant is situated, is stunning. Add onto that the incredible Thai, Japanese, Indian and Italian cuisines and, even if you’re not, you can’t help but feel high-society here. Surprisingly, although high compared to much of the rest of Bangkok, prices are not as stiff as you would think. Zense is on the 17th floor of the tower in Zen department store in Central World Plaza mall.
The Face – If you’re high-society, or a wannabe, and you’re looking for an evening out on the town, The Face is the place. Serving Thai, Japanese and Indian food to the upper-echelon types, The Face has been en vogue for a number of years now. There are three restaurants, a spa (if you’d rather be pampered than eat) and a bar, with an amazing selection of wines. Service is superb and atmosphere unique. The Face is on Thong Lo, Soi 38 close to the sky train station of the same name.
Photo – Sukhothai Hotel – one of Bangkok’s top, and most beautiful, hotels.