Illustration: Zwei Seiten einer Stadt in Bangkok
© Cristóbal Schmal

Bangkok – One city, two faces

  • ILLUSTRATION CRISTÓBAL SCHMAL

Gigantic eating places, creepy museums, unicorn blessings: Bangkok is the capital of all things weird, whacky and wonderful. But the Thai metropolis also has sublime beauty in plentiful supply. We show you both sides.

Bangkok

FAIRY-TALE DELIGHT

Cutesy? Yes, please! If rainbow cake surrounded by a blessing (aka, herd) of pink plush unicorns is your idea of yummy, then head to the Unicorn Café.

Bangkok

SPECTACULAR

Sepak Takraw, popular in Bangkok and across Southeast Asia, is an outlandish combination of soccer, volleyball and acrobatics.

Bangkok

TRINITY

A monstrous, three-headed elephant statue weighing 250 tons looks down from the roof of the Erawan Museum, which exhibits antique Thai artworks and objects.

Bangkok

CURIOUS CURES

The Siriraj Medical Museum is not for the faint-hearted. The collection includes a mummified murderer and the skull and skeleton of the museum’s founder.

Bangkok

LOAVES AND FISHES?

Not necessarily, but the Royal Dragon, one of the world’s biggest restaurants, seating 5000, can pull off what was once a Biblical miracle on a daily basis.

Bangkok

REPTILIAN RESORT

At the Red Cross Snake Farm, visitors get the chance to learn how to milk snake venom and even let a mighty boa constrictor give them a great big hug.

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LADYLIKE

Let the talent of the loveliest transgender artists in the country beguile you – and, surprisingly, all the family – at the Calypso Cabaret Show.

BE PREPARED

Gems are on sale on most street corners: A one-week gemology course at AIGS School will teach you to tell precious from fake.

NEW GENERATION

No folksy kitsch here: The Bangkok Art and Culture Center presents contemporary painting, modern music, films, dance and theater.

OUTLOOK

At 314 meters, the MahaNakhon Tower by Ole Scheeren is Bangkok’s new tallest building. The spectacular observation deck opens in 2018.

EARLY BLOSSOM

Where have all the flowers gone? To Pak Khlong Talat, of course. At Bangkok’s vast flower market, trade peaks at 3 in the morning.

BACK TO NATURE

Bangkok’s Metro Forest, the ambitious project to regenerate the ecology of abandoned land near the airport, now boasts 60 000 trees.