Three Hidden Gems in Bangkok

With a title like that, it may surprise you that this article has absolutely nothing to do with ladyboys. I’m a little bit ashamed to say that when I first headed to Bangkok, I didn’t expect much beyond backpacker bars and a ubiquitous haze of sleaze covering everything.

Boy, was I wrong. Bangkok is an incredible place to visit, and possibly even to live. I’ve only carved two weeks out to visit this year, but next year I’ll be back for a month or two.

Here are some hidden gems that I discovered in Bangkok that really made my stay a whole lot better.

1. The Atlanta Hotel

The Atlanta Hotel is simultaneously a hilarious spectacle and an awesome place to stay.

It was built in 1952, and at that time was THE hotel to stay at in Bangkok. It had the first hotel swimming pool in the city, for example.

It’s now a bit run down and is a budget hotel, but it still has some of the features that made it great in the first place. It’s in the best area of Central Bangkok, still has the original pool, which is a full meter deep, and has a great restaurant that’s open until midnight.

The best part is still the pool area. There are three nice hammocks and a bunch of tables where you can order food from the restaurant. I’ve spent many a day writing on my laptop while eating a $1.50 fruit plate by the pool. And yes, there’s free wifi.

The rooms are basic, but they get the job done, especially for somewhere in the ballpark of $20/night.

What makes it hilarious? Their vocal and pointed aversion to the sex trade. Check out this five foot tall sign.

Get more info at their site at

2. Rajawongse Tailor

I had no intention of buying a suit, but when I found out that George Bush (both of them, actually), regularly got suits made from Rajawongse Tailor on Sukhumvit, I had to visit.

Victor and Jesse, the two owners of the shop, are as charismatic and friendly as two guys could be. I found myself stopping by to chat any time I passed their store.

I got carried away and had a white tuxedo made, and I couldn’t be happier with it. They did a great job measuring and fitting, and the end result is far better than any other suit I’ve worn.

Suits go for $350-$450 including high quality Super 150 wool/cashmere fabric. If you’re on a budget, get some Egyptian shirts made for around $30 each. A friend had two made and they looked amazing.

Their shop is a fun place to hang around and rub elbows. Just by association you become friends with everyone else in the small shop, many of whom are higher ups in big companies, or even different governments.

Their site is at

Tell them Tynan sent you. They somehow remember everyone’s name.

3. ChefsXP

I still don’t understand how this place stays in business. After coming across it I all but stopped actually going out to restaurants.

ChefsXP will deliver food from any of 50 or so restaurants they feature. The cost? 60 Baht, which is right under $2.

Crazy. They don’t even mark up the food cost or charge you more if you order from more than one restaurant.

Even though some of the restaurants they cover don’t take credit cards, they’ll take yours and pay cash to the restaurant. Ordering online is a snap and they’ll deliver straight to your hotel.

Combine this one with Atlanta’s poolside, and you’ll find yourself in paradise.

My favorite restaurants that they deliver from are Beirut and Indian Tandoor.

Once you get to Bangkok, order at