Why the Chao Phraya River is now the coolest place to be in Bangkok

Want the best of the Thai capital? Head to its watery artery, where new openings are making it the hottest spot in town.

With floating markets and glittering city views, the Chao Phraya River has always been one of Bangkok’s must-sees, but until recently it hasn’t been entirely… well, cool. However, that’s now changing quicker than you can say ‘hi-so’, the nickname for the city’s stylish set flocking to the neighbourhood. It’s been years in the making; the riparian revolution began with the arrival of a handful of galleries and arts hubs — such as The Jam Factory, a creative outpost that opened in 2013 — but hot new restaurants including Babble and Rum and Someday Everyday are also throwing open their doors on the leafy banks. There’s a gamut of gorgeous new hotels, too, including the towering Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel and the new Four Seasons, both of which are set to open in 2020. There’s also a new look for the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok which has just emerged butterfly-like from a glamorous metamorphosis. And, thanks to a multimillion-pound renovation of the hotel’s River Wing, guests can follow a long, lazy dinner with late-night drinks and a side of jazz at The Bamboo Bar. It’s time to head to the river.

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