How to explore hidden gems in Bangkok’s Old Town without the hassle

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We bet you love Friday night as much as we do, but this Friday we highly recommend you stay in and get a good night’s sleep. Wondering why we would tell you to forego after-work drinkswhich turns into bar hopping on Thonglor, which turns into clubbing on Ekamai? Because we have a jam packed Saturday planned for you, that’s why!

Bangkok’s Old Town is having a modern resurgence. There are new places that honor old traditions, unique dining experiences, and interesting things to do and see around every corner. Plus, it’s super easy to Grab a ride and travel around.

Read on and check out what we found on a recent trip to Old Town. You’ll be amazed by what you can do in a single day, when you’ve had your beauty sleep, of course.

Photo: Oneday Wallflowers Facebook

11am – But first, coffee.

Start the day with an aromatic cup of coffee among surroundings that seem downright magical. Grab a phone and book your car in advance while you’re getting dressed then head to Oneday Wallflowers in Soi Nana.

Stepping into this shophouse feels like entering a fairytale-like setting. Beautiful flowers grace the rustic decor. Follow the intoxicating smell of freshly brewed coffee to the second floor, where you’ll find NANA Coffee Roaster.

We recommend trying the signature Boisson de Kanda, a perfect combination of coffee, lychee, and rose lemonade. Pair it with any of their cakes and pastries, all beautifully adorned with fresh flowers. Pour your coffee, snap a few pictures, and let your IG followers pour on those little red hearts.

What: Oneday Wallflowers x NANA Coffee Roaster

Where: Soi Nana Khwaeng Pom Prap, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai

When: 11am – 7pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

1pm – Find peaceful pockets of culture on the Chao Phraya.

Gracefully standing guard on the riverbank for decades, Kuan An Keng Shrine features magnificent wooden carvings and intricate mural paintings. Rumor has it that the shrines were built by the Chinese people who followed King Taksin the Great to Thailand.

For those of you who are into architecture, studying the design of this temple is a must. It even won an award for the Best Architectural Preserve in 2008 from the Association of Siamese Architects. Step inside and step back to a time before skytrains and five star hotels, when the Chao Phraya was the center of life, and religion, in Bangkok.

What: Kuan An Keng Shrine

Where: Arun Amarin Road

When: 7:30am – 5pm

Photo: Bangkok City Library Facebook

3pm – Take a break to be a bookworm.

Your ride to the next stop will be comfy and scenic. That’s because we’re taking you to Bangkok City Library via the sprawling avenue of Ratchadamnoen. Read, watch, learn, and create, as you explore this creative hub.

Opened in April 2017, this three story historic building is built in neo-classical design. It aims to be a 24-hour public library in the future, so bookworms (like us) have a sanctuary any time of day or night.

Bangkok City Library’s spacious interior offers areas for kids to play, workspaces with free wifi, rotating exhibitions, and a coffee shop. It’s the perfect spot for a weekend afternoon. Relax, grab a book and settle in.

What: Bangkok City Library

Where: Ratchadamnoen Klang Road’s Khok Wua Intersection

When: Mon-Tue 8am – 9pm, Sun 8am – 8pm (Closed on Monday)

Photo: So Heng Tai Facebook

5pm – Scuba diving in an ancient traditional Chinese house

Ancient China and scuba diving. Two topics we thought would never belong in the same sentence. But it’s true. Only in Bangkok, you can get your scuba on in the most unique of settings.

Tucked away in the Talat Noi neighborhood is a traditional Chinese house named So Heng Tai. It’s open to the public, so go ahead and wander around admiring the charm of this historic mansion. Don’t be surprised when you see people jumping into the 4 meter deep pool in the center of the house. So Heng Tai has a hidden scuba diving school called Dumnam. You can buy snacks and refreshments, hang out and soak up the ancient vibes, or take in an introductory or full diving course. Talk about a unique experience.

What: So Heng Tai

Where:  Talat Noi, Khet Samphanthawong

When: Mon-Fri 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sat-Sun 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM (Closed on Monday)

Photo: Baan Nual Instagram

7pm- A home-cooked meal that will remind you of your grandma’s recipes.

The sun is setting and your tummy’s probably starting to growl. That’s your cue to head to Baan Nual, a little hidden restaurant in Soi Sam Sen 2. It’s so hidden, in fact, that passersby wouldn’t even recognize that it’s a restaurant.

Baan Nual offers authentic Thai dishes whipped up in a home kitchen using traditional recipes. If you want feel at home dining on Thai food lovingly made with carefully chosen ingredients, this is the place for you. The nostalgic vibes and vintage decor add even more to the experience.

With only two tables, you’ll have to book this place in advance. The reason for this extra intimate setting is simple; the owner really cares about each guest. All the magic is made by the hands of only two chefs, and they want to be sure that each dish being served is made fresh and tasty.

What: Baan Nual

Where:  Soi Sam Sen 2

When: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm and 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 4pm-10pm  

Travel around Bangkok without the hassle of finding a parking spot, searching for free taxis, or jostling through the crowded skytrain, all with a little tap on Grab.

Now, Grab is introducing GrabCar Plus, a new service that lets riders book their car in advance. (Never be late again!) Bonus: sharing your ride with friends is even more comfy with GrabCar Plus thanks to larger, more luxurious cars, and top tier, highly experienced drivers.

GrabCar Plus guarantees the ultimate ride experience in Bangkok. But don’t take our word for it, download Grab for iOS here, or Android here, and try the new service for yourself.

Fellow Coconuts, explore all these hidden gems and more with an exclusive discount. We’ve got a promo code for ya!

Promo code: COCONUT

Discount value: THB100 off 2 rides per user

Condition:

Valid for new GrabCar Plus passengers only

Valid now until 30 June 2018

Have you been to these hidden gems of Old Town? Tell us about your experience in the comments or tell us where you’re Grabbing a ride to next!

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