red|guide Tipps: Bangkok
EAT in Bangkok: Spring
The rundown buildings along the grey and bumpy road that leads to the restaurant abandon any hope of a romantic evening in a relaxed atmosphere. But then the Spring appears between a row of houses. A warm light shimmers through the large windows and a group of stylish expats and Asians are lounging in huge pillows in the garden in front of the restaurant. Authentically Thai? Probably not, but it's quiet and green for sure - and the best place for leaving the busy city behind and cuddling with your date while watching the stars. The Western touch is also reflected in the bill. The international dishes are good, but no extraordinarily gustatory explosion. The spring is especially a location for urban people who want to ease up and then stop by the popular Enchanted Bar (Sukhumvit Soi 55/J Avenue). You have to make a reservation there as well, otherwise you may face the same situation as facebook-founder Marc Zuckerberg, who stopped by the bar but didn't get a seat anymore.
SHOP in Bangkok: Patpong Market
On the sidewalk every night hundreds of booths and cookshops pop up, behind them you see blinking signs of numerous Go-Go-Bars. The Patpong night market stretches out over several streets and attracts masses of bystanders, pleasure-seekers and bargain hunters. From 10pm onwards it's so crowded that getting through the narrow Sois is almost impossible and the atmosphere starts to boil. The area may be safe, nevertheless you should leave the DSLR camera in the hotel and only take sums of money with you that you really want to spend. You never know. Most sellers offer forgeries of bags, watches, clothes and DVDs but before you buy anything you should get an overview of the huge range, to get a closer look at the quality of the mock Gucci-handbag or the Rolex-replica. And then you bargain. Only when the original price is reduced by half you pay an - more or less - adequate price. It is also recommended to make a real leather-test with a lighter. When the merchant gets nervous the iPad-sleeve is probably plastic after all.
STAY in Bangkok: The Eugenia
If a decorated elephant would turn around the corner, it wouldn't be surprising. After all, one feels like in Siam (Thailand's former official name) a hundred years ago. The twelve suites (starting from 165 Euros a night) are in colonial-style. They are admittedly rather small, but they convince with authentic furniture: Under one's feet dark, shiny floors are creaking, on the little tables there are real antiques and one won't even want to get out of the linen tester beds - except you want to take a bath in the handcrafted copper bathtub. The books in the library radiate the scent of bygone times, and the pool under the palms is very attracting. In the meanwhile, the elegant restaurant is filled with Bangkok's gourmets who arrive with their old Jaguars and shiny Mercedes. But: Despite the price, do not expect all comforts of an ordinary, modern luxury hotel in the style of a Marriott or Peninsula! The Eugenia has the kinks of an old lady. But this is exactly what makes it so charming.
SEE in Bangkok: Floating Market
The Taling Chan Floating Market is one of the three floating markets in Bangkok and the one that is most easily accessible from the city. Every weekend it's all about grilling, chatting and bargaining - on the water. You can easily imagine how life in Bangkok used to take place mostly on the Chao Praya and the many klongs in former times. The Taling Chan was established in 1987 to remind of these almost forgotten times - and on the occasion of king Bhumibol's 60th birthday. Already on the country way to the market there is one stall next to the other and the closer you get to the klong the more intensively the delightful smell of grilled fish and meat tickles your nose. You can hardly deny yourself from picking marinated shrimps on a spit at the first stall. Most restaurants contain a dining area on a wooden jetty and a longboat where the dishes are prepared. Most of the times you take your seat on the wavering floor at one of the low tables. If you have some time left you can book a boat tour at the small information desk at the entrance. A tour to the orchid farm costs approx. four euros for adults.