Why Bangkok is one of the best cities worldwide
I’m currently in Bangkok, meeting with investors, checking out Startup Weekend, and hanging out with old friends. And I’m so happy to be back in Thailand for a bit. I love this country, this city, and everything that Bangkok has to offer.
Bangkok is called the city of angels, the big mango. Or if you want to get technical, Bangkok’s real name is: กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุทธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์ or, Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit
But you can call her “BKK”. Make sure you treat her well because this city really has anything your heart could ever desire. You need to know where to look, but literally, anything can be found in Bangkok.
Take the downtown area of Siam, for instance. Roads packed with cars, buses, and tuk tuks, dead stop traffic on 14 lanes, with skytrains stacked on top, you feel like you are in a scene from Bladerunner. But Bangkok constantly blends the old with the new. You can go from ultra-modern, in the area of Siam Square, where you can walk from MBK mall to Discovery Mall to Paragon mall and find any material object sold in stores. Or you can take a trip to old Bangkok, and walk through parks, visit temples, or take a boat ride down the Chao Praya river.
The nightlife in Bangkok is some of the best in the world. For a chilled out lounge experience on the top floor of a skyscraper – check out above 11. For a nice hookah bar/club experience, head to Q-bar very close by on soi 11. All of these are off of Sukhumvit Road in Nana. When the night heats up, head to Bed Superclub, Insomnia, or my favorite spot – Mixx.
Here you will find a completely diverse and international crowd. People in Bangkok are interesting, and everyone here tends to have a story. One place to avoid is Khoa San Road, located in old Bangkok. For your first visit to town, this is a must see – but it’s a tourist trap that is a bit overdone. If you like getting sloppy drunk with Aussie dudes, by all means, your fantasy will be indulged. However this is about as low brow as Bangkok gets, and if you want to keep it classy, avoid Khao San Road.
Anywhere, at any time, you can have a freshly cooked meal. There are always people cooking up Thai food on the street (as is everywhere in Thailand) but Bangkok has some amazing western food as well. The best burger in the city can be found at Bangkok Burger in Ekami. While you can get a snack to eat cooked in a food cart, you can indulge for palate at a 5 star restaurant or anything in between.
Where to Stay
I recommend staying at Aloft Hotel, La Fenix Hotel, or Smart Suites (quality/price from left to right, with Aloft being the best) on Soi 11. You are right next to tons of nightlife and close to the center of town. I usually stay at a friends place, because the apartments you can get in Bangkok are literally incredible. Bang for your buck, I’ve yet to find a place like Thailand when it comes to accommodation.
Meeting with Ballers
If you are making it happen in Asia, chances are you live or frequently pass through Bangkok. From fund managers to entrepreneurs with multiple exits to Simon Black, I’ve met some very cool and interesting people in Bangkok Thailand.
Maybe I’m being nostalgic (because it was my first stop in Asia) but BKK really feels like the gateway to Asia. But the coolest thing is how accessible the place really is. Whereas in a place like New York, Miami, or Geneva – you might have trouble breaking into the scene, Bangkok is a place where people will give you the benefit of the doubt and allow you to prove yourself. There are jobs to be had, businesses to start, ballers to meet, and dots to connect. Deals get done in BKK.
As with most places, the more time you invest, the more you get back. However, the investment level is far lower than Shanghai or Hong Kong, which are even harder cities to break into and establish yourself. Bangkok is simply teeming with opportunity. I’m gonna shut up about it now because if you’ve been there, you know.
But if you haven’t been there… do yourself a favor – go to BKK, the gateway to Asia.