It was a year of quoting Vatanika’s sudden hit reality show, a craze for salted egg desserts, the closure of Gaggan and the re-opening of Gaggan, and a December that brought with it a beautiful three days of Bangkokian winter for us to sit outside and reminisce. 2019: what a year. 

This last month swayed us sweet and smooth into the heart of the festive season, what with many a gala dinner or private house party to celebrate. We drank gin more than ever, and ate fusion dishes more than ever, and gave nods to more Michelin-approved restaurants in Bangkok than ever before. We travelled abroad to neighbouring countries near (Vietnam and Laos super hot) and even far (Egypt and Scandinavia), and as we set our sights on 2020, it’s always warming to look back. 

Stories you loved this 2019 were a mix of fashion and food (and heavy on the drinks, too). We love that you loved the pieces we published on local designers and home-grown beauty brands, and we love that you continued to love our listicles. You also didn’t shy away from standalone pieces this year, particularly if they acted as a sort of guide, say, on how to pair a German wine with a Thai dessert, or what to wear on your next date, according to your zodiac sign. 

Yet whilst we know and appreciate your constant support, there’s no denying that often times it can be difficult for the buzzing busy bee to keep up with every hot feature. But that’s exactly why we’ve created this round-up. 

Whether you’re an avid reader seeking a yearly ‘Best Of’ reel, or an insider looking to get the low-down on our most popular stories this 2019, we’ve put it all together here in one raving recap. In order of popularity (and exempting our monthly and seasonal columns), relive some of the best exclusives we’ve covered this year, and consider yourself debriefed and dapper to dive right into 2020. 

Most popular stories 2019
Image Credit: ATM Bubble Tea

The best bubble tea bars in Bangkok, ranked

29 March 2019

“We mustn’t overcomplicate the art. A bit of cheese froth like at Heekcaa is cute, Kamu Tea is always a beloved one, and the idea of ice cream toppings like at Fuku Matcha is one we’ll happily engage. However, we’re also looking a bit at ambience and overall vibe; think the rustic deer logo at The Alley, or perhaps the stylish takeaway bottles from Brown Cafe. Menu perks are also considered, like whether organic ingredients are used, whether coffee or matcha is available, and whether the bubbles are made fresh and dance around to a melody in your mouth. The leading parameter is the milk tea, of course. The mother of all things bubble tea. Calling these our official unofficial Bangkok Bubble Tea awards. Please be seated, grab a cup, and suck on these.”

Most popular stories 2019
Image Credit: Odtomato

The 9 best, and most bangin’ Sunday brunches in Bangkok

23 March 2019

“Beyond the holy breakfast trinity that is Luka, (Not) Just Another Cup, and the latest addition of Sarnies, Bangkokians are always buzzing for a good brunch spot. Naturally, we don’t blame them, what with both sweet and savoury bites to enjoy in one snazzy sitting, and an often booze-brimming selection of weekend cocktails to suit. An excuse to feast like the gods and tipple a Bloody Mary before the sun has even reached its highest point, the brunch vibe in Bangkok at the moment is – to put it in two single millennial syllables – so lit.”

Image Credit: Ton Creative

Bangkok’s best hair salons for keratin treatments

26 March 2019

You might have heard that keratin treatments can be damaging to your hair. In reality, the process simply involves smoothing over the keratin product on thoroughly shampooed hair, blow drying it and using a flat iron to seal in the product. Keratin – a protein – is actually nourishing for your hair, and a good hairdresser will be able to adjust the heat settings and number of passes over your hair to minimise damage. Now the question is where to find these good hairdressers in Bangkok. And well of course, we’ve got them all listed right here to make your search a little more silky smooth.”

Image Credit: Yunomori Onsen and Spa

5 best spas in Bangkok to retreat to on a rainy day

22 May 2019

“If only there was an exact word to describe that warm, tranquil feeling of being indoors during a rainstorm. Watching or listening to rain pattering against the window while you’re safe and dry inside is one of life’s simple pleasures. Now as Bangkok drifts (slowly) towards the rainy season, we’re looking forward to a lot more of these cosy, peaceful moments. And there’s probably no better place to enjoy the Bangkok thunderstorms than in a nourishing sanctuary of a luxury spa.”

Most popular stories 2019
Image Credit: Issue

6 local designers bringing Thai silk back into fashion

31 January 2019

Thai silk may be gorgeous, but it’s clearly been left out of contemporary urban fashion and streetwear for a while. Thoughts of Thai silk have long been confined to thoughts of the “old days”, rural living, or weddings. But the great thing about fashion? Nothing’s really beyond limits. From minimalistic ivory trousers to daring tube dresses, Thai silk is now popping up in all sorts of new and accessible ways.”

Image Credit: Blanc Eyelash Extensions

5 best boutiques for eyelash extensions in Bangkok

14 August 2019

“Whether you’re now a pro lash lifter, or you’ve been contemplating getting extensions for years but still haven’t gotten round to it, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on where the best eyelash experts are in the city. Good thing we’ve done that for you. After asking dozens of lash lovers where they go for their lifting/extensions sesh, we found that these five places are the darlings of the savviest eyelash crowd.”

Most popular stories 2019
Image Credit: Hermès

The luxury brands taking personalisation to a new level

12 February 2019

We already know about putting our initials on designer bags like Gucci’s Ophedia tote or Dionysus bag, Burberry’s backpacks, and basically everything of Louis Vuitton’s. But now luxury brands are taking personalisation to a whole new level. And not just fashion, but sports and beauty brands too. Whether by using technology, artistry, or a combination of both, these brands are grasping at exclusivity as the most valued luxury of this generation.”

Most popular stories 2019
Image Credit: Mladen Antonov/AFP

Everything we know about Gaggan’s next venture in Bangkok

3 September 2019

Today, sporting a Nirvana t-shirt in true Gaggan style, the culinary rock star expresses no regrets about killing off his golden goose — the proud home of the best restaurant in Asia many years in row, no less. Anticipating the next big thing to seduce our palates once again, read ahead to see what the Michelin-studded chef has in store next.”

Most popular stories 2019
Image Credit: Coco & Eve

The best clean beauty brands in Bangkok (that aren’t soap bars)

7 March 2019

“Save that weird herbal soap bar for your grandma or a tourist friend — these are the latest and greatest of clean beauty products that will take good care of you and the planet.”

Image Credit: 25 Degrees

Where to go eating after drinking: 7 late night restaurants in Bangkok

23 April 2019

Sure, there is always a chicken rice or noodle soup stop open somewhere, and of course, 24-hour McDonald’s, Sunrise Tacos, or Hollys Coffee dot the more prevalent big streets across town. You’ve got Jay Fai if you’re in the mood for a Michelin omelette, and Lung Chuaey’s egg noodles if you’re in the mood to slurp up some ba-mee. But what if you were looking to actually eat out after a night of, well, being out?”

Most popular stories 2019: Teens of Thailand
Image Credit: Teens of Thailand

Neighbourhood Bar Guide: Soi Nana Chinatown, Bangkok’s ‘other’ Soi Nana

24 January 2019

“Soi Nana Chinatown Bangkok: where the bars are small but the vibes are huge, and the tiny historic alley that connects Maitrichit Road to Rama IV feels like a speakeasy in the shape of an entire soi. From wild honey and patonko bar snacks to gins infused with Chrysanthemum, scroll ahead for our favourite bars in the area, and prepare to succumb to the spell. After all, Soi Nana Chinatown isn’t just a place. It’s also a feeling. You’ll see.”

Image Credit: WOOF PACK

The 10 most Instagram worthy places in Bangkok (that aren’t just tourist spots)

18 September 2019

“An art gallery, a screening room, a rooftop bar, and an event space rolled into one — Woof Pack houses cool works of contemporary art as well as stickers of funny quotes that you’ll come across if you hunt around the many corners of this place. Head up to the ‘Woof Top’ for sweeping views of the city and some drinks to feature — responsibly — in that ‘gram.”

Image Credit: Vanilla Snow

5 places to get the best bingsu in Bangkok

11 March 2019

Vanilla Snow, just like the name suggests, is a dessert café that actually makes it rain bingsu over at Sukhumvit Living Town, within which it is situated. The venue serves a selection of big-sized bingsu covered in an avalanche of whatever topping your heart desires.”

Image Credit: Riedel

The 5 best wine bars in Bangkok

12 March 2019

“We’ve uncorked and uncovered some of the best wine bars in Bangkok, based around a sophisticated wine drinking experience. We’re talking an ambience of history and heritage that helms from a house-own cellar. A wine list that is bigger, better, and far heavier than the food menu. And a sommelier that can recite the estates of Bordeaux faster than you can spell out ‘Biodynamic New World’. From young and fun to traditional and romantic, here’s where you need to head in Bangkok when the clock next strikes Wine O’clock.”

Most popular stories 2019
Image Credit: Bolan

5 best Thai restaurants in Thonglor you need to check out

23 April 2019

“Featured in the far-famed Netflix’s food series Chef’s Table, Bo.lan is an authentically traditional Thai restaurant that sources its ingredients from local farmers across the country. Helmed by two chefs, Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava and Dylan Jones, the name Bo.lan came from parts of their names and it is also actually a play on Thai word “ancient”. And just like the name suggests, this Thonglor Michelin-starred restaurant (also listed as ‘Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019’, #19), serves up old-school, all-made-from-scratch Thai dishes that are whipped up using locally-sourced ingredients.”

Image Credit: Gram Cafe & Pancakes

6 places to bookmark: the best fool-proof pancakes in Bangkok

28 February 2019

“Want a hotcake that actually boasts an airy slash eggy mouthfeel like that of a real cake? gram Cafe & Pancakes can offer you just that. The Japan-originated café is a real pancake savvy when it comes to making a pancake that’s tripled in size and fluffiness.”

Image Credit: Valeria Boltneva/Pexels

Where to find the best croissant in Bangkok

10 July 2019

“In search of all that was French, flakey, and horn-y, the quest for the best croissant in Bangkok seemed like a near impossible task. Sure, PAUL delivers a ‘just fine’ one, and in combination with a coffee at Roots, we see why a cup of joe and the crescent moon pastry work so well together; but nowhere thus far really caused us to shout from the rooftops, “Eureka! The best croissant in Bangkok has been found!” And so, we got exploring…”

Image Credit: Emporio Armani

The 5 fundamental rules for pairing your watch with your suit

15 September 2019

“Pairing your watch with your suit is the hottest thing since pairing your sea bass with your Sauvignon, or your puppy with your Instagram posts. No longer do we submit to wear watches merely to tell time (though, really, they’re still very good at that), but we wear watches to make a fashion statement and a personal style statement, too. Put together with a suit in immaculate combination, and you will undeniably be the best dressed man in the room, without even having to go by the name of King Karl, Pharrell, or Jake Gyllenhaal. A great watch and suit pairing can truly, madly, deeply, make or break an outfit, and luckily, we know just how to help you achieve this.”

Image Credit: Kub Kao Kub Pla

Best places to get pad kra pao in Bangkok

15 May 2019

“What you need to know is that pad kra prao, like pizza and chocolate chip cookies, is very personal. Everyone has their own categories to define what a good pad kra prao should be and taste like. Some like it speckled with tonnes of bird’s eye chillies, some like it dry and some like it watery with oyster sauce.”

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.