We can hardly catch our breath. 

2020 swept over us like a wave fresh out of Wuhan between the mass hysteria of a potential epidemic, the big grey of a now seemingly annual PM2.5 period in Bangkok, and massive but muted celebrations over Chinese New Year and the Hollywood awards season. Two pumps of hand sanitiser and a skip in our step, let’s just call it right here, right now: January 2020 has been quite a month. 

Pantone announced the Colour of the Year as Classic Blue, not so much in a sad and sombre manner but moreso as a calming and soothing entity. We kind of need it. We’re going vegan this year. We’re sporting big bows and bold liner this year. And we’re trying to drink less and move more throughout this year. #Brexit is happening, though #Megxit seems to be hotter news, and we mourn the loss of dear Kobe Bryant and his daughter in a tragic helicopter accident. It is a month that has felt like a year, with a bundle of fresh stories every single day. 

Yet whilst throughout all these happenings we’re always trying to stay one step ahead of the trends and report these to you on a lively stream of stories, it is often times understandably 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 monthly ‘Best Of’ reel, or an insider looking to get the low-down on our most popular stories, we’ve put it all together here in one raving recap. In order of popularity (and exempting our monthly columns), relive some of the best exclusives we’ve covered this January, and consider yourself debriefed and dapper to dive right into February.

[Hero and Featured image credit: Soneva Fushi]

Image Credit: Restaurant Stage

How to actually pronounce the names of Bangkok’s most famous restaurants

15 January 2020

“Listed on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (amongst many other accolades) too, the charming restaurant on Yen Akat is a must-try for anyone who is curious about modern German fare, combining the essence of traditional dishes with Central European influences. The two little dots above the letter “u” (or umlaut for language nerds) is adorable to look at, but how do you pronounce it?”

Image Credit: AFP Photo Francois Guillot

Chef Kei Kobayashi makes history as first Japanese chef to wine three Michelin stars

28 January 2020

“The son of a chef who worked in a Japanese restaurant serving traditional multi-course “kaiseki” cooking, Kobayashi decided to dedicate himself to French cuisine after watching a television documentary about the nouvelle cuisine pioneer Alain Chapel, himself a three-star Michelin chef.”

Popular Stories January 2020: Louis Vuitton
Image Credit: AFP Photo Miguel Medina

Louis Vuitton is opening a restaurant next month

24 January 2020

“The venture — dubbed Le Café V — was announced by the company today and will be located on the top floor of Vuitton’s new four-level Osaka maison, with a menu designed by acclaimed Japanese chef Yosuke Suga.”

Image Credit: theCOMMONS Saladaeng

Everything you need to know about theCOMMONS Saladaeng opening this January

3 January 2020

“Where theCOMMONS Thonglor already has our heart, now we will see Sathorn’s sophisticated neighbourhood finding new love at theCOMMONS’s new branch.”

Popular Stories January 2020: Soneva Fushi
Image Credit: Soneva Fushi

Checking in: Soneva Fushi in the Maldives made us rethink our life choices

6 January 2020

“This is the story of how we checked in to Soneva Fushi in the Maldives as seemingly regular city dwellers, and checked out and clocked out of so many lifestyle choices upon our return. A transformative stay at a resort that is really changing the game — even more relevantly now than ever before.”

Image Credit: Yao Restaurant

Where to dine out for Chinese New Year 2020 in Bangkok

20 January 2020

“The day of tangy pineapple tarts, Chinese pork jerky bak wa and red pockets filled with green (or grey) banknotes is drawing near. Chinese New Year 2020 and the beginning of the Year of the Rat falls on 25 January this year, and if you’re already cruising the streets for a labour-saving dinner plan to save you from turning into a kitchen clerk on one of the most hectic days of the year, we’ve got you covered. “

Popular Stories January 2020: Mia
Image Credit: Mia Restaurant

Lifestyle Asia Playlist January 2020: Mia Restaurant

9 January 2020

“Located in an unsuspecting residential area in a stand-alone house off of buzzing Sukhumvit Soi 26, it could’ve been a best-kept culinary secret, except possibly every cool person you know has been spotted there for dinner — with a slew of Instagram stories to suit. Be it the must-try foie gras donut, the sultry neon light sign in the bathroom, or the incredible team behind the whole shebang, there is something unapologetically trendy about Mia. Thus is exactly why, for the new year, we couldn’t be more excited to have this new restaurant create our first playlist of 2020.”

Popular Stories January 2020:
Image Credit: Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

Checking in: Vietnamese shoreline living at Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

4 January 2020

“The sun-drenched, villa-only resort features all 130 spacious villas, each with a different viewpoint: ocean, river, or garden views. Each one comes accompanied with a lush lawn and a private pool, giving you that much-needed solitude and solace supported with five-starred hotel amenities.”

Image Credit: Emma Clarkson Webb

The 5 biggest engagement ring trends in 2020

11 January 2020

“Choosing your engagement ring is very, very personal, as brides-to-be often want something that nobody else has. And yet, there are certain trends that persist every year.

Certified GIA gemologist, Emma Clarkson Webb specialises in sourcing diamonds and semi-precious stones to create unique jewellery pieces. In conversation with her, we’ve rounded up a few engagement ring trends for 2020.”

Popular Stories January 2020: theCommons Thonglor
Image Credit: theCOMMONS Thonglor

Weekend Muse: #CookieTrailBKK lets you explore Bangkok things to do like local Thai influencers

11 January 2020

“Scroll through the immaculate feeds of any Thai influencers and you’ll find an abundance of the cutest cafes, stunning landscapes, mouth-watering food, and sleek spas. They’re somehow all found in Bangkok — but where? You probably won’t find them in that Lonely Planet guide you picked up at the airport.”

Popular Stories January 2020:
Image Credit: The Roseman Club

Hello #2020Vision: the best eyewear stores in Bangkok

13 January 2020

“Raise your hand if you’ve used the #2020vision joke already this year. Yes, just as we thought. But there’s something in this (somewhat overused) pun that makes us feel it really is the perfect time to see things in new ways. True, the new year is a time for fresh outlooks and looking forward, but we’re also talking more literally here: there’s no better time to get a fresh new pair of specs.”

Popular Stories January 2020: Vistro
Image Credit: Vistro Bangkok

Thirsty Thursday: a cure for your New Year’s hangover

2 January 2020

“All shots come in glass bottles because #environment, and make for cute gifts to give your fellow hungover or adventurously health-centric friends too. We’ve enjoyed these post- a cold caught in Chiang Mai and pre- a long day of meetings and mania. A health shot: it’s easy and it’s simple, and if the ginger burns your throat a little, its a sign that this 2020 you’re sure to bring the fire.”

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.