Recently I traveled to Bangkok by invitation of Zalora x Thai Designers Collective and literally only had one day (actually half a day thanks to the traffic jams) in Bangkok. What does one do in 8h in BKK?
Besides absorbing the sights and sounds of the sprawling Chatuchak market, I would strongly recommend that you make a trip down to The Jam Factory. Situated in Klong San, near the river, The Jam Factory is an enclave of a Cafe + Art book shop, Art Gallery and finally a Restaurant & Bar, converted from old factory warehouses. It also houses the office of Duangrit Bunnag, arguably Bangkok's most influential architect, where you can see the models of all his projects displayed against the office windows.
During my visit, Tàmçois Dazed & Confused works were on display and I particularly like his portrayal of the human form - broken down and reconstructed, with a riot of colors and details. My favourite was just a simple watercolor nude and a portrait - I felt like they were riveting to look at. The Jam Factory regularly rotates its art exhibitions and organizes film festivals and other creative activities, attracting creative types from over Bangkok to come together and discuss things. I feel like Singapore is lacking such a platform which I saw in other countries - a place where creative types all hang out, inspire each other and collaborate together.
A visit at The Never Ending Summer for dinner was an equally beautiful experience. Housed in an converted warehouse, the restaurant interiors literally took my breath away when I first stepped in with its high ceiling, exposed wood beams and peeling paint on concrete walls - industrial chic done right.
The Never Ending Summer serves very traditional Thai food with recipes from the Royal Family, which according my friend Pitchaya (aka Beer), cannot even be found in most Thai restaurants nowadays. The flavours came across strong individually, yet blended together harmoniously as a dish. Fresh herbs and raw vegetables, paired with chili paste, bean paste for starters served as a refreshing start to the meal.
Fish curry was really pleasant with the spiciness pared down by coconut milk, and the fried egg pancake was beautifully puffed up with crisp wisps of egg at its sides - this is done by dropping the egg mixture into boiling oil. We also had some lighter dishes such as the Yum Woo Sen, which is a vermicelli salad usually with prawns, condiments and peanuts and also this chicken bean paste which you were supposed to eat with raw beansprouts and a Thai root vegetable.
Forget Karmakamet Diner - this is the place which you should be visiting next. You can easily spend 4h reading and drinking coffee at the Cafe, visiting the art gallery, then watching the sunset over the river with a drink at the bar, and finally end of with a wonderful traditional Thai dinner.