With Wonderfruit back this December, jetting off to Bangkok—our beloved Southeast Asian gem—was a no-brainer. No need to map out every step—Bangkok rewards the wanderers. But, if you're keen on some Rafiki-approved spots, here's a sneak peek into our treasure trove of our favorite not-so-obvious places worth checking out.
Warehouse 30 — a melange of art galleries, vintage memorabilia, and a coffee roaster/fashion boutique in one space
Warehouse 30 — Charoenkrung Road, BKK
Warehouse 30 is made from a row of warehouses that line a backstreet somewhere in the depths of the old Chinese section of Bangkok. Art galleries and stores fill these warehouse spaces. Every space in this warehouse collective is teeming with unique doodads from fine art to trinkets — there’s something for everyone.
We particularly enjoyed the collection of WWI and WWII memorabilia, furniture, art, and clothes from Horse Unit.
Tucked within Warehouse 30, Coffee Roaster by Li-bra-ry - its beans to perfection. Pair your cup with their iconic Pandan Waffles for a local twist on a classic treat, plus it’s the perfect spot to co-work!
Chang Chui Market — a creative market space with an interesting twist
Raffi wearing the Rafiki Low Thigh Short and Mask in Wild Bloom Syrah before "boarding" the plane in Chang Chui
Chang Chui, ('Messy artisan' in Thai)—the name says it all. A creative market space where artistry and innovation spill into the streets, offering a canvas for local talent. It’s a new creative market space on the outskirts of the city, just on the other side of the scenic Chaophraya River.
Na-oh — a distinctive dining experience set inside a jumbo jet with opulent interiors
While technically part of ChangChui, we decided that Na-oh needed its own section. Make a reservation for innovative cocktails or a first class dining experience inside a revamped jumbo jet airplane. Choose from three different prix fixe menus and a luxury bar set in the aircraft. Imagine the scenery: a jumbo jet refurbished with taxidermy and collectibles. It’s reminiscent of a modern day Noah’s ark lined with tables and couches to create a truly unique culinary experience.
Red Warehouse is also nestled within the creative park, it showcases an extravagant collection of art and products from Bangkok's brightest.
Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) — a vast collection of fascinating design paraphernalia
Material and Design Innnovation Center at TCDC
Built in the 1940s, the Grand Postal Building was recently retrofitted to be the TCDC, a resource center for creative Thais and foreigners alike. On each floor is another concept: a gallery space, a coffee shop and reading area, and a vast library to flip through a collection of design books. The floor we found ourselves staying the longest was the floor dedicated to the Material Connexion. It features 8,000+ different materials that you can interact with and learn about. We spent hours here geeking about the latest trends in design and sustainability.
Heiji Bangkok — a modern interpretation of quaint Chinese tea house
Barista at Heiji BKK
Heiji is easy to miss, its modest presence is sequestered in a back alley around China Town. But, it's taking time to find hidden escapes are often worth it. Walking into it evokes warm nostalgic feelings of a tea house lost in time. You'll understand when you see for yourself. Their unique pastries like the luscious Earl Gray Chiffon or the Tangy Financier with sea salt and honey are delightful. We ordered a second matcha green tea as its deep umami and frothy top sparked joy in every sip. Plan to stay with a book, a friend, or both — you’ll definitely want to keep topping up your cups and plates.
Charoen43 — curated boutique shops and specialty cafe
G.A.S. Clothing storefront
Photo: G.A.S. Clothing
In another small alley tucked away in the old Chinese part of the city, you’ll find a fascinating collection of cafes, restaurants, and shops. Gas Clothing BKK is one of our favorite boutiques, where there’s a whole rack of 80s vintage sequins tops and fancy party hats. Don’t feel daunted by the steep steps, make your way to the second floor where there is a shared working studio for artists.
Chatuchak Weekend Market — where you find want you want without realizing you want it
The bustling scene at Chatuchak's food court
Without fail, we organize any trip to Bangkok during the weekend so we can spend hours poring over the selections here. Though Chatuchak is no secret, we are always surprised by how many people miss one of our favorite markets in the the world. If you haven't heard of it, make time to come here. This weekend market is a giant expanse of everything you didn’t know you needed. From houseware and furniture, to food and vintage clothing (think classic rock shirts, japanese baseball jerseys, and 90s casual wear) you need to explore the depths of the markets to find the coolest finds. Come with an empty bag because you’d likely be taking home multiple gems from this weekend market. Shopping inevitably works up quite an appetite – to pick the best food is easy, just find where all the locals flock to. Guaranteed satiation and satisfaction.