Planning that trip of a lifetime can be a daunting task at the best of times. It can be that much more challenging if the destination in consideration is on the other side of the world. When a young Canadian golfer, AJ Easton, from Calgary went on his first Asian golf adventure, he had no idea that he would meet the love of his life and set roots down in Thailand. He is not the first and likely will not be the last.
20 years later and based in Bangkok with his company Asia Golf Experience’s, AJ has been guiding golfers and travelers as they find their way around Thailand’s great golf and cultural experiences. Previously we have taken you to other parts of Thailand, on this occasion we will keep you in Bangkok, after all it is consistently the #1 most visited city in the world.
Our man with boots on the ground is a bit of a foodie in his own right. Thailand, known as the ‘Land of Smiles’ is famous for many things which makes it a draw for international tourists. One of the biggest of them all has to be the delicious food! Some of the best and most popular dishes in the world. Whether cooked in a 5-star restaurant or on the side of the street in a wok on a 3 wheeled cart, you’re bound to have a good meal every time!
It should come as no surprise that in Bangkok and throughout Thailand that the Michelin Star experience is alive and well. In Bangkok, there are an impressive 38 restaurants listed in the illustrious Michelin guide, all making the cut together, given Michelin’s recent introduction of the city to its illustrious guide. Of those listed, 17 earned Michelin stars. The best part of this is that you won’t have to break the bank to eat here!
Side note: As of 2019, Bangkok has a total of 16 Michelin-starred restaurants, with 11 of them receiving one star and the remaining 5 receiving two stars. At the time Bangkok had the most Michelin-starred restaurants in Southeast Asia, ahead of Singapore (which has 12) and Kuala Lumpur (4).
We, and by that we mean AJ, is going to give you a taste of what you can expect from a few of his favorites, blend in some golf and where to stay!
First up, the ever-popular Jay Fai located in the oldest part of Bangkok and one of only 6 to receive a 2 star rating, Jay Fai is most popular for her succulent crab meat omelet, curry stir-fries and signature drunken seafood noodles. The queue out the front for this dish got so long that this little restaurant on the corner with just a few tables had to set up a reservations system in order to be able to handle the number of people wanting to try the food. The chef, Supinya Junsuta, is part of the charm with her toque and ski goggles on to make sure she can get through as many of her famous dishes as possible. In addition to the crab meet omelet, Jay Fai has seafood dishes to die for, we love the thick noodles in gravy / seafood combo. Great spot to visit after a round of golf, or on an off day! Just be sure to make a reservation before going.
Go-Ang Kaomunkai Pratunam (Petchaburi 30) Located in Central World, this humble chicken and rice stall has drawn a devoted fan base of locals and in-the-know visitors for more than 60 years. The aromatic rice is cooked with chicken oil and perfectly matches the tender and juicy chicken. The soybean with ginger and chili dipping sauce is the flavorful addition.
Another favorite here is the steamed Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce to compliment the Chicken & Rice. There is a choice of steamed rice or oily rice but we 100% recommend to go with the oily rice as it’s much tastier!
Last, but definitely not least, in our top recommendations is a restaurant called Beer Hima, translation, beer snow! The beer at this southern Thai food restaurant is just to the point of being icy and is poured into a pint glass with frozen water in the bottom. The beer comes at a level just below a slurpee, and it is oh so good when coupled with the spicy southern Thai food dishes. The signature here is the Thai sour curry with grouper, known in the south of Thailand as Gang Som. It is as authentic as it gets and if you really want to eat like a Thai, this should be your choice! Compliment it with the “Moo Koh” and Kale with Crispy Pork. You won’t be hungry after some time enjoying Beer Hema!
To check out all the Michelin Star experiences in Bangkok Bangkok’s MICHELIN Restaurants
From perhaps some greens on your plate we take you to 3 top recommendations of places to play some world class golf around Bangkok… along with some of the best of the world class caddie experience that you only find in Thailand!
Nikanti Golf Club is a unique golf experience in Bangkok, challenging yet fun with 6 x par 3s, 6 x par 4s and 6 x par 5s. Plenty of WOW factor right from the outset. Varied landscape features, meticulously maintained from tee to green, strategically placed white sand bunkers and plenty of water will challenge even the most experienced golfer.
But the golf is just part of the experience. The course provides a buffet meal before & after golf, featuring local dishes such as crispy pork and red pork on rice. It might sound like another foodie experience, and it really is, but on course there are numerous kiosks with Thai snacks such as grilled pork on a stick with sticky rice and grilled meatballs. A nice injection of energy to keep you going through your round.
Alpine Golf and Sports Club Bangkok: One of two Ronald Garl courses that make our list, Alpine Golf and Sports Club is a top-rated course, not only in Bangkok, but within Asia. Elevation changes come into play on this parkland style course. Well bunkered and water in play on quite a few holes, it pays to be straight as the rough is often severe. Members here demand excellence when it comes to maintenance and that is what you too will find.
An excellent club house and facilities add to the reputation Alpine has, and is a must-play for anyone looking to play the best-of-the-best and challenge themselves while in Thailand. From here, head back into town, drop off at the hotel and head off to Go Ang Kaomunkai Pratunam (Petchaburi 30) and satisfy your hunger with some delicious chicken & rice!
The RG Golf City – Dream Arena: Another of the must plays of the Ronald Garl-designed courses in Bangkok, The RG Golf City – Dream Arena is a replica course where the front 9 features a collection of holes from around the world such as The Road Hole, The Postage Stamp, the Church Pews at Oakmont and the 17th at TPC Sawgrass. After the turn, you’ll be heading down hole 10 at August National and continue on to play the entire back 9 at Augusta National. It’s easy to put yourself on those fairways and at Amen Corner and imagine yourself on Sunday coming down to the finish line!
Truly a unique experience and a must play!!!
Where to stay in Bangkok? We have two and preferred distinct areas that we recommend you stay, Lower Sukhumvit or the Riverside.
Lower Sukhumvit is home to most of the nightlife, many different restaurants, the cultural experience, and shopping. The “shop ‘till you drop” saying comes true here! An excellent 4-star option in Sukhumvit, look no further than Mercure Sukhumvit Soi 11. It probably deserves higher than the 4-stars but we can tell you that the price is right. They handle lots of golfers, understand golfers’ needs, and provide spacious rooms with an excellent breakfast!
If you’re looking for something a bit higher, on the 5-star scale, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is an excellent property set right along Sukhumvit Road. Recently renovated, rooms are modern and spacious with a nice Thai touch to them (don’t forget to look at the Thai numbers for your room number! A welcoming lobby including a new Japanese restaurant compliments an excellent Belgian themed restaurant on the rooftop, there is lots to eat and drink without leaving the comforts of the hotel.
The Riverside area, it’s mostly 5-star options and we would recommend the Anantara Riverside Resort. With rooms that back on to the Chao Phrya River it is a very comfortable and top-quality spot to call home for your stay. You will find Thai themes throughout the hotel, and traditional Thai service that always comes with a smile. Consider a dinner cruise on their Manohra Cruise, a luxurious evening dining experience, past the lit-up temples, moving under the many up bridges on a traditional Thai wooden boat.
Bangkok is a city that doesn’t sleep, but one that will tantalize and tingle your tastebuds. It will give you the 5-star golf experience, excellent and safe accommodation as well as endless things to do outside of golf.
If you’re looking to take your first golf trip to Thailand, or looking to come back after some time away, there’s no better time to book than now as the cold weather closes in for winter, and the sunny skies and nice sea breezes come in for the winter in Thailand. To get more information please contact either AJ or his partner Ian, at Asia Golf Experiences email@example.com
They will make sure you have a fantastic and memorable trip. Asia Golf Experiences | Asian Golf Packages & Holidays
To check out all the rich experiences that Thailand has to offer www.ThailandInsider.com