Paul Boonrungreung is the figurehead of the super cool SO/ Bangkok and knows the Thai metropolis like the back of his hand.
After running a lifestyle and fashion boutique in London, you moved back to Bangkok in 2013 to work as SO PerSOnality at the SO/Sofitel Hotel opened there. What is it that makes this city so attractive?
Bangkok is incredibly lively, inspiring and never comes to rest. The “City of Angels” is a wonderfully hip and chic place, where you can discover timeless historical sights and find your very own and unforgettable moments.
What is not to be missed on a first visit to Bangkok?
The Great Palace, the sensational Street Food, a visit to the club in the famous DJ Station and a walk through the largest market on weekends, the Chatujak.
Bangkok is known for its gay scene, especially on Silom Soi 4 street. Is this still “the place to go” today?
In fact the Silom Soi 4 has something timeless and is still important as it has a sexy atmosphere. The Telephone Bar is just as popular as the Strangler Bar which is and remains my eternal favourite. Silom Soi 4 is the coolest place to meet up with friends and then head for a night out.
What other options can you recommend for gay night owls?
On Sundays, the cool Magie Choo will entice you with funky beats and a fantastic cabaret show. The Sweetest Rabbit Bar at Silom Soi 2 is a popular meeting place before and after a visit to DJ station, and The GOD is an underground club where you can dance to hard House until dawn.
And what else is not to miss?
The Vogue Lounge in the Mahanakorn Cube Building is located on Narathiwas Road next to Silom Road: it’s super in right now, yet offers a service with a personal touch. My cocktail recommendation would be a mojito with rum, mint leaves, lemon juice and syrup. I can also recommend a candlelit dinner in the Thai restaurant Issaya Simse, where you can watch the chef prepare the meals. At the end of the night you can stop by Osha. The café at the night market Asiatique on the shore of Choa Phraya serves Thai fusion cuisine.
Thailand is known for excellent massages and spas. What are your recommendations?
The Divana Spas are an oasis in the heart of Bangkok. Here you can relax and indulge in luxurious treatments. In our SO/ Spa old traditions meet the refinement and know-how of French cosmetic art and provide a refreshing experience.
When do you think is the best time to travel?
Thailand celebrates Songkran, the New Year celebration in April. In SO/ Bangkok we start the celebrations with our SO/ Pool Party a few days before the start of G-Circuit, one of the biggest LGBTIQ* events in Asia with DJs from all over the world and non-stop parties. The Silom Road is the scene of a big water battle during Songkran, which has been part of the Thai New Year celebration for generations and today is mainly carried out with spray guns.
Information about Thailand for LGBTIQ* tourists can be found at www.gothaibefree.com
Information about SO/ Bangkok can be found at www.sofitel.com