Just around the corner
At more than 140 years old, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is located in a historic district known as Charoenkrung – named after the first road built in Bangkok. The Old Customs House is next door while the hotel’s River Wing, which houses Authors' Suites named after writers including Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene and James Michener who stayed there – stands as the only remaining structure of the original 19th-century hotel. While the neighbourhood has long been known for antique emporiums – River City is nearby – the old riverside warehouses and shipping offices of Charoenkrung have been redeveloped with a more creative bohemian edge.
Just to the north of the hotel are a series of small fascinating streets, close to the river, where galleries and bookshops, quirky cafés and craft shops are thriving. I send guests to the Gallery Café in Soi 30, a lovely intimate place that's open for lunch and dinner. In the same street, which used to be known as Captain Bush Soi, is Warehouse 30, an exciting mixed-use development of creative spaces – studios, galleries, boutiques, shops, visual arts. It is all part of Bangkok’s riverside revival, and it is right on our doorstep.