Bangkok: A city of massage, spicy food and beautiful temples. As a full-time Emirates flight attendant, it is one of the cities I’ve visited most in my career so far. And, thankfully for me, keeping it healthy in Bangkok is always easy—and exciting.
WHERE TO EAT
A word of warning: This place might force you to keep coming back to Bangkok just for the food! If you are a vegetarian with a sweet tooth, like me, you will fall in love with the vegan bakery Veganerie! All desserts here are vegan and just fantastic. Instead of using a regular whipped cream they use one made of coconut milk. Some smoothies here contain sugar but you can ask to substitute it with stevia, which is my preferred way to enjoy them.
There is a big choice of salads, burgers, main courses and healthy breakfast options as well. Veganerie is a chain of vegan restaurants. Normally I go to the location in Siam Paragon because it is easy to park, and you can use the visit to enjoy shopping in the Siam Paragon mall. Or you can explore the art gallery in the Siam Discovery mall; the building right next to the Siam Paragon.
The other fabulous chain of vegan restaurants is the Broccoli Revolution where you can try vegan and gluten-free versions of Italian, Thai and Japanese cuisine.
I recommend trying the gluten-free vegan lasagna alongside one of their cold-pressed juices.
On the mornings I do my Mysore practice at AYBKK I eat my late brekkie in the Broccoli Revolution location on Sukhumvit Road (walking distance from the yoga studio). In this Broccoli Revolution location, you can also purchase the most delicious bliss balls and ripe avocados for takeaway. It is one of the places that opens its doors the earliest in the city (7am! and open until 10pm). For lunch and beyond, I’d choose the Broccoli Revolution location in the Central Embassy shopping mall as it’s much quieter as the day goes on (open at 10am, closes 10pm).
Another great lunch option is the Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel. In the Skyline restaurant you can enjoy your healthy and organic lunch (12pm – 2:30pm) at the salad bar. At as little as 290 baht ($8.75 USD) per person you will enjoy an all-you-can-eat open buffet with selection of salads, fruits, veggies, cheese, nuts, premium cold cuts, spreads and other delicious offerings. Infused water is included in price. The restaurant is a bright and spacious venue with a marvelous view over the Bangkok skyline and the Chao Phraya River. No booking is required.
In the cooler months of the year, from October to March, visit Suananda Cafe, a spot that offers a large assortment of homestyle healthy vegan and vegetarian dishes. A very pleasant and quiet courtyard makes this cafe a special and a super cozy place. It is very nice to enjoy a catch up with friends outdoors or simply use the meditative ambient of this “vegetarian garden” for productive work on a laptop or chilling with a good read.
WHERE TO PRACTICE YOGA
AYBKK studio is a traditional school of Ashtanga yoga. Here, you will practice with teachers authorized and certified by KPJAYI in Mysore, India. AYBKK is located in the S31 Sukhumvit Hotel on the 8th floor. Each student is offered a small towel for practice and a bottle of water. You can also borrow a yoga mat for free. You can use a changing room with shower facilities attached to the spa of the hotel. Although the studio is located in a luxury hotel you will not miss a spirit of the yoga shala. Follow the schedule of shala through the FB page or on aybkk.org. All teachers communicate very well in English, and there is a separate Mysore practice group for Japanese speakers.
There is one more magic place that combines good food and yoga together: Roots8yoga, a yoga studio is located in the heart of Bangkok with a vegetarian cafe. I met the owner of this place in India, Rishikesh when I traveled there for my yoga studies. Her name is Kook, and the peace and grace she radiates is apparent in every aspect of her studio. On the same trip to Rishikesh, I met Vivek Singh, one of the other instructors at the studio. Vivek moved from his hometown Rishikesh to Bangkok to teach yoga. I can recommend his classes especially for yogis who like to have variety and creativity in their yoga routine.
WHERE TO SHOP
One of my friends, Nus, a regular at Roots8yoga, introduced me to Boxbox health, a healthy products shop close to the studio. (Check out their Instagram @boxboxhealth.) Go there to get some superfoods, healthy snacks, organic cosmetics or fresh juice. My favorite snack purchased from the shop was dehydrated purple dragon fruit.
In the same area you will find stalls with fresh fruits. It is your chance to try a fresh durian if you still haven’t tried this popular yet smelly fruit. Love it.
WHERE TO RELAX
When searching for the best place to get a massage, look no further than Infinity Spa. Immaculate cleanliness, friendly stuff, good customer service, decent (although not low) prices. As a sign of hospitality, you will receive a welcome drink and a refreshing towel for hands. If doing an oil massage, you can choose one of three offered oils. After the massage, you will enjoy a complimentary portion of mango sticky rice and some tea.
Health Land Spa is another option, one that is much bigger and quite easy to get in without an appointment. The Health Land Spa has a menu of Ayurvedic treatments in addition to traditional Thai massages. To ensure your experience will be excellent, let the masseur know your expectations, be it the strength of pressure you prefer, or the areas of your body to focus on or to avoid.
Travel to Bangkok and you will explore Asian culture and genuine hospitality. I hope you have a healthy (and fun!) adventure through Thailand!
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