Our base during the Bangkok trip was at So Sofitel. A modern, beautiful hotel with such delights as Chocolab in it’s building. Another attraction was the rooftop bar known as the Hi-So, presumably due to the building that it’s housed in and it’s proximity to ground level. Yes this is one high-up bar and we were going to have a drink at it.
Bangkok can be a crazy city with a lot of traffic, noise and hassle getting from A to B, particularly at peak times. The hotel is a welcome break from the stresses of the city, situated beside the peaceful Lumphini park in a quieter area of the city yet just yards away from the bustling Silom road. Staying here while in the city is something that I would highly recommend especially for the more than reasonable price of £140 per night ($182.80 US) for a four and a half star hotel experience.
We headed for the roof before a night out in the Chinatown district where we would be subject to a torrential downpour and have to seek refuge in a duck shop, but that’s another story. We caught the weather just perfectly as the friendly service (as always in Bangkok) showed us to a table beside the glass wall separating you from the drop over the edge. The rooftop was quiet other than a few couples here and there but this was early evening before the place really gets busy.
The view across Bangkok is stunning from up here. A bird’s eye view of Lumphini park is something very special as we watched people jogging, doing tai chi in groups and taking swan pedalos out onto the large lake. A little further into the distance you get the huge dome of Lebua, which houses its own rooftop bar famed in films such as The Hangover Part 2. All this is surrounded by the high rise buildings of modern Bangkok with life going on down below on the busy street, it’s a superb vantage point.
Oh yes – the cocktails! We didn’t just come up here for the view, oh no, not when there’s a large menu with tempting drinks plastered all over it. Choosing was hard as we knew by now that the fruit in Asia is some of the best we’ve ever tried. Many cocktails were fruit based which made the decision all the more tricky. In the end we went for a strawberry me and a cherry bomb – both were featured in the ‘cocktails of the month’ section of the menu at 350THB (£8.00).
Just before the drinks reached our table we received a selection of spiced peanuts, olives and thai crackers which went down a treat, very tasty! Soon after we had to tear ourselves away from the view momentarily as our drinks arrived. Both had a nice tinge of red and smelled of fresh fruit scent. The cherry bomb was just incredible. Drinks like this can be dangerous as it slipped down so easily. One of those drinks that doesn’t taste of alcohol but a strong fruit flavour from the whack of grenadine, lime syrup and maraschino cherries giving an almond hit. Awesome cocktail.
The strawberry me gave an equally large punch of fruit flavour. So fresh and perfect to sip on a warm evening in the Thai capital. We were thoroughly enjoying our high quality drinks and the perfect view so much that Chinatown almost didn’t happen. At around 7pm after a good couple of hours on the roof we decided to grab the final bill which rolled in at 700 BHT (£16.00).
Many people, including us, prioritise Lebua Sky Bar over any other in Bangkok but if you like being herded like sheep into a tight bar area to pay over the odds for a drink then maybe Lebua is your kind of place. For us we found it a little disappointing despite the extravagant view over Bangkok.
I would highly recommend the Hi-So at So Sofitel to really get the best experience while indulging on top quality drinks. Pay less than half that you would at Lebua for a relaxed experience in a stunning setting, what could be better?
Opening times: Daily 1700-0100 (Last order 0030)