Meet the author Dave Stamboulis in Bangkok

Bangkok - Dave Stamboulis
Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis, author of The 500 Hidden Secrets of Bangkok, is a writer and photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Greece and raised in the US, Dave has now called Bangkok home for 16 years. The wonderful food, warm weather, and super-friendly people first drew him to the kingdom when he passed through while on a round-the-world bicycle trip back in 1995, and after dividing his time between the US and Bangkok for years, he decided to make the move for good. 

What Dave loves the most about Bangkok

"Most definitely the food, which pretty much almost every visitor gets amazed by. It has to be one of the only cities in the world where you have such a great concentration of street food, shophouse food, and Michelin restaurants all in one place. It also has a tremendous array of regional cuisine from north to south. I love wandering through back streets and searching for those hole-in-the-wall gems that dish up wonderful meals."

"I love wandering through back streets and searching for those hole-in-the-wall gems that dish up wonderful meals."

Dave’s perfect day in the city might look like this

"Rise early and head over to Rattanakosin Island, also known as the Old City, which really has the feel of the Bangkok of old, as there are no shopping malls or condominium developments. Explore spots like Phraeng Phuton, a neoclassical square that resembles an Italian piazza, where you can find generations-old shophouse restaurants serving single dish specialties. It’s one of the '5 spots to see old Bangkok'. Make sure to stop for a scoop of homemade ice cream at the Nuttaporn ice cream shop, which has been in business for more than 70 years.

After this, I’d head over to the back alleys of Chinatown (one of the '5 Best walks in Bangkok'), which are perfect for exploring on foot. I’d stop in for an oyster omelet at Nai Mong Hoi Tod, one of the '5 Best hole-in-the-wall eateries', and recently awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin for its street food. I’d also make sure to call in at Eiah Sae, a 100 year old funky Chinese coffeehouse that makes three generations’ old recipes of Thai coffee, and is also one of the '5 Best cafes'."

coffee bar Eiah Sae
Eiah Sae

"It gets pretty hot during the day in Bangkok, but the breezes on the Chao Phraya River are cooling, and I’d either enjoy the city by river ferry, or else head over to Thonburi (the west side of the river), where the moniker “Venice of the East” still applies, and you can take longtail boats up sleepy canals. Here, I always stop to catch a traditional Thai puppet show at the wonderful Baan Silapin artist’s house, which is one of the '5 Best places to see traditional Thai performance arts'.

In the late afternoon, there’s nowhere better in Bangkok to be than up on a rooftop enjoying a cocktail waiting for the sun to go down. The views are staggering, and Bangkok really excels at cityscape views from above. The Moon Bar has always been one of my '5 Top rooftop bars' to take in the sea of highrises and changing colours."

"For dinner, I’d treat myself to a splurge at one of of the newly anointed Michelin-starred restaurants. Gaggan is a two-star winner and truly astounding, and is one of the '5 Best places to splurge on dinner'. Or else I would do a more simple Thai meal at The Local, housed in an old teak home and serving hard to find old-school recipes from all over Thailand. Finally, I’d top things off with a nightcap, as Bangkok is home to a burgeoning new bar scene, full of creative drinks and master mixologists. The Bamboo Bar, in the Mandarin Oriental, has been a jazz institution and fine drink bar for over half a century, and is one of the '5 most atmospheric bars' in the city."