Browsing: Thailand

The Best Lattes, Cappuccinos and Other Coffee in Thailand

Thailand is not exactly a coffee lover’s paradise, although it does hold its own when compared to most countries. While there aren’t as many amazing coffee shops as in nearby Vietnam, Thailand has an evolving coffee scene that’s moved from simple condensed milk street-style coffee to great quality lattes, cappuccinos and espresso over the last few years.

If you’re traveling in Thailand and feel tired of the usual Thai street coffee, popping into a Western style cafe can be a great refresher, both physically and mentally. We’ve listed our favorite places to enjoy high quality coffee in Thailand below, ranging from your home to some of the best cafes in the country.

Note: Before we get into the best cafes, it’s worth covering home coffee in Thailand. Thailand has a good variety of international espresso blends that are worth considering if your’e an expat. Doi Chang sells cheap, tasty coffee beans, some of which are available pre-ground. You can also now get Nespresso in Thailand (BestNespressoCapsules has a great guide to the best Nespresso capsules for lattes and cappuccinos here, in case you’re looking to buy).

In Bangkok:

Bangkok has by far the best selection of gourmet coffee cafes of anywhere in Thailand, which should come as no surprise due to the city’s incredible size. Our recommendations are:

  • Roots Coffee, which is a small cafe located inside The Commons Thong Lor with excellent espresso.
  • Phil Coffee on Sukhumvit Soi 61, which has a good variety of espresso-based coffee options, plus a relaxing atmosphere that’s good for working.
  • Rocket Coffeebar in Sathorn, which is one of the area’s most popular breakfast and coffee spots.
  • Kuppa on Sukhumvit Soi 16, which is a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee and a filling international lunch.

In Pattaya:

Pattaya has a surprisingly diverse selection of high quality cafes, especially given its reputation as a nightlife hotspot. Be sure to check out our Pattaya activity guide if you’re visiting. If you’re feeling tired after a long night out, head to any of the following cafes for a good morning coffee:

  • Bake n’ Brew is a small cafe with great breakfasts, tasty baked goods and some of the best espresso in Pattaya.
  • Benjamit Coffee Roasters is a Thai-owned and operated coffee shop that serves excellent espresso, lattes and cappuccinos, plus the usual cafe snacks.
  • Sketch Book Art Cafe is better known for its desserts than its coffee, but it’s still a good place for a morning or afternoon espresso.

In Phuket:

Phuket has several great coffee shops, all of which are worth a visit, although you’ll want to stick to the ones closest to your location to avoid a long drive:

  • Mac Chiato House serves excellent, fresh coffee in a setting that’s relaxed and peaceful, with a variety of books for you to choose from.
  • HOCKHOELEE – The Original Phuket Coffee Roaster serves outstanding espresso-based drinks, as well as very high quality cold brew coffee.
  • Bean & Gone in Patong is a small coffee shop with great quality, surprisingly inexpensive coffee.

In Chiang Mai:

Most of Chiang Mai’s best coffee shops can be found around the moat or in the Nimman Road area, which is where most of the city’s digital nomads hang out:

  • Free Bird Cafe serves great coffee, as well as a good selection of tasty breakfast and lunch dishes.
  • Ristr8to – Specialty Coffee is a little further out of the city but still serves great coffee and a selection of good Thai dishes.
  • Librarista is a library-style coffee shop in Nimman that’s a great place to get your caffeine fix while getting some important work done.

What’s your favorite coffee shop in Thailand? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list.

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48 Hours in Pattaya: Accommodation and Activities Guide

Thailand’s biggest beach resort destination is growing from Asia’s Sin City into one of its most popular destinations. Once a famous R&R hangout for Vietnam War soldiers, Pattaya has developed over the past 45 years into one of Thailand’s biggest tourism magnets, boasting a variety of decent beaches, hundreds of great hotels, some of the world’s most exciting nightlife and a convenient location less than two hours from Bangkok’s main airport.

What is there to do in Pattaya? Plenty, especially if you’re visiting for the weekend. Our 48 Hour Guide covers the best things to do in Pattaya over the weekend in a quick, simple bullet point list format, letting you pick and choose your favorite options for your next trip:

  • Get in by taxi from Bangkok. It’s much faster than traveling to Pattaya on the bus, far more comfortable and barely costs 1,500 baht each way. You’ll thank yourself once you run into traffic in air conditioned comfort instead of the crowded bus seats.
  • Choose your hotel carefully. Not all hotels in Pattaya allow guests, meaning you could find yourself stuck out of your room if you meet someone while enjoying the nightlife. This list of Pattaya guest friendly hotels (another, more detailed list here) is a good reference if you plan on enjoying the nightlife to its full extent.
  • Make the most of the beachside environment. There’s more to Pattaya than just the nightlife, and you’ll have a much better time if you make the most of the city’s famous surroundings. Go sailing, relax with a seaside drink at Siam@Siam Hotel and make the most of being close to the ocean.
  • Need a change of pace? Visit Jomtien. This smaller, less crowded beach just to the south of Pattaya is a nice change of pace from Pattaya’s overly crowded and busy beach, making it an excellent option if you want to get away from the hustle, bustle and nightlife to enjoy a beach that’s just as developed but less commercialized.
  • Test your Mario Kart skills. Pattaya is home to one of Thailand’s best go kart tracks, with a variety of karts for racers of all abilities. The karting track is one of the best things to do in Pattaya if you’re traveling with your family.
  • Get a great Western meal. Pattaya has one of the best selections of Western restaurants you can find in Thailand outside of Bangkok, with everything from Belgian steakhouses to great Italian food and freshly brewed beer. Try Hopf Brew House around 8 to 9pm for a fun opera show.

What do you like to do in Pattaya? Let us know your favorite activities in Pattaya and we’ll add them to our next 48 Hour guide.

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How to Get to Pattaya From Bangkok

There are several ways to get to Pattaya from Bangkok, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • By bus. Buses to Pattaya leave from Ekkamai Bus Station on Sukhumvit Road (nearest BTS station is Ekamai) and take approximately two hours to arrive in Pattaya. From the bus station in Pattaya, you can reach your hotel by taking a baht bus for 20 to 150 baht, based on the distance.The advantage of bus travel is the low cost. Bus tickets from Bangkok to Pattaya (and vice versa) typically cost 100 to 150 baht, depending on the bus you choose.
  • By taxi. Because Pattaya is close to Bangkok, traveling there by taxi is a fast and surprisingly cost effective option. Taxis from central Bangkok to Pattaya cost 1,200 to 1,500 baht, while return trips are generally slightly cheaper at 1,000 to 1,300 baht. The biggest advantage of traveling by taxi is the speed and comfort, as it takes approximately 90 minutes compared to the 120+ minutes for the far less comfortable bus trip.

Which option is best? Both have their advantages, but for us, traveling by taxi is the best way to get to Pattaya. If you’re on a limited budget and don’t mind the relatively short and somewhat comfortable bus trip, you can save a large amount of money by taking the bus. Just be aware that you’ll need to arrange onward transportation in Pattaya to get to your hotel.

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