Meet my city: Bangkok
Wedding planner Anna Robinson shows us the healthy hotspots around her second city Bangkok and its surrounds.
As the founder and director of wedding planning business Take us to Thailand, Anna spends months each year planning and managing beautiful weddings in Bangkok and its surrounds. The climate, environment and fresh food make Bangkok a great city to optimise your health and wellbeing.
Which season makes your city feel most alive?
The 'tropical cool' season from November to February is the best time to be in Bangkok. The weather is comfortably warm by day and refreshingly cooler by night, allowing for more outdoor exercise in the parks, especially given the lower rainfall during this time. April is awfully hot and humid but Bangkok certainly comes alive for Songkran Festival, with locals embracing the rainy season by playfully turning the city into a mass water fight.
Where do you like to escape for a hike or walk?
Lumpini Park in central Bangkok is a lush oasis in the city, perfect for outdoor exercise first thing in the morning before the heat of the day.
Out of town, the Royal Palace in Hun Hin, the beachfront escape for Bangkok locals, is opened daily for people to exercise in the King's garden – such a privilege and perfect for a weekend jog.
What are your favourite health activities?
The Sukhothai Hotel, in the heart of the financial and embassy district, has a great gym, pool and tennis court, with helpful, complimentary trainers on stand-by.
The focus on traditional Thai exercise is a highlight at the stylish new riverside hotel The Siam. Their private boxing ring and Muay Thai boxing classes offer a fun workout.
Chiva Som, the internationally regarded spa and health retreat is just under three hours’ drive from Bangkok. Set right on the beach, it offers a diverse range of health, fitness, relaxation and spa programs, with delicious healthy food and a daily selection of classes like water boxercise, TRX, meditation and beach boot camp.
Soneva Kiri, 50 minutes by resort plane from Bangkok, on the picturesque Koh Kood, is another outstanding spot to catch up on looking after yourself. This holistic approach maximises the use of locally sourced food, has a spa offering the perfect escapism, and beach boxing and yoga classes for the more energetic.
What is it about your city that motivates you to be fit and healthy?
As a wedding planner in Thailand, we often have long days of running around in the heat, and lots of eating out, so it's important to make the most of exercise opportunities when we have them to feel a great as possible when we are working.
Favourite spot to pick up a healthy morning smoothie?
We're so lucky in Bangkok with the local food being so delicious. Fruit is a real highlight, especially freshly cracked coconuts – full of electrolytes, and a bargain!
Best local spots to pick up fresh, seasonal produce?
The local street stalls are generally a fun spot to try lots of different fruits and the streets around the weekend market are brilliant for super authentic noodles, with a huge bowl of fresh herbs and greens to add as you wish.
What do you miss most about your city when you’re away?
Amazing massages, warm weather and delicious, freshly prepared, tasty Thai food. Of course, the friendly, service-oriented Thai culture is also missed.
Describe your perfect weekend in your city.
After a delicious breakfast by the river at The Peninsula, I'd head to the weekend market to check out all the local wares on offer, with a coconut water break at some point, before some time at the pool that afternoon. At sunset, rooftop cocktails overlooking the city at Vertigo Bar or the State Tower would be followed by a delicious Thai meal. Sunday is best spent at Aqua at Four Seasons, enjoying the diverse and delicious food and open bar at Sunday Brunch, before a massage to end the weekend.
From Bali to LA, check out more destinations in our Meet my city series and get an insider's guide to the food, fitness and wellbeing hotspots.