It was the last afternoon in Bangkok for one of our travelling trio. The sun was out and we were spending the afternoon in Lumpini Park watching a monitor lizard catch an optimistically large fish for dinner and shove it down its throat with the help of a tree trunk. We sat looking over the lake, excitedly listing all the two-person things we could do once Becky had left.
Our celebratory drinks were to be at the Sky Bar at the lebua hotel, a destination whose cult status was magnified when it played host to the set of The Hangover Part II. Although unapologetically lavish, the lebua lacks the snobbishness you might expect from an institution with so much to boast.
From the moment you step through the doors, you are treated as a guest rather than a nuisance tourist. We took the lift up to the 64th floor and because it was early still – the Sky Bar doesn’t open until 18:00 – we were directed through to the Distill bar.
This in itself is worth turning up early for. The atmosphere is much more relaxed, even on a Friday, and the seating out on the terrace makes it the perfect place to linger whilst enjoying the endless sprawl of the city skyline in its last hour of daylight.
I didn’t feel rushed when I spent 20 minutes indecisively flicking through the cocktail menu and the staff didn’t blink twice when (making up for missed lunch) we ploughed our way through complimentary bowlfuls of pistachios and deliciously sweet, macerated black olives.
I also ended up getting a snack with my drink. So elaborate were the descriptions of cocktails, I completely missed that my brewed tequila came with a garnish of Californian maki.
At 18:00 we were invited to take our drinks down to the Sky Bar where a platform hangs off the edge of the tower, creating the sensation of floating over the skyline. As the sun dips below the horizon and the lights of Bangkok flicker on, the view becomes all the more mesmerising.
Depending on your stamina for standing on the brink of a skyscraper, you could probably spend an hour or so there. After a while we were hit with a spell of vertigo and returned to the ground floor lobby to recuperate in the company of a live pianist and comfy sofas.
Although great value for money for the beautiful drinks, incredible views and quality of experience, £15 a cocktail had broken our budget slightly. With this in mind we headed back across the city to Sukhumvit Soi 38 for a tasty street food dinner of duck and noodles for the grand total of 80p a bowl.