Everything we think we know about the year ahead.
 

Events

 

Liam Gallagher

The ex-Oasis lead singer and all-round rocker bad-boy Liam Gallagher performs tracks from his debut solo album, As You Were, as well as anthems from his former band. Tickets are B3,600, rising to B4,600 for VIP access, available via bit.ly/2znrmu1.
Jan 12. Bitec Bangna (Hall 106)
 

Bangkok Block Party

Taking over the parking lot at A-Square mall for 12 hours, this block party will gather more than 50 musicians—from hip-hop to heavy metal. The four stages will play host to international headliners like Chicago indie act Autograf, Nashville electro duo Cherub and ASAP mob spin-off The Cozy Boys, alongside plenty of local talent. Naturally, there’ll be barber and tattoo pop-ups to go with all the food and drinks, too. Tickets are B900 at eventpop.me
Jan 13. A-Square, Sukhumvit Soi 26
 

Bangkok Design Week

Good news for fans of TCDC's Chiang Mai Design Week, with Bangkok set to get a similar week-long showcase of all things design-related. Expect art installations, workshops, seminars and more from some 500 artists. 
Jan 27-Feb 4. TCDC, BACC, Lhong 1919 and other venues across Bangkok
 

Foster The People

Concert organizers Very Radio bring the LA indie-pop band to perform global hits like "Pumped Up Kicks" and "Houdini." Grab tickets at B2,600 via TicketMelon.
Jan 28. Moonstar Studio 8 
 

The XX

The English band, known for their minimalist blend of soft electronic and indie-pop sounds, perform tracks from their third studio album, I See You. Tickets are B2,800 through Ticketmelon.
Jan 29. Thunderdome Muang Thong Thani

Galleries’Night 

For the fifth time, this event will invite art lovers to visit more than 50 galleries city-wide. Dedicated tuktuks will be on hand to shuttle you around to special exhibitions, talks and workshops until late.
Feb 9-10. Galleries across Bangkok

Incubus

The American alt-rock five-piece will perform songs from their eighth studio album, 8, as well as ‘90s and ‘00s favorites like “Drive” and “Pardon Me.” Tickets are on sale from Thaiticketmajor for B1,500-2,200.
Feb 15. BCC Hall Central Plaza

John Legend

The American soul singer/songwriter known for hits like "All of Me," "Beauty and the Beast" featuring Ariana Grande and "You & I (Nobody In The World)" will take the stage as part of his "Darkness and Light World Tour 2018." Tickets start from B2,800 at Thaiticketmajor.
Mar 23. Bitec Bangna (Hall 106)
 

Katy Perry 

The shape-shifting pop singer is coming back to Bangkok to promote her fifth album, Witness, and hits like "Chained to the Rhythm," "Bon Appetit" and "Swish Swish." Tickets are B2,000-6,500 from Thaitiketmajor.
Apr 10. Impact Arena
 

Bruno Mars

The American pop and R&B singer, who last visited in 2014 when he famously went shopping for bootlegs of his own CDs, will bring his 24K Magic world tour to Bangkok. Expect hits both old—"Just the Way You Are," "The Lazy Song," "Uptown Funk"—and recent—"That’s What I Like" and "Versace on the Floor."  Ticket prices start at B3,500 from Thaiticketmajor.
Apr 30. Impact Arena
 

Harry Styles 

The ex-One Directioner has been making headlines around the world for stepping away from the boy band sound and towards '70s soft rock. Expect new singles "Sign of the Times" and "Kiwi," with possibly some guilty-pleasure One Direction hits too. Tickets are B2,040-5,040 via Thaiticketmajor.
May 7. Impact Arena

Biennials

2018 is set to welcome not one, but two art biennials. The largest, Bangkok Art Biennale (Nov, 2018-Feb, 2019), has the backing of ThaiBev and other large corporations, and will take works by some 70 contemporary artists to notable heritage sites along the Bangkok riverside under the stewardship of Prof. Dr. Apinan Posyananda. Another, the similarly named Bangkok Biennial (Jul 7-Sep 3, 2018), is organized by an anonymous underground group who’ll present autonomous pavilions around the capital. See more at goo.gl/W7pJZm.
 

Wonderfruit

Yep, tickets are already on sale for this year’s bohemian-styled festival of music, food and art (B4,000). Lineup to be announced.
Dec 13-16. The Fields at Siam Country Club, Pattaya 

Bars and Restaurants 

12:51 by Jess Barnes

After treating us to an Opposite Mess Hall pop-up in Nov and Dec, chef Jess Barnes has taken over the reins at Viva Market Thonglor where he’s introduced an all-day dining menu laden with Opposite staples like duck waffle and bone marrow dumplings—get a taste with the B340, three-course “express” lunch. It’s all a prelude to Barnes’ full-on comeback, 12:51, which we’re told will open upstairs within a few months.
 

Aesop’s

Set to open in a tree-shaded spot on Sala Daeng in time for Songkran, this Greek restaurant is an offshoot of Sydney’s three-decade-old Aesop’s restaurant (nothing to do with the soap). They’re promising a “social dining” approach—think sharing dishes, nightly emcee, plate smashing—which ought to place it a notch above the more sterile competition.  

Bangkok Island

Yuval Schwok, the owner of Charansanitwong’s underground, occasionally controversial, live music venue The Overstay, is gearing up to unveil another creative space with a difference. Taking over a reclaimed metal barge, Bangkok Island will set sail along the Chao Phraya River in early 2018, combining live music bar, independent art space and workshop venue. Read our interview.  
 

Locker Room

After being forced to close its doors on Dec 31 (due to the landlord wanting to build another condo), this secret cocktail bar is set to rise from the dead. The owners are seeking out a new home for it around Sukhumvit, though no location is confirmed yet. In the meantime, you can still drink at Backstage, which is run by one of Locker Room's owners.
 

Luka.Moto and Funky Lam Kitchen

Sathorn brunch favorite Luka is heading to Thonglor. Luka.Moto sees the cafe serve up coffee and eggy dishes alongside a showroom from Motorrad, BMW’s motorcycle brand. After dark, the place transforms into Funky Lam Kitchen, a restaurant dedicated to modern Laotian cuisine complete with a molam soundtrack. Expected to open Feb or Mar.   
 

Ministry of Crab

On Asia’s “50 Best Restaurants” list for a few years now, the Sri Lankan crab specialist offers its signature crab in four ways: chill crab, pepper crab, garlic crab and Sri Lankan crab curry. Chef Dharshan Munidasa has stopped by Bangkok a few times, and announced we would be getting a Ministry of Crab by the end of last year. Well, that didn’t happen. Better luck this year?
 

One of Alain Ducasse’s restaurants

No doubt the Frenchman is one of the world’s top chefs. Not only did he become the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin stars in three different cities, but he currently holds 18 Michelin stars at more than 26 restaurants across the world. Word has it he’ll be opening a restaurant at IconSiam (see below), where he’ll be joined by another 100 restaurants from around the world.
 

Roast, Roots, Ocken and The Commons

It’s going to be a big, big year for Think Beyond, the group behind the much-loved Roast and Roots. In April, Roots will open a standalone cafe (or “coffee experience bar”) right beside BTS Surasak. Next door will be Ocken, which promises a more experimental, fine-dining approach compared to Roast. Speaking of which, that particular brunch nirvana will be opening a new spot somewhere around Siam in mid-2018. Back in Thonglor, The Commons will unveil a new-look second floor with a garden barbecue vibe—heavyweights Daniel Thaiger, Birds Rotisserie and Seven Suns are already on-board. 

Property

Credit: www.capellahotels.com/bangkok

Capella

The “ultraluxury” hotel brand from Horst Schulze, former long-time president of Ritz-Carlton, arrives beside the Chao Phraya in the final quarter of 2018. The 101 suites come with sweeping river views, with Thai textiles and accents littered throughout the low-rise development. Within the property, you’ll find a riverside restaurant featuring input from Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco, of the two-Michelin-starred Mirazur restaurant in Menton, France.
 
Credit: www.editionhotels.com/bangkok

Edition

The arrival of Marriott’s boutique brand conceived by legendary hotelier Ian Schrager—the first guy to ever coin the phrase “boutique hotel”—has long been promised as part of the ultra-luxe MahaNakhon Tower development at Chong Nonsi. 2018 looks to be the year. There are only 10 other Edition hotels in the world right now, all glamorously well detailed and frighteningly expensive. For the rest of us there promises to be “five levels of public space.”
 

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences at Chao Phraya River 

Opening by the end of the year, the Four Seasons' return to Bangkok will include a hotel (300 rooms) and residences (350 all-corner units) in a 73-story building. The two projects, along with Capella (see above) are collectively being dubbed the Chao Phraya Estate, and will take up over 350 meters of river frontage and about 35 rai in total. 
 

Hyatt Regency

Thailand's fourth Hyatt will arrive in mid-2018 on Sukhumvit Soi 13, where it will enjoy direct sky bridge access to BTS Nana. The 273 rooms and suites will be decked out in a modern Thai style augmented by Hyatt’s usual elegant and sleek design. On-site, you’ll also find high-end shopping venues, two restaurants, a bar, fitness center and a spa.
 
Credit: www.iconsiammagnolias.com

IconSiam

Set to open in late 2018, the mega B50-billion riverside development by three property giants—Siam Piwat, Magnolia Quality Development and Charoen Pokphand—will transform an 80,000-sq-meter plot of land on Charoen Nakhon Road into something approaching a brand new suburb. It will consist of the Mandarin Oriental Residences (two luxurious skyscraper and condominiums, 70 and 52 floors), 100-plus restaurants, a 3,500-seat auditorium, a “Heritage Museum” and the giant Takashimaya mall from Japan.
 

Waldorf Astoria

First slated to open in 2015, Waldorf Astoria is really, truly opening on Jan 30. It’ll be the first incursion of the Hilton’s luxury hotel brand into Southeast Asia. Perched nearby the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and Ratchaprasong Intersection, the hotel features interiors by architect Andre Fu. The 171 rooms and suites—including some of the largest in downtown Bangkok at 300sq meters—each feature floor-to-ceiling windows. There will be six high-end F&B outlets, including a 55th-floor rooftop bar decked out by local firm AvroKo. 


Retail and Attractions

Ikea

Those tired of making the trek to Bangna can now make the equally arduous schlep to Bangyai across the river when the Swedish furniture and home accessories behemoth opens its second branch in March. The 50,000-sq-meter area next to Central Westgate will come with a canteen serving a “branch exclusive” menu, too.
 

Brick Live

The UK-born theme park will bring millions of Lego bricks to the out-of-the-way Show DC mall in mid-2018, joining other themed zones devoted to Star Wars and Ninjago.
 
Credit: www.facebook.com/cinemaoasis.bk

Cinema Oasis

Set to open in March, this independent cinema on Sukhumvit Soi 43 comes from two of the biggest names in the business, artist Manit Sriwanichpoom (Kathmandu Gallery, The Pink Man photo series) and director Ing Kanjanavanit (Shakespeare Must Die). The six-story building, designed by Somchai Jongsaeng of Deca Atelier, will comprise a 48-seat theater, topped off with a gallery and events space.
 

COS

The high-brow arm of Sweden's H&M fashion retailer is expected to land its first Thailand  store at EmQuartier in March. Launched in 2007, COS stands for "Collection of Style" and is known for its clean shapes and pared-back stylings. Hopefully, local prices will be comparable to those around Asia. For example, COS Korea sells men's shirts at around B4,500 and women's cardigans from B4,000.
 
Apple Orchard Road, Singapore

Apple

Bangkok internet went into overdrive last September when Apple announced it was hiring for its debut Thailand store. While the location is still under wraps, rumors last year suggested a 20,000-sq-meter Bangkok outlet would open "by 2018" at the IconSiam (see above).  
 

Don Quijote

The tax-free discount megastore Don Quijote from Japan is set to take over a space at the start of Ekkamai Soi 5 by late 2018. Long on Thai tourists' shopping hitlist, the chain is known for its huge range of electronics,  clothing and all sorts of quirky, occasionally lewd Japanese accessories ("boobie towel," anyone?), as well as its pounding in-store soundtrack.