From burlesque in Phrom Phong and photography in the Gulf of Thailand to live music and breakfast —we had hundreds of articles this year. Here are your and our favorites.
Well, it’s been a big year. Considering the previous three were a miasma of plague and misery, it wasn’t too shabby. It was our first full year of getting high legally. There’s an Ikea downtown at Emsphere. Thaksin came back. Rolling Loud was the biggest hip-hop event of the year. We got a new government—not the one people voted for, but you can’t have everything.
So, thank you to our loyal readers (and our traitorous readers) for yet another year of making BK even more BK. Here are some of your and some of our favorite articles of the year.
Top 10 Staff Picks
Photo: Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet
Photographer Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet lit up the world with her camera at the biggest movie event in the world. BK needed to have a word.
“I was very excited. The New York Times sent three photographers and I was assigned to be at the red carpet. I’ve been freelancing for the New York Times for the past two and a half years, shooting arts and fashion—and this was a big event related to both—so they sent me.” - Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet
Photo: Madame Rouge Devil’s Playground / BK Magazine
Defunct (for now) the mighty Madame Rouge has been a nightlife force of nature. If you haven’t seen her troupe around town, we frankly don’t know where you’ve been drinking.
“The Devil's Playground is a show that's about the seven deadly sins and it's mainly about how the devil is misunderstood,” Madame Rouge tells BK Magazine. “We live in a society that tells us what’s right and what’s wrong and what we can do and what we shouldn't do and shuns every kind of sin. But life is short so the devil just wants everyone to indulge in these so-called sins so they can live a fulfilling life.”
Photo: Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn
At just 17 years old, Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn was the winner of the Young Grand Title for the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards for an up-close shot of Bryde’s whale baleen. BK speaks with this young photographer on wild Thailand.
“In Thailand, the Bryde’s whales come very close to the boat. I see people taking pictures of the whales when they come close—like they take it with a long lens to see how close they can get to the whales. But I was thinking, we can stand on the boat and we can see the baleen really clearly,” Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn tells BK Magazine.
Photo: Speech Odd / Joshua Stephens
It was a big year for music, and BK wanted to know more about this stylish punk band and the lead singer’s “chainsaw-like” voice.
“Our aim is for events in Thailand to be talked about in as many communities as possible and be documented in a permanent way,” says guitarist Nampan. “Foreign outfits distribute our music. [The government] can’t control that. If any obstacles do arise, it means someone noticed, which simply means we’ve done our job.”
Photo: Arcadia Barcade wrestling match / BK Magazine
A hi-so heel, a motosai hero, a hellish demon—the violent panto of pro wrestling came to Sukhumvit earlier this year, taking the ring to a rooftop at Arcadia Barcade.
“Setup aims to give fans unique experiences and gain more fans,” founder Pumi Boonyatud tells BK Magazine. “This is a chance for us to tell fans what Thai wrestling is all about. This show will be a great example that anything can happen at Setup.”
Photo: Bad Vibes Vol 2 / Tyler Roney
At Host BKK off Rama 4 on Sunday night, participants from Russia to Singapore took to the dance floor for a night of curated dance competitions, showcases, and exhibitions at Badvibes, Vol 2. Badvibes pitted competitors together, surrounded by a rowdy crowd of dance fans in a whirlwind of dance, disses, and dramatic moments.
“For freelance we have like 60 teams mostly based from different countries like Vietnamese, Malaysia, India,” says Kevin Bondoerffer, the French-Thai organizer of the event.
It’s one of Thailand’s biggest openings of the year—a Netflix darling that brings the history of cinema in the Kingdom to life. BK spoke to the director to learn more about what we’re missing in the long tale of Thai film.
“[The troupes] would screen the pictures for free, in exchange for a little advertisement break in between the film,” Nonzee Nimibutr tells BK about the old pharma-cinema groups, adding that they wouldn’t resume the film until they’d hit their sales target. “I remember when they would sell bowel-cleansing medicine, they'd put these tapeworms in a display jar. It was really freaky! You definitely wouldn’t catch that in a cinema today.”
Photo: Potong / Courtesy
The multi-level dining trend has emerged in recent years as a unique approach to hospitality, especially when exploring Bangkok’s diverse landscape of old buildings, town houses, and shopfronts. These restaurants are flipping the script and giving diners whole new vibes and venues on their different floors.
Photo: BK Magazine
Just earlier this month, BK took a look into the lives of a throuple and got to know more about what it’s like to be polyamorous in Bangkok today.
“People often ask if my partners know about each other, and I’d say of course they do!” King says. “Every relationship has its own problems. Most of the time, polyamory is based on consensual agreement between partners and not about forcing the other person to accept it [just like monogamy].”
Your Top 10 Picks
It was the biggest ever hip-hop event in Thailand, and BK was front and center for Cardi B, Thaitanium, Fat Joe, and more. With AQI nearing 150 and the temperature clocking in at 36C, sweat-covered stars and up-and-comers went wild for crowds big and small throughout the day.
BK loves a deal, and you loved this long, bar type-specific guide to the happy hours you need to know about. From the rooftop to the pubs, this will get you happy and keep you that way.
Bangkok got a lot more pet-friendly this year, so BK went out to find where you can eat, drink, and even dance with your four-legged friends.
It wasn’t just our February issue for Valentine’s Day, it was also our first print issue back from a short publishing hiatus. Turns out, Bangkok needs to get out a bit more. Check this one out for dating spots, advice, and horror stories.
Photo: Kru Kai Kaeo / Neil Shelley
Bangkok has some pretty severe opinions about the Kru Kai Kaeo statue—and we even thought you might want to dress up as him for Halloween. Love him or hate him, this was certainly the most talked about statue of the year.
Pretty durn high, as it turns out. BK wanted to take a look at the weed boom and try to find out when the bust is finally coming. So far, it’s not really slowing.
“Having a truck on the street everywhere made it uncontrollable and might enable teenagers or kids to reach cannabis easily without being educated first,” Nuttavat “Beam” Chuleekiet says. “It does affect our sales but as a Thai citizen and stoner, we support control...I worry about many dispensaries taking advantage of new users.”
Canadians are a pretty finicky bunch when it comes to their poutine. This spot, however, wasn’t really trying to make “good” poutine. They were trying to put their own spin on it, which is a pretty neat idea, and you thought so too.
“I mean no disrespect to the traditional poutine restaurants. If anything we’re paying homage to them by introducing it to Thai customers. But the complexity of Thai people’s palette is quite different. We are so used to having a variety of flavors in our dishes—sweet, sour, spicy, salty. Western-style poutines may not capture that all.”
Meet the neighbors. For a short period visitors were permitted to enter the new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building until September 16, excluding Sundays. Now, it’s only open to “worthy church members.” Eyesore or architectural marvel, you be the judge, but all faiths are welcome to check out this truly unique building, measuring 4,508 square meters.
Honestly, what is wrong with you? We work so hard all year to bring you the best, the latest, and the most honest coverage of Bangkok’s F&B scene and what do you do? You take our April Fool’s joke way too seriously. Well, we’re glad you liked it—and hope you didn’t believe it for longer than it takes to get a laugh.
We do this article every single year, and every year you love it. From Ari to Ekkamai, this is a fulsome list of where to start your day. This was our most popular article of the year, and we’re going to keep doing it as long as you keep reading BK.