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Going to Bangkok Thailand for a long while. Tailor, restaurant, shop recs? Proxy?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
It seems I shall be in Bangkok, Thailand for at least a year starting in September.

There are a few older threads about Bangkok online, but I figured I'd see if anyone has any updated suggestions regarding good tailors, restaurants, shops, or places to visit?

I believe a member has a shop there. The name escapes. I plan to visit.

In theory, I might be able to proxy something over there, not sure what people would want.

I shall post a summary of a review of old Thailand threads later on to this thread.

Cheers.
post #2 of 32
Viapiana - Custom, hand-made denim. http://www.viapiana.ca.
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Cool, that wasn't even on my radar. I'll google them on the forum. I assume they do good work.
post #4 of 32
Have you ever been? My 2nd favorite places in the world behind NYC(of course.)

My .02 Baht!

To do:

-JJ Market/Chatuchak weekend Market. There is a great bar/lounge when you first come in, Viva 8, where they play great music and you can have a drink(s) and people watch. You can also get some pretty inexpensive/unique housewares. Loads of shopping.
-Visit all the temples: Grand Palace/Wat Po/Wat Arun/etc.
-Take a ride on the Chao Praya river on one of the local boats.
-Visit Asiatique in the evening.
-Check out a floating market. Damnoen Saduak can be a little touristy, but it is still a nice experience.
-Bangkok malls: Siam Paragon/MBK/Terminal 21/Central World/etc. A great way to get out of the blazing heat for a while.
-Cheap Charlies(bar) on Soi 11/Sukhumvit. Loads of expats hang there.
-Soi 7(off Sukhumvit) beer garden on Sunday afternoons.
-Nana Plaza aka Soi Nana aka Soi 4(off of Sukhumvit.) Not only a great red light district, but loaded with bars. My go-to bar is the Golden Bar next to the Nana Hotel.
-Check out some Muay Thai at one of the stadiums
-Jim Thompson house
-Siam Ocean World Aquarium
-Khao San Road(just for the experience and view the backpacker scene.)
-Soi Cowboy...another red light district. Have a beer and watch the people go by.

Food:

Wow....so many options. First and foremost, eat the street food. Just look for places that the locals go to.

Some options:
-Soi 38 off Sukhumvit in the evening.
-Chinatown in the evening. T&K Seafood and the place right across the street are good.
-Swan Bar-walk down Soi 4(past Nana plaza.) It is on the left hand side.
-Swing by Central World plaza after 5-6pm. There are loads of street restaurants that set up outside on the sidewalk. You know you are in the right area when you see the JUMBO TV outside.
-Right on the corner of Soi 15/Sukhumvit, there is a little place(name I can't remember) that is pretty good. They open at appr 12 noon.
-Make sure you get some morning glory as a side with your food. One of my favorite Thai dishes.
-Soi 11(off Sukhumvit) has loads of Indian restaurants.
-Talad Nam Seafood(Google for directions. Right by the exit-forgot what stop-of the BTS.)
-Food courts at Terminal 21 and MBK are pretty good. You buy a "card" and put a Baht value on it. They debit as you order from the various "stalls."
-Areesaa Lote right next to Khao San Road(actually, Soi Rambuttri.) The beef or chicken biryani is good.
-Try the SE Asia beers and Thai whiskey(Sang Som.) You can get both at the thousands on 7 Eleven stores around the city.


Currenct Exchange:

-2 of the best in the city are Super Rich(various) and Vasu(Soi 7 1/2 off Sukhumvit.)
-There are also ATM's all over the city

Current situation:

So there is a curfew between 12 midnight and 4am. Just check the Bangkok Post to see updates. Hopefully it will be lifted by Sept. Some are saying that it will be lifted nationwide soon.
Stay away from protest sites and you should be ok.

Also, follow Richard Barrow on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/RichardBarrow

Transport:

Check out maps of the BTS and MRT. Also know that taxis in Bangkok are very inexpensive. The metered fare will ALWAYS be cheaper that what is offered off the meter. The drawback is the BRUTAL Bangkok traffic.

Also, read this:
http://migrationology.com

And check Youtube for "Mark Wiens Bangkok" and "Phil in Bangkok" for more food options. Some are pretty good.

(Just off the top of my head!)
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
TAILORS
(years without comments are individual endorsements from buyers. May be slightly inaccurate counts. Rankings are my best guess combing data from multiple people. The buyers on the lonely planet forum seem uninformed, so I gave up on including their recommendations. I recommend you read the first page and then run away).

The internet has spoken and Hong Kong seems to have the better tailors. However, that doesn't really help me because I want multiple fittings and will live in Thailand. Apropos: " Would I choose Narin (Thai Tailor) over Chan or Peter Lee in HK? No. Would I choose Narin over just about everybody else in Bangkok? Every time." 2011.

SEEKING CONTEXT:
I belated realized that WW Chan has a branch in Bangkok. Please advise me if this is better than the 'local' tailors I list in Tier 1.

July Taylor in Bangkok. Is he better or equal to Tier 1? Asian style is different from Europe/the US.

"There is an antidote to the bangkok ripoff tourist tailor..recommended...by an AAAC member. It's far away from the Sukhumvit road tailors and really a world apart. I imagine this guy could hold his own against the best of the UK or Italy."
"See http://www.julytailor.com/ for details. Yes, those are real world leaders on his site, including Kozuimi. This is the tailor shop that the highest echelons of Thai society use. He also gets work from the royal family. "


Ranked Good Tailors :


Tier 1 (Partial Handwork and best construction)


Narin Couture also in Sukhumvit Rd.

HK WW Chan prices, mother of pearl buttons.2011. 2013. 2006. 2006. Shirt, 2007.
Good shirts, offers unfused shirts, offers floating canvas suits. 2013. Shirts. 2014. Good. Shirts start at $90 or 2950 baht. 2014.
Full canvas, ~50,000 baht. 2014. Better than Milan. 2013
"CNN ranked number 1" 2011. 85-90% happy with it.. 2011.

Not good for me. 2013. Didn't like suit. 2010.
Arrogant, uneven quality, trouble with English cut. 2014. Bad shirts. 2014.
"his default style for suits is a sort of 80's sack suit style" 2010.
"They are fused, shapeless, with massive padded shoulders and the fabric is pretty horrible (it's wool, just not very nice wool). Stupidly I then had a sportscoat made a year or so later - same horrible cut, slightly nicer feeling fabric. I've since learnt a little about tailored clothing and moved on (to Chan actually). Needless to say I no longer wear the suits or jacket from Narin." 2009.

Cincinnatus2 (2010) sums up the vibe I get from multiple posts the best:
"People need to be very careful with Narin. His first 2 suits for me were fine. the last i got made was atrocious. He will often try to dissuade you from changes you want made during the fittings. For instance I thought the suit sleeves should be shortened but he convinced me it was because the shirt sleeves needed to be loosened instead. This did not even remotely turn out to be the case.

... When i got home i looked at the suit more closely and was shocked to seeing the lapels were very uneven with each other...i was so pissed...really at myself too for not noticing. I really think he noticed a lot of these things but just didn't say anything.

Oh, even though he's made suits for me before with soft shoulders, higher armholes, he failed to really do that with this suit. I get the impression that he doesn't like making changes if he thinks he can get away with it. If you do go to him just be really forceful about what you want and don't necessarily listen to him especially if you're a regular of this forum and know what you want...i made that mistake."

Tanika. Tani is the current house tailor, who trained in Italy (Accademia Nazionale Dei Sartori). info@tanikatailor.com. Thanon Sukhumvi. Unstructure linen suit around THB 20,000-25,000. Senior member 2014. Tanika better than Narin. 2014. 50,000 thb for full canvas suit...similar fabric as Narin. 2014. 2006

Neilius81. 2013:
"I started with Narin. I genuinely didn't like the guy. He's extremely stuck up and considering that he was asking for Eur3000 for 2 Holland and Sherry suits he was extremely inflexible. In one sense it is good that he sticks to his schedule but he pretty much wanted me to stay around BKK for 6 weeks which was not acceptable for me.

I went for a walk up the street. I went into a tailor up the street and told him I was looking for a fully canvassed suit, he suggested that I go talk to Tanika who was mentioned on here. I ended up taking 2 suits there. Their suits are nice cuts and the craftsmanship is excellent. I dropped in at about 1 in the afternoon.. They had a first fitting ready at 8pm that evening. I then left Thailand for a month and went to Cambodia I returned second fitting was ready. The suits will be completed next week(8 days in total for 2nd to 3rd fitting). What I really like is that their master tailor does the fittings which for me is a very good sign. I read on another site that a guy went into Tanika and had to have 5 fittings. In my case everything fitted well apart from some adjustments to shoulders and trouser length. I am 2 metres tall so I was pretty impressed they got it more or less right. I had some casual shirts made in Hoi An last year and it was a total disaster! The one thing I did not like in Tanika was their shirts. "

Tier 2 (quality, not handmade)
Pinky Tailor. Surly (2 people agree), but good quality (plastic buttons, default is not removable collar stays). 2013. 2013. 2013. 2013. Shirt. 2009. One of the best for a 48 hour turn around. 2012. 2006

Hard sell. 2014.

Tailors on Ten. Lot of people talked about this. I think this taylor may create fake posts. 2014. 2014. Someone say they had gone down hill from their last rec. 2014 Decent. 2014. Good. 2012. Good pants and fused suits. 2013.

Moonriver, very close to Milan. (see Euro comment below, fused shirts, plastic buttons, better than Milan but takes short cuts on suits) 2013. 2012.

Milan Suit in Sukhumvit Rd under ASOK station (FOR SHIRTS) 2011. 2011. 2011. (Shirts good for Asia, bad for Europe. Pants okay, jackets bad). 2013. Fast. 2006.

Tier 3 passable, but more expensive and short cuts
Rajawongse near Sukhumvit Soi 4. Used by embassy staff. Makes full lined and half lined suits.2013.

Senior Member says tourist trap. 2013.

"From what I can tell, the main two are Rajawongse Clothier and Raja's Fashion (who are run by cousins) plus multiple bogus tailors trying to cash in on the name. I've heard so many mixed stories about the main two I have no confidence in using them. One of my travel companions has using Rajawongse multiple times and swears by them. I give some creedence to his opinion but I've heard equally vehement opinions against them. None of these opinions come from people who own Brioni, Oxxford, Canali, Tom Ford, Zegna, etc... I think they'd be impressed by Suit Supply. Not that I'm looking for a $4000 suit, just giving some context. 2013

"I also tried Rajawongse, but in my opinion they are not worth the write-up. They may be a price bracket below Tanika, but the quality was substantially less in my opinion. It seems they are very good at marketing (no less evident with the mass of labeling on their clothes)." 2014

Raja's quality is horrible. The only reason why Raja and Rajawongse are so popular is that they are right next to that big sex tourist hangout on Soi 4. 2008. +1 [to previous comment]. 2008.

"the middle-eastern culture also incorporates a lot of bargaining and haggling, no secret there, so if you're going to go to a tailor from India (lots of Indians in Thailand) like Raja or any other vaguely mid-east/indian countries, just be forewarned." 2007

Unranked Good Tailors

Milano. Sukhumvit, between Soi 47 & 49. Suit. 2009

Pierre Tailors, located inside Erawan Hotel. 2003. 2014

James Tailor (James Fashion). 2008

Dioni, Sukhumvit 18. 2013.

Savile Row located at Rose Hotel, 2013. 2014 Scam. 2013.

Ambassador Tailors in Ambassador Hotel. (full canvas, hand stiched button holes). 2013.

Universal Tailors. 2013. 2013. [at least second post looks like a spammer]

Perry's on Silom. Low quality shoulders and buttons. Dull style. 2007

Excelsior Tailors. 2012.

Gino Tailors and Prince Henry. Ask Andy. http://askandyaboutclothes.com/product-reviews/custom-bespoke-clothing-product-reviews/new-bespoke-review-article/.
http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?81098-My-Prince-Henry-Sport-Jacket&highlight=Prince%20Henry.
2012

Marty's New Fashion. http://www.martynewfashion.com. 2012.

Crown Tailor. [seems to be a forum spammer]

Bad Tailors:
Golden Tailor. 2000.
Embassy Fashions-home of "The Only English Savile Row Tailor in Bangkok". 2007.

"Ambassador Fashion Bespoke" {?} Don't use this tailor. 2012. Avoid 2013. 2006. 2007.

Female Tailor for Women:
Queen Thai Silk, in the lobby of the Ruamchitt Plaza at Sukhumvit Soi 15. The young lady there is an accomplished seamstress and made several garments including a suit (skirt and jacket) for my wife. 2011

Denim Jeans:
Viapiana - Custom, hand-made denim. http://www.viapiana.ca. Offers a local discount

Your denim needs can be met at either the Bangkok or Hong Kong branch of Take 5...also prontodenim.

Ties and pocket squares.
Style Forum Regular: Sam Hober. http://www.samhober.com/. Doesn't list a local discount. Up north.

Shoes and other leather goods:

Siam Leather Goods. http://www.siamleathergoods.com/. (Used by Magnoli Clothiers). 2013.

Tony Leather on Suriwongse Road, near Patpong." I have had one jacket and several pairs of boots/shoes made there over the years and always been pleased with the results." 2006

"a guy in Terminal 21 on the third floor that makes really nice shoes for 3000-4000 baht. The construction is much better than other shoes I have seen in Bangkok and he has some really nice styles! Unfortunately it takes 2 weeks"

Loakes. Emporium. 10% discount at first. Sounds not a deal. 2010 Paragon. 2013.

Silk 'stuff':
Narai Phand under the President Tower . Great handmade Thai silk souvenirs. 2014

Hotels:
Hotel Muse on Thanon Lang Suan. 2014

The Aetas Bangkok (Plern Chit). 2014

Penisula 2007. 2007

Mandarin oriental. 2011

Shopping (much from denny123, 2010):
City Centre Siam Paragon: a huge shopping centre that might or might not be an ironic monument to consumerism. Cinema, bowling alley, aquarium, pretty much every major designer boutique

Greyhound store if you're looking for somewhat experimental clothing. Club 21 has MMM, Jil, CdG etc. but prices are somewhat inflated.

Siam Centre and Siam Discovery: located right next to Siam Paragon. Discovery is arguably the more interesting of the two, carrying more higher end brands like Ck Calvin Klein (quality, tasteful minimalist clothing) though Siam Centre has the only Adidas SLVR (futuristic sportswear much in the vein of Y-3) store in South East Asia.

Erawan + Gaysorn: only a 10 minute walk from Siam Paragon. Lots of designer boutiques there as well - Burberry Brit (and Prorsum), LV, Prada, etc. The food court's rather nice.

Siam Square: kind of like Harajuku but with less cosplaying. Be sure to check out the Meticulous flagship (http://meticulousshirt.com/NEWS09/STORES_01.html) for quality shirts and suits at great prices.

Restaurants: I am editing out what I think are obviously for tourists or naughty, or possibly spammers, sorry.

Cabbages and Condoms. 2007.

SkyBar State Tower. 2007.

Markets:
Chatuchak market. 2007.

Some thread sources:
http://www.styleforum.net/t/527/bangkok-tailors/210
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-thailand/topics/read-this-tailoring-in-thailand?page=1

Didn't wade through this...too much noise:
http://www.styleforum.net/t/53164/hong-kong-ww-chan-bangkok-singapore
Edited by SeaGriffin - 6/12/14 at 4:00pm
post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks, this is a great list and I will try to incorporate it into that uber-post I just made.. Nope, this is my first time. After adjustment, I assume I will be looking for places to explore....
post #7 of 32
**Markets:
Suan Lam Night Bazaar (?). 2007.**

Is closed......
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I will delete that later. Taking a break from putting together info.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
You know what? To heck with trying to summerize all your effort. Thank you again. I assume I will use this as an entertainment list for my off hours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ter1413 View Post

Have you ever been? My 2nd favorite places in the world behind NYC(of course.)

My .02 Baht!

To do:

-JJ Market/Chatuchak weekend Market. There is a great bar/lounge when you first come in, Viva 8, where they play great music and you can have a drink(s) and people watch. You can also get some pretty inexpensive/unique housewares. Loads of shopping.
-Visit all the temples: Grand Palace/Wat Po/Wat Arun/etc.
...
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Tanika costs about 25000 baht for an unstructured linen suit with multiple fittings, which is about $675. For context, Oxxford quoted me a Holland MTM for $4307 about two years ago.

Obviously, I am comparing apples and oranges. But I think I'll likely go with her unless someone tells me how I can manage a better HK suit. Or tells me that Narin is worth the extra money. Or that July Tailor or someone else is better.

Anyway, example of such a suit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Halifax View Post

The Result:

Having not taken the clothes back home with me, I anxiously waited for my friends to return with the clothes. Once in my hands, I eagerly threw on the clothes to see how it all turned out.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)























The results exceeded my expectations and I am glad that I gave Tanika a try. As you would expect I had a few issues, most of which were a result of my error:
  • The waistcoat buttons don't match the jacket, but I never specified what was on the jacket
  • The trousers are cut at slightly different lengths; I appreciate that one leg may be longer than the other, but the break sits at different levels even when I'm wearing them. A third fitting would have identified and subsequently fixed this problem
  • Two pockets were sewn onto my white linen shirt instead of one, but my request for "pockets" was a little ambiguous and  I didn't specify a particular side. I'd notch that one up against me.
  • The shirt cuffs are slightly tight

I've got a few close ups that I'll post over the coming days so that you can see the stitching, hems, button holes, and the hand detailing etc


Enjoy!
post #11 of 32
The baht is approx. 32 to the U$, so 25000 baht is approx. U$770 today.

For bespoke suits I would urge extreme caution. Most of the tailors target gullible tourists, people who know little if anything about the process, who are in town for a very short time. Their selling point is rapid completion. You're going to be there a year so take your time and talk to people who live there who've had suits made. Unless you have a job that requires you wear a suit in Bangkok there's really no compelling reason to wear one there; the heat and humidity will all but guarantee you'll be miserable doing do. Lastly, "used by embassy staff" should never, ever be taken as resounding endorsement in and of itself.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by curzon View Post

The baht is approx. 32 to the U$, so 25000 baht is approx. U$770 today.

For bespoke suits I would urge extreme caution. Most of the tailors target gullible tourists, people who know little if anything about the process, who are in town for a very short time. Their selling point is rapid completion. You're going to be there a year so take your time and talk to people who live there who've had suits made. Unless you have a job that requires you wear a suit in Bangkok there's really no compelling reason to wear one there; the heat and humidity will all but guarantee you'll be miserable doing do. Lastly, "used by embassy staff" should never, ever be taken as resounding endorsement in and of itself.

+1
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, that was underlined quite a bit by all of the posts that I read. So I'm glad you stated it clearly.

I agree "embassy" endorsed doesn't mean much, but it is another real piece of information for other folks.

Regarding suits, I just want to get something decent at a good price -- a linen suit is almost wearable.
post #14 of 32

Hi SeaGriffin,

I can provide you with quite a bit of information since I have been in discussion with another member, Naphatw, who has been shopping around between tailors. The list of good tailors, that I know of, is very short. The list of tailors that will not rip you off is slightly longer, but 99% of them are not worth considering.

Let me read this thread properly first...

post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
I look forward to your input. You were one of the people that gave me some sort of a structure to take a stab at what is going on in Bangkok.

I get the feeling that I'll stick to shirts and that one suit, unless I get a really good vibe. Maybe a blazer or two.

PS
How the heck am I a senior member now?
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