Located in central Thailand, Bangkok has been the nation’s political, economic, and cultural epicenter since it was designated capital by King Rama I in 1782. Bangkok is a transformative city that has retained its Buddhist-centered royal culture while also embracing the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian immigrant cultures with extraordinary openness. Long known as the number one tour destination, Bangkok boasts expertise in the hospitality industry cultivated by leading global hotel brands that settled in the city, diverse food culture, and easy access to resort cities such as Hua Hin and Phuket. Recently, with its design industry gaining state support as the nation’s growth engine, communities and commercial spaces run by young creators with overseas experiences are accumulating around the city, hinting at Bangkok’s potential growth into the next-generation creative hub.

Welcome to the 74th edition of B.

There are people described as “global citizens” or “global nomads,” people who are fluent in foreign languages, who embrace different ideas and cultures without prejudice or judgment, who are able to communicate as one individual to another outside the frame of collectivism. With the effusiveness of the word “global” aside, the aforementioned qualities or attitudes will become an increasingly important virtue. In the age of hyperconnectivity represented by 5G and IoT, the conventional sense or definition of belonging to a community is bound to be obsolete. Even the World Cup and the Olympics don’t arouse the same amount of enthusiasm as before, which only testifies to this change: Hyper-connection begins when micro-level individuals form relationships beyond their physical and social settings. Looking back, B has also worked extremely hard to meet such needs of the time as a magazine. We’ve always tried to free our content of Korean conventions and conceptions. This magazine is made by Korean-speaking people living in Korea, which is inevitably a significant part of our identity, but we believe that its content should be relatable to anyone and everyone.

This fifth city issue of B introduces Bangkok, the city probably most suited for a global citizen. There are several megacities that outrun Bangkok in terms of average income, economic size, or social infrastructure, but when it comes to the ability to absorb different cultures and cradle change, Bangkok is definitely at the forefront. The reviews of our editors, who traveled around Bangkok for more than a week to cover the stories, were no different: they spoke favorably of how the residents of Bangkok were comfortable with expressing themselves and telling their stories, all the while showing just enough courtesy and respect for others. Bangkok does not only appeal to editors visiting for coverage. It’s an ideal destination for many types of travelers: business professionals looking to attract investment, backpackers planning to stay for a month, short-term tourists on vacation. Another way to interpret this would be that Bangkok is a city that knows how to retain its identity while also actively responding to different needs.

B wanted to capture this “attitude” of Bangkok for people who only know the city by its famous temples, fancy nightlife, and nearby resort areas like Phuket. Cultural heritage, an artistic eye, a business mindset, and technical skills can make a brand or a city great, but “attitude” points to future possibilities. As uncertainty escalates in societies and markets, people tend to rely more on the visions projected through attitudes than objective indicators. It would help to recall the exemplary brands featured by B over the years that focus on selling their attitude. An attitude encompasses many values, as demonstrated by WeWork’s slogan “Do What You Love,” Patagonia’s proposition to “Live Simply,” and Vans’ attitude of “Off the Wall.”

In that sense, then, what could Bangkok’s attitude be reduced down to? I believe “adaptive” is the right adjective to describe the city. Experimenting and turning it into real-life experiences rather than conjecturing right or wrong, or good or bad—this adaptive attitude is what makes Bangkok such a multifaceted city as it is today, capable of transforming itself according to the times and environment. If the city had only tried to lead ahead or find exact answers, it wouldn’t have fostered such a quirky harmony of differences—no small family-run hostels next to the global brand six-star hotel, no interesting intermix of street food and high-end fine dining restaurants. After putting this issue together, I’m deliberately keeping my eyes and ears open to the various goings-on in Bangkok. That is because I believe that it might just be these adaptable groups of people who will change the world of tomorrow.

Eunsung Park
Content & Editorial Director

Intro


Editor’s Letter


At the Airport

Travelers encountered at the Suvarnabhumi Airport


Greeting

Unique Bangkok hotels with unwavering tastes and distinctive colors


Report

The aggressive growth and expansion of Bangkok’s hotel industry


Down to Earth

Commercial spaces in Bangkok that propose healthy lifestyle solutions


Interview

Ou Baholyodhin, chief creative officer at Sansiri Public Company Limited, and Tyler Brûlé, editor-in-chief of Monocle, discuss future cities and new forms of residential environment


Hub

TCDC, the hub of designers and creative minds in Thailand


Bangkokian

Bangkok creators who express their identities with Thailand as their base


Space

Galleries and community spaces nested in Bangkok and its Old City area


City Navigation

Sociocultural characteristics and figures that shed light on Bangkok


Skyline

The historical, architectural, and economic significance of Bangkok’s skyscrapers


Districts

Walking routes in each Bangkok district that showcase the city’s various charms


On the Street

Daytime and nighttime food chats with people on the streets


Dine and Bar

Bangkok’s dining scene and nightlife attractions reflecting Thai tradition and culture


Coffee Break

A wide spectrum of coffee and dessert shops found in Bangkok


Made in Thailand

Thai brands that emanate authentic style and attitude


Communication

Thailand’s commercial design scene seen through Bangkok’s prominent agencies and their work


Objects

Bangkok lovers share the city’s aesthetics and their treasured collectibles from Bangkok


Discover

Places worth visiting in Bangkok categorized by interest


Outro

PUBLICATION RIGHT

Publisher Suyong Joh
Executive Director Myungsoo Kim
Content & Editorial Director Eunsung Park
Lead Editors Narae Kim, Sol Lyu
Editors Jaewoo Seo, Chanyong Park, Jean Kim, Hyun Son
Photographer Miyeon Yoon
Assistant Editor Dongeun Han
Managing & Editing (English Edition) Jean Kim
Translation (English Edition) Seoul Selection
Correspondents Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Lena Shin (LA), Alex Seo (London), Sanghyeok Lee (Berlin), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)
Advisory Mark Carter
A Word of Thanks Tourism Authority of Thailand Seoul Office
Art Direction & Design Gyeongtak Kang
Assistant Design Yoonjung Jang
Marketing Hyunjoo Kim Yeubin Kim
Sales & Distribution Suyeon Kim
Publishing JOH