If only I could afford to become intoxicated at the State Tower’s Sky Bar, I might wind up in one or more of the alchohol-induced experiences from The Hangover 2, the movie responsible for turning this luxury hotel hot spot into a backpacker’s dine and dash viewpoint.
I first attempted to see the spectacle several weeks ago while my friends, Heidi and Duke, were in Bangkok on vacation. We knew we should dress nice for the occasion, but we weren’t prepared to walk into a crowd of tuxedoed men and fine-jeweled women waiting for the elevator to the 63rd floor.
“I’m very sorry,” said the hostess in a voice that didn’t sound sorry at all. “We have a very strict dress code here, and shorts are not allowed.”
Nevermind I was wearing a solid black dress (attire reserved for funerals in Thailand) and sandals. Duke looked more appropriate than I, but Thais have something against shorts, especially men in shorts, no matter how nice they are. So we left.
Last week, I met another friend in the bustling city, and decided to try again. I bought a dress for the occasion (I chose black again, knowing ladies can get away with a lot more than men in places such as this), and I warned Michael about wearing shorts. This time the crowd was different and the hostess who had undoubtedly denied access to hundreds of tourists was absent.
“Dinner or drinks?” asked the attendant when we stepped off the elevator. Expecting to pay at least $15 for a solo drink (a lot when one can easily get the same beverage for $6 anywhere else), we opted out of dinner and were directed to the Sky Bar, a fabulous patio lined with large couches for seating and standing bar tables in the middle.
We were in.
Looking over the glass wall was a breathtaking view of the city. While we waited for our drinks, I took mental notes of the company we were in. There were beautiful models and rich business men. There were couples on dates and for many it was girls’ night out.
There were backpackers who appeared to have gotten lucky getting past the elevator watch crew in their jean shorts and hiking boots. I watched three groups of them skim the menu, pretend to look interested, then snap a few pictures of the city below and sneak away without ordering.
They don’t know what they missed. I steered clear of the Hangovertini and ordered a Kiss Bliss – by far the most succulent liquid dessert to ever mingle with my tastebuds. I can’t remember what the concoction was exactly, but it came in a chocolate-rimmed glass and blissful is exactly what it was.
Even on my backpacker budget, the Kiss Bliss gave me reason so soak in the view and at least pretend I was earning more than a meager teaching salary. It was worth every baht.
(I apologize for the poor photo quality. You’ll just have to take my word for how fabulous the view really is!)