I called this one "Bangkok Mary": A hilarious guy from Tennessee I met on the MAR97 BKK trip.
Sala Rim Naam, at the Oriental Hotel, 66.2.437.6221. My first trip there for the lunch buffet had me in a goosebump fit! Wonderful. I took Peter there and he thought highly of it as well.
Somboon Seafood, 169/7-11 Surawong Rd., opposite Peugeot showroom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, 233.3104, 234.4499 (also in Bantadthong and Ratchada). The best crab curry I've ever had (and the best Peter's (LGA) ever had, too!). Real crab, of course.
Ton Po, Phra Atit Rd. No phone. Outdoor (on a veranda) riverside dining on the Chao Phraya. We quite liked the haw moke plaa (curried fish custard, thickened with coconut cream and steamed in banana leaves), but one or two of the other dishes were too funky - even for me. It'd help to go with someone who REALLY knows Thai cuisine.
Prachak, 1415 Charoen Krung (New Road), Silom Bansak, 02.234.3755. No-frills restaurant. Difficult to find; I think it's near the Shangri-La and across from the Robinson Department Store between Sathorn Rd. and Silom Rd. (it's a slightly large range; if anyone finds a more precise intersection, let me know). The red pork (moo dang) and roast duck (ped) are the more popular dishes here. No credit cards; one of the cheapest meals of your life. Also, watch out for the spicy soup which Peter & I almost managed to finish (as the waitpeople watched in amazement & amusement).
Thanying, 10 Pramuan Rd, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok, 236.4361, 235.0371, F: 635.0113. Peter and I thought highly of this restaurant; nice atmosphere.
Spice Market, in the Regent Hotel, 155 Rajadamri Road. Good food and a nice atmosphere. Calming after a day in BKK traffic. I believe they serve nam doc mai, Thai mango with sticky rice & coconut milk.
A massage at the Oriental Hotel's spa is not to be missed.
The night market along Silom Road is a fun place to shop/haggle for ties, pretty pens (I found a nice metal one with a raised star-and-moon pattern), and rayon pants that will bleed in the washer onto shirts that you like and probably ruin them (dryclean the pants or perhaps wash them with nothing else).
Chatuchak Weekend Market (you'll find several spellings) is big, crowded, and hot; I have great difficulty with heat and yet go to BKK over and over and have been to this market twice now. Best finds: big, heavy silverware in a bamboo pattern from Rajata, Section 24, Soi 3; brightly painted flapping-bird mobile thingy for windy porches & decks; "Clay Shop" in Section 3 of the market has fun pottery/porcelain kind of items including coaster; lots of little items you can buy as gifts. One could get two years' of smaller-gift-shopping taken care of here.
The Peninsula Bangkok, 333 Charoennakorn Rd., Klongsan, Bangkok, is the best hotel I have ever had the privilege of visiting in my life (and for a very reasonable $85 plus taxes at the time of my stay (OCT-NOV99)). Many thanks to Janine (LGA/EWR) for recommending this place! The Regent is also a beautiful hotel, but not nearly as reasonable as the Peninsula. NOTE: I visited the Peninsula when it had recently opened; the prices will in all likelihood rise pretty quickly.
If anyone discovers any LIVEABLE budget accommodations in BKK, let me know. I checked out Silom Village Inn, and it is NOT my idea of liveable.
Paya, 961 Sukhumvit Road (Soi 51/Soi 53), 259-2041. Custom-made furniture; upholstery-weight cotton fabrics; rugs; pillows; placemats and napkins.
"The Treasures & Pleasures of Thailand" is the wonderful book which led me to Paya (among other nicer-quality stores). Listings for jewelry shops, silk/textiles, furniture (custom-made & antique).