When you think of Thailand, you think of beaches, elaborate temples, or elephant rides through the jungle. But with nearly a dozen wineries having opened since the first one in 1995, Southeast Asia is producing palatable vintages—and attracting wine lovers from around the globe.
Begin your trip at Thailand’s largest winery, Siam Winery, 30 miles southwest of the capital. A rental car is the easiest way to get there, but for a far better taste of local culture (and to save arguing over who is designated driver), opt for public transportation—rickshaws, taxis, local buses and a rickety, rural train ride all get you there.
The tour begins in their cellar, where German winemaker Kathrin Puff offers an in-depth look at the winemaking process complete with barrel samples and a taste of their top-end wines, including a gold medal-winning white Shiraz. Enter the designated tasting room, where visitors are sometimes challenged to polish off each bottle opened—the blended red, white and rosé of the flagship Monsoon Valley range, all featuring indigenous grapes.
Ending where the winemaking process begins, the floating vineyards add a uniquely Thai air, though you won’t find any vines literally floating in the canals built to help irrigate the land during monsoon season. Essential items include your camera and a few words of Thai to converse with the viticulturist. Nearby the famous floating markets await to further fill your memory card.
Rather than lunching at the winery, head for the bustling streets of Samut Sakhon—the closest town to the winery. Any one of the family-run locales will guarantee a traditional Thai meal.
Back in the capital’s fabulously hectic Sukhumvit region, visitors are inundated with choice eating options, but one spot offers something original as well as tasty. Ultra hip and always busy, Bed Supper Club presents a rare chance to eat your evening meal in bed. The large, cushioned seats demand that you lounge while enjoying the ever-changing menu featuring fine fusion dining. Sip Siam wines with your four-course banquet and enjoy the flamboyant interactive performances that keep customers coming back, including singers, dancers and other artists who might just invite you to join in the show.
For a five-star sleeping option, try the sleek and stylish Siam Kempinski Hotel, which also stocks local wines from Siam Winery. For something less damaging to your wallet, Le Fenix is a boutique hotel that’s all about designer décor and rooftop cocktails, including their spicy mango margarita.