This past week, a high school classmate and his wife visited Thailand as part of their vacation around South East Asia. (I don’t have to write “old classmate” because unfortunately that goes without saying for both of us!) We met them for dinner on their second (and last) evening in town at an outdoor restaurant called Sirocco.

The Dome at lebua

Now Sirocco is no ordinary restaurant. Rather, it is one of three open air restaurants high above Bangkok. The other two are Breeze on the 52nd floor of The Dome at lebua and Vertigo on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. Sirocco, located on the 63rd floor of The Dome at lebua, claims to be the world’s highest al fresco restaurant. The restaurant and bar overlook the Chao Phraya River and all of Bangkok.

For those of you who have seen The Hangover Part II, you have seen Sirocco. The movie was filmed here in Thailand and many of the scenes were shot at the lebua including scenes at Sirocco and the adjoining Sky Bar. If you are interested, the hotel apparently has a package deal where you can rent the three-bedroom Hangover Suite and party like Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug.

It is still the rainy season here in Thailand, it was cloudy during most of the day, and ominous, dark nimbostratus clouds began appearing about the time I left my office that evening. I was beginning to wonder whether it was really such a good idea to plan on eating outdoors with a deluge possible at any moment. Nevertheless, it was dry when we arrived at Sirocco. After looking at the breathtaking views of the city from the heights of the tower (see pictures below), we took our seats at an outdoor table right at the edge of the building and we waited for out guests to arrive.

Theresa and her umbrella

Within 10 minutes of sitting down, we began to feel light raindrops. Almost immediately, the staff at the restaurant arrived with umbrellas, but the rain stopped almost as quickly as it began. I was glad it did since I wasn’t sure how we were going to eat our meals while holding umbrellas over our heads.

Our friends arrived shortly after the sprinkles ended, and we had drinks and talked for at least an hour, perhaps more. The staff at the restaurant did not rush us. Indeed, they held back from even coming over until we finally turned to the menus that had been sitting unopened on the table.

As we were finishing our starter course, the clouds again opened and umbrellas quickly reappeared. This time, though, the showers were more intense. As it became clear that the rain was going to go on for a while, the staff came over and asked whether we would like to continue our meal indoors at the State Room. We quickly agreed that this was a good idea, and they showed us to a table at an indoor restaurant three stories higher in the tower.  We enjoyed our main course in air-conditioned comfort at table by the window where we could see the city beneath us and monitor the rain.

After we finished our fabulous meal, we went back outside to the Sky Bar to take a few more pictures and have one final view of the incredible skyline.

Bangkok traffic from Sirocco

Downtown Bangkok from Sirocco

The Chao Phraya and The River Condos (tall buildings on the right that are still under construction)

Baiyoke Tower II -- tallest building in Bangkok

Distant bridge from Sirocco

We had a wonderful night — spectacular views, delicious and rich food and drink, and great conversation with a new/old friend and his lovely wife.

Kop Khun Krab.

© 2011 Kurt Brown. All rights reserved.

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