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    On your next official trip to Bangkok, make time for mixed martial arts, bobble football and other fun classes between meetings

    Thailand attracts both the adventurer and the business traveller. While the former has a blast, the latter is usually content with the hotel’s free WiFi and maybe a quick massage. But we say, venture out. Besides the great architecture and the vibrant local culture and cuisine, there is a lot to experience in this warm country with its ever-smiling and hospitable people. While in the city that doesn’t sleep, the Hotel Crowne Plaza is a good place to check in. Located in the business district, it has everything you’d expect from a luxury business hotel—from free WiFi to a 24-hour restaurant/coffee shop that offers a great breakfast spread (including continental, Thai and Chinese cuisines, between 6.30 am and 10.30 am). Another highlight: the Sala Daeng station is barely 300 metres away, so you can easily get around on the BTS Skytrain (and beat the notorious road traffic).And since Bangkok has no dearth of places offering experiences to chill and learn something while at it, here’s our pick of things to do while in between meetings.
    Rooms from Rs. 7,600 onwards. Details: crowneplaza-bangkok.com

    Yogatique
    Also located in the Sukumvit area, this is a bright, airy space where guests are welcome to take short courses—even as brief as two days. If you have a few days more, take what’s called a backpacker pass, with an unlimited pass for a week. The gracious hosts will guide you in an experience that involves learning and, if you’re an avid yogi yourself, teaching, too. Details: +66 26620172

    Bangkok Fitness Lab
    Take a class at the most popular fitness and mixed martial arts centres in the city. You can walk in and learn the basics or practise a bout of boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling or Olympic lifting. Located at Sukhumvit, it’s a short ride away from Sala Daeng. A one-day unlimited pass costs 1,000 baht (Rs. 1,831). Details: info@bangkokfightlab.com

    Museum of Floral Culture
    Looking to learn some tips on Thai floral culture in a calm atmosphere? The Museum of Floral Culture, a private teak house and garden, has a lovely display of Thai floral art. They’ll give you a guided tour and show you how it’s done. At the end of the tour, you will be served fragrant tea and Thai sweets. Get off at Sapham Thaksin Skytrain station, and take a boat from the pier to Dusit, from where it’s a short taxi ride or a 20-minute walk. Two-hour workshop at Rs. 1,700 baht (Rs. 3,114). Details: floralmuseum.com

    Thai cookingChef Leez
    If you love Thai food, why not learn a few recipes? Chef Leez’s cooking classes are by far the most sought after. From choosing ingredients to showing you what works with what, the master chef packs a lot into four hours. You can make a reservation now for courses till February 21. At Phranakorn. Group class at 2,200 baht per person (Rs. 4,028). Details: chefleez.com

     

     

    — Annie Thomas
    (The writer was there by invitation)

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