Admittedly I’ve had my fair share of hangovers in this city. Some so bad that I’ve even had to crawl on my hands and knees to fetch water. But over the years I have, thankfully, found a few sure-fire cures to get rid of the “I’m never drinking again” moments.
First and most importantly being water, and copious amounts of it. The humidity and heat only intensify the headaches and queasiness, and being dehydrated spells disaster. If you can, drink an entire bottle of water (and pop two paracetamol while you’re at it) before bed. This significantly decreases the severity of a hangover and can sometimes even prevent it. Otherwise be sure to always have a fridge filled with cold water for the morning after. Keeping hydrated really is key to dealing a Bangkok-hangover, so stock up on coconut water, sachets of Royal-D rehydration powders and, my personal favourite, M-Sport electrolyte drinks—all available at your 7-Eleven.
When it comes to food, we all have that one food that we crave when we’re hungover. But skip the McDonald’s, head to your nearest Isaan street vendor and order a big bowl of tom saep—a fragrant clear soup loaded with lemongrass, ginger, and chilli. The soft stewed meat that comes with it is easy to digest and the spicy broth will help you sweat out those toxins. A greasy portion of gai tod (fried chicken) with sweet chilli sauce is always a good accompaniment.
For a more “holistic” treatment, Thai author and spa expert Chami Jotisalikorn suggests a Thai herbal steam as the best way to cope with a hangover. The typical ingredients used are native herbs such as lemongrass, Kaffir lime and Kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, galangal, plai, pandanus leaves, ginger, camphor, and tamarind leaves. These herbs have natural healing properties that stimulate blood circulation, detoxify the body, relieve muscle tension, and clear the respiratory system.
And though you can find many luxurious spas in Bangkok (and beyond) offering Thai herbal steam treatments, it’s easy to make your own DIY Thai herbal hangover helper at home. Simply boil the herbal ingredients in water, take the water off the stove and pour it into a bowl. Let it cool down a wee bit, then place your head over the bowl and create a tent over your head and bowl with a cloth or towel. Inhale the steam, and let the herbal ingredients work their magic!
If your idea of a hangover cure is to just keep the party going, then head to the Altitude indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit (259 Sukhumvit Rd), for the once-a-month Westin Hangover Brunch party. This free, adults only, day-party includes plenty to eat and drink, plus daybeds for lounging, as well as entertainment from live DJs, special performances, and lots of other surprises. Things start at 1pm, continuing till 6pm, and for early birds there is a one-hour open bar from 1pm till 2pm. The creative cocktail selections start at B250 each, so make a point of trying their wonderfully spicy, extra potent Bloody Mary—a drink which many consider a hangover cure in and of itself. And because drinking on an empty stomach is both ill-advised and no fun, there’s a colourful food and dessert buffet available for a mere B699. The next Westin Hangover Brunch is scheduled for Sunday, September 10th.
By Kelly Harvey