Most Bangkokians—locals and expats—have visited the bustling barbeque joints on the ground floor of Korea Town, AKA Sukhumvit Plaza, without noticing that additional floors and businesses exist in the above stories. Best Buds, located in a corner on the third floor amidst three South Korean flags and a sea of nothingness, may be the only reason anyone will ever have to journey up those floors.
Best Buds is a cross between an old ski lodge and school house. The dispensary’s walls are wood paneled with framed cannabis education materials hanging throughout the shop. Wood shelves on one side of the shop display various cannabis accessories and paraphernalia: gravity bongs, one hitters, pipes, grinders, and rolling papers. A marble counter on the opposite side of the dispensary displays fifteen strains of cannabis, each with a dedicated magnifying device for the customer’s close inspection. One of the owners, the Best Buds themselves, is always around to answer questions and provide guidance.
The shop houses a smoking area where customers can either roll and light up their own joints or borrow one of the dispensary’s gravity bongs. This smoking area has plush seat and small couches and invites an intimate and social gathering amongst friends old and new.
The vibe of the shop is unassuming, friendly and inviting with customers hanging out and conversing with each other and the Best Buds. A steady stream of customers comes through the shop at any given time, checking out accessories, eyeing and smelling buds, eating complementary ice cream, and choosing either to lounge in the smoking area or move on.
The Best Buds’ goal is to have a shop with the feeling of “friendship amongst smokers” and of entering “a friend’s house”. Best Buds is for sure a stressless environment. People enter curious, perhaps a bit pensive; and leave relieved, happy and relaxed.
Best Buds Origin
Best Buds was born in Chatuchak Market soon after the June 9th cannabis legalization. Their shop was small, but bright and sleek with ample high quality weed and charm. The shop lasted a mere three weeks before it was shut down by the market’s managers as a result of an ordinance banning cannabis enterprises on government property.
The partners, all university friends, were surprised and disappointed at being shut down, but as they put it: “We don’t give up. We smoke up.” The Best Buds quickly turned their attention to locating a new property and landed in Korea Town in mid August. They have quickly found a new clientele of mostly tourists staying at the many hotels in the vicinity.
The Shop will actually have its grand re-opening on September 24 at the auspicious time of 420 PM. The Best Buds promise this opening event will be a fun and social one with special promotions, food, educational material, a DJ and more. A second branch is currently being discussed with opening later this year.
Cannabis Culture through Education and Support
The Best Buds, old friends from long ago university days, came about their first cannabis experiences in the United States and Amsterdam. Upon returning to Thailand they found that the same understanding and appreciation for cannabis was lagging behind. Once legalization came about, they set to open their shop with the intention of providing access to high quality cannabis coupled with education.
The shop’s school house feel is deliberate. The Best Buds routinely take novice customers through the shop stopping at each enlightening poster to explain the different strains of cannabis, the benefits, the effects and recommendations for how weed virgins should use their first bud. “There is a negative stigma regarding cannabis in Thailand and there is also an education gap when it comes to cannabis. The best way to overcome this is to fill the gap through education and push back against the stigma.”
“At the same time we want to help support Cannabis Culture by working with local businesses. We sell and display rolling paper and accessories from Ganjita & Co., who are friends of our shop and a great Thai company contributing to the local cannabis scene. We also source weed from some of the more established Thai farmers as well as from some smaller farmers in Korat and throughout the country.”
Your dedicated correspondent picked up two of the Korat strains and will review the strains in a subsequent posts.
Best Buds was one of the first dispensaries the HighThailand team visited after cannabis’s legalization, and were saddened when Best Buds was first shut down. However, Best Buds has now risen at Sukhumvit Soi 12 like a phoenix emerging from the ashes of so many smoked joints. We salute Best Buds’s resilience.
We also are fans of the Korea Town location and the ability to smoke a joint on location and then chow down on some fine Korean Barbeque. We recommend Best Buds for its convenience, ability to smoke on the premises and access to delicious food. Spark that joint—light that bbq, HighThailand is coming to dinner.