Review: Holiday Inn Express, Bangkok

Holiday Inn Express, Sukhumvit Soi 11
Bangkok, Thailand

This was the cheapest per night of the three hotels I stayed in during my recent trip to Bangkok. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad choice. In fact, the hotel has a lot to recommend itself, not the least being its location at the end of buzzing Soi 11, home to some well-known restaurants and bars, including the famous Cheap Charlie’s.


Continue reading Review: Holiday Inn Express, Bangkok

Review: Novotel Fenix Silom

Novotel Fenix Silom hotel, Bangkok
Stay: May, 2016

A nice welcome and attentive, efficient staff made check-in a joy. My flight arrived very early, and I was at the hotel before 7am. Although they didn’t have a room for me then, I was safely ensconced by 9am – which is an excellent five hours before normal hotel check-in time.


The hotel is located at the far end of Silom, closer to Surasak BTS (sky train) station than to Sala Daeng, which is at the heart of the Silom / Patpong tourist area. Continue reading Review: Novotel Fenix Silom

Sixth time’s a charm

What you do on a repeat visit after you’ve already seen the sights?

Like many travellers, I like to visit new places but there are destinations that I find myself in again and again for various reasons — to see friends and family, or because I’m on the way somewhere else, or it’s a port of convenience.


My recent trip to Bangkok was one of those occasions. Continue reading Sixth time’s a charm

Fresh look for Alitalia

Alitalia has reinvigorated itself with the release of new crew uniforms and an advertising campaign highlighting the company’s “made in Italy” credentials.

New livery - A330 in flight

According to the company, its TV commercial “celebrates the Italian airline as it faces the future with renewed vigour and vitality, following a successful restructure in 2014, which saw it also introduce a series of enhancements and upgrades to its inflight product and fleet”.

Continue reading Fresh look for Alitalia

The F word

Before I start, I want to say that I love Thailand and the Thai people. I’ve lived in Bangkok and would do so again if the opportunity arose. And, even though I’ve just finished a holiday there, I am keen to go back as soon as I can.

The sky train (BTS) in Bangkok
The sky train (BTS) in Bangkok

However, there’s one thing that always concerned me when in lived in Bangkok, and it surfaced again on my most recent visit.

Continue reading The F word

Calculating the risks

I recently read that Hawaii could one day be hit by a massive tsunami, but the story added that tourists (and presumably the locals) shouldn’t be concerned about this.

Storm clouds ahead?
Storm clouds ahead?

Of course, every day you’ll read a potential reason not to go somewhere. Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Lebanon are off some people’s itineraries at the moment Continue reading Calculating the risks

Ghosts in the machine

I’ve been having to-and-fro conversations with Qantas’s social media team and other interested parties since I wrote this piece about my Frequent Flyer points.

qantas747Basically, my complaint was — and is — about phantom availability: reward seats that show up on the Qantas web page but have actually already been booked by somebody else.

Continue reading Ghosts in the machine

Savour the serendipity

On my first ever solo overseas adventure, I happened to be allocated a seat on a Boeing 747 next to the friend of a friend.

The sky train (BTS) in Bangkok
The sky train (BTS) in Bangkok

We want our own ways in London, but ran into each other in the streets of Bloomsbury just two days later.

In Bangkok this week, I was waiting at the sky train station, and when the train pulled up and the doors opened, one of my oldest and dearest friends was there in front of me. Continue reading Savour the serendipity

Back in Bangkok

I flew in to Bangkok on Sunday morning. There’s a lot to write about, including comprehensive reviews of the flights and airport lounges, which will appear in due course.

For now, though, there are pictures. Not the best pictures ever of this fascinating city, nor even the best I’ve taken of it, but a selection taken over a couple of hours in one day to give you a taste of this place.

As always, there’s more to come.


Turbulence explained

Nobody likes turbulence. If you’re a nervous flyer, a serious bout of it is enough to make you want to catch the bus next time.

But what exactly is turbulence? After 31 people on an Etihad Airways flight were injured last week, The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi asked a forecaster at Dubai international airport.

Continue reading Turbulence explained

Mystery solved

My Magical Mystery Tour was supposed to take me to London, the south of England and a few of the haunts I frequented when I first went to the UK. Sadly, due to reasons explained here, that didn’t come to pass.

Instead, I’ll be off to another of my regular haunts, Bangkok, with the possibility of a sidetrip or two to nearby nations.

I’ll be flying Oman Air in their Dreamliner service from Muscat to Bangkok, which is a new experience to me and one I will blog about on this site.

Updates to come.

Bangkok cat
Bangkok cat

Frequent frustration

Some of my Australian friends are big critics of our national airline, Qantas. I can honestly say that I’ve never had a problem with the Flying Kangaroo, either on the ground or in the air. Well, until a few days ago, I could say that.

It seemed like a simple thing to book a Frequent Flyer classic rewards flight from Dubai to London. I wanted a business class seat on May 6 (that’s today as I write this). Continue reading Frequent frustration

A haunting we will go

As a skeptic, I’m not prepared to believe in ghosts until I get some scientific proof that they exist. Or I meet one myself. Nevertheless, I do like a good ghost story, so I thought I’d do a round-up of haunted places you can visit in Britain, which specialises in this kind of thing.

The Ostrich Inn (
The Ostrich Inn is “haunted” by Dick Turpin (

I was inspired by this article in The Scotsman detailing “six Edinburgh pubs you didn’t know were haunted”.

Continue reading A haunting we will go

The art of packing

I’m heading off on a magical mystery tour. I don’t even know where I’m going yet. But I do know when — on Friday. Which, as I am writing this, is the day after the day after tomorrow.


I’ve been surfing the web, trying out various options, and expect to decide soon. But there’ll be more of that when I do. Right now, I’m staring at what remains in my suitcase from the last trip I took.

Continue reading The art of packing