After their hotel stays, many guests receive an online survey asking them to rate the service and facilities.
I have a problem with these surveys — they are often too detailed, too long and too time-consuming; they often demand answers to questions that are irrelevant to the respondent; and they require some of us to think in ways we may not normally think.
Given the recent death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, I was expecting the mood in Bangkok to be more sombre than on my past visits.
Indeed, many people are wearing black and dark colours, and many of the billboards on the road from the airport were black, with pictures of the King and plainly written, heartfelt, tributes from companies and government bodies.
However, Thai hospitality persists, and both the taxi driver — who, regrettably tried the old “meter broken” trick (which I handled by offering him the fare I knew was correct) — and the hotel staff were friendly.
I stayed near Siam, at the Marriott Courtyard (more about that in another post) in Ratchadamri near Central World, which is well located for the BTS (Sky Train) and taxis (although the roads are impossibly clogged most of the day and night).
Here is a short video of and from trains, taxis and a boat in Bangkok. No palaces, temples, bars or other attractions, but some street scenes to give those who’ve not been there a taste of the Thai capital.
For those who have been there, I know it’s edited well out of order.
Oman Air B787 business class
Abu Dhabi-Muscat-Bangkok-Bangkok-Muscat-Abu Dhabi
My decision to go to Bangkok with Oman Air was made at the last minute. After my original plans fell through, I was looking to spend two weeks at an affordable destination, but with a high level of comfort.
Oman Air fit the bill, with a business-class fare less than two-thirds the price of the big regional operators, Etihad, Emirates and Qatar. I was expecting that the standards would be a little lower than the other airlines but was delighted to discover that it was very high indeed. Continue reading Review: Oman Air experience
Holiday Inn Express, Sukhumvit Soi 11
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.
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.
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.
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.
However, there’s one thing that always concerned me when in lived in Bangkok, and it surfaced again on my most recent visit.
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.
We went our own ways in London, but ran into each other in the streets of Bloomsbury just two days later.
In Bangkok one day in June, 2016, I was waiting at the BTS (sky train) station, and when the train pulled up and the doors opened, one of my oldest and dearest friends jumped out at me. Continue reading Savour the serendipity
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.