The world’s favourite cities

Which city is the favourite with tourists? Well, it depends which source you believe.

Hong Kong’s water reservoir

Hong Kong is — again — the most popular city with tourists, according to the latest survey, which notes that London has been overtaken for second place by Bangkok.

Continue reading The world’s favourite cities

A perfect 10?

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.

Courtyard by Marriott, Bangkok
Courtyard by Marriott, Bangkok

Continue reading A perfect 10?

Diary: Three days in Bangkok

Given the recent death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, I was expecting the mood in Bangkok to be more sombre than on my past visits.

Bangkok 2016
Bangkok 2016

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).

Continue reading Diary: Three days in Bangkok

Review: Oman Air experience

Oman Air B787 business class
Abu Dhabi-Muscat-Bangkok-Bangkok-Muscat-Abu Dhabi
May, 2016

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

Asiatique
Asiatique

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

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

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 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

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.