Saturday 23 August 2014

Bangkok And A Night At The Museum

I was looking forward to the Big K's August roster because I learned that he would be going to Bangkok for a series of company training sessions. And little ole me got all excited when I found out that he had a few days off before the start of one of his training sessions which meant I could ride shotgun again. Yay!

The last time we were in Bangkok we stayed at the Bangkok Tree House at the Bang Namphueng area also known as the "lungs of Bangkok" because of its abundant greenery. Bang Namphueng is a 20-minute boat ride across the Chao Phraya river from busy metropolitan Bangkok and is also the site of one of Bangkok's non-touristy floating markets.

On this visit we opted to stay right by the city but still along the Chao Phraya river. 

Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok and Asiatique The Riverfront

Being pretty much aware of Bangkok's infamous traffic much like it is in Manila, we opted to take the trains from the airport into the city. It was a mere 40-minute ride via Suvarnabhumi airport's rail link and Bangkok's BTS (overhead city trains). The trains are pretty convenient and a whole lot cheaper at THB90 per person for the whole trip (airport to SaphanTaksin) as compared to the cheapest shuttle at THB900!

We wanted a room with a view. And what a great view we had especially at night!

The Big K and I didn't have anything much planned on this trip except to chill out and stuff our faces with yummy Thai food. We also wanted to check out Bangkok's latest night market/boardwalk,  Asiatique The Riverfront . So the Shangri-La Bangkok was the ideal place to stay on our first night as it was only a 10-minute ride away on board their complimentary boat shuttle. 

If you are familiar with Bangkok's famous Chatuchak weekend market, Asiatique is its glamorized sister. It's been cleaned up, sanitized, maybe a bit dumbed-down but it is a good way for first-timers to have a relatively stress-free intro to the world of the Bangkok way of shopping and eating. Chatuchak-lite! Of course be prepared to pay a little bit more.

Unlike Chatuchak, Asiatique is open 7 days a week during the night starting from 5PM until midnight. The hangar-like buildings in the complex contain a plethora of shops, restaurants and entertainment centers. The well-known Calypso Cabaret show featuring Thai transgender artists also known as "ladyboys" can be found here.  

You can even watch pseudo-Muay Thai fights at The Stage @ Asiatique.

The Siam Hotel

If you've ever wondered how it feels like to spend a night in a museum, a stay at the Siam Hotel is the perfect experience! No, don't think musty, dust-filled relics, creatures coming to life and little people running around at night (hmmm been watching too many movies). But think more of priceless antiques and quirky collections displayed in spotless, elegant surroundings. 

The hotel's private jetty along the Chao Phraya river. 

The Siam Hotel is a 39-room luxury retreat set along a riverfront property in the Dusit area. It is located in a residential area and a bit farther away from the main shopping drag of Bangkok. Ahh! Peace and quiet! Although the hotel provides boat shuttles (roughly 30 minutes) to the central pier at Saphan Taksin where one can catch the BTS to central Bangkok.

The hotel's Chon Thai restaurant and cooking school is set in these century-old teak houses.

Bather's Bar and Riverside Infinity Pool.

The Big K and I arrived at the hotel via their private river shuttle coming from the Saphan Taksin pier. Upon our arrival we were welcomed by the hotel staff including our own butler, Jill (hmmm... I wonder if we can send him to buy some Durian?) 

After showing us around, Jill brought us to our villa. Our home for the next two days! Oh boy! When we saw our villa we didn't want to leave. The Big K and I have had our share of stays at 5-star hotels but this was one of the best places we've stayed so far. 

Our villa came with our own pool with jacuzzi and an open-air
roof terrace.

View of the pool and courtyard from our bedroom.

Each of the villas are designed in three different themes: Thai Colonial, Chinese and Art Deco.
We stayed at their Thai Colonial themed villa.

Huge bathroom! And boy that sure is a humongous tub!

Our butler, Jill, on the left and front desk staff, Kesupha on the right. Khob khun ka!

Awesome place, great food, good time! It was another fun adventure in Bangkok. I wonder what the Big K's roster will be next month?  

More photos in our Facebook page.

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