Bangkok Getaway

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  1. calvinoeh
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    The parents were visiting Penang for a couple of days and decided on a side trip for a couple of days in Bangkok since they had some expiring credit shell on Air Asia. We decided to tag along and took care of the hotel booking and the itinerary.


    We had decided to book the Sofitel Silom since we had never stayed there before and we got a pretty good Sofitel sale rate. Closer to the trip we did get worried when there were several bad reviews on tripadvisor and flyertalk due to the on going renovations and future switch to a Pullman in April. We contacted the hotel trying to cancel our reservation (we had a booked a non-refundable rate) but they assured us we would be well taken care off.

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    In spite of visiting Bangkok numerous times before, one place we have not visited still on our list was Ayutthaya. We booked a private car and guide for a day which took us to Ayutthaya and the Summer Palace. For the rest of the time in Bangkok, we just spent it on shopping and pigging out.

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    I won't be covering any of the flights since it was another typical short hop on Air Asia.

    As usual, the full trip reports will be own my blog with installments listed below:

     
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  2. calvinoeh
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    Day trip to Summer Palace & Ayutthaya

    There are many options to get to Ayutthaya with the cheapest being a combination of train and buses. We decided on hiring a private van and a guide since it would cost about the same as an organized tour and we could control the itinerary and more importantly made sure there were no stops at the infamous "shopping" stops. We found several options on tripadvisor and settled on Nook. The whole package cost 7500 baht for the whole package which included the van, toll, fuel, guide fee, water and lunch. Nook did cancel last minute as she was stuck out of town but got her friend Nicky to cover.

    The day started off with a trip to the Summer Palace that was used as a getaway of previous Kings of Thailand. On the way, Nicky provided excellent information and commentary on the Summer Palace and the places we would visit the rest of the day.

    Summer Palace reminded me of our visit to the Royal Palace in Bangkok. I was most intrigue with the various influence of cultures including Chinese and European. I was told one of the previous Kings was one of the first (if not the first) monarch in South East Asia to travel to Europe and upon his return, instructed several European style buildings to be build to show to the West that Thailand was just as good. Nicky also helped solve the mystery on why there were "Chinese lion statues" at the Royal Palace and around Bangkok.This statues were used as weights in ships on the journey back to Thailand from China and upon return, there were no use of them and was just use as decorations around Bangkok.

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    The Lion Statue​

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  3. calvinoeh
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    Sofitel Silom

    As mentioned earlier, I had try to cancel our non-refundable reservation after finding out about the on-going renovations in anticipation of the hotel switch to a Pullman in April. Since we couldn't cancel, I did make sure to request for upgrades to executive floor rooms and access to the lounge. The annoying thing about Accor hotels is that upgrades and access to lounge are not consistently applied for elite members.

    We were well taken care from the moment we arrived till we left. We tried to check-in at the temporary small lobby on the third floor before being informed that we would be escorted up to the lounge for check-in since our rooms were upgraded. While waiting for the paperwork to get done, we were served a welcome drink of guava juice and a much needed cold towel.
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    We were informed we had access to the lounge for breakfast, afternoon and cocktail hour and provided a voucher for another welcome drink at the French bar/restaurant Mistral for the duration of our stay thanks to my Aclub Platinum status before being escorted to our Club room. Minutes later, another staff brought us freshly squeezed orange juice and a fruit bowl to the room. The only slight disappointment that happened throughout the stay was that we had to wait for twenty minutes after two calls for our bags to be brought to our rooms. It wouldn't have been a big deal but we were hungry and I was in a rush to get back for a late night meeting I had to call into.
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  4. calvinoeh
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    Some other random pictures of during our visit to Bangkok.
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    Siam Paragon​

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    Fresh made candy at Central World​

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    Hilton boat​

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    Dinner cruise​

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    Sirocco​
     
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  5. calvinoeh
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    Bangkok continues to be one our favorite cities for food. The food in Bangkok is just so good and it ranges from cheap road side stalls to high end (and sometimes cheap) fine dining. We also love the perfect combination of salty, sweet, sour and spicy found in Thai food.

    The food court in MBK shopping mall is once place we make sure to visit every time we're in Bangkok. One must try dish is the chicken rice. We didn't end up trying the chicken rice until our third or forth visit favoring other dishes like the Pad Thai, Kueh Cheap, etc but now it's on our must eat list every time we're at the food court. The rice is just so flavorful!
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    MBK Food Court​

    We literally pigged out on this trip as we had to try the suckling pig at Tang Jai Yoo restaurant in Chinatown which was made famous by Anthony Bourdain. We manage to make reservations through Visa Concierge. A suckling pig cost 1600 Thai Baht and an additional 100Baht charge for the meat to be cooked which was cheap in comparisons to prices in Malaysia. The suckling pig ended being just pretty mediocre.
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  6. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    Enjoyed your trip report. :)
     
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  7. calvinoeh
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    Thanks!
     
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