Sunday, 22 December 2013

Trip Report 14 Part 3: Bangkok and Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok

The strange thing about my visit to Bangkok was that I had a list of about 12 things I wanted to do, I did two of them and yet I still had a absolutely great time there.

Firstly, the Hotel. Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, out there on Soi 24 off Sukhumvit, a very new hotel, just open long enough to get rid of the teething issues but still new enough for the new hotel smell. A good location on a busy, but not nightlife intensive soi of Sukhumvit, close to a few nice places to eat, a large upscale mall and an SkyTrain station.

But first, the hotel, a nice welcome and escorted up to the rather splendid lounge and then by the charming Exec Floor Manager to my room. No upgrade, but a very pleasant place to stay, I particularly liked the bathroom which had a complete wet room and and glass walls (there was a privacy blind that could be lowered).

The executive lounge was very good, there were a few minor service errors occasionally, but most of the time it was excellent. There was a very decent breakfast available with both hot and cold dishes, a nice afternoon tea range which I usually took on the small smoking terrace and hot and cold food at night, the food was mainly sourced from the Italian restaurant which was very nice but slightly disappointing in that it as Italian. There was a happy hour but I mainly drank pineapple juice when I was there, because fresh pineapple is a joy for ever.

Anyway, I spent most of my time in Bangkok meandering around various interesting shops and sois or writing by the rooftop pool. The time seemed to fly by, I ate out at a range of places including getting food from street carts - there is a very good one doing spring rolls at the Sukhumvit end of Soi 24, mall food courts and restaurants. There are some nice restaurants further down Soi 24 as well as one called Lemongrass which is quite close to the hotel. The hotel itself has an Italian restaurant, which from what I ate in the lounge produces some decent scran, but it wasn't what I was looking for at the time. I only veered away from Asian food once, when I decided to go and find steak or pizza and actually ended up with a good Lebanese some way down Soi 24.

I didn't do wats or at least not up close, I did do parks, a bit, I did some exploration of sub-sois, I did a couple of klongs, I tried to walk by the river, but it isn't that easy (or attractive). I didn't take many pictures of buildings because, well, there weren't that many attractive ones. I did enjoy the Skytrain, except when it got silly crowded, I didn't enjoy the Metro. I even managed to spend a whole day lazing by the pool, which is almost unheard of for me.

But what of Bangkok's legendary wickedness? I took a quick look down Silom early one evening and decided that it was not for me, it looked too loud, too brash and too pushy. I also walked along Sukhumvit Soi 4, apart from noting that the street stalls appeared to be selling certain forms of protectives and medications there was less hassle than in Patong Beach.

Would I return, probably, there's still quite a bit of that list of things I was doing to do which I didn't. Would I return to that hotel, like a shot.

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