Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A day on the town in Bangkok

I took a multi-modal trip from the Baan Thai House in Ayutthaya to Centre Point Silm in Bangkok.  A tuk-tuk took me and my luggage to the mini-van station in the center of town. From there we (my baggage counted for an extra passenger) went to Victory Monument in Bangkok. The van stopped several times along the way to pick up and discharge passengers, but made the trip in slightly over an hour. At Victory Monuument, I hailed one of the many passing taxis. The driver looked at the address (in English and Thai) of my destination and decided either he didn't know where it was or he didn't want to go there. The second driver looked at it and quoted me a price of 300B, off the meter.  That is what I had budgeted for this leg and so accepted.  Traffic was heavy so it took probably longer than he thought. He also got into the area and had to circle the block. I tipped him and extra 40B and he was genuinely grateful.
The whole trip cost 500B, which was one-third of the taxi from the airport to Ayutthaya.
Bangkok from my room at Centre Point Silom
I was ushered to a 21st floor apartment with a river and city view. Which you can see in the picture. I stayed at Centre Point Silom on my last visit to Bangkok, and like it for its location and relatively low cost for all the amenities. Go to to read my reviews.
I really had no further plans for the afternoon, so went to the pool, swam and read for about an hour. At about 5:00 PM, I decided to walk to the Mandarin Oriental to have a sunset beer by the river.  That's the nice thing about the Centre Point Silom, you can enjoy the Mandarin's high priced beers ($10) without paying for their high priced rooms ($300+).  I walked the few short blocks to the Mandarin and took some pictures along the way.  The doorman at Centre Point had told me how to get there ( walk to 40 soi (alley)) or I would not have known otherwise.  There are no signs where 40 soi leaves the main road, and there are none on the hotel. I saw a building that looked like a hotel and asked and sure enough it was.
Fruit stand on the street

Typical Bangkok traffic

On the terrace of the Mandarin enjoying my beer
After renting a seat on the terrace at the prime sundown hour, I returned to Centre Point and dressed "smartly casual" (clean shirt) for my dinner at the Blue Elephant Restaurant.  The desk at the hotel had advised that I take the Skytrain one stop, rather than a taxi as it would be much quicker with the traffic at dinner hour.  I walked one block to the Skytrain station and climbed the stairs and paid my 15B for a ticket. The Blue Elephant is right at the next station so I couldn't get lost. It is in a Sino-Portugese house.  This is the Bangkok outpost of a chain of Thai restaurants that started in Brussels and spread east through Europe and the mid-east before finally opening in Thailand.  The prices are steep compared to most in Thailand, but certainly not off-putting for someone in a major city in the US or even Santa Barbara.  Read my review at   After a thoroughly delightful dinner, I returned to the hotel by the Skytrain and as I reached the door was greeted by a fireworks display at an adjacent building (maybe the Mandarin).   Finally, I went upstairs and went to be for my last full night in Asia.
Night  vegetable market on the way to the Skytrain

Blue Elephant Restaurant

Skytrain Station

Late night fireworks

No comments:

Post a Comment