after a week in saigon (minus a few days in hoi an to which i did not bring a camera battery – so you will see no pictures), i travelled to bangkok to meet up with b, who had never been to asia before, for a week of vacation silliness in a city still known for its wild side. if i had to choose only one country to vacation to, it would be thailand. having been twice before, this third trip to the kingdom would be my shortest, and the first time i would not leave bangkok for the duration of my trip. there are plenty of hotels to choose from in bangkok; from the top-of-the-line to backpacker-chique. i am partial to the sheraton royal orchid on the chayo praya river, besides i can stay on points. all rooms in the hotel have been (or are being) renovated and have river views. the ferry, a free luxury that all river hotels have, takes you to saphin thaksin bts (skytrain) station and you can ride the modern convenience throughout the central area of bangkok and up to the jj market. even though taxis are inexpensive, using the skytrain system sometimes can prove easier near the main shopping area. in the evenings taxis (or when you are up for a thrill, a tuk-tuk) can take you directly to your destination for very little.
as i have mentioned before, i do enjoy relaxing by the pool, eating and shopping on a vacation and bangkok offers exactly what i was looking for. siam centre, still my favourite place to shop, is located along side the downright luxurious siam paragon centre, mbk centre – the place for leather goods and various quality levels of knock-offs and another dud mall, siam discovery, that i usually avoid. for a bit of culture thrown in, jim thompson house is located a short walk from this corner as is worth seeing, if only to see a traditional thai style house, right in the middle of this bustling metropolis.
of course i have a favourite restaurant in bangkok – eat me, located on convent road a few blocks from sala dang bts station, has had me coming back several times each time i am in town. the intimately scaled, yet open style of this tropical restaurant is a favourite haunt for travelers in the know, expats from the world over and hi-so thais not only because of its delectable internationally flavoured menu but also the informative longtime owner darren hausler, who can often be seen chatting-up other guests and the headwaiter, who’s seductive voice could at easily talk you into a second dessert. the city of angels is also known for its street food as bangkokians spend much of their evenings and time off out, on the street. this way of life has lead to some of the most diverse street food that i have seen in my travels. the smells and sights will excite the true foodie, and anyone with a sense of adventure will want to try a snippet from many a cart. as a good rule of thumb with any restaurant, if it’s not busy, don’t eat there!
i have an every increasing list of things to do when in bangkok. i have never made it through.