As we lift off over the outskirts of Bangkok, from Suvarnabhumi (meaning Golden Land), I feel satisfied yet saddened. We have had a good holiday here in Southeast Asia. We enjoyed the people, the sights, the food and the culture and are comfortable here. With immense gratitude we leave this land hoping to have the opportunity to visit yet again.
Bangkok on the back end seemed to make sense to us, we will however explore more deeply the possibilities of sidestepping this huge city. With much to offer, it is truly a metropolitan tangle and we would consider bypassing it at least on one end or the other the next time around, if the cost was not prohibitive.
Centre Point Silom was our home base this round. We decided to give a different piece of the city our attention this stay. Silom Road runs parallel to the Chao Phraya River and is a hub of jeweler and textile/tailor wholesale business and financial centers. The hotel itself sits just behind Robinson’s department store and if shopping is on your list this is a place to check for deals. Cosmetic counters all hosted great values for common brands. Check in was friendly and first rate efficient with fresh Longon or Bael juice (used historically for warding off leprosy), select coffees and iced water available 7am-10pm in the lobby. One bedroom suite is a diminutive description of the luxurious space we walked into at 2205 Centre Point. Decorated in white marble and wood this 900 square foot space gave us a base model for a more minimalist need in a future home. Electronic key card entry, with a slot just inside the door to power up the place was a common denominator for all stays on this trip. (I wonder at what savings this might bring consumers and corporations in the U.S.?) The entryway was spacious with floor to ceiling storage, entry door to the restroom and round the corner to the full kitchen. Abundance of cabinets and white ceramic tile floors and countertops set the kitchen decor. Conveniences included electric hotpot, apartment size refrigerator, built in double burner, full sink, microwave, dish and silverware, dining table with four chairs, all in one washer/dryer and more storage! Doorway (with pocket door) on the other side of the kitchen led in to a small living room with European style tweed sofa, matching chair and coffee table. Built in wall unit housed the television and stereo with sliding glass doors to the balcony. Accordion wood doors were pushed back against the wall opposite the wall unit to lead into the master. King bed, nightstands, desk and chair with sliding glass doors to another balcony completed this room. Walk in master closet with built in his and hers armoires to either end connected the master to another door leading back to the restroom. It was equipped with walk in shower, jacuzzi tub, large vanity (with storage) and badet. Supreme space. Totally ideal for two people and we loved the layout. Sure, it was more than we needed, but after 6 weeks in one room the extra living space was welcomed! We highly recommend this location, keeping in mind my travel agent hubby finds the best prices on these types of bookings typically through Expedia. (Note that this hotel has regular size rooms as well as these suites.) Another noteworthy mention as we close out this international excursion is the fact that every property we stayed in had rooms equipped with amenities such as toothbrush and paste, cotton swabs, disposable razors, shower caps, sewing kits and combs as standards.
Walking the neighborhood after 9 pm, when we had settled in, did not yield many restaurant options so we continued walking until we happened upon the Patpong Night Market. Here, we heard the sounds of live jazz coming from a place called Brothers Bar that had a good looking menu perched on the podium at the bottom of the staircase. We made our way up to the 4th floor and found ourselves in a place with a cool vibe. Quite a few parties were dining and enjoying libations via bottle service or large tabletop draught beer dispensers. The decor was cool with a metal frame hung from the ceiling tied with dried flowers as one chandelier and another strung with various lengths of PVC pipe with twinkle lights dangling through them. Dinner was very spicy and original with curry, shrimp and mushrooms as our staples, plate garnishments were artistically original. We made our way back to the hotel after we ate to crash for the night. I must warn you when wandering the streets of Bangkok be prepared for the rats and roaches that call it home. You can’t walk very far after dark without spotting them skittering about feasting on the tasty street morsels they can easily find as shop owners move their trash curb side. (Think NYC…)
We managed to walk ourselves back to Silom Road and then headed to a tailor my partner had found via Trip Advisor. This was on his wish list since our last visit. Clothes measured, cut and sewn specifically for him. The gents at Universal Tailors had high ratings and were in our neighborhood. This day they took the measurements and we picked the fabrics. At first glance around this city you would think you could “steal” some nice shirts and trousers. You could, if you wanted inferior fabric, haphazard sizing and glued instead of sewn seams. Not these guys, quality threads was their business and they would see him back for three more fittings before the final products would be presented. Friday evening found us dining in on sushi, fruit, smoked meat, cheese and fresh baked rye bread with wine we had picked up in our daily wanderings. Later we listened to music, relaxed and took in the sights and sounds of the closest active night time neighborhood until the wee hours.