Ahhhh Bangkok, I’m always so happy to return … I’ve recently arrived in the City of Angels after my long journey through my trip in India, A Dream Come True I arrived around 6 in the morning and exhausted.
My flight on Thai Air From New Delhi ( Delhi: Old and New ) was nice but nothing to write home about. Their A333 aircraft with business class seating left very little to be desired. They are still using the 2-2-2 configuration with ANGLE LIE FLAT seats. Who uses them anymore? So not having a full flat-bed to sleep in, and an annoying seat mate left me extremely exhausted and annoyed. I quickly gathered my luggage and headed out of arrivals to the taxi stands. I had my hotel’s information written in Thai, which I highly advice everyone to do, and showed the taxi stand people the card. I was previously in Bangkok On my way to India, so I decided to return to the same hotel, which I fell hopelessly in love with.
Once in the taxi, I knew what was to come next. ” Madam you give me xxxxx amount of Baht for ride” I said NO!!!! TAKE ME BACK IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DO METER! Boy was he pissed. ADVICE: ALWAYS ASK FOR METER WHEN IN A TAXI IN THAILAND. THEY WILL RIP YOU OFF BIG TIME. AND IT IS CHEAPER TO JUST PAY BY THE METER. Ok rant done. After a few tolls I pulled up to my lovely hotel.
Hotel Muse Bangkok is an M Gallery hotel, belonging to French run Accor Group. My first nights there I stayed in the Yama Suite which is extremely lovely. This time I’m meeting my mother so I opted for a room with two large queen sized beds. The hotel is beautiful and quaint. It is done up in the 1920’s/ 30’s prohibition style of the era. With grandees entry ways in dark mahogany wood, elegantly decorated lobby. There is a fabulous Italian restaurant in the basement with cascading spiral staircases, luxurious decor and where a live opera singer entertains you while you’re eating, a small but lovely pool on the 7th floor with commanding views of the metropolis, another restaurant for breakfast buffets on the same floor, The Speak Easy Roof top bar where modern meets historical, and another secret roof top bar next to the cigar bar. The rooms are heavenly and very lavishly decorated. Dark wooden Floors, large ceiling to floor windows with black out curtains, a commanding view of the city below, and a most spectacular marble lined bathroom with 1930’s style vanity mirrors and crushed marble sinks. I truly love this hotel. The hotel also offered a free tuktuk ride to one of the nearest mega malls, Central World. Located next to embassy row,on Langsuan, with a plethora of shops, malls, and fantastic restaurants, and Lumpini park all nearby, made my stay one of the best I’ve ever had in Bangkok. Check in was a breeze, and they were lovely enough to allow me to check in so early in the morning. I decided to catch some quick z’s so that I would start my day off right and rested. Of course 2 hours was enough for me , as I was so excited to be back in the city and head out and enjoy my beloved Bangkok You can read my full review of the hotel here on Trip Adviser
As I previously mentioned on my last blog on Delhi: Old and New There was a coupe in the city of Bangkok and within the country. Because of that , and after arriving so early in the morning, I couldn’t believe how quiet Bangkok was. Something I’m definitely not used to, but something so amazing to see the city in solemn stillness. Unfortunately because of the Coupe by the military, there wash Marshal Law throughout the country, where everyone must be indoors by 10 pm, unless you are traveling, or with proper documentation. I must admit that I was a bit worried about it because my mother would be arriving later the next evening and she’s arriving well after the 10 pm cut off line. I talked to the concierge at my hotel, to which she said not to worry much as long as I have my mother’s itinerary on hand so that I may explain in detail just incase I was stopped. I arranged for a private car to take me later that evening to make things more simple since no one knew if there would be taxis or the like available because of the curfew. The military was in full force throughout the city and it was both a little off putting to see, yet for some weird reason I felt very very safe.
Today, I decided to walk around my neighborhood and see where I ended up. Well of course I ended up at one of the many many malls. It was much welcomed since the temperature outside was a stifling 100 degrees ( or at least it felt that way) and with 100% humidity, and the malls provide a nice and beautiful 65 degree interiors. They really are on their game there. Ran into many friends today. My friend and co-worker Michael Fong, who I see almost everyday for 10 months of work, yet we still see each other lol Fantastic. Really just enjoy being on the streets of Bangkok with all the different characters adding more vibrancy to the city
This evening I’m to finally meet, a dear friend of a friend, Chiranuj ( aka Nong) for dinner. She is from a very prestigious family in Thailand, and is said to be one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet ( according to my friend Kelly) She picked me up at my hotel in a vw style van with driver and full aircon on blast. She was such a joyful person and was so genuinely happy to finally meet me. We went to dinner at Lord Jim’s in the Oriental Hotel, which is historical site in its own right. The sun was setting and we took full advantage of it over looking the Chao Phraya River. The views were spectacular. She walked me around the hotel, where she spent a few years of her life working , and I found the hotel to be old world beautiful, Grand, and spectacularly luxurious . Dinner was amazing. I ordered some type of fish I can’t remember, which came in an iced casket with the fish cooking inside. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but that is exactly how it was cooked. We talked, learned about each other, and I didn’t know it then, but she was to become a very dear friend of mine. Such a kind and wonderful soul, how can you not be attracted by such spiritual beauty? What a wonderful welcome back to my beloved Bangkok.
The next day I was busy preparing for my mother’s arrival. Well more like checking on her flights, making sure nothing happened, worrying that she made her connecting flight in Seoul ( I reserved wheelchair service to ensure she would make it to the next gate), gathering water for the hotel room, pacing back and forth worried about my mother, and meet and greet with some old friends who just so happen to be in the city the same time as me.
I met first with my dear friend and Idol Crimsona Kaiser. She was a super model in Germany, and when I was a young girl in Honolulu, I always looked up to her for her grace, her absolutely stunning beauty, and her poise. We decided to meet at a Mcdonald’s right across the street from Pratunam mall, a lovely discounted mall with tons of local designer fashion for a fraction of a dollar. I was late, and lost as I didn’t know which McDonald’s she was talking about. Finally I saw her from across the street. I know that walk anywhere, still a supermodel. She was traveling with her Cousin Ed Portugal, a world traveler.. We walked to her hotel for some lunch, and proceeded thereafter to walk around the Pratunam area shopping at all the little shops around the area. It was really nice to see her after all these years.
I decided to take some rest for a bit at my hotel as the high noon sun was beaming down heavy on me. Later on in the day , I met up with a friend of mine I knew back when I was living in Minneapolis. She was in India the same time as I was, yet we never met up as she was in different cities than I was. Since we were now both in the City of Angles, we decided to meet up at Siam Paragon which is the most beautiful mall in my opinion, in Bangkok. We met at their top floor theaters to watch Xmen. I chose the VIP Bangkok Airways Theater, which has a lounge , free drinks and a desert piece, and full on lazy boy recliner seats and blankets. Its pure luxury. There are other theaters on that floor, including a 4 D experience. Seriously, Bangkok is light years ahead than the US. It was so nice seeing Juliana after all these years, and swapping stories of our trip to India.
Next we were off to Terminal 21, another fabulous mall up Sukhumvit Road 21. The mall is like a departure hall for the many different airports around the world. There’s Tokyo, Rome, Nyc, etc. Its really cool. We walked around and had a fabulous lunch for $3 a person. On the top of the mall is their food court. You purchase a lunch card and load it with cash, then you go around to the different vendors grabbing what you want. AT the end you go back and return the card and receive the rest of your money you didn’t spend back.
After we ended up back at my hotel to enjoy the sunset cocktail hour up at the Speak easy bar. We said our good byes, and my heart started to pound. I was so worried about 1. Getting to my mother, 2. seeing my mother arrive through the arrival doors, and 3. seeing my mother arrive through the arrival doors. hahahahaha.
When 9 pm came around I left for the airport Suvanahbuni. My mother wasn’t due to arrive until around 11:30 pm, but I wanted to beat the traffic and get there just incase. Just In Case. When I arrived, there were military posted at the arrivals hall , and blocking off the section between the two arrival doors . I started to panic, how will I meet my mother? The arrivals hall is long and full of people arriving, I can’t lose my mother. She’s 80 years old…. I was busily watching the monitors and time was moving so slowly. I smoked a ton of cigarettes in between waiting just out of pure anxiety. Finally I saw that her flight had landed, and was watching the screen camera to see if she had exited yet. After about a half hour or so, I saw her being wheeled out by a gentleman pushing her wheel chair. I asked the young military officer if I could please go and grab my mother who have just arrived. He said NO!!!! very snarky like. I was pissed. I tried to explain and yet he had no time for me. So I approached his superior, an older officer who spoke pretty good English and explained that my 80 year old mother is in a wheel chair and just got wheeled out and is looking for me. She doesn’t speak Thai and it is her first time here. I pretty much begged to be allowed to grab her. I showed him my passport and with a very direct YES , he allowed me , and I ran to my mother, who was sporting a fully enlarged smile . She said everything was perfect with her flights and that the porter pushing her was so nice so she gave him a big tip. I told her to bow with her hands in prayer mode when we passed the officers and say thank you. I think he was surprised to see that my mother was japanese. He smiled back and I said thank you so much again, while raising my eyebrow and a full snob to the other young punk officer. OK My mother is here, all is good in the world. Now to the hotel for some sleep.
My mom on a weird schedule, was up at the crack of dawn. We went for some lovely breakfast , filled up, and headed out for the day. The minute we walked out of our very cool hotel, like someone opening an oven, the heat of the early morning hit us at full blast, and she was in complete shock. “OMG it’s so damn hot” she said. Mother, it’s still morning. “What?” hahahah Welcome to Bangkok in the dead of summer darling.
We walked to the BTS station, which was 5 minutes walk from my hotel, and she was already a bucket of sweat. Disgusted I told her not to worry you’ll get used to it like I did. Unfortunately for some super strange reason, the BTS ( Bangkok Transit Service) station at Plon Chit , escalators weren’t working so we had to climb a mountain of steps to get to the station and then to the platform. She was not happy about this and this is only her first day. First stop ( 1 stop) Erawan shrine. I love this shrine and have explained my love for it in One Month in Bangkok and My heart Exploded She did her prayers and was in awe with all the smells of jasmine and incense and decided to retreat to air-condition for some coffee, at the Gaysorn Mall directly across the street from Erawan, and across the street from the largest mall in all of Asia, Central World.
We hit a few malls today trying to stay cool. We didn’t want to do too much as my mother needed to acclimate to the heat. We had a blast shopping but I know it was time for her to rest. Tomorrow we were arranged a visit to the Grand Palace and to Wat Pho , Reclining Buddha .
This morning we were picked up by one of Nong’s drivers. He was really sweet man. Today we were given an opportunity to visit the Grand Palace via a personal guide who was once the captain of the guards for His royal majesty the King. Nong really took such good care of us. As usual the palace was so drop dead gorgeous, so intricately designed and beautiful. Our guide knew it inside and out and showed us hidden places, perfect picture spots, and took us into the one of the royal welcoming halls where only dignitaries and the like are allowed to go during special occasions, to meet the King. They opened it up just for us. WOW!!!!!
Next we were taken to the Queens Museum, to see all her beautiful clothing that she had specially made. The buttons on some of her suits were and are beetles died to match the silk fabric. It was stunning. Lastly we headed to Wat Pho ( Reclining Buddha) I always love this place. It’s such a beautiful temple square with an awe-inspiring reclining buddha. The story of the Reclining images of the buddha is that this is how he looked right before he passed away.
What a lovely day it was today. Tomorrow ChatuChak Market..
Today is Chatuchak Sunday market. A gigantic open market with rows and rows and rows of vendors. There is so much to see and buy and so much to avoid ( like the pet section). We had our breakfast and got ready . Took the BTS to the Chatuchak Market stop and joined the thousands of people exiting and queuing up into the market. It was already hot as hell, and my mother wasn’t happy about it. I told her that she would find so many interesting and cool things here. She didn’t care much for anything unfortunately, and our trip there didn’t last too long. She had not acclimated to the heat yet and it was getting really hard for her. So I decided to take her to MBK mall instead, with all their very cheaply made knock offs , just for fun. She was again not impressed. So we went mall hopping instead, enjoying the coolness of the malls, until we came back to Siam Paragon and hit their unbelievable basement level food court. She was in heaven. Thank god. lol
Today we head for Chiang Mai, and I’m hoping it will be cooler. Our flight leaves around 12 noon, so we took a taxi around 9:30 to Suvanabhuni airport. Check in with Thai air was amazing. When you take their business or fist class flights, you sit on a lovely chair/ stool and they check you in beautifuly . You have your own security check point, and we headed off to the Lounge.
You can read about our Chiang Mai Trip Here:Chiang Mai: The Capital of the North
Chiang Mai was great, but returning to Bangkok always makes me smile. We have 2 more nights left in Bangkok and Thailand all together so we spent most of it ….. Shopping ( well to stay cool of course) We did meet up with Nong and her son Psi one evening for a fantastic traditional Thai dinner. Knowing that I love macaroons like there is no tomorrow, Nong had some sent to our room for me to devour. This trip had been a lovely ending to my journey through India and Thailand, and I’m so glad I got to spend a little of it with my mother, even though it was too hot for her to enjoy it thoroughly. We will leave soon for Seoul on a lovely 13 hour layover ( which I have done before) and we will be able to enjoy the city for a few hours.