The first time we visited Bangkok was in 2007. So when Malaysian Airlines threw out that super discounted not-to-be-missed airfares in August 2014, beside booking flights to Phuket, we also booked flights for Bangkok as well. The cost for return tickets was around S$65 which was incredibly low. Only inconvenience was to transit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport which wasn’t a big deal. So flight details as follows: Singapore to Kuala Lumpur: 9.55 am to 10.55 pm Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok: 12.25 pm to 1.30 pm Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur: 11.05 pm to 2.15 pm Kuala Lumpur to Singapore: 3.35 pm to 6.35 pm Flight booking confirmation and E-Tickets were received via emails soon after payment was made to Tripsta site. As for hotels, being Accor AdvantagePlus members, we made used of our complimentary nights to book a 5 star hotel, Sofitel So Bangkok for the first 2 nights. Accor members are entitled to 2 complimentary nights stay per year but are allowed to book each hotel only one night per year. So my wife and I used up one night each from our membership privileges to book this hotel which had great reviews from travellers. We then booked another 2 nights stay at Mercure Bangkok Siam at a cost of under 2600 THB per night inclusive of breakfast. Since I had accumulated member’s club points for staying at hotels under the Accor group over the years, I redeemed 4000 points for this booking and paid only less than 1700 THB for the last 2 nights’ stay at Mercure Hotel. With all the hotel reservations made and air-tickets paid, we were all set to have a fabulous time in Bangkok in November. There was not much to prepare for this shopping trip so we just waited for the day to depart with very little anxiety. Our memories of Bangkok for the 2007 trip was simply the nightmarish traffic jams, taxi driver could not find our hotel late at night, beggars on the streets and plenty of shopping. So we looked forward to this trip over a weekend for November. Bangkok should have changed quite a lot after 7 years and this time shopping should be a lot more exciting and convenient and of course more enjoyable.
Day 1 – Singapore to Bangkok Sofitel So
Since our flight out of Singapore was 9.55 am, we reached the airport early before 8 am, checked in our luggage at MAS counter and we were all free and ready to begin our short vacation. First thing as usual was breakfast at McDonalds and then enjoyed windows shopping at our beautiful Changi Airport. Soon we board our flight to Kuala Lumpur and like our flight to Phuket in October, this flight was also delayed due to heavy ground traffic at the airport. But this time we had slightly longer transit time at KLIA to catch our connecting flight to Bangkok and as such we were not so anxious.
Short flight to KLIA landed without incident and we still had some time to take a few pictures of those pretty bear stuff toys at The Harrods at the airport and sat awhile before boarding the next flight to Bangkok. Soon we were on our way to Bangkok departing from the same terminal building. We were served a light meal and before long we landed in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport to begin our much anticipated shopping tour. Immigration clearance was trouble free and we hopped onto a taxi outside the airport and made out way to the luxurious Sofitel So Bangkok Hotel. Traffic wasn’t too bad and since this hotel was located slightly away from the busiest part of the city centre, we reached the hotel in under an hour. Taxi fare including toll charges was around 300 THB, so much cheaper than taxi fares in Phuket. The check in counter of this hotel is located on the 9th floor lobby which is a huge lounge area with a fascinating view of the Bangkok skyline across Lumphini Park. Upon arrival, we were served by one of their ambassadors to process our check in registration while being ushered to the high windows lounge area to enjoy the view of Bangkok across the park. We were also served with a unique colour changing welcome drink poured from a test tube concoction into a drinking glass full of ice, very usual to say the least. Taste was good and no complaints at all. Sofitel So is a designer hotel and the rooms come with different themes. Since we were staying two nights, we chose the Metal theme for the first night and the Wood theme for the second night.
With check in procedure settled, we were escorted by the same ambassador to the our room. Explanations were given regarding features in our designer room, especially on the Apple TV where we could watch TV programs, preloaded movies from the hotel or use this TV to connect to the internet for our convenience. We could also request the hotel to set up a DVD player and borrow DVDs from the hotel. After this we were left to ourselves to explore and enjoy the luxurious and beautiful room with a fantastic view of Bangkok across Lumphini Park.
The Metal theme room has a soothing soft greyish white colour based cooling effect with a very modern feel. The king size bed is designed for comfort, covered with high quality clean white sheets and comes with four pillows. The bathroom has a shower cubicle and also a bathtub, as well as another cubicle for the toilet. The writing desk is part of the wall extension with flush doors that enclosed a small fridge where the minibar items are meant for free consumption. A coffee maker is also provided and a keyboard for the TV is placed on the table. Near the window is a designer day bed very suitable to enjoy the window view of the far away high rise buildings of Bangkok across the park, especially at night. So having settled in, we rested for awhile and figured out how to use the many features of this Apple TV. It was good to stretch out on this luxurious bed and watched TV until time for dinner.
Soon we went to explore the hotel. The infinity pool on the tenth floor has a splendid view like our room, a good place to swim and relax. Unfortunately, it was also a place to party on a Saturday so it was too crowded for comfort. After this, we went to the restaurant for early dinner and we really loved the high quality food. However, discount for Accor members was not the usual 50% dining for two but 25% over at this high-end hotel.
About evening time, we decided to visit Patpong night market not far from the hotel. We got a map from concierge and asked for directions. There are two entrances on the ground floor. We exited from the entrance next to the Chocolab café, turned left and walked for about 8 minutes. Once reached Dusit Thani Hotel, we turned left and walked a little further then crossed the road after Silom Complex and Patpong market was there. The market wasn’t very crowded and maybe we were too early that evening. We didn’t find anything worth buying so we went over to Silom Complex for some indoor windows shopping.
This shopping complex is modern and clean with many shops and restaurants. A food fair was taking place when we visited. We didn’t buy anything that night and so we went back to our hotel. There were many streets stores along Silom at night which could rival Patpong night market.
We reached Chocolab café just in time before it closed at 8 pm to buy some cakes and pastries for supper as well as for our breakfast the next day. There was also a 50% discount after 6 pm.
The hotel was having its 50th Anniversary celebration that night. As such, the hotel was very busy and filled with guests queuing to pay entrance fee to join the party celebration at the ground floor entrance. It was really a big party time at all the restaurants, lounges and bars that noisy night. As hotel guests, we were invited to join the party with free first drinks without having to pay entry fee. So we were given green wrist bands for admission during check in but no staff seemed to know about the free drinks as all the establishments demanded a coupon which we were not given. Anyway, it was too noisy to our liking and hence we made our way back to our lovely room to enjoy the peace, comfort and luxury instead.
When the night grew older, it was time for supper. We made tea and coffee and tried the pastries and cakes we bought from the cafe earlier. The pastries and cakes were surprisingly very good. It was indeed some form of indulgence having supper and enjoying the night view of Bangkok from our high floor, clean, peaceful and comfortable room. Updating our children back home via whatsapp on our phones and showing them pictures of this fantastic hotel and the beautiful view of Bangkok from our room was important to keep everyone in the loop for peace of mind. Though we were on vacation, we were never far from our children not travelling with us. The Apple TV was also a great piece of equipment to explore with all those channels available in addition to the preloaded movies from the hotel. We could also surf the internet and while away the night before we retired with much anticipation of more fun for the next day. Soon drowsiness took over thus ending our first day of this vacation.
Continue to Day 2 ...