Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bangkok stay

On our two night layover in Bangkok on the way to Penang we stayed at Pantip Court. We took a 2-bedroom apartment which was much larger than expected. Overall this was a comfortable place with a nice pool and breakfast although the buffet lunch was not very good. The orange and guava juices tasted fresh (no added sugar or preserves) and K2 liked them. The a al carte menu/room service food was good. As expected we spent the afternoon mostly sleeping. Was a little disappointed that I did not take the time to explore the soi a little more.

A large chunk of the time in Bangkok was at the Somerset Park Suanplu where we stayed at a 3-bedroom apartment. The breakfast was quite varied and having an egg station was good. I alternated between noodles/rice and eggs. The room service food alas was not very good. The apartment had 2 Internet connections which was extremely useful. The speed of the Internet was 512K for free or 4MB if we wanted to pay. We chose the free option and it was frustratingly slow at times though I'm not sure whether it was the site or the connection. Some of the floor tiles felt loose and a toilet and sink had some problems draining. The DVD player was an older model that could not play JPG files nor the movie I made of K1's Spring Celebration. The bathrooms were also well kept (and perhaps even updated) which was great for me since I hate tired (even worse, moldy) bathrooms.

The drawback of this place which we sort of knew going in was that it is on the "wrong" side of Sathorn. Having to cross Sathorn to get to Silom is a pain even with the tuk-tuk service. We'd really like to be on the other side next time although there aren't any 3-bedroom places in Saladaeng that we've seen so far. There weren't also any large hawker centers that makes getting meals easier although there are a lot of small restaurants and road side stalls. (There are a few hawker centers on the other side of Sathorn.) Navigating or crossing Suanplu can be quite a challenge as well.

We left after about a week to go to Hua Hin and when we came back we were given not the same apartment but a corresponding one two floors up (27th) which only had one Internet connection. There also seemed to be something amiss with the ducts because we all started sneezing and coming down with sore throats. Fortunately we were only there for 2 nights.

All in all this Somerset was better than the last one we stayed at (Park View) - the kitchen at Suanplu was better equipped and the dining table and place settings were for 6 or more people. At Park View (although we also had a 3-bedroom) there were only settings for 4 people and a very small round table. The size of the 3-bedroom was also much smaller than the one in Suanplu.

We had also contemplated staying at the Vista Sathorn which was just down the road from the Somerset but they were going to charge 500Thb for Internet access per day!

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