This time home in Thailand – I had a few little trips to Bangkok. Only a couple of nights each time.
Where to stay?
The Rats tend to stay in Ratchada. But as I have no idea where the fook that is – and have no desire to subject myself to riding in stinking taxis or share a BTS carriage with dirty old perverts I tend to stick to Sukhumvit are – where I can walk to most places I want to go.
What is it you want out of a hotel? Well, if you’re intending on being out all the time, there is little point in spending good money on an empty room.
Personally, when I am staying in Bangkok, I do like to spend some time in the hotel / room. Watch some tv, order some room service and just basically lounge around. I like it to be relaxing. It’s a balance. I like going out – but at my age, I need my recovery time too.
So when I choose a hotel, I want it to be a little bit nice, but also don’t want to waste money.
A buddy of mine lives on Soi 31 – and as it was him I was primarily going to see, I thought I’d stay at S31. I’ve stayed at S15 many times and have always been impressed. It’s the little things – like not making me fill out a soppy little form, having already given my information online.
I booked the Duplex Suite. Not sure why? Duplex sounded like it wouldn’t be out of place in New York or somewhere else that’s pretty cool. In reality, it’s a pain in the arse – having to go up and down the bloody stairs all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, the room was nice. Very nice. Two toilets, kitchen, lounge, bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and a fantastic ensuite bathroom. Top notch. Impressed I was.
It could probably do with a little update though – as the ipod speaker was for the older type ipod/iphone. Who still has them?
And why is it these hotels don’t have Smart TV’s yet?
S31 is pretty nice. It was around 4k per night – which I didn’t think was bad at all. Good place to hang out and ‘entertain’ if that’s your thing.
The staff were very professional and helpful – but that’s to be expected when staying at an ‘S’ hotel.
Being on the corner of Soi 31 – it’s a great location too. For that visit I stayed mainly on soi 22 and the like. All in walking distance.
One of the main things I’ll take away from my stay at S31 is – the view. Overlooking the Dinosaur park!
– What on earth is that place? Do they have any customers? Surely its worth more to property developers? Get rid of it.
I returned to Bangkok a week later – hoping to stay at S31 again. For the days I wanted – it was fully booked. Well, all the rooms under 5k a night were booked.
That’s o.k, I’ll try S15 instead. – Fully Booked.
Not far away and another hotel we like ‘Grand Swiss’ on Soi 11. – Fully Booked.
Really? What’s going on?
For a moment I thought about the Citidines at the end of Soi 11 – but as that road is one big long construction site – I didn’t fancy it. It’s just a mess at the moment.
Thinking about it a little more – I was going to be hanging with the Rats – so staying closer to Soi 4 was a better option.
DyNasty Grand on soi 6 it is. Around 3k a night for the Exec Suite. Not sure why it’s called Exec? To me, it looked like just an average (old) room. I remember when this place was being built about 10 years ago. I used to live next door in Saranjai Mansion. Oh boy how the area has changed.
It was clean which was good. It had a sofa and the usual stuff, but it wasn’t really a place I’d want to hang out in for too long. Certainly not a party room.
Soi 6 is also a bit of a construction site these days – more on that later.
Dy-Nasty Grand was ‘ok’. Probably a little bit pricey for what it is – but then I guess it’s comparable with most of the hotels in the area?
I did like the feature of pressing a button on the phone to state ‘Do Not Disturb’ or ‘Please Tidy Room’. How many times have I had to crawl out of bed with a stinking hangover to put the sign on the outside of the door.
I’d stay there again, but probably opt for the cheaper room. It’s one of those places where I want to spend more time out of the room than in. Staff were good and very pleasant.
I’ll be back there again next month – so need to start looking at hotels soon.
I wonder how the Omni Tower is doing these days? Must be (over)due for a refurb by now?
Been off the radar for a month now. It’s my time off and I’ve been a tad busy. And when I say busy, I mean eating, drinking and laying by the pool. A whole lot of doing nothing much at all – and loving it.
So, I find myself in transit once again – so thought I’d fill the boredom of yet another airport and cobble a few notes/whinges down from the past month.
I’ll kick off with Hua Hin – which has been my home for 4 years now.
It probably took about 2 weeks in HH this time before I hated everything and everyone. Hua Hins (and all of Thailand for that matter) charms are starting to wear thin.
What’s pissed me off this time? Well, for no reason other than it maybe raining in Vietnam – the power keeps going off in my house. No warning, no reason – no power.
And when the power is back, the internet decides to have a little break too. Just long enough to stop anything streaming or downloading.
To make it a full Utility set, the water has also been out of action for a few days due to someone digging up a pipe locally. Really, I know I shouldn’t let this bother me – as it’s Thailand, but come on, I have not seen any progress or improvement in the last 10 years.
As it’s not much fun sitting at home with no aircon or electricity – we decided to go for a little ride into town.
We recently purchased a new scooter so thought we’d give that a little test run.
A new Yamaha GT 125 for something like 45k? The PCX we have is perfect for both of us to ride on, but when there is just one of us – and we just need to pop to the shops, a little scooter is all that’s needed. The tired little Honda we’ve had for a few years was sent off to a Brother, Sister, Mother or Buffalo of some sort. Never to be serviced or cleaned again. Out with the old and in with the new. Only 3km on the clock – time for a ride.
Marvelous – it already has a puncture. Pumped it up and took took it to our local dealer where we bought it. Instead of checking the tire to see if it had be pierced, they just pumped it up further – then did the same to the rear tire. When I rode it – it was completely off-balance. The handling was terrible. There is a reason the bike manufacturer states tyre pressures.
I pulled over, let some air out and hey presto – the bike handles like it should. So I can probably guess that when Miss Tim took delivery of the bike, the tires were over inflated – which contributed to a puncture as the roads here are crap.
It makes me mad that what is supposed to be a professional / trained mechanic is just ‘guessing’ on how much air needs to be in a tire. What else are they not doing correctly?
On the same subject, we’ve noticed a lot more bikes riding around with blown bulbs – some front, some rear – and some both. Really, how much does it cost to replace a bulb? It’s just fucking laziness. I really would like to approach each and everyone of them and ask why they are so bloody thick that they think they don’t need lights at night. No helmet, no lights, probably no license… if I see a crash, I swear I will pull over and say ‘som nam na’.
Each morning Miss Tim watches the (Thai) news with me making sarcastic comments. I don’t understand what the reporters are yapping on about – but I can see by the footage of minivans smashed to pieces what has happened. These crashes are always reported as accidents – and I’ve even heard that the weather was blamed for one minivan crash. Really? When will the Authorities wake up and realize the roads are full of incompetent assholes. What they should do is confiscate any vehicle being used by an idiot without a license.
So only a few days into my time off – I was already up against incompetence.
Still, deep breaths, I am sure things will get better. I’ll cheer myself up by going into town for a bit of dinner and a drink. Hell, maybe even have a little dance?
Oh no… ‘Salsa Steakhouse & Italian’ has closed down. Basts.
The Salsa place was one of our favorite places to go in HH. I’ve mentioned it many times before. So it was with great sadness that we saw it has now closed. It was always going to be tough getting people into the bar/restaurant via the tunnel/passage. On NYE the place was heaving. The last time we went (last month) there was only us and another couple. I really felt for the owner/manager as they had provided a really good product. I have no doubt it would have been a success had the venue been closer to the street where people could see in when walking past. I hope they don’t give up on the idea. Salsa/Ballroom dancing for the more ‘mature’ persons?! In HH!??!! Like shooting fish in a barrel.
When walking along the road – one of the old Salsa staff saw us and said hello. She was now working in another Italian restaurant. It’s just round the corner from Salsa – and is a tiny place on the corner. If you’ve walked around HH – you’ve probably seen it.
It’s a lovely little venue. Pity the food is a little on the dry side. Worth a visit – but not somewhere you’d probably visit more than once. We only went there because of the old staff that said hello. We did tap her up for some info on Salsa – and she said they maybe re-opening again? There is a forsale sign on the door – but maybe they’ll open while they are looking for a sale? Hope so.
About 9 months ago – a new Indian Restaurant opened in Hua Hin – claiming to be a ‘British Indian’. Big claim. Being British and some what of an Indian Food expert (of course) I was very excited as was Tim. When in the UK – we do eat a lot of Indian food. It must have been the 1st week of opening that we visited. It was a sham. The staff didn’t know the menu and the lighting was so bright it was like sitting under a sunlamp. The staff/cooks were talking like they were in a nightclub and the food was utter shite.
We asked if they could dim the lights or turn the heatlamp above us off. The girl did – but then the (Thai) manager turned it back on.
The food came – it didn’t look or taste like what it should. To us, it felt like a bunch of Thai’s made an attempt to attract people who were only going to visit once. Holiday makers.
We tasted the dishes but couldn’t eat them. Total garbage. We paid the bill, told the girl it was nothing like Indian food and left never to return.
Last week we returned! We were walking past – when I saw a bunch of Indians. The only other place I have seen Indians in HH is outside a Tailors – trying to sell me a suit in the 90 degree heat.
So an Indian in an Indian restaurant? Hmm. Let’s give it another go.
The heat-lamps are still there – so we took a seat not directly under them. The shouting Thai cooks are no longer there – or if they are, they’re hidden out the back. Various Indian people floating around which is a good sign.
We ordered a few dishes….. What a difference. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not a patch on the Indian food we get in Britain – and even Dubai – but for HH/Thailand it’s not bad at all. I am not sure how it would fare against the authentic pigslop food that you get in India, but that’s not the British pallet. Sorry If I have offended anyone there – but I’ve only my personal experience of sitting with Indians – eating real Indian food was not a pleasant one. What’s with the use of hands instead of cutlery? Moving on….
So it was great to see things have improved and they have now won back a customer.
All they need to do is now understand what the word ‘spicy’ means.
I am a strong believer in restaurants that specialize in specific Country/Nations foods should at least be from that Country.
There is a little Spanish Tapas Restaurant called ‘Cool Breeze’ – which was recommended by friends.
We like the idea of having a table full of small dishes to mix things up a bit. The food was really tasty and the service was good.
They did give us a dish though – which we hadn’t ordered. We sent it back because 1) we didn’t want it and 2) someone else was probably now waiting for it.
The English guy (Manager/Owner?) came to use an apologized about the cock-up – and gave us the dish anyway and said we may aswell have them as it was cooked now and would only go to waste.
Not sure how I feel about that? Maybe chuck the stuff back in the pan? If he was to give it to the staff – then that may encourage them to get more orders wrong?! If you’re going to cut the staff the money for the food wrongly ordered – then you at least have to give them the food right?
Anyway – turns out, the extra dish (garlic mushrooms) were pretty damn good – so we scoffed them all anyway.
Can’t fault the service and the food. Excellent. The bill came, I have a 500bht tip to cover the mushrooms and to thank them for the enjoyable time.
If you’re in HH and fancy something a little different – then get yourself along there.
Each morning I can be found laying by the pool in the sun. That’s my ‘me time’. Love it. Of course, by 10am I have to contend with various gardeners and pool cleaners invading my private space. There does not seem to be any kind of formal timetable these people stick to. They just turn up whenever they feel like it.
As my neighbor has a barking dog which I can only assume is just left outside all day – we feel it’s time to move on when this years lease runs out – next month. I emailed the owner and told him that as much as I like the place – I don’t like the noise so I shall be moving on. It was only then I found that the neighbor is moving on too! I guess they were getting fed up with the farang next door always shouting ‘shut that fooking dog up’?
Lunchtimes force us into making decisions on where to go and what to eat. Market Village and Bluport shopping mall are usually visited. The reasoning for those places is that we can have a slow walk around the shops after stuffing our face. I have to say, as nice and new as BluPort is, I don’t think its as popular as Market Village. Shame. They’ve put a lot of time and effort into it.
One of our fave places for lunch is ‘Beach Cafe’. Again, I’ve mentioned this many times before – but really, you have to see it to believe it. It’s not a place you’d pass or stumble across, you’d have to go looking for it. It’s a right little gem though!
So, once or twice a week we’ll go sit in the sun and have lunch while watching the kite surfers. Not a bad way to kill and hour or two.
Sitting around HH for 4 weeks certainly took it’s toll. I had to head to Bangkok for a few trips to restore my sanity and to keep me active. More on that later.