Friday, January 21, 2011

The Chards and Bert hit town!

Gary and Mandy Chard, accompanied by ex-South England Underwater swimming Champion, known professionally as Bert 'the Brick', or to his family as Mr Kevin Manson, plumber, arrived in Bangkok on Thursday. They stayed at the glamorious 5 star hotel Millenium Bangkok Hilton which is on the Chao Praya River running through the centre of the City.
Bangkok's hotels are regarded as the best value in the world by many regular International travellers and indeed boast luxurious interiors, amazing city and river views and superb (really superb!) cuisine. Our friends enjoyed a top quality dinner whilst looking out across the City from the 30th floor of their hotel.
There are plenty of spectacular buildings in Bangkok. A night trip on one of the Chao Praya river boats complete with dinner and a show is a great way to spend an evening. Bangkok may appear a bit daunting but in Thailand...just trust the hotel staff and they will arrange everything with a mini bus arriving to pick you up and take you to your boat and bring you back again. If you try to arrange the tour yourselves, you'll go crazy and probably end up paying more. Thailand knows how to look after tourists.....

Photo below taken looking down from the hotel onto the Night Cruise boats. There are plenty to choose from offering a variety of trips. During the day, the best way to see Bangkok is from the river. You can jump on the local water taxi boats....they are anything up to 100' long... and cruise the river for as little at 17 Baht (40 pence). You can get a little free map which shows you the various 'piers' to get on or off and what sights are available from that pier. If you like to go into the City itself...much better to use Water Taxi's to get you to a pier near the Sky Train system, which is also very cheap, brand new, immaculately clean, safe, punctual...etc etc and far faster than the road taxi service which inevitably grinds to a halt in the never moving traffic jams that Bangkok is infamous for.
Many of the Bangkok hotels boast impressive landscaped grounds for guests to wander around in. Of course, you get what you pay for. You can get a good, clean hotel in the middle of the City on the well known Koa San Road for anything from £7 to £17; or a good 3 star range City Centre hotel for £30. These prices are not per person but per room. For example, the 3 star £30 price is for two people in a massive room with en-suite facilities, sky TV, stocked fridge, coffee making facilities, breakfast, swimming pool etc etc. Very very good value.
If you come to Thailand for your holiday, remember you have easy access to many other nearby countries and parts of Thailand for very little money. For example, Air Asia have return flights from Phuket to Singapore (£45); Chiang Mai, 2nd largest City in Thailand (£50) or even Hong Kong (£120). Cambodia is close by. A trip to the Angkor Wat Temples is a mind blowing experience....and it's just a coach ride away from Bangkok.

There's masses on offer for a holiday you will never forget.

Right now, our visiting Pennys have gone their separate ways. Selena and Kevin have flown to Singapore for a 4 day visit and Colin and Teresa have flown North to Chiang Mai for a week long trip to the North of Thailand including the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand) trip. Yesterday they emailed to say they were having an amazing time at the Chiang Mai Aquarium and Zoo.

There's something here for everyone!

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