Bangkok Looks Better in the Dark
We’re not going to beat around the bush about our sub-par experience in Bangkok. From the moment we de-planed and entered into one of the dank terminals of DMK, we knew we were not in Kansas anymore (and by Kansas, I mean Singapore).
Once we were through customs and had retrieved our luggage, we “hailed” an Uber & made our way to the Eastin Grand Hotel. From DMK it was about a 45 minute ride. The drive went by quickly as we stared out our respective windows in awe at the juxtaposition of Bangkok’s sky line; modern high rises casting shade on countless dilapidated apartment buildings. Once we arrived at our hotel we were able to check in and head up to our room.
The Eastin Grand Hotel was in a good location and a major selling point was the accessibility to the sky train. The hotel had a sky bridge connection to the metro station, so by just exiting through the proper floor, you were basically in the train station across the street. The hotel was also a neighbor to the Blue Elephant Cooking School & was only one metro stop away from the Chao Praya River (where you can catch a boat down the river to the Grand Palace & other stops in between). The hotel also had a rooftop pool, but we didn’t have enough time to make use of it.
We knew from the minute we landed in Bangkok it would not be our favorite place, but we had to make the most of our limited time there. We changed our clothes & headed out with the intent to check out Chinatown before catching the sunset from one of the many acclaimed sky bars. In theory, this plan sounded great until we found ourselves in the midst of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Gaaaahhhhhhh. The smell, the smog, the crowds, the puddles, the flies. It was a perfect storm of awful.
We stumbled upon a Starbucks and decided to sit down and collect our thoughts/plan of attack for the rest of the evening. Thank G, they served beer.
We indulged in a few libations before we decided to move the cocktail party to a rooftop bar. Our hotel concierge advised us that we should insist our cab driver use the meter to calculate our fare, instead of bartering for a flat rate. Well, good luck finding a driver willing to run their meter for you! After climbing in and out of the back of three different cabs, we finally succumbed to a negotiated fare so as not to waste anymore of the evening.
Some quick googling revealed we weren’t dressed accordingly to go to the bar from the Hangover movie , so we asked our cab to bring us to a different sky bar to catch the sun setting over Bangkok. The sun set & moon rose an EON before our cab made it’s way through gridlock traffic at rush hour. We were in this cab so long we thought we’d be able to watch sunrise from the sky bar.
Once we arrived at Octave Rooftop Lounge we ordered some overpriced, microwaved edamame & two glasses of wine, which we downed quicker than normal. From this rooftop perch we both agreed that Bangkok looks better in the dark (and from 45 floors up).
We called it a night after one glass & headed back down to street level to hail another cab. Some kind soul advised us that it would take 1/10th the time to get back to our hotel via the metro, so we took their advise and boarded the sky train that was LITERALLY like a massive group hug. As I burrowed my face into the armpit of a strange man, I observed his wife having a full on claustrophobic panic attack. I could empathize as I was on the verge of a similar episode. Per usual, Brigette talked me off the ledge and we were back in the luxurious confines of our hotel room in no time at all.
Before resting our heads for the night we took turns trying to rinse Bangkok’s stench from our hair and exfoliate it’s grit from our bodies. Catch ya on the flip side, Bangkok.