We took a Jetstar flight to Bangkok in the morning and reach Suvarnabhumi Airport about 845am. The weather is cool which is surprising to me as Bangkok is well-known for its hot weather. We took a cab to our hotel which is Somerset Lake Point. We reach the residence about 10am and was thinking no way that they will be letting us check in as we are too early. To my surprise, they allow us to check in 4 hours ahead of time. I request to extend my stay to 6pm and I will need to pay 50% of the daily room rate which is fine with me. As I book at a preferred rate, I will have to pay the bill in full upfront.
We are assigned to room 2201. The room is of a different layout from my previous stay. The room is clean, decent and well maintained. Air conditioning and hot water is working well.
However, one thing to note is that the reservation process is not very smooth. Unlike my previous booking, I book this rate through the reservation hotline. After furnishing all the details, I still do not get any confirmation email. I tried to check online and could not even find my reservation. I then emailed them and called them twice again to request for my confirmation but to no avail, they either did not email me the confirmation or ignored my emails to them. In my desperate third attempt, they then found that they got my email address wrongly. I then request to extend my check out to 6pm and I am willing to pay for the 50% charge similar to my previous booking. The staff politely replied that they can’t do it as this is at the discretion of the property. I told them that my previous experience with them is that the staff will call the property direct to extend the check out time. Unfortunately, it is still a no for them. Therefore the booking experience is not as good as before. However, I must say that the staff of Somerset and the reservation team handled my request in a professional manner.
During my stay there, I was lock out of my room twice as the electronic door is faulty. Though this is irritating but the staff handled the issue swiftly. I am still pleased with them.
We quickly start our journey. First stop is V.Siam optical at Suk Soi 23.
My wife made a spectacles with them on our previous trip and she is happy with it. This time she intend to made another one to replace another of her aging spectacle. The owner still recognises us and the staff did a very detailed eye test for my wife again. The staff is patient and they even serve us snacks and water to my kids while we are in the shop. A highly recommended optical shop indeed. We are scheduled to collect the spectacle the next day and that is fast!
Our next stop is Erawan Shrine. We offer our prayers for a safe journey this time. By now, my kids is complaining about their hunger and I suggested to have some Thai food. My kid first reaction is “KFC”. I try to dissuade him by telling him to look around and KFC is nowhere to be found. A kind Thai heard our commotion and ask what do we need? I told her that my kid is looking for KFC and she told my kid that there is one in Ratchaprasong Big C. While I was grateful for the Thai kindness but now my kid is looking at me. I seems to have little option but to bring him there.
Big C and Central World at Ratchaprasong has open recently. However it seems like nothing much has changed but the highest level is still under renovation. Big C still maintained its layout of the store. KFC is nowhere to be found there so we settle for Mcdonalds. This is kind of disappointing for both of us. I wanted Thai food but can’t have it. My kid wanted KFC but couldn’t find it.
After our meal, we proceed to Central World. Central World is also partially open as the space previously occupied by Zen is still close. I did not shop at Central World but just go to the Naraya store for my wife retail therapy. The Thai is holding a concert to raise funds for the Japan disaster later and they are setting up the stage while we are there.
The traffic in from Central World is almost at a standstill. By now I can see the fatigue of my kids from all the travelling. I am deciding should I take the BTS to Central Pier then to Yaowarat or taxi. I have decided on the taxi and so I join in the traffic jam.
We took about 30mins to reach Yaowarat. The reason I am here is to buy water guns! Yes! Songkran is coming and I can foresee there are so many variety of water guns to choose from. My kids are spoilt for choice and the variety is great. My kids settled on a medium size one but we do bought 3 big ones for them as well. By now my kid is really looking restless.
We decided to have an early dinner. We look for one of our usual seafood restaurant to enjoy our tom yum soup, seafood omelette etc.
After dinner, we have an early night as I have plan something for them tomorrow.
During the night, I walk alone along Sukhumvit and the weather start to turn really cold. I can feel the wind blowing cold air and it start to drizzle a little. The drop in temperature really surprise me but it is a welcome change from the usual humid Bangkok.
After wandering around aimlessly for about an hour, I return to my apartment for a good rest.
It is a cool day again.
Despite the mix review I have read about this place, I decided to give it a try. That is Siam Park City.
We took a cab there and it cost us about THB170 excluding toll.
When we reach there at about 10:30am, I was shock by the exterior. It look run down and deserted. I was thinking should I give it a miss but giving them a benefit of doubt, I decided to try it.
The ticket cost THB600 with buffet lunch thrown in for foreigners. Children below 130cm will be THB500. After purchasing the tickets, we proceed to the park. The entrance is very bare and the shops on the right at the entrance except some stores are empty. Not a good sign.
Since we have been to Dream World previously, I often compared between these two park.
While walking through the park, it look deserted. Even at 10:30am, many rides were not manned at all. Staff is nowhere to be found. In many of the rides, we have to look for staff to operate them. The attitude of the staff is poor too. After my kids sit on the ride and the staff start it, he just walk away. No staff is monitoring the ride at all! All the staff gather in one corner to rest.
This park can be a national embarrassment. It was poorly maintained. You can see that it is old and dirty. To be fair, my comments applies to the ride that we have taken and did not visit the main attraction that is the water park. Guess this will be the first and last time I will visit this place. I would rather spend my money on Dream World.
By now, it started to rain. The temperature has drop sharply and we are shivering. I can see Thais wearing padded jacket and foreigners wearing thick scarf around their neck. This is the first time that I have encountered such a chilly Bangkok. I estimate the temperature is in the low 20s.
We went for the buffet lunch and we can have it during between 11:30am to 12:30pm. I find the hours is too short. The saving grace for this park is that the lunch is still decent and I personally do enjoy the lunch though the selection of food is limited.
By now it is still raining and for sure there is no way we can enjoy the water park. Looking at the condition of the park and have paid about THB2700 for all of us, we do not feel worth it. We then decide to let my kids to ride as many rides as possible if they enjoy it.
However, something bad happen.
My kids wanted to play the Astrofighter ride. The ride is pretty long and I find that management is pretty generous on this. On the last ride, the ride last for a very long time. As the ride is going circular, I can see many kids start to feel sick at the constant circular movement. I look at the attendant and found that he is actually reading newspaper during the ride! I stared at him and it as then he decided to stop the ride. So now then I know the ride is stop manually and not program to run a limited duration.
By now, I can see some kids not feeling well and my kids to do not feel well too. One of my kids is now crying and feeling nausea.
It was this time that I decided to leave. It is only about 2:30pm. I told my wife that since we have wasted money ont this park, let’s not waste time on it.
We took a cab to our next destination, Fashion Island Mall.
Fashion Island Mall is about 3km away from Siam City Park. The mall is huge, spacious and clean. We went directly to the highest level and find the children playground for them. I would say this is the best playground in a shopping mall. It is clean, bright and colourful.
The staff in the mall is very friendly but English is not widely spoken here as this mall is catered more to local Thai. It seems like we are the only tourist there!
I finally located the jellyfish game. It is actually an inflated ball and the kid is inside it. They will manoeuver in a pool. Each ride cost THB50 for 10mins. Pretty cheap! However, by now my kid is not feeling well and wanted to sleep. We have a quick dinner and catch a cab back to the hotel.
On the way back, my kid suddenly vomited. We were caught off guard and the back of the taxi is in a mess. We try to clean it up as much as we can. By the time the taxi reach our hotel, most of the mess has been cleared. The taxi driver seems to be upset by it but did not sound angry. We were very apologetic. The cab fare is about THB180 but I offered him THB600. He looks happy about it and left.
Another cool day in Bangkok.
Today we intend to visit Mall Ibangkapi and Tawanna Square. We are still thinking should we take a taxi there or a boat there. Looking at the condition of my kid, we decided on the taxi. The mall have a water park on the roof. the entrance is also dirt cheap though I did not enter the water park due to my kid condition. Adult is THB80 and kid is THB50 with no time limit!
The mall is again catered more to locals though I do see a few foreigners there. English is also hardly spoken here.
Compared to Fashion Island Mall, this mall looks a bit aged. However, it is still a good place to shop. I always prefer to go to those less touristy place and not to Siam Paragon, MBK etc. After a short stay, we proceed to Lotus Tesco which is opposite the road. My wife does her usual shopping and by the time we are done, my 3rd kid do not look well again. We decided to call off the trip to Tawanna Square and head back to the hotel.
After some rest, we proceed to our dinner at Thonkrueng located at Soi Thonglor 13.
The place is really not prominent at all. You could have easily miss it if you do not know the place. It was fortunate of us in the mid of the trip, I show the name of the restaurant and the cab driver recognises it. He stop us right in front of the restaurant.
The ambience of the restaurant is very local. Nothing fanciful and the staff is friendly. It seems that this a place frequent by foreigners. We ordered a few dishes like Hor Mok, Tom Yum, Noodles with minced pork and shrimps, Stir fried sator with minced pork and shrimp and fried rice. We make some special request like those shrimps and minced pork to be placed on a separate plate. The staff gave us a weird look but understand our request and they prepared it according to what we wanted. Impressive. The food is delicious and we will definitely return if we have the chance. The total bill? THB681.
We then return to our usual Mango with glutinous rice at Suk Soi 38. I really love this store mango with glutinous rice. The rice is so fragrant and the mango is so nice (ok, I must admit the lady is quite nice looking too. :p)
After the meal, we even bought some mango back to the hotel. We end our day here and let the kids rest.
I can’t sleep that night and I decided to order McDonald’s at 1am. I try to call the delivery line and it is always putting me on hold. I tend decided to walk to the nearest 24hr McDonald’s and that is 1:30am. I feel safe walking along the Soi and I would not have dared to do the same thing if I am in Malaysia.
After buying my food, I walk back and feeling tired, I hired a motorcycle taxi from the Exchange Tower to Somerset. I ride without a helmet and with a cool temperature that night and little traffic (less pollution), the feeling is so comforting. For THB10, it is really worth it to experience such feeling.
A cool weather again. How I wish every time when I visit Bangkok, the weather will be like this.
With a sick child in tow, we decide to return to Chinatown to get the stuff we have miss out. After getting the things we wanted, we intend to go to MBK and Siam Paragon area for some window shopping. We board a cab from Chinatown and while on our way there, our kid vomited in the cab again! We quickly start clearing up the mess and direct the cab driver to drive us back to the hotel instead. As there is a language problem, he seems to be surprised that we changed our decision suddenly.
By the time we reach the hotel, the mess have been cleared and we again give the taxi driver a higher amount of fare.
For the rest of the day, we just stay in the room and I brought the remaining two kids down to the pool for a water gun fight. The third kid is sound asleep on the bed.
As you can see, this trip is very eventful. With a sick kid, we limit our activities to indoor and tried to walk less. We have miss out several of our destination like Grand Palace, dinner at Baan Klang Nam 2, Tawanna Square , Fantasia Lagoon and so on.
With 9 bags, we intend to get a bigger cab but the hotel charge us THB700 for it which I find it expensive. When I stayed in Inn Saladaeng, they only charge me THB400! I told the bellboy to get me another cab from outside and he manage to find one that cost THB600. Yes, it is only a THB100 difference and you wonder why go through all the trouble. I would rather use the excess money to tip the bell boy some money for a job well done rather than pay the taxi company.
As again, the bell boy did a great job during our stay in Somerset Lake Point. They flag transport for us and make sure the driver uses the meter unlike other hotel where the taxi waiting outside uses a flat rate.
However, we still enjoyed this trip very much and really look forward to be back again.
More pictures available here.