The final leg of our Thailand travels was back in Bangkok where we had started from (see my first Bangkok post here). We spent a couple of nights before heading home and stayed at the lovely Muse Collection Langsuan hotel, which is very trendy and luxurious. I fell in love with the bathroom!
The bedroom wasn’t too bad either!
We spent a relaxed afternoon exploring the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok and marveling at how busy and bustling it was. We found a little oasis of calm at Craft which has a great selection of craft beers and a great buzz about it, but is also very chilled.
Dinner was at Issaya, which has lovely food and gorgeous decor. I had heard that the outdoor area was really romantic, but we were sat inside and it was still lovely.
Our last full day in Thailand couldn’t have had a better start, just look at those views from the breakfast room!
We decided to spend our last day, and Luke’s birthday, doing something cultural, so we opted for the Grand Palace.
Word of warning – beware that you don’t get ripped off by taxi and tuk tuk drivers in Bangkok (this is from friends’ warnings and also personal experience). We had been warned that taxi drivers often try to take you to markets and jewellery shops before taking you to your destination, to get you to spend money and get a cut of the profits. We experienced this first hand when we hailed a taxi and the driver, after trying to make conversation about football and essentially buttering us up, told us the Grand Palace was closed for a royal procession and instead he could take us to some kind of jewellery market. We ordered another taxi through our hotel and lo and behold! He took us to the Grand Palace. I’m not saying all taxi and tuk tuk drivers in Bangkok will try to rip you off, but do just keep your wits about you and make sure you have an idea of the route you want to take and agree prices up front.
Anyway, the Grand Palace was beautiful but extremely busy and full of more tourists than I have seen anywhere else in my life, and we found that after about an hour and a half we were exhausted. So we hailed a tuk tuk to take us back to the area around our hotel to get some lunch.
This was where we encountered a very frustrating tuk tuk driver, who clearly had no idea where he was going and instead of clarifying or saying he couldn’t take us, took us on a ridiculous drive which took about an hour and a half; when the journey should have taken 20 minutes! Yes, the traffic in Bangkok is horrendous, but there was no way it should have taken that long, so he received less than half the money we had agreed upon and we felt in desperate need of something to cheer us up!
After finding our original destination restaurant closed, we found a great French-style restaurant called The Water Library – the food was awesome and they had our favourite Italian wine, Brunello, here which was a great surprise, and as it was Luke’s birthday it seemed fitting to indulge!
We had evening drinks at Craft again, which turned into dinner – they do really yummy casual American-Asian comfort food.
And to finish off our last night in Bangkok (and Thailand) in style, we had whisky and cigars back at our hotel and enjoyed the city views (sorry about the blurry photo, it was difficult to get a good one in that light).
It was a phenomenal holiday and we made some wonderful memories. It has definitely made me itch to see more of South East Asia. The scenery is beautiful and varied, the weather is glorious (depending on what time of year you go), the food is incredible and the people are truly lovely. I can see why it’s known as the Land of Smiles!