Just a few hours after ringing in the New Year with fireworks in Hong Kong, I found myself at HKG airport ready to kick off 2017 by visiting a brand new country for me: Thailand!
I took a 3 hour flight on Cathay Pacific (CX) in their Premium Economy cabin heading to Bangkok BKK Airport. It was on the newest plane in the CX fleet, the Airbus A350. There will probably be more on that experience in another post. It still had that new plane look, feel and smell!
For this trip, we booked the W Bangkok. It's a relatively new hotel and sits right next to one of the most distintive buildings of the Bangkok skyline - and the tallest building in Thailand - the MahaNakhon.
I came across an offer for a 3rd night free at SPG hotels in APAC and then combined that with a 4th night free offer. This meant that I was only paying for 2 nights out of 4!
Here's the bottom of the hotel at night. They put on this cool (and festive) light show with projectors while we were there.
When we arrived, we received complimentary welcome drinks by the W Lounge as the front desk staff checked us in.
All checked in, we headed to our room. The room itself was a decent size but on a lower floor. It came equipped with oversized MuyThai gloves which were fun.
Breakfast was served at a restaurant called The Kitchen Table. Like many hotels in Asia, they had multiple types of breakfast including Chinese, American and British. They even had one for the health conscious that was mainly egg whites.
Given that it was quite warm, if we weren't doing afternoon happy hour on a particular day, we were quite content to be pool-side. The "Wet Deck" at the hotel had tons of unique features.
I captured this amazing city sunset shot from the hotel pool area. Not a bad way to end the first day of the new year!
The Grand Palace
If there's one place everyone said I had to visit, it was the Grand Palace, and it did not disappoint. It was pretty packed by the entrance, but thankfully lines moved quickly.
Below is just a sampling of why it was absolutely worth it.
If you only do one cultural thing in Bangkok, make sure it's the Grand Palace.
Bangkok has an amazing skyline and it's a much bigger city than I had imagined. Given this, on my last night there we went to the rooftop Vertigo bar at the Pullman hotel to experience sunset in the city. We got there about an hour before sunset and I'm glad we did as we scored seats with a great vantage point.
The rooftop bar is a great place to hang out (and look out) after sunset as well. Get there early! There's certainly worse ways to end a trip than a remarkable view of the city you're about to leave.
I had an absolutely incredible time during my 4 days in Bangkok and I cannot wait to explore more of Thailand. Koh Samui has been on my bucket list for quite some time, so hopefully I'll see you again soon Thailand!
During our visit, Thailand was in the midst of a year-long mourning period, be mindful and respectful.
We ate at a variety of restaurants and visited a few bars during our trip. If you love Thai food, it's hard to go wrong. We also somehow managed to fit in some Japanese ramen as well.
The Bangkok subway system is called the MRT. I found it to be a convenient way to get around Bangkok. We did a fair bit of walking as well.
There are strict rules in place for visiting the Grand Palace. Do your research and don't assume you can just show up wearing whatever you like.
If you want to go to the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G rooftop for sunset, get there early. It was empty an hour before sunset and absolutely packed by the time the sun crossed the horizon.
You can find out more about the distinctive MahaNakhon, which is the tallest building in Thailand here.