Bangkok Escapade

Bangkok Escapade.

Bangkok was warm during our stay in the sprawling city last week. It was up in the mid-30s centigrade, two to three degrees above Singapore temperatures, and steadily climbing as it moves into the dry season. We stayed just north of the Sukhumvit area, and about two minutes from an MRT station, enabling us to travel conveniently throughout the city with its transfers to and from the two SkyTrain routes. Our explorations took us to (1) the weekend Chatuchak Market in the northwest of Bangkok. The heat under the zinc-roofed Market eventually drove us into the huge air-conditioned JJ Mall nearby, which houses many of the Thai handicraft products too found in the Market; (2) Chinatown, in the Yaowarat District, where we checked out the more reasonably priced local delicacies; (3) the central shopping belt in Siam and Chitlom, where all the largest plazas were, taking in the atmosphere and appreciating the creativity of the Thais. This included dropping in at Narai Phand in the Intercontinental’s basement, to oogle at the full range of top quality Thai handicraft. (4) Being in the vicinity of Sukhumvit called for some forays into the area. (5) However, a two hours’ cruise on a full moonlit night down the Chao Phraya River, with dinner included, was a highlight, as we took in the soft breeze and views of various riverbank sights, including the Royal Palace. As usual, Thai hospitality and attention to detail over each guest on the boat outdid itself.