Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Room with a View. . .Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River

Bangkok – that sprawling capital city of Thailand – is bisected by the Chao Phraya river – a major waterway teeming with river boat buses, cross river ferries, tour boats, dinner cruise boats, long tail boats and river barges. While the city itself didn’t wrap us under its spell as it did a few decades ago, the river didn’t disappoint.

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Bangkok's Chao Phraya River bisects the city

After our stay in the timeshare (Marriott’s Empire Place. . .Buyer Be Aware) we treated ourselves to three nights of over-the-top luxury at The Peninsula Hotel on the river. Once again, The Scout, had found us a great rate using Kayak.com even though our stay was during the city’s popular April celebration, Songkran, the Water Festival; a time the city swells with tourists.

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The Peninsula on the right from the terrace of the Mandarin Oriental
The Peninsula is located on the river’s Luxury Triangle as I’ve labeled it. The triangle’s other two points are anchored across the river by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and The Shangri-La Hotel.

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Lobby of the modern Mandarin Oriental, left and historic Oriental lobby - now tea room - on right

“The room isn’t quite ready, sir,” we were told at the reception desk when we showed up in the late morning, “Please come have a seat.” We were lead to a couch and served complimentary coffee while we waited the 30 minutes it took to finish preparing the room.

The Room

It has been a long while since we’ve stayed anywhere nearly this luxurious, the kind of place you could gush over, so, let the gushing begin. . .

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Our room - Peninsula Hotel Bangkok

A small entry hall led past a closet/dressing area, directly across from a bathroom, a place large enough for a tub, walk-in shower, private toilet room, and two sinks with marble countertops. And then you entered ‘the room’ which seemed far more like a ‘suite’ to our way of thinking.

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Our room with a view

All rooms in the hotel face the river, so our favorite spot – despite the inviting bed and couch -- were the two chairs we lined up at our window; our viewing platform, from where we watched the morning sunrise and the nighttime parade of lighted boats.

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Peninsula pampering - Bangkok, Thailand

And then there were the small touches:  an orchid in the ice bucket each time it was refreshed and the all-time first: we’d left the books we were reading on the bed and when we returned the bed had been made, the books returned to exactly where we’d left them but a Peninsula bookmark had been placed to the side of each! (Sorry Kindle users, you probably can’t relate.)

The Setting

Imagine a lush tropical garden – swaying trees, a profusion of blooms, winding pathways to pools and patios. Then imagine heat and humidity so intense it seems to suck your breath away, melting makeup and exploding hairdos. . .combine those and you’ve pretty much got the setting for the hotel.

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Melted makeup and exploding hair - in a stunning setting

The three-tiered pool was stunning, but again, it was difficult to spend much time lazing around it because of the April heat.

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Three-level pool overlooks the Chao Phraya - Bangkok Peninsula
 
On the River

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Free shuttles boats


One of the real treats was being on the Chao Phraya and that was easily accomplished by hopping on one of the hotel’s four shuttle boats – restored rice barges – that make daily round trips between three nearby piers. The other hotels ran similar free shuttles so you could bounce back and forth or from the nearby taxi pier catch a long tail passenger taxi and travel the river in either direction.

The Chao Phraya flows for 231 miles (372 kilometers) from Thailand’s central plains through Bangkok and into the Gulf of Thailand. As it turned out we had one more night, literally on the river, even after we left the hotel. Our ship was docked at a port on the Chao Phraya. After boarding we spent our first night on the river in the Nautica, we began our Magic Carpet ride through the Middle East.

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And so the 34-day cruise began

We set sail at 5 a.m. the next day, long before sunrise, en route to our first port of call, Singapore. And that’s when and where our next post begins. Thanks for being with us today and hope you’ll come back soon and bring some travel enthusiast friends with you!  Hello to our July subscribers!  See you soon and until then, Happy Travels!

We are linking up this week with:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

15 comments:

  1. That is an incredible view! We walked through the hotel when we were there, but stayed at a garden hotel, in acres of lawn. It probably isn't there any more. We couldn't belie e the all teak huge rooms and the enormous lawns in the middle of the city.

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    1. Actually, one of our fellow cruisers stayed in a hotel that they described as being in a garden setting and they raved about it. That is the kind of place we love - and yes, the size of the rooms, the teak and the silk . . .overwhelming!

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  2. That is an incredible view! We walked through the hotel when we were there, but stayed at a garden hotel, in acres of lawn. It probably isn't there any more. We couldn't belie e the all teak huge rooms and the enormous lawns in the middle of the city.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is an incredible view! We walked through the hotel when we were there, but stayed at a garden hotel, in acres of lawn. It probably isn't there any more. We couldn't belie e the all teak huge rooms and the enormous lawns in the middle of the city.

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  4. How exciting and what an amazing hotel, so that's what the good life is all about!

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    1. Yes, sometimes you just have to let yourself indulge in the good life! Thanks for stopping by, Noel.

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  5. We were there in February and it was hot!!! Can't wait to hear about Singapore, as we were there in February also.

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    1. Well, both were hot! Very hot! We finally had to get used to the idea that sweat was going to run and hair was going to explode and that you'd be a tad bit uncomfortable - but oh, was it worth it!

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  6. We were there in February and it was hot!!! Can't wait to hear about Singapore, as we were there in February also.

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  7. April is, unfortunately for you, the hottest time of the year. At least you had that wonderful room to escape to. It looks quite lovely on the inside, and the view that you describe sounds wonderful, especially at night. I haven't been to Bangkok in almost 20 years, and I hear it's changed a lot in that time.

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  8. You are truly "living the life".

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  9. WOW!! What a fantastic experience. :-) The lobby's alone are spectacular. :-)

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  10. Aah, that's the way to live! I can SO relate to the exploding hair problem! Story of my life when I travel!

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