Postcard from…..Bangkok!

Hello from steamy Bangkok, proud capital of Thailand,

did you know that last year Bangkok counted more international visitors (who stayed at least for a night) than any other city in the world??? 21.47 million to be exact, leaving reputable contenders such as London, Paris, Dubai, New York behind.

So what is it that attracts people in droves to Bangkok? Let me try to elaborate and I guess I am kind of qualified since I have been living here for almost a year now, at first very central in Sathorn before I later moved to the fringes of this megacity.

Here are my top 10 reasons:

Bangkok is affordable!

Absolutely. Compare it to other top cities in Asia such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Seoul….you got the message.

Bangkok is great value for money!

Bangkok offers anything including some of the best hotels and restaurants on the planet and yet you don’t need to be deep-pocketed to enjoy life to the fullest here.

Bangkok is yummy!

Bangkok is the world’s street food capital and at the same token it got some top gourmet temples such as Gaggan which was voted the 7th best restaurant in the world.

Bangkok is the world’s rooftop capital!

Afraid of heights? Stay on the ground then. There is, however, a lot to be missed given 25 and counting cool rooftop bars from level 12 to 63 boasting the most spectacular views from very different angels!

Bangkok got weather!

Well, honestly, the sun shines here every day and when it rains it feels great. The bottom line is, the weather here is super reliable, hot and muggy. Too hot for me sometimes….and no, there is no winter here.

Bangkok loves animals!

You did not bring your pet to Bangkok? Well, no need, we got plenty! Cats and dogs live in the streets and are very friendly and really lovely. The get fed by many caring Thais so they are part of the community. Bravo!

Bangkok got some not so shabby places to stay!

You might have guessed it already, I am a hotel aficionado so Bangkok is a great place to be. Apart from the famous Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok which as The Oriental was awarded the world’s best hotel countless times, there is lots of other great places to stay and if this wasn’t enough there is a huge pipeline of new openings loomimg on the horizon.

Bangkok got culture!

Honestly, I am not a huge temple and museum person but I do know Bangkok got lots! Temples are home to friendly monks and provide shelter to homeless animals. Temples are open to anyone. Very peaceful.

Bangkok is well located!

Bangkok has an excellent strategic location within Asia and really lends itself as base from where to start and end your journey within Thailand or around Asia.

Bangkok got Thai people, mostly!

The Thais are super friendly and peaceful, always there to help despite very limited knowledge of English (my Thai is worse…) and if nothing helps they are masters of improvisation.

Bangkok…..the bottom line!

Bangkok is great to visit and to live!

Cheers,

Jo

For more info check here: https://true5stars.com/lifestyle_places/bangkok-one-night-in-bangkok

Postcard from…..Kuala Lumpur!

Hello from Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia,

well, Kuala Lumpur…many people just call it KL…is really changing and catching up with other prominent Asian cities in terms of construction of residential properties and hotels.

Compared to Bangkok or Jakarta, KL is only a small village with less than 2 million inhabitants in the city area resulting in a lot less traffic and lots of green open spaces which make KL quite a wakable and convenient city.

As of today there are only four true luxury hotels, the recently opened St. Regis, the Grand Hyatt as well as the just remodeled Ritz-Carlton and of course the Grande Dame, the Mandarion Oriental which is undergoing a phased room refurbishment. According to the Canadian GM, the renovation will be completed in May/June of 2018.

While the St. Regis scores high with clearly the most elegant guest rooms, the Mandarion Oriental has without a doubt the perfect location adjacent to the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers plus it got a hard to find great vibe. In addition, the hotel got one of the best executive lounges worldwide with awesome views of the Twin Towers and the park.

However, competition is already  looming around the corner….Four Seasons, W, Jumeirah, Kempinski and Fairmont are all in various development stages.

Btw, did you know that KL was the 7th most visited city in the world with 12.02 million international overnight visitors in 2016?

Thank you KL for treating me well!

I shall be back!

Jo

 

Postcard from…..Jakarta!

[gmap place=”Jakarta, Indonesia” /]

Hello there,

I am on a 4-day visit to much underrated Jakarta and have inspected 16 luxury hotels.

The clear winners with wow factor are the Four Seasons and the Raffles which I guess is not totally surprising.

The title for coolest new room product goes to the Keraton at the Plaza.

In case you are more old school you might want to consider two beautiful colonial style mansion hotels, the Dharmawangsa and the Hermitage.

Afraid of heights? Then avoid the new Westin hotel with breathtaking views from levels 50-69.

Within the coming two years there will be new luxury openings including Alila, Langham, Waldorf Astoria, Park Hyatt, Regent and St. Regis. Uff. Hopefully by then the massive amount of construction will be over and the new metro operational.

Thank you Jakarta,

I will be back!

Koony

Bangkok

Bangkok, Capital of Thailand

Photo credit: Harshil.Shah via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND

[gmap place=”Bangkok, Thailand” /]

Top Hotels in Bangkok

Why you need to visit!

1. (Street) food

2. Fine dining

3. Night markets

4. Floating markets

5. Temples

6. Rooftop bars

7. Club scene

8. Shopping (malls) galore

9. Hotels with wow factor

10. Excellent value for money

11. Friendly, helpful people

General Information

Founding Year – 1782

Founding Father – King Rama I

Lat/Long – 13.724 / 100.352

Elevation – 1.5 m / 4.9 ft

Style – Lifestyle, Tradition

Setting – Flat, Chao Phraya River 

Distances – Gulf of Thailand 25 km / 16 miles south

Districts – 50

Population – City 8,280,925 (2010)

                         Metro 14,565,547 (2010)

Area – City 1,568.7 km2 / 605.7 sq mi

             Metro 7,761.6 km2 / 2,996.8 sq mi

Time Zone – UTC+7

Official Website http://www.bangkoktourist.com/

Climate

Climate – General: Tropical Savanna Climate. Three seasons: hot, rainy, cool. Rainy season from mid-May to October.

Temperatures – Average low of 22.0 °C (71.6 °F) in December to an average high of 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) in April

Sunshine Hours – Average daily sunshine hours from 5 (July-September) to 9 (January, March, December)

Rain – Average rainy days from 1 (December, January) to 21 (September); average monthly precipitation from 6.3 mm / 0.248 inches (December) to 334.3 mm / 13.161 inches (September)

Humidity 74% (January) to 85% (September, October)

Infrastructure

Public Transport – BTS Skytrain, MRT (underground), Airport Rail Link

Airports – Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi, opened in 2006, 30 km / 18 mi east of the city centre, Don Mueang International (low-cost carriers), 24 km / 15 mi north of the city centre

Main Parks – Lumphini Park 57.6 hectares / 142 acres, Suanluang Rama IX 80 hectares / 200 acres

River – Chao Phraya

Fine Dining

Gaggan, chef Gaggan Anand, modern refined Indian cuisine

Le Du, chef Ton, young creative thai Cuisine

Mezzaluna – chef Ryuki Kawasaki, moderne Japanese/French cuisine

Sra Bua, chef Henrik Yde-Andersen, Thai-inspired cuisine with a modern twist

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, chef Olivier Limousin, modern French cuisine

J’Aime, chef Jean-Michel Lorain, fine Burgundy cuisine

Vogue Lounge, chef Vincent Thierry, international cuisine

Savelberg Thailand, chef Henk Savelberg, modern French cuisine

Sühring, twin chefs Thomas and Mathias Sühring, modern German cuisine

Eat Me, chef Tim Butler, modern international cuisine

Bo Lan, chefs Bo (Duangporn Songvisava) and Dylan Jones, Thai fine dining

Tourism

Visitors per Year – 21.47 (2016) international overnight visitors – the world’s most visited city in 2016

Top 10 Sights – Grand Palace, Wat Pho Temple, Wat Arun Temple, Wat Lat Phrao Temple, boat trips on Chao Phraya River and Thonburi’s canals, rooftop bars, street food, night markets, floating markets

Rooftop Bars – 20 rooftop bars between the 5th and 83rd floor, e.g. Vertigo (Banyan Tree Hotel), Sirocco (Lebua Hotel)

Highest Buildings – MahaNakhon, (314 m, 77 floors, 2016), Baiyoke Tower II (304 m, 85 floors, 1997)

Main Shopping Venues – Siam Paragon mall, Khao San Road (backpackers)

Main Museums – Bangkok National Museum, Royal Barge National Museum, National Gallery, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

Major Sport Venues – Rajamangala National Stadium (50,000), National Stadium (20,000)

Major Annual Events – Songkran (13-15 April), Loi Krathong (November), King’s and Queen’s birthday (5 December, 12 August), Royal Ploughing Ceremony (May), Red Cross Fair (early April)

Crime – Moderate crime rate.

Hi there!

My name is Koony,

Welcome to my new personal blog!

After visiting more than 1,200 of the world’s best places to stay I felt it’s time to share some of my personal experiences with you.

But please, this is no one-way ticket, feel free to comment, contribute and express your opinion!

Expect to read about lots of behind-the-scenes stuff as well as topics with depth and substance for a change.

I very much look forward to seeing you here!

Safe travels!

Koony