Bangkok was just again named the number one travel destination in the world and its public transportation system is getting better for its citizens and its tourists. The Ministry of Transport and Department of Tourism opened a new MRT (subway) extension that can bring you to Chinatown, the Grand Palace, temples, and other sites close by. Let me take you on a quick tour!
MTGB recently visited the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai on a scouting trip and we can’t recommend strongly enough a visit for those who have the time. You can fly, drive, or take a bus from Bangkok. It’s such a lovely little city with an array of temples and interesting sites. Let us know how we can help you plan your journey there!
MTGB gets to check out lots of restaurants, bars, and hotels when customers visit them or stay there, or when we’re out on tour. There are many great places to eat, drink, and stay all over Thailand and loads of other places online you can read about them, check out reviews, etc. Every now and then, though, we come across a place we just have to share because it’s just that cool. Today we present to you Baan Canalee in Ayutthaya…
We can’t say enough good things about this super cute family-run hotel! It’s only been open for about year and the “shine” is most definitely still there. The huge rooms are more like a townhouse with a living area, two full bathrooms, a little kitchen, and bedroom(s) upstairs. The design is thoughtful and quirky and the quality of furnishings is top notch. The location is also good, down a small quiet soi on a small khlong (canal) near the center of town. With prices around 1,500 THB for one bedroom or 2,500 for two it’s a great value especially for families.
Check out their Facebook page when you have a moment but for now, enjoy these pics from our recent stay there. We can’t wait to go back!
Here are five of our favorite pictures from recent tours. Hope you enjoy!
Talad Neon is a newer night market located near downtown Bangkok in Pratunam. Open from 5pm-midnight the market has a load of souvenirs, clothes, and food options for tourists and locals.
One of MTGB’s favorite foods is som tam or spicy green papaya salad. The best thing about som tam is the many varieties and styles from all different parts of the country. We found a few really good ones at Talad Neon and had to share them with you!
Raan Jay Fai in Bangkok is a great street food option with a special twist: the owner, Jay Fai, earned a Michelin star for her food! We recently brought a customer’s family there and were reminded of how good the food is, especially their signature dish: crab omelette. It was super tasty, really high quality, crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy inside, packed with sweet crab meat, and just all-around really yummy.
Yes, the wait can be on the long side (call-ahead reservations can be made but plan months in advance) and it’s not cheap but for the taste and quality and experience, we really love Jay Fai. We’d love to take you there!
DIVA Mango is a great new restaurant on Silom Road Soi 26. It’s not far from the well-known Sri Mariam Man Hindu temple , State Tower, and the Marriott Surawongse so it’s very convenient to get there. You can enjoy lunch in the afternoon or dinner before heading over to a rooftop bar. DIVA Mango offers tasty Thai and Western food. MTGB had a great dinner there — the food was fresh and awesome. If you love to try something different put DIVA Mango on your to-do list and check it out!
MTGB recently had the opportunity to check out the lovely Compass Skyview Hotel in Bangkok. It’s well-located in Phrom Phong on Sukhumvit Soi 24 in Bangkok a short walk from EmQuartier, Emporium, and Phrom Phong BTS. The 30+ story hotel is the home of a cool Latin American themed bar/restaurant high up called Mojjo and up another level is the well known Vanilla Sky rooftop bar, both cool and trendy spots to enjoy your evening and relax. MTGB loves a bargain so is happy to say that room prices are quite reasonable for a 4/5-star hotel; do be sure you check out their deals and packages online as well as happy hour specials at the bars and restaurants! All in all we had a really great experience here and recommend it highly to our customers and visitors to Bangkok.
MTGB sometimes works with our customers to provide helpful travel information to others. In this case, a flight report and frequent flier miles tip from our customer, Paul. Thanks, Paul!
Thailand is obviously pretty far from the U.S. and Europe so what better use of frequent flier miles than to treat yourself to business or first class flights for the 15+ hour journey? One of the best redemptions out there is Alaska Airlines partner deal with Cathay Pacific. For just 42.5k (from Europe) or 50k (from U.S.) Alaska Mileage Plan miles (plus a minimal amount in taxes) you can fly through Hong Kong and then onwards to Bangkok in Cathay's really nice business class. You can even plan a multi-day stopover in Hong Kong for no extra cost. It’s a great deal and certainly one of many reasons to sign up for Alaska’s generous program, even if you don’t fly on their metal.
In this case, I needed to get back to Chicago from Bangkok (after flying over on Qatar Airlines in a Q-Suite, which was quite nice) so I went ahead and booked flights for September 17th and eagerly awaited my departure. Well, at least that was the idea, until Super Typhoon Mangkhut stepped in and scuttled those plans a couple days before departure. Instead, I had to cancel the Cathay flights (they allowed refunds and cancellations, etc. due to the severe weather) and make last-minute use of another great-value points redemption with Alaska Mileage Plan: flying with Japan Airlines through Tokyo. One-way JAL business class flights from BKK to ORD (via Tokyo NRT) run 65k Mileage Plan points but more interestingly, the same JAL flights in first (well, in this case, business to Tokyo then first to Chicago) run just 75k Mileage Plan points. Kind of a no-brainer to spend the additional 10k points to fly in first class for 12 hours, right? So here we go!
I arrived at Suvarnabhumi about 90 minutes before the scheduled 11:30pm departure. The business class line in check-in row R was completely empty so it was a quick process checking my bags and self onto the flight. They provided directions to the JAL lounge along with a pass for the priority immigration line, which was also extremely quiet and quick. The whole process ended up taking like 10 minutes in total which allowed for some time to chill and not be rushed. I checked out the JAL lounge which is nice for BKK (all the lounges here leave something to be desired, frankly) but really nothing to get all that excited about. A few bits of hot and cold food, some soft drink and booze, some snacks, and an okay view of planes isn’t a bad way to chill before your flight. Turns out there are several overnight flights that depart BKK for Japan at this late hour so the lounge was actually rather full.
Flight JL718 boarded about 30 minutes late due to “preparation delays” but loaded up quickly though the business class cabin was chock full. Unable to select a seat online for this leg of the journey, I was assigned seat 8D on the 787-8: a middle aisle seat, which isn’t ideal (window seats are my preferred option in JAL business as they are super private and quiet) but for a 5 some-odd hour overnight flight was fine. The new-ish JAL Sky Suites in business class are cool and modern with a huge infotainment screen and comfy lie-flat cloth seat. The only drawback is that the suite can be slightly narrow-feeling and it’s sorta hard to stretch out properly. Overall though, it’s fine and certainly a major step up from economy or premium economy. The thing though that was surprisingly really not good on this flight was the food. The only things offered were a drink and a couple bites of sushi and/or nuts about 30 minutes after take-off and then what might be the worst breakfast I’ve had in a long time about 90 minutes before landing. That was it for business class meal service on a 5 hour flight... Granted it was an overnight flight but there was no on-demand food available, I mean nothing. Even the “bar” area between the cabins just had the same packets of nuts and that was it. A big disappointment that made me glad I got a small snack in the lounge before we left, otherwise I would have had a grumbling tummy and no one likes it when I’m hangry, especially me.
The flight landed about 20 minutes late with no issues and soon I was navigating my way to the JAL First Class lounge near gate 61. I had about 90 minutes to kill and was excited to try out the renown handmade sushi offered therein. I decided to avail myself to one of the complimentary shower rooms upon arrival and have a quick freshen up which was quite nice and civilized. Plus, using the bidet/washlet on proper Japanese toilets is always a treat for my western bottom. Ablutions complete, I headed over and enjoyed some quite good sushi and a few other snacks while reading the paper and waiting for what I was really stoked for — the 12-hour flight in the front…or “way front” to turn a phrase.
Flight JL10 boarded precisely on time for our 10:50am departure. Upon arriving in the 777-300ER’s first class cabin I was greeted by name and shown to my seat by an ever cheerful and friendly attendant. Service across the board was superb and perhaps even more attentive than usual given the eight-seat cabin only had four occupants including myself for this flight. I’ll let the pictures and captions below do most of the talking but the service, food, amenities, and the seat: everything was pretty perfect. I tend to never be able sleep on planes but managed a solid 5 hours which was really appreciated. It was a strange feeling that after a ~12 hour flight, I didn’t want it to end!
Thanks for ruining even business class for me now, Japan Airlines… But thanks to the awesome Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan redemption there’s a better than average chance I’ll be flying in the “way front” with you again sooner than later! Best get saving up those miles…
MTGB is always looking for cool spots we think our customers will enjoy so we’re happy to announce a new destination for a day trip from Bangkok: Suphan Buri province. There are a couple neat spots that are off the typical international tourist track and definitely worth a visit. Plan for a whole day to visit the Suphan Buri City Pillar Shrine, have a tasty local lunch, then head to a couple rural temples along the way to Wat Phai Rong Wua (a fascinating and eclectic temple complex with areas dedicated to showing people what “heaven” and “hell” will be like…). We’ll wrap up with a break at a cool rural coffee house on our way back to your hotel in Bangkok. We’ll have more information in the the “Day Trips” section soon, but here are a few pictures to get you excited.
MTGB recently visited Ban Rai, Thailand - a small village about 3-3.5 hours northwest of Bangkok in lovely rural Uthai Thani district. It's home to the unique and beautiful Wat Tham Khao Wong which is absolutely worth checking out.
In Ban Rai is a really cool and trendy hotel resort called Avatar Spa Mountain Suites (if you're looking to book online it's sometimes called Avatar Miracles, Avatarn Miracles, Avatar Resort). It was so neat and unique that we had to share it with you. Everywhere you look there's an interesting detail which gives the place a ton of character. It has a great vibe. Suite rooms during the off season were about 2,000 baht per night including breakfast; it's worth it just to check out the place, relax, and experience a stay there.
What's enjoying life without enjoying food? What's travel without trying new and different cuisines? Here in Bangkok and around Thailand you can find culinary options from all over the world. It's been a busy few weeks with lots of travel all over the place so that means many, many meals! Here are snaps of ten of our recent favorites. Bon appetit!
Well hello there, you're looking very nice today. Have you done something new with your hair? You've obviously made a fine decision in visiting the My Tour Guide Bangkok website: what an intelligent person you are! This is our new blog on which we aim to post tips, information, photos, and fun stuff. Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any content suggestions. In the meantime, please enjoy. And thank you for visiting! ขอบคุณค่ะ