Day 1: Bangkok
Walked straight to the Visa on Arrival counter. I saw a lot of people queueing up, I joined them too. Out of curiosity I walked a bit further a checked, it was the queue for those who did not carry their photograph. Since I carried one with me I directly went to the submission point. The officer there was insisting on fast track service, but I requested for normal. It costed me about THB 1000 since I took photo of mine with me. If you don't carry one they can provide an application form with your photo in it for a additional fee of THB 50 but you have to queue for it as mentioned earlier.
|VOA Card with token number|
Fast Track costs about THB1200. Fast track and normal had no big difference in time. It was definitely not crowded in that hour. I came after visa being stamped and went through immigration and the whole bunch of formalities. Everything went smooth. I tried to contact the information desk at the airport for some maps but it was all closed and would open only by 5:00 am.
So Went to the exit to find a taxi and it was quite easy. You walk out and there is a manned yellow colour booth which you would never miss.
Walk there and mention the area you would like to go and you get a pink slip hold it with you. The driver will usher you to the taxi, show him the slip and just tell the area you would like to go and check if he turns on the meter. If he doesn't, give him a gentle reminder to turn on the meter. The meter starts from THB35 (min.THB35). There is a tollway where I was supposed to pay THB60, there is also another route without tolls but the one with toll is considered to be faster. Reached my hotel in about 45 minutes. The meter showed THB345. You should also pay an additional airport surcharge of THB 50 to the driver. So I checked-in at Hotel Grand President, Bangkok.
Booked this hotel through mystery deal from asiawebdirect.com. Since I had arrived a Little earlier at about 5:00AM I paid for a for a room upon arrival. They accommodated me in tower 3 which is across the road in a 7th floor room.
I saw a lot of hookers on soi 11 when i came by taxi and while I was checking-in saw a Indian guy taking 2 hookers along with him to his room. The people in the reception ignored it. I was shell shocked as I did not expect a 4 star hotel to ignore something like that.
I was escorted by a hotel staff to the room and he was trying to make little talk to me, I thought he was being friendly but at the end of conversation he was trying to sell me tour package telling that his friend owned the company and blah blah. I rejected his offer.
About the room: I was not happy. Furnishings are worn out. Paint coming off the wall. You cannot say that is a 4 star class room. Wi-fi did not work, so requested in the reception to send someone to help me. They told that since there were no staffs they would not be able to send anyone.
Breakfast was excellent lot of choices ad good food. Location bang on. 5 minutes walk to BTS Nana. Lots of street food and clubs around.
But given the service and the rooms I would definitely not recommend this hotel to anyone.
View of tower 1 and tower2 of the hotel
Started the day with the phone ringing in my room. panic call from my home to know if i had reached safely. Woke up somehow and got ready for my first day exploration.
This post is getting longer and longer will post rest in the next...
~ Kei @ MAS