Our Site


Go to content

Thailand - September 2015

2015

Well - a last minute getaway to celebrate getting travel insurance once more, despite having some medical conditions confirmed!

I had the final results from my doctor on 13th August, on 14th I transferred my main bank account and took out upgraded worldwide annual travel insurance, with full medical acceptance, and started the search for a holiday to SE Asia. We were unable to get anything we fancied in Bali (our preferred destination at this time of year) but found a great offer, yes I know, to Thailand - Hua Hin and Bangkok. We had reservations about returning to Hua Hin, so soon after my friend's untimely death, but thought that it may actually lift the emptiness that we had felt on our last visit.

We booked flights by EVA Air and the Centara, Hua Hin, through our old favourites, Trailfinders, and booked the Hyatt Erawan in Bangkok, directly - all confirmed on the 15th August - to depart on 1st September. Naturally there was to be a slight hic-cough in the form of a bomb at the Erawan Shrine, right outside of our Bangkok hotel, on Monday 17th. A terrible loss of life in a seemingly senseless act, but we were not about to give in to terrorism.

The following two weeks were spent hurriedly sorting out various odds and ends (mainly financial to do with changing banking arrangements) and the time passed rapidly.

It seemed that in next to no time we were hurrying off to Heathrow for what turned out to be an excellent flight (that means that I slept a lot of the way) by EVA to Bangkok. We landed early, our bags were almost the first off the aircraft and we had a pre-booked transfer to Hua Hin. A slowish trip down to Hua Hin meant that we just missed cocktail hour at the Centara Club - but we were on holiday! We were welcomed like old friends and given our favourite room, overlooking the main lawn, fountains and pool to the sea. Any reservations that we had regarding this trip began to evaporate on that first evening.


Centara - Early Morning Exercise?
Centara Club - Is that Bubbly?

Centara - Early Morning Exercise?

Centara Club - Is that Bubbly?


Our time in Hua Hin was reserved, specifically, to chill out. The weather was kind and we started off at the Railway Pool, immediately after breakfast. Indeed we continued going to the pool every day, bar one, of our visit. We ate out and about, with old friends of many nationalities and several new friends. A special mention must be made of an excellent night at the Dusit seafood buffet with ex-pat friends. We ate in Thai restaurants, Italian style restaurants, French style restaurants, English style restaurants, Fusion restaurants, a German Gastro Style Pub/Restaurant, an excellent out of town food court on Soi 88 (butter chicken recommended) - oh and, of course, at the Centara!

The food was all good, the company was all good, the hotel was all good and the chill factor was excellent. To top this off the September weather was most kind. Little did we realise that Hua Hin would be flooded, less than 10 hours after we departed for Bangkok.

We transferred by road to Bangkok, in the late morning, arriving approximately 3 hours later at the Grand Hyatt Erawan. We saw no rain on our journey and nor did we see any rain during a hot and sunny visit to Bangkok

Hua Hin - Red Wine now.....
Hua Hin - Oh well - If you cant beat her

Hua Hin - Red Wine now.....

Hua Hin - Oh well - If you can't beat her...........


Our first, and continuing, impression of the Grand Hyatt Erawan, was of speedy, efficient and friendly service. I do not believe that we have ever experienced such a welcoming check-in with a really personal service. We were whisked through the check-in formalities and were soon in our guest room. This was a well-designed room with plenty of hanging and drawer space, high quality amenities, a large comfortable bed, an excellent bathroom with separate shower (and immense shower pressure). Absolutely first class.

Being relatively unfamiliar with this part of Bangkok we had a quick walk around and into the local shopping malls (to cool down). The area was definitely up-market with the Gaysorn Plaza and Central World Plaza being awash with designer stores. Even the Hyatt had a Rolex watch shop in its own shopping Mall. The hotel was connected by a walkway to a sky walk between Siam and Chit Lom Skytrain stations - very handy as the traffic on the streets below was very heavy, if not manic! There was also another Skytrain station, Ratchdamri, just a few minutes to the South. Very handy for Silom and the River.

We had walked around and got exceptionally hot and were quite shattered. After finding out that my favourite Timberland shoes were approximately 15 - 20% more expensive in Bangkok than in the UK, we returned to our hotel - enough was enough! The good side of this revelation was that "She Who Must Be Obeyed" decided that, perhaps, we didn't need to look at too many more shops! RESULT!

We decided to eat in the Hyatt on our first night and what an excellent choice this proved to be. We took a table at the Erawan Tea Room which is an up-market, traditional, Thai restaurant within the hotel. We experienced a relatively simple but nonetheless excellent meal. The service was excellent, the ambience wonderful and we had a meal which was amongst the finest Thai meals that I have experienced (and there have been many). The meal was washed down with an excellent, though perhaps non-traditional, Prosecco. What a pleasant return to Bangkok.

Grand Hyatt Erawan - Room
Erawan Shrine - Note the sign on the Hyatt Hotel

Grand Hyatt Erawan - Room

Erawan Shrine - Note the sign on the Hyatt Hotel


The following morning we were up early for a trip up the river to Wat Arun. I really should have done a little more research, as it was hidden beneath scaffold for a major refurbishment. Nevertheless we had a good stroll round, on an absolutely glorious day, and were taken by the intricate detail of the construction. We returned to the hotel and chose to spend the latter part of the afternoon poolside. The pool was of reasonable size, not crowded and offered good snack and drinks service - heaven after the heat of the ealier part of the day.

In the evening we chose to go the "Huntsman", an old favourite of ours, in the basement of the Landmark hotel. What a letdown - buffet food on offer outside, poor quality food served up inside. In all our stays at the Landmark and visits to this bar, we have never felt let down before - let's just hope that it was just an "off" night!

The following morning we decided to look for presents to take home, at the Siam Paragon Plaza. We walked along the sky walk but found little of interest in the Mall. We had an excellent cafe frappe in a side street, nearby, before returning to the oasis of the pool at the hotel. Drained once more we didn't venture far in the evening choosing to eat in a Thai / Italian restaurant close to the hotel. A very passable, though unexceptional, meal.

The next day, we had some last minute arrangements to make, so SWMBO headed off to the pool whilst I did the business. We had intended to go out afterwards but eventually settled for a light lunch at the pool - where we remained for the afternoon, until it was time to pack. That evening we ate in the Hyatt's "Tables" restaurant. Wow, another first class meal. Soup, prepared by our table, a meat course, washed down with a nice bottle of wine, a dessert and coffee with complementary liqueurs! Yes, Wow! says it all - absolutely great.

The following morning, following an English style breakfast, it was off to the Airport for a good flight (yes, I slept again) back to Heathrow, where our eldest son was waiting to take us home. Great break, good flights, good accommodation and good company - just what the doctor
should have ordered! Hmm - next appointment in 3 days time...............

Bangkok - Traffic at junction, Erawan Shrine
Bangkok - Less Traffic on the River!

Bangkok - Traffic at junction, Erawan Shrine

Bangkok - Fortunately, Less Traffic on the River!


Back to content | Back to main menu