Thailand - Old Town Bangkok
This Sunday's Washington Post travel section had an interesting article about Bangkok's "Old Town." Nice stories about Hoi An, Vietnam, and Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains region as well.
The Return of Bangkok's Old Town (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/the-return-of-bangkoks-old-town/2012/08/09/c563898e-d821-11e1-b360-33e7ac84e003_story.html)
Aug 13, 12, 7:39 pm
The old city area, Ratonakosin and environs, is an interesting area and I fully agree with the two-story shophouses and neighborhoods, foods etc.
One thing that is a head scratcher is the statement that Tanao itself is a beacon of food.
South of Ratchadamnoen, near the interesting Tiger Temple, there is indeed a handful of shops. East from here to Dinso is a greater number of local lunch style restos. Slightly further south is Chote Chitr which, while still good, has been turned into a tourist eatery since locals seem to shun it. It's also not as good as years past. Tanao's southern terminus is at Bamrung Muang road which runs east to Sao Ching Cha (the Giant Swing)/Wat Suthat and west to the Grand Palace area.
North of Ratchadamnoen, Tanao proper is pretty devoid of food.
While I am no fan of Khao San Rd, aka Dirty Hippie Road, there are some interesting boutique hotels that have opened in recent years within two kms of there. Proximity to the river, Klong Saen Saeb and the buses that ply Ratchadamnoen make it a great area for transpo.
Also the food that lines Chakrapong, Thani and Kraisi are all loaded with street stalls. North of Chakrapong, over Klong Bang Lam Poo (the second moat) the road turns into Sam Sen and here, in the evenings, the east side of the road is lined with stalls serving locals.
Getting back to the article. The two hotels mentioned are sister hotels. That they are the only ones mentioned makes me somewhat quizical as to the intent of the article.
Located near Wat Ratchabophit this is an interesting area in the southern portion of Ratanakosin. There is a newish museum close by called Museum Siam (they don't use the Thai word Papitapat but rather transliterate the word 'museum' into Thai.... odd). It's in an old, redone, government building reminiscent of mid-1800s British buildings. I have not been inside because they have a tiered pricing scheme which I prefer not to partake in.
The area is also a maze of construction as they work on new MRT stops.
It's definitely not a touristy area.
Getting back to the article. The two hotels mentione are sister hotels. That they are the only ones mentioned makes me somewhat quizical as to the intent of the article. The article mentions from the outset that both hotels had the same owner. I got the impression that the author stayed in one, was given a tour of the other, and that he liked them both as good examples of boutique hotels. I don't think the article wasn't intended to be a thorough overview of the area and its hotel choices but rather to point out some things that he liked about it.
Aug 14, 12, 9:19 am
The article mentions from the outset that both hotels had the same owner. I got the impression that the author stayed in one, was given a tour of the other, and that he liked them both as good examples of boutique hotels. I don't think the article wasn't intended to be a thorough overview of the area and its hotel choices but rather to point out some things that he liked about it.
Then it was nothing more than a long-winded veiled advertisement. ;)
Aug 15, 12, 8:43 am
Well, most of the Washington Post Travel section's articles are like this. They are basically articles about the author's brief experience in a place. So it focuses on those things encountered. If the author had stayed in a different hotel that would have been mentioned. A relatively short newspaper article isn't going to go much beyond the surface and you wouldn't expect it to be a comprehensive collection or listing of all possible hotels in a place. Especially a place like Bangkok. I thought it was more focused on the food scene than the hotels.
Aug 15, 12, 10:41 am
I also think most travel stories are made for people who are "Armchair travelers"
They will never go overseas so this is their window into the world ,
Plus writers make it easy on themselves , knowing who is reading their story they do not have to go very deep into any details,