[编辑 Correspondent 黄密探 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄密探]
As one of our favourite cities in the world, we consider Bangkok our “home away from home” so what better way to come home to a familiar touch of genuine Thai hospitality than to pay homage to one of our favourite hotel brands from Thailand?
Khorb Khun Mark Na Krup! Thanks to our host Mr Charles Yap, we don’t have to be Crazy Rich Asians to finally checked into our third Amari property, and the most iconic of them all. No prize for guessing that it’s Amari Watergate Bangkok, the flagship brand of ONYX Hospitality Group and gosh, the many unexpected experiences that await us…
Well known for its bustling landscape of lifestyle malls and shopping bazaars, Amari Watergate Bangkok is nestled in the heart of the vibrant Pratunam neighbourhood in downtown Petchburi. With shopping on our agenda, we were glad to find the Platinum Fashion Mall located right opposite the hotel while CentralWorld, Pratunam market, Big C supermarket, as well as other attractions such as the Erawan Shrine are within a few minutes walk away.
Private check in
Thanks to the complimentary upgrade to the Executive Club Rooms which occupy the top four Executive Floors, we got to enjoy the benefits of a dedicated Executive Lounge located on the 32nd floor, offering a private reception for our easy check-in and check-out. We also have the option to enjoy our daily breakfast buffet here, as well as a selection of complimentary beverages and early evening cocktails while enjoying the panoramic views of the city skyline.
Executive King Room with Breakfast
As the doors opened to our Executive King Room on the 31st floor, our jaws kinda hit the floor as the room was decorated with balloons and Happy BirthDay was spelt out in rose petals across the bed. And add on a platter of fresh fruits, a lovely bouquet and a gorgeous birthday cake for the occasion, to say we were surprised is totally an understatement.
O-M-G! There’s nothing like climbing into a big, fluffy bed with soft sheets and plush pillows, the things that make all of the hard work (and play) we do during the day worth it. And the best part, we could literally take home the experience😆 …
Our tastefully appointed Executive King Room also comes with free broadband internet, a 40-inch LCD TV, a DVD player, tea and coffee making facilities, ironing facilities, work desk and a minibar, while our marble bathroom offers a shower, a separate bathtub and double vanity.
With our Executive Floor access, we can drop by the Executive Lounge at any time of the day for complimentary fruit juices, soft drinks, tea or coffee, while helping ourselves to a free-flow selection of chilled cocktails, beers, wines and hot and cold hors-d’oeuvres during cocktail happy hours, from 5pm to 7pm daily. Shiok, right?
Trust us, come in the evening to take in the sunset for a breathtaking view (and way) to start off – and end – your day! It certainly made ours!
Amaya Food Gallery
A trip to Bangkok, in particular, Amari Watergate Bangkok is not complete without sampling the vibrant cuisines the city has to offer, and we can do so at the Amaya Food Gallery on level 4, an all-day dining restaurant that takes inspiration from the street food of Asia which bears a strong resemblance from the one in Amari Johor Bahru!
We thoroughly enjoyed watching the chefs at work in the various open kitchens and experience the vibrant flavours of Asian and international cuisine inspired by the rich street food culture. Apparently, we could do with another table just to lay our extra plates.
We also make it a point to check out FIT Centre – the place to go and burn off those additional calories from all the delicious Thai food or take a dip in the pool and lounge away while enjoying a drink from the Pool Bar. To put the bounce back in our steps, there’s always the trusted Breeze Spa for a relaxing treatment based on our routine, and mood.
🚶🏽♂️BONUS: Explore Bangkok Old Town with Charles
One of our favourite things to do in Bangkok (or any city for that matter) is just to explore unique areas of town. After numerous occasions of being ferried through the waterways that cut through Bangkok and observing the interesting inhabitants and dwellings, we decided it was time to explore the old town region on foot, thanks to Charles who took time off to show us around. Once we are along the canal, it’s like a whole new world of Bangkok, hidden from the roads and free of pedestrians (apart from those living there).
Navigating Khlong Saen Saeb
With riverboats that resemble gondolas, Khlong Saen Saeb boat service is the closest to the Venice of the East we can find in central Bangkok. While busy during rush hour, it’s convenient for shopping and sightseeing, and we could merely wave them down and wait patiently for the helmeted deckhands to jump ashore and usher us on board.
Wat Saket Golden Mountain Temple
Built on an artificial man-made hill, the Golden Mount is undoubtedly the temple’s most well-known landmark. Getting to the top requires a climb up some 318 steps which is still fairly easy as the path gently spirals its way up the hill. Once we approach the summit, we were welcomed by a wall of bells and the big prize at the top – the gleaming gold chedi glittering in the sun and panoramas of historic Bangkok. By the way, the Golden Mount is also one of the best places in Bangkok to enjoy the sunset too.
The walk up to Golden Mount is beautiful and not as crowded as many of the other more famous temples in Bangkok, which makes our experience more serene and authentic. Plenty of photo opportunities to stop on the way up with a lovely atmosphere, gorgeous views and all in all well worth a visit with some instagrammable moments!
PS: Admission by tickets for foreigners
🕗 Open Daily from 8am to Sunset
Ban Bat Buddhist Alms Bowls Community
It’s common to see Buddhist monks wandering through the country with bowls collecting offerings from devotees, but sadly, the craft of making these monks’ alms bowls (by hand) is on the brink of extinction. Thanks to the Ban Bat Buddhist Alms Bowls Community, here’s our chance to get to know Buddhism more deeply than ever by visiting the homes of the world’s last group of artisans who make handmade monk’s alms bowls, even if it’s for a unique souvenir in support of this dying tradition.
Hidden Khlong (canal) behind Wat Ratchanatdaram
According to Charles, there are still many khlongs (canals) that exist in Bangkok though many of the small waterways have been filled up to make way for more productive roads. However, Khlong Saen Saeb is one of the last remaining canals that pass through the heart of the city so we wouldn’t pass on the chance to walk down the canal for a glimpse of such extreme contrasts that still exist in one of Central Bangkok’s living arteries.
After all, the Khlong Saen Saeb is a real community in Bangkok where few would choose to venture, pay any attention, or to just leisurely walk through and beam at its friendly inhabitants in the “Land of Smiles” – a gem-worthy discovery indeed!
Religious shops along Thanon Bamrung Meuang
The stretch of Thanon Bamrung Meuang, one of Bangkok’s oldest streets is lined with shops selling all manner of Buddhist religious paraphernalia. We probably don’t need a life-sized Buddha statue, but we know of others who took home these lifelike effigies of a famous monk. Just ask Charles, or his friends from overseas haha!
Alex & Beth Cafe
If you love the cafe-hopping life as much as we do, chances are you probably have come across this quirky little Alex & Beth Cafe. We simply fell in love with its cosy interior, mismatched chairs, vintage knick-knacks and that hipster old-town vibes reminiscent of the little coffee shops tucked in the alleyways in some of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Still newly opened, the menu is still expanding, but already there are some enticing options, with a handful of sweets and a few perfectly crafted sandwiches for us to chillax after our walking tour.
There’s also espresso for a caffeine kick, or try one of their creative concoctions which we will when we next return.
📍 9 Lan Luang Rd, Bangkok, Thailand
The European ambience continues next door at Eden’s, with its Parisian style facade, the rustic interior and eclectic table settings make for some fantastic Instagram fodder.
Much more than a just pretty picture: Eden’s homemade pastries and cakes are seriously good, with their signature dark beer cake a must try…
As are the thick cuts of toasted bread topped with smoked salmon, seriously yummy!
📍 7/1 Lan Luang Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Our entire walking tour took us a solid 5 hours, so we recommend starting this itinerary after breakfast from 10am. Seriously, exploring Bangkok by boat is another fantastic way to get a glimpse into the timeless charm of the city, with enthralling sites and sights lined up on both banks of the Chao Phraya river. Join us in getting around Bangkok by boat and even if you are on your own, just mention Pratunam when boarding and alighting from the Khlong Saen Saeb boat service.
A parting shot…
With a combination of colourful city life, rich history, friendly people and shopping opportunities, Bangkok is definitely a popular destination for travellers all around the world and us. To make the most of your time in Bangkok, book a stay with Amari Watergate Bangkok and plan ahead with your friendly Amari host, or check out Destination Amari, a guide for the best ways and insider tips to discover Bangkok on where to Eat, Shop, Go and Do during your trip.
Kudos to Charles and his hospitality team at Amari Watergate Bangkok for making our staycation an amazing one! Catch up again soon, possibly at another Amari Hotel LOL!
Amari Watergate Bangkok