When the bus pulled in to Bangkok it was nearly ten o’clock at night so it was dark and with all the neon it was difficult to get our bearings.We’ve visited this part of Bangkok before but only in the day light and we knew roughly where we were and where the Hotel was by looking at the drop off point on the map and checking it against Google Maps but we don’t have a wifi sim in the iPad so can’t use it on the move. Next time well buy one from the Airport and have it fitted as it would have saved a lot of grief.
As we stepped off the bus a hoard of people swarmed around us like red top paparazzi.
“You want Taxi” was being shouted by a dozens drivers who were waving maps so close to your face, they kept the flies off. They wer grabbing suitcases and making off with them like incompetent muggers, one guy showed us a map and pointed to a spot south of the river and said.”You here where you need to go”? He obviously wasn’t a Boy Scout as his map reading skills were abysmal as he was pointing to a spot very near the Chatrium Hotel where we stayed last time we were in Bangkok, so we told him to bugger off.
It’s amazing how the taxi drivers have become so safety conscious since our last visit as another driver reminded us it wasn’t safe to walk around here as there are ‘drugs and it’s very dangerous for tourists’.
The following morning when we were making our way to the river ferry a man stopped us and told us not to go any further. He produced a map and showed us the river and said there was fever all along here (pointing to the river). Phew, saved from plague and pestilence by a decent citizen (big society again eh Dave) and then he offered to take us where we wanted to go in his taxi.
We had booked a Hotel on line just before we left so didn’t know too much about it other than it’s location which was just off the Koh San Rd and close to the drop off point. As it turned out it was much nearer than we thought, it was no more than 20 metres from where we were stood, just around the corner and if we had looked up we could probably have seen it’s neon lit name, however we couldn’t and resorted to shoving all the bags and ourselves into. Tuk Tuk, showing the driver the address and agreeing 100 Baht. If he’d have known where he was going, it would have been the easiest 100 Baht he’d ever earned. As it was he drove off, went round the large round about twice whilst phoning some one on his mobile to give him directions. Phone a friend? After 10 minutes of driving we realised he didn’t have a ‘Scoobie’ so we told him to find the Koh San Rd. Even the most incompetent Tuk Tuk driver (and ours was in contention) knows the Koh San, so as we got close we recognised Sol Rambuttri and told him to drive up there where the Sakul House was on the right hand side. He was as relieved as us to find it.
Sol Rambuttri is in my opinion better than the Koh San, it is just as lively but it’s a bit nicer. When we arrived it was buzzing and there were people everywhere. Getting our cases through the crowds was a bit of a challenge but the security guy from the Hotel saw us and cleared a way.
When we checked in we had a nice quiet room at the back, not much of a view but an outside balcony, two comfortable beds a nice bathroom, in fact everything you’d want for a night and it was only 1800 Baht. About £36 for two?
We were knackered but went out on the street, took a walk and found the bus drop off point was only around the corner , kicked ourselves and did the only sensible thing. Went for a beer.
infact we had a few whilst watching the show. We bought Pad Thai from a stall at 30 Baht and ate it between us and at some time, took ourselves off to bed and slept like the true back packers we were becoming.
Sakul Hotel. Www.sakulhouse.com check it out if you want to stay in the heart of the madness.