Our flight landed at about 1800hrs and we were quicker through all the formalities than we had expected .
We’d booked a self catering (serviced) apartment in what was advertised as Central Bangkok which geographically it probably is. The Sukhumvit Residence Apartments are on Sukhumvit Rd mid way between Nana and Asok Sky train stations which makes it relatively easy to get around Central Bangkok and with the subway station only a short walk, it is as good as it gets transport wise.
We had arranged to meet the owner Zev (Fufu) at the apartments between 8-9 pm but as we were earlier than expected we thought he might want to sort us out sooner. So we tried to contact him.
His e mail said we could contact him in a variety of ways.
Please let me know your arrival time so I can meet you. If you need to contact me you can call me at: 0814513557, or use LINE (id: fufu-ftv), WhatsApp, or Viber.
We spent some time trying to get onto the airport free Wi-Fi service and then set about contacting him.
But we haven’t bought a local Sim (and to use the mobile for calls is a criminal cost) so we relied on WhatsApp as that was free as long as we had Wifi.
Sadly neither of us knew how to enter a new contact into the WhatsApp and despite our best efforts we couldn’t raise him. In the end we resorted to phoning him knowing it would be expensive but what choice did we have?
Strangely we couldn’t get him on the phone as the number he’d given wasn’t recognised.
By the time we’d done all this it was about 1900 hrs so it was time to go anyway.
Following the Taxi signs we got to the front of the queue and showed the address to the person behind the desk who allocated us a driver. These taxi’s are all metered so you only pay what the meter says, which in general is safe and a bit cheaper.
Having not travelled from Don Mueang airport before we didn’t know how much it would be but we expected it to be cheaper than the trip from The Chatrium to the main International Airport, which is about 500 Baht including the road Toll’s.
The driver was a bit of an odd ball. Firstly he insisted on taking our photo to add to his collection of European tourists he’s transported. Then he put on a Country Music CD and finally, he put an electronic massager behind Jaki which was very uncomfortable and almost impossible to switch off.
After all this palaver, we eventually set off on almost empty roads, this shouldn’t take long at all.
At the first Toll booth he asked for 75 baht and at the second 50.
He kept up a running commentary by speaking into his mobile phone in Thai and then handing it to us to read in translated English. All very strange. To his credit, he found the place first time and dropped us off right outside the door. The bill was 575 baht plus an airport charge of 80 baht, plus the 75 baht toll. 730 TOTAL.
It was one of the most expensive Taxi rides we’ve had to date.
We sat in the reception for a while and our man didn’t arrive.
At about 2015 a small fellow looking like an ageing rock star with Brian May hair turning grey at the roots arrived and introduced himself. He had been trying to contact us but as we hadn’t had wifi since we left the airport he hadn’t managed it.
We followed him up to the 7th Floor and he showed us into the apartment which is a nice size, modern, clean and looked very comfortable. It has a small kitchen with the basics installed (bear in mind no one cooks in Bangkok it is just so cheap to eat out its not worth the bother).
A nice sized bed dominate the living space as did the 50 inch TV. Sadly we haven’t been able to find many English speaking channels so there hasn’t been much to watch. Also, because the King has just died most of the stations are broadcasting in black and white and the content is all good news stories about the King who is loved here. People talk about ‘My King’ not the King.
Having booked the place through bookings.com we had to hand over 7250 Baht plus a deposit of 3000 baht all in cash without any proof that we’ve paid. Zev was a bit uncomfortable with this system too and advised that AirB&B had a better system. The customer paid AirB&B and they paid him.
If we do this again I will definitely use AirB&B rather than bookings.com, it is just much simpler.
Zev showed us how things worked, helped us set up Wifi which was a bit temperamental, then left us to it
We unpacked and decided to have a recce round the local environment starting with the Gym and Pool but despite our best efforts we couldn’t find either so we went out onto the street and had a walk.
We walked up to the main road where the sky train track is and we were surprised just how far this was.
Turning around we retraced our steps, called in at the first bar and had a quick drink just opposite a Hooters Bar.
Further on we came to the Green leprechaun where a very tiny fellow in a green suit served us Margarita cocktails.
Not feeling very hungry we went into the 7/11 and bought some cheese toasties which they heated up, a Chinese dish of unknown origin which looks shite but tasted great. A loaf of bread but we failed to find anything that resembled butter ( เนย in Thai ) and some cheese slices which made a great toasted cheese sandwich later. Plus a bottle of skimmed milk. We were set up.
Once we’d guzzled our 7/11 feast it was ‘good night from him and good night from her.’