One (Last) Night in Bangkok

On the afternoon of Thursday, April 24 I ventured back into the heart of Bangkok. I took my daypack and a few clothes. Why would I need a change of clothes, you ask? Well, I’m going to get classy tonight! Or at least as classy as I get without buying new clothes. I had arranged to meet Swiss friends Marcel and Stefanie at their Five Star hotel, The Lebua State Tower.

Marcel and Stefanie had a big day of shopping planned for Thursday, and flights back to Switzerland on Friday, so Thursday evening would be our last chance to get together for dinner and drinks. With them out buying clothes during the day (and probably burning the t-shirts they’ve been wearing for 9 months of travel), I took the opportunity to spend one last day wandering the streets of a city that I’m sure I’ll return to in the future.

We met at their hotel and grabbed a cab to what we had been led to believe was a night market that opened at 5:00. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, ‘Asiatique: The Riverfront’ turned out to be the classiest night market I’ve seen. It attracts wealthy locals and tourists alike. One of the attractions was a giant wheel, similar to the London Eye or the High Roller in Las Vegas. Marcel and Stefanie’s hotel is considerably taller than the wheel so we saved 300 Baht and stayed on the ground.

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The woman who appeared to be the owner of this little cutie was arguing with someone on her phone when I approached. I waited until she was done and asked if I could take the dog’s photo. “Well, he is my child, but of course,” she said. I was glad that I had asked as I think it could have gotten ugly.

After dinner and about an hour of strolling around the market we headed back to the hotel. My friends had a room on the 60th floor. The view from their terrace was stunning. You’re probably thinking, $1000 a night, right?  The three-room suite would be four figures in some cities. In Bangkok it was under $150 USD per night – and you can keep the slippers!

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But it gets better, I was told. Marcel and Stefanie changed into the clothes they had bought that day. They looked great. I, on the other hand, changed into threadbare jeans and a long-sleeved shirt (plaid, but the classiest one I own right now). We headed to the top floor and hoped that I could sneak past the enforcer of the dress code.

The elevator goes to the 65th floor and after that there are several levels accessible by stairs. There’s also a grand staircase that leads down to a large dining area and a cantilevered martini bar.
  

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If those stairs look familiar, you might have seen them in the movie Hangover II.

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A martini and two cocktails sets you back about $100 US. That might be the most I’ve ever paid for three drinks, but to be fair there was no cover charge and they could easily charge a $20 admission fee. With a live jazz ensemble playing in the background, great drinks, and the million dollar view, it might be one of the world’s most sophisticated patios. (Too bad about the Whoop Whoop girls.)

It was great to get together with people who I’ve spent time with in South America, New Zealand and now Bangkok. We’ve covered much of the same territory in the last 10 months and have so many great memories of the same places. I expect to visit these two when I’m in Zurich in the Spring of 2016. I will be winding down my trip by that point and I just might be persuaded to buy a decent change of clothes.

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