Saturday, February 16, 2013

Never tired of a boat ride along Bangkok's Chao Praya, and spa day at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok


In Bangkok two weeks ago for a weekend of luxury, living a Travelife, we stayed at the beautiful new The Siam for two nights.

Then, on the evening of what should've been the third night, I reluctantly jumped into a car for the airport and caught the late night flight to Colombo.

As usual, I was the last one on the Thai Airways plane.

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LAST TO BOARD, FIRST ONE OUT

I'd left The Siam at 7 PM and the flight was at 10 PM so there was relatively adequate time, at least by my standards.

But I'd actually stopped at the Thai Airways spa lounge for a complimentary foot massage and then checked emails afterwards. This was why I was so late.

The Thai Airways Spa
for business and first class passengers in Bangkok


In business class, the first person I saw was my friend Mr. Millionaire, who had joined the Travelife trip to Sri Lanka. He'd already settled in for the three-hour flight.

He said to me: "Everyone was wondering where you were as no one had seen you at the airport. I said, 'Don't wait for her. She'll be the last one to board. We'll just see her in Colombo."


A HARD HABIT TO BREAK

Back to my weekend at The Siam.

Only two things tempted me to leave The Siam during my stay: one was a very quick trip to a local market with The Siam's executive chef, Blair Mathieson.

At a local market in the genteel Dusit area
with The Siam executive chef Blair Mathieson


The other was for a spa treatment package at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.

Call me a creature of habit, but whenever I'm in Bangkok for at least two nights, I always find my way to The Oriental, whether I'm staying there or not, for a day at their spa.

It's across the river from the hotel proper and it's truly lovely and Old World -- which is nice, especially these days when the norm is trendy and cutting edge.

MY OWN SPECIAL TREAT



So a spa day at The Oriental is one of my "special treats" whenever I am in Bangkok.

You can book treatments here whether you're staying at the hotel itself or not, although of course it's so much more convenient to just jump on a boat and cross the river from the Oriental itself, as a hotel guest.

Spending the day at The Oriental Spa is quite a luxurious treat, I must admit, but there really is nothing quite like a top Thai spa when it comes to wellness and pampering.

I'm headed for the top destination spa in Asia right now in about a month or two, by the way; and it's not in Thailand. So I'll let you know then how it stacks up compared to Thailand's best.

A GREAT WAY TO START

This was my send-off committee at The Siam,
including my private butler Jill.

Anyway, to make this luxurious treat even more luxurious, the pretty long-tail private boat of The Siam dropped me off right at the pier of the Oriental Spa about five minutes before my appointment time.

I loved riding this boat practically everywhere.

Riding the Siam's boat at sunset


So I successfully evaded all traffic and any sign of cars or Bangkok's roads for most of my stay, and including for what should have been quite a long trip at rush-hour from The Siam to The Oriental.

They're at opposite ends of the Chao Praya.

A HISTORICAL TOUR EVERY TIME



How lovely it was to just get on a boat from The Siam's pier, which was about a minute away from my villa, and then head directly for the pier of The Oriental's spa.

It took about 30 minutes along the most beautiful and scenic parts of the Chao Praya, so I thoroughly enjoyed it.



We passed the Grand Palace, lots of temples and government buildings, and so many lovely old properties like the Chakrabongse villa.

I'd read several biographies on Prince Chakrabongse and his foreign wife, so this was of special interest to me, especially as the Prince had studied in St. Petersburg at the turn of last century, as a special ward of the Russian Imperial Family, exactly at a most tumultuous time.

This is a period and area of history that I'm particularly interested in.



It was like having a private boat tour several times a day, and I never tired of looking at the scenery.

More in my next blog on what awaited me at The Oriental's spa, living a never-ending and never-endingly eventful Travelife.





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