The #ChooseMyThailand campaign is over, well group 1 that is (look out for group 2 later this year). We’ll be recapping all the provinces in a series of three posts. You can plan your own “Choose My Thailand” trip and experience the same activities as our influencers with Wanderant’s planning tool.
(Image of Etihad’s VIP Lounge in Abu Dhabi. Photo Credit: Ali Inay)
Even before arriving in our first destination in Bangkok via Etihad Airways, the influencers were able to relax in Abu Dhabi in Etihad Airway’s VIP Lounge. We all enjoyed the variety of cuisine offered and even a quick 15 minute massage to help ease the tension of traveling internally.
Sometimes it was difficult to leave the property to experience the day because of the simple beauty of the hotel. For those who don’t know, the Tower Club feels like it sits on top of the world, especially when you’re on the roof. And the Tower Club at Lebua provided all of us with their signature suites.
Here on the 51st through 59th floors, the views from their 221 gigantic suites are even more extraordinary, the separate bedrooms, living room and kitchenette complemented by the infinite thoughtful touches that reflect the personalized, intuitive service that pervades every floor – like customized check-in and check-out, because here every moment counts. Now you can understand why it was often difficult for us to leave the property.
Before I get into the activities in Bangkok, wanted to share some information on this Thai province. Bangkok features both old-world charm and modern convenience, at times served up in an apparently chaotic manner, but always with a gracious smile. Everyone on the trip got to experience various aspects of this province, from visiting temples to exploring the city by bike.
The Sofitel So Bangkok did welcome us with an amazing lunch after viewing their gorgeous property. This hotel has one of the best views where you get to see Bangkok’s cityscape surrounded by the greenery of Lumpini Park.
(View of Lumpini Park from the Sofitel So Bangkok)
Another interesting fact about this hotel is that they do several collaborations – one of them being with Christian Lacroix, who designed the staff’s uniforms (I actually wanted one of the jackets). If you’re ever in Bangkok, stop by the Sofitel So Bangkok even if you’re there for cocktails and food. Their Red Over Restaurant serves up several different cuisines from various regions, offering you several delicious treats to choose from.
(The Choose My Thailand crew with the beautiful Sofitel so Bangkok team)
Eventually, we did participate in Songkran, Thailand’s New Year in which water is splashed on you as a blessing to wash away the old and usher in the new.
We all went to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the located in Ratchaburi province neighboring to Samut Sakhon Province and Samut Songkhram Province. This floating market is open from 5 am to noon offering various food, wares and souvenirs including handicraft products. It is a very popular destination among foreign tourists. After the market, we explored the Closed Umbrella Market and got to see the train travel through the market as the vendors quickly moved their product to safety. It was an interesting sight.
From then on, the influencers participated in their chosen activity voted by their fans – Option A: Benjarong Village & Wat Bang Kung or Option B: Colors of Bangkok by Bike.
Benjarong Village & Wat Bang Kung
The Benjarong Village at Ban Don Kai Dee in Krathum Baen Disctrict of Samut Sakhon Province which is the premier location where Thailand’s famed Benjarong porcelain is created. The ceramics produced here are of the finest quality and are much sought after by collectors, and universally admired for their beauty and unique form, design, and colors.
Colors of Bangkok by Bike
Biking through Bangkok and surrounding provinces was a unique experience that proved to be exciting as we dodged Bangkok traffic and rewarding as we end the bike ride at a local temple and dined at a hidden restaurant in the jungle. The bike tour took us to hidden areas close to the city that offers a stretch of lush green vegetation, jungles, coconut and banana plantations, small temples off the tourist trail and traffic-free roads. See the video below of the bike tour.
On the last day before we headed to Chiang Mai, the influencers were able to tour either of the following:
The Grand Palace & Wat Pho
The Grand Palace’s architectural wonder of golden stupas, walls and pillars encrusted in shining and colorful mosaics. The palace served as the official residence of kings of Thailand from the 18th to the mid-20th century. The most famous building within the palace grounds is Wat Phra Kaew and this is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. And the end of the tour, influencers saw the reclining Buddha at to Wat Pho.
Klong River Tour & Temple of Dawn
A cruise along the Chao Phraya River, which is known as the River of Kings, revealed a scene that offers a stark contrast to the frenzied activity of the modern metropolis of Bangkok. We learned about Thailand’s history with neighboring countries and the role that the River played, and had the opportunity to view the Temple of Dawn, though it was under construction.
Bangkok proved to be a good fusion of a bustling metropolitan city with deep, vibrant roots of old world culture. It’s a must visit place. Until next time, read about our time in Chiang Mai.