There is no denying that we have some of the most stunning and diverse destinations right here in our own backyard and more than often I will encourage that we holiday as often as we can at home. But there is always a desire to discover and explore outside of our beautiful nation. Most of us like to explore a different option now and then that is only natural. With the dollar remaining fairly strong around the world, the choice to travel abroad is still appealing.
That appeal for me, has often led me to visit some of our closest neighbours, including Indonesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Most recently I decided to cast my travel net a little further and chose to visit “The Land of Smiles” Thailand.
I have to admit that I have always found our Asian cousins open and friendly and more than happy to make us feel welcome and important. This is due to many factors I suppose. A lot of the closer Asian countries wages and working conditions are relatively poor compared to here at home and welcome the added financial gains to their lives. I also believe that the majority of Australians go to these places and have respect for their cultures and their way of life, we are generally happy go lucky on our journeys and I do say majority, of course, this is not always the case and we occasionally cringe at the “ugly Australian” who unfortunately is there to do and act as they please. I suppose every nationality has similar.
In Bangkok there are a multitude of fantastic hotels to choose from. Something to suit every taste and budget. The hotel that I choose to explore was The Four Seasons which sits nicely opposite Bangkok’s Race Track and Golf Course and is basically right on the edge of all that Bangkok has to offer, which is a lot I must say. I chose The Four Seasons for a few good reasons. Firstly it’s position is perfect to get around town as it is right next to a Sky rail station.
It is also not one of those massive high-rise numbers and that appealed to me. The Four Seasons is only eight story’s high and with most of those around much taller it gives the place a slight boutique feel. Unlike some of the of the world’s bigger hotel chains which can sometimes have a sterile existence, The Four Seasons is really inviting. It seems to be about the experience not the reputation. I love that nothing is ever difficult for the staff. Thai people are generally very friendly and open, but the staff, seem to take this to a higher level. Bangkok can be a slightly overpowering city, it’s large it’s fast paced and it can be a little daunting so make sure you take advantage of the hotels concierge, because he prides himself in knowing all there is to know about where to go and what to see as well as giving you some detailed advice on what to be aware of as well. The dining options are many and are top shelf.
Firstly there is ‘Spice Market ‘ for the tastiest authentic Thai. Designed to resemble an old Thai spice shop it oozes Thai hospitality and charm.
For that elusive quality steak that us Aussies just love, you cannot go past ‘Madisons’ the beef might be from the U.S but it’s a close to home as you may wish for.
‘Shintaro’ who I remember as a kid being the star of my favourite morning television viewing on ‘Phantom Agents’ but here at The Four Seasons it is an innovative Japanese neighbourhood Sushi bar with a casual and relaxed feel.
‘Biscotti’ is a fun, contemporary Italian delight, with an open kitchen that delivers an intimate fine dining experience that is up there with the best available in Bangkok. If you’re thinking, wow did he try all these? Well yes, I don’t want to mislead any of you.
Luckily Four Seasons have one of the best in house Gyms I have ever experienced, including a Whirlpool, Steam room and a Squash Court, plus its open 24 hours a day!
Okay enough about the hotel, lets talk about some of the adventures and sights that await you.
If you would like to get in touch with your spiritual side I would suggest you visit The Reclining Bhudda and also Wat Arun on the banks of the Chao Phraya River which are both pretty spectacular. One great way to enjoy all this area offers is on pushbike. The Four Seasons or any of he major hotels will organise you one no problem. While you are around the river why not take a canal cruise. It really is a different world on the canals or Klongs as they are known to the locals. Many years ago the way of life you will see there, was the way of life for many Bangkok locals.
Bangkok was originally made up of hundreds of these Klongs and the locals used them as their source of transport, to wash in and also to help water their crops. With the inevitable reality of urban sprawl the government decided to fill many of them in otherwise Bangkok wouldn’t have many streets at all.
So when you are walking the streets of the city itself you are basically walking on water! Oh and keep an eye out for the huge Monitor Lizards that call the canals home too. They are large and I am sure at one stage were probably good eating!
While your there in Bangkok and enjoying all the wonderful, gastronomical delights that Thailand is famous for, why not take a cooking class and become a master at some of those delectable dishes yourself?
Amita Cooking School which is on the Klongs of Chao Phraya River is such a fun experience and …… who runs the class is such a beautiful lady, super friendly and such a great teacher. I definitely recommend it and when you return from your holidays you can impress all your friends when you put on Thai feast of Papaya Salad, Green Chicken Curry and Chicken Satay all cooked from scratch. Once you have delivered the goods it just encourages you to attempt more of those Thai specialities.
Thailand will engage you on so many different levels and leave you with all your senses buzzing. I will return and explore more that’s for sure.
- Thai cooking school experience.
- Daily Massage
- Cultural Experiences
- Elephant trekking (it’s cruel)
- Tuk Tuk Tourist traps
- Pick Pockets in busy areas
You can see A Taste of Thailand on my website by clicking the link below:
Scott can be seen on Channel Tens A Taste of Travel
Scott is also touring his stage show STEVIE- The Life & Music of Stevie Wright & The Easybeats