21 Mar 2008
Bangkoksong Apartments, Bangkok, Thailand
Apartment
A$41/£19 night
13°43'14.64"N 100°32'26.75"E
2 bedrooms
Vacation Rental

 

I found Bangkoksong Apartments on a vacation rental site - my email was answered almost immediately and a quick phone call had us crossing town in double quick time to check out the apartment - river taxi's are definitely the quickest way of getting around parts of Bangkok with no Skytrain or Subway.

The apartment itself is beautiful - not a snazzy modern condo but an older apartment building with a lift, large rooms and a lot of character. As soon as we saw the apartment we took it - the only disappointment was that we were only able to stay for just over a week as there was a pre-existing booking. The rate we got was a very special one - partly a 25% discount for last minute booking and partly because I hadn't paid much attention when browsing the web site and I was expecting the price of the apartment I had looked at which has only one bedroom. Oops. It was really good of Randall to allow us to have the apartment at the price I was expecting.

Bangkoksong is 3 adjoining apartments on the first floor of the apartment block and is operated by Randall, a Canadian and Ed, an American who works for an airline and only gets to visit occasionally - we were lucky enough to be there during one of his visits and meet him.

A lot of effort has been put into making the front outdoor area of the three apartments peaceful - there are dozens of plants and even a small water plant container with soothing running water to listen to.

Randall and his partner Joe also rent out the spare bedroom in their apartment, but it certainly isn't like a lodging room and rented apartments - it's very much a family atmosphere rather than commercial operation for all guests.

The furnishings and linens in the apartment are top quality, and there is some magnificent artwork on the walls - all painted by Randall who is a very talented artist. He has put a lot of effort into making the apartments a home away from home and very individual rather than the usual sterile generic apartments, and they are kept spotlessly clean. There is a small but well equipped kitchen, with a few basic supplies and the offer of any spices or sauces or other cooking needs just for the asking.

There are large screen TV's with DVD players along with air conditioners in both bedrooms, but the air con really isn't necessary as there is a small balcony off the main bedroom, and with doors and windows open the breeze blowing straight through the apartment means you don't even constantly need the fan in the living area - I imagine this breeze is cooler because of all of the greenery around, both out front and on the balcony. There is free filtered drinking water on the ground floor, and 24 hour security to help to ensure that Burglar Bill doesn't get into the building. There is also free and very fast Wi-Fi.

The location of is fantastic - a small road just of Sathorn Road soi 3 in the embassy district. There is a fairly large market at the bottom of the street and plenty of mini-marts, convenience stores and pharmacies as well as countless hairdressers and a couple of really good bakeries and good eating within a short walking distance. A couple of tourist restaurants are a little further to walk, but the street food is so good I don't know why anyone would want to spend 10 times the amount on food that would probably be no better.

The apartment is exactly one and a half kilometers walk to Luphini MRT (subway) station and just a touch over 2 kilometers to Silom Road, where you find Salem Delang BTS (skytrain station, only 2 stops to Siam which is Bangkok shopping central) and Silom MRT station. On this stretch of Silom Road there is enough shopping to keep anyone interested in such pursuits happy. There are also countless tourist and international chain fast food and coffee shops as well as tourist and even upmarket restaurants. If you're not up to the walk, the standard westerner charge for a tuk tuk ride home is BT30, but on the 3 occasions that I did this I managed to get the ride for BT20 - all three were very grumpy about it though. Not far down Silom road is Patpong - the infamous girlie bar area and night market.

Bangkoksong is unique in that it isn't so much the place but the people that make it worth visiting. When we'd moved out (to a condo just a couple of buildings away), we were invited back for dinner one evening after Ed had arrived, to meet him and the newest edition to the family, Paul, who had moved in with Randal and Joe.

As long as you prefer the family atmosphere and funky furniture to the gym and swimming pools at the condo's, Bangsong gets as high a recommendation as I'd ever give.