This is a consolidated post of our back to back Bangkok trips in December and February. The Land of Smiles has been one of our favourite destinations for short getaway. Bangkok’s hot and humid weather is similar to what we get in Singapore. The blazing sun and humidity ensure lots of sweat and swear. The dusty streets are full of tourists and vendors vying for business. And the traffic is basically at a standstill during peak hours.
But despite the soot and dirt, Bangkok has got plenty to offer her visitors. We have always found ourselves back in Bangkok for its non-stop shopping (wifey), endless waiting (when she shops), plenty of foot massages, bowls of Tom Yam Goong, tons of seafood and Chang beer while reserving time for prayers at Erawan Shrine.
The road less travelled in Bangkok
I spotted a seemingly shorter route from Siam Square to Platinum Mall on the map while munching my breakfast. The map below shows the usual walking route in green and the new one in orange.
I was expecting to see a typical street in Bangkok but rather, we walk into a neighbourhood which is kinda being concealed by modernized buildings and big shopping malls surrounding it. What we see around us is a combination of shacks, wooden houses with the rusty zinc roof, few blocks of old houses, open-air kitchens, laundry places and piles of rubbish everywhere.
The traffic noises gradually fade away as we walk. In its place are the sounds of cooking utensils, children’s laughter, Thai’s music and dramas airing on Thai TV. The locals gave a curious look, perhaps wondering what brings us to their neighbourhood. Upon reaching the bridge, we see riverboats ferrying passengers along the river. And the huge Platinum Mall is right across the river.
We also pay a visit to the standing Buddha during one of the trips.
Somboon seafood in Bangkok
Somboon Seafood is one restaurant which we will never fail to visit. This well-known Chinese style restaurant serves some of the best food in central Bangkok, even the locals acknowledge that. Their outlets in Bangkok are always bustling with locals and tourists alike for an obvious reason – the delicious and fresh food.
Hence, do make a reservation before heading down or avoid the meal hours, else you may wait for a good 30 minutes or more. We usually get there much earlier to avoid the dinner crowd and ordered right away once seated. The usual dishes for us are the delicious steamed fish, roasted crab with glass noodles, shark fin and of course the Tom yum Goong.
Favourite dish at Somboon Seafood Bangkok
My favourite at Somboon Seafood would be the super fresh steamed fish with its awesome soup. Somehow, their signature curry crab does not go well with my taste bud though.
The prices at Somboon Seafood are slightly on the higher side but it is worth every baht. With the non-stop diners waiting to be seated, it’s not hard to imagine that there are fake Somboon Seafood restaurants in Bangkok riding on its popularity. Check out the branches listed on their website.
STAY: Novotel Siam Square Bangkok review
We stayed at Novotel Siam Square for 3 nights while it was having a promotion. Having stayed at hotels in Bangkok like Amari Watergate, Eastin and Pathumwan Princess, Novotel Siam Square turned out to be my favourite mainly due to its location. The usual places which we frequent like Siam Paragon, Central World, MBK Center and Erawan Shrine are all within walking distance. The hotel is located in one of the most happening shopping areas in Bangkok.
It is a very busy and popular area where you will find lots of hair salons, foot massages, clothing, shoes, bags, mobile accessories, gadget, funky and cute stuff. The shopping street is a nice alternative to the usual big malls if you can endure the afternoon heat. Our hotel stay throughout was very pleasant and we will not hesitate to recommend it. The room size is decent with modern decor and the comfortable bed ensures a good night rest.
The clean toilet comes with a nice looking marble top and bathtub.
Our room has a view that faces MBK Center and the Siam Square.
The location has one disadvantage if your transport choice is the taxi. Being in the centre, the peak hour traffic around the hotel can be maddening. Hence, we have to alight somewhere nearby instead of the hotel lobby, BTS is a better choice during those crazy hours.
Novotel Siam Square
392/44 Siam Square Soi 6, Bangkok 10330