Wednesday, June 22, 2011


After my morning coffee from a bookstore, I walked over to the Wat Arun ferry in the blazing sun.

The walk seemed to take a lot longer than it should have as I sweated and baked. Then, on the other side of the river, I couldn't find the Sivalai Place lodging that I wanted to look at. I needed somewhere to stay for the whole month, my month of resting, working online, and catching up in Bangkok.

But I didn't need to find the place I was looking for. A quick look around the neighborhood told me that I wanted to be somewhere more central.

I caught a taxi to the Skytrain to the metro and repeated this getting-lost-and-discouraged thing on the other end of town. I did look at a few places in Bangkok's center and they weren't bad, but so far the best deal was Feung Nakorn Balcony, the hotel I was already staying in. It wasn't close to the Skytrain or the metro, but it wasn't that far from the river or canal boats or the cheap laundry and food of the Khao San area.

Exhausted from being outside in the heat and pollution, I found my way back to Banglamphu—that's the neighborhood that Khao San Road is in—after dark. I checked a half-dozen hotels here, looking for the right combination of cleanliness, free wifi, location, and a general feeling. Still, the place I was in had them all beat.

I bought some street pad thai and sat down on the steps behind the noodle sellers around Rambuttri, near the Viengtai Hotel. I remembered sitting here in 2003, on the way to Sri Lanka after the final time I'd left the part of Australia I'd then called home.

Tonight was pleasant and not raining for once. Musicians played nearby, competing with their versions of Hotel California and American Pie.

I'd tell my hotel in the morning that I planned to stay. The location wasn't that great but it wasn't that bad either.

Using a toothpick, I stabbed bits of noodle and spring roll. An older farang sat next to me on the steps behind the street stalls, eating his spring rolls in a similar manner.

I watched the tourists and the food sellers. Some of the tourists looked dazed from jetlag. Others looked dazed from the heat and shopping. Most wandered, looking for the right place to try out dinner in Bangkok.

My eyes drifted across the street to a newly painted building with a sparkling clean lobby open to the street. I looked up at their new balconies and air-con units.

Sakul House.

Why, it's a hotel.

A brand-new hotel.

I smiled to myself. That'll be it then.

They were happy to negotiate in this three-month old hotel. We agreed on a rate. This was a noisy, busy, touristy part of town and some other travelers had been horrified to find out that I patronized Khao San Road. But it was full of pad thai, mango-and-sticky rice, conveniences, food, and cheap foot massages. I knew how to take the river boat taxi or the canal taxi to get downtown from here.

And I could move in tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much
    Sakul House Hotel
    Tel +66 2 2816626-7 fax +66 2 6294599