In ever-sunny, ever-carefree Bangkok, don’t let the beguiling temples, the vibrant markets, the swanky attractions surrounding the enchanting Chao-Phraya river and those infamous Thai smiles consume you. Allow your senses to be your guide in exploring the charms of its old secret little side lanes, bustling streets, plush shopping malls, and chef-driven restaurants; and let them take you to the wonders of the many art spaces or just simply to a pastoral-shaded park.
At a rapid clip, in the evolving neighborhoods of Sukhumvit Road, anything can happen .A quick look at this dynamic area is a manifestation that Bangkok is now back in the game called hospitality and it is turning towards business as usual.
The drama that occurred in the Thai capital, the staging of street protests, appears to be in its final act coming to a close. Tourists have now started to flock back to Bangkok after having bypassed the city and flown directly to destinations like Krabi, Phuket and Chiang Mai. The State of Emergency decree was lifted effective March 19, 2014, and the “Land of Smiles” beams once again.
“While the State of Emergency caused little inconvenience to travelers to Thailand, its lifting is a sign that things are fast returning to normal in Bangkok,” according to Governor Thawatchai Arunyik of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). “Visitors can look forward to traveling around the Thai capital with ease.” He added.
Amidst the chaos and the sublime, no better way to test the water but to be in it and of no doubt, soak up to some French savoir-faire.
With its striking 131- meter high art-deco facade and its proximity to the Skytrian (BTS), the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is hard to miss. Although just opened recently a few months back, it became witness to what was ground zero for the protests at the nearby Asoke intersection. But what happened after was more interesting.
The Sukhumvit road amusingly began to draw more curiosity amongst the tourists, expats and locals. The street, more than a happening area, is becoming known as a living monument to the tenacity and resiliency of the Thai’s ability to bounce back from a political struggle. But through it all, Sofitel Sukhumvit is the nexus of this enigmatic yet great neighborhood.
As one of Sofitel’s Flagship Hotels in Southeast Asia, this property magically blends French elegance and Thai hospitality as a means of getting the attention of those travelers who yearn for some action, but want it with a touch of class.
Between the increasingly provoking contrast of the almost chaotic-fun filled street atmosphere on the outside and the classy rooms and suites which boast French charm, the hotel is ticking the box of the demanding business jet-setters and is also a favorite choice among leisure travelers. A quick ride up to the 31st floor takes you to Club Millesime, a personal escape and a world away from the din of life in the city.
Moreover, Songkran, the Thai New Year is just around the corner, taking place from April 13-16, more and more tourists are already booking flights and looking for excellent accommodation. The Kingdom, its people and Bangkok in particular are waiting to greet visitors with a friendly smile, and with satin-soft Thai accents almost sing-songy – hospitality needing no translation.
In short, tourism in Thailand has always been its strongest asset and may the tradition that Songkran festival brings, set everyone closer to renewal and new beginnings.
Jan Sevilla is a quixotic nomadic chick from the Philippines with some difficulty of having her subject agree to her verb. Catch more of her travel murmurs @ http://najsevilla.blogspot.com/