HOTEL : Bangkok City Hotel is about 2 yrs old and is located along the very busy Petchaburi Road. It is always busy with group tours and lots of luggage at the lobby. We stayed here for 4 nights on a 19th floor room overlooking Petchaburi Rd. My double room is medium sized with a decent toilet and shower bath. The bed linen and toilet are clean. There are 3 lifts ( incl the service lift ) and they worked very well. The front desk staff are polite but they are not so responsive – maybe to English speaking patrons. Here, you must deposit 100 bht for each access card. They will refund the amount when you check out. I have seen other muslim family from Malaysia with children patronising this hotel. We always meet them at Soi 7 for their meals.
TRANSPORT : – Use the sky train to go anywhere. They are very reliable - punctual, quiet and comfortable. The airport link train ride is a worthwhile experience – cheap and fast in traffic congested Bangkok City.
Hotel is About 10 mins walk to the nearest BTS Rachathewi Stn where you can go to BTS Siam, BTS Nana or BTS Asoke. From BTS Siam you need to change train to National Stadium/MBK. Shopping is our main focus. We went to Patunam area/road side stalls using the non aircon bus taken from the station opposite side of the overhead bridge ( 6 bht for 2 persons ). Try to get your souvenirs here. It is cheaper than MBK. We also visited Indra Market and had lunch at the food court on level 3. Only one halal stall here selling Yellow chicken rice ( 45 bht ). Across the road is Platinum Fashion Mall. During the weekend, after breakfast, walk to the Phaya Thai condo and take the skytrain at Phaya Thai Station to Mo Chit Stn where Chatuchak market is located. Note : Hail the tuk tuk or taxi from the street infront of the hotel if you need one. They will start with 100 or 200 bht. The refund from the access card is useful if you need the money to your Tuk Tuk to Phya Thai BTS (40 bht ) and Airport Link from Phya Tai to Airport (45 bht ).
FOOD : Hotel breakfast/food is non halal. They serve pork. We took the overhead bridge near the 7 Eleven and went across the road into SOI 7 where Darul Aman Mosque is located. A lot of street vendors here selling Halal food e.g. roti prata ( 10 bht ) , sticky rice ( pulut ) with fried chichen/garlic ( 25 – 30 bht ) , rice/vege/gravy ( 50 – 60 bht ) , Thai breakfast noodle with egg. On Friday morning, there are more Halal food vendors selling Chicken/Beef Biryani ( 45 bht ), big prata ( 30 bht ). Wash down with coffee. Tea, milo etc.
After 7 pm, the street here comes alive. After you get down from the overhead bridge, a Muslim girl sells sliced mangoes ( 30 bht per fruit ) and further down before SOI 7 a young Muslim couple selling halal ice cream ( 30 bht per scoop ). At the junction of Soi 7 is the stall selling roti prata ( 10 bht ), beef murtaba ( 30 bht ) and Teh Tarik/with cows milk ( 20 bht ). Seat always full of youngsters. Walk into the lane and you can get Ramly burger and I tried Mdm Sarah’s beef ball noodle ( 30 bht ) and tomyam ( 50 bht ) from a makan shop. There are others selling so called Halal food during the day and night along Petchburi Rd before Soi 7 but they are Chinese owned.
We also visited Nana Soi 5 and Soi 7 and there are a lot of restaurants selling Indian, Arab, Yemen food. This area is predominantly Arab and Pakistani. Nothing mush to shop here. One big restaurant is Hussein but this place is rather expensive. We found one reasonable restaurant which has a big lighted numbered board selling set meals (180 bht per set ) – just before Hussein Restaurant if you enter by way of Soi 7. They have Patani Muslim food here.
PROBLEMS : :
1) Do not take the recommended tour company from the Airport arrival hall. They coax you with offers/discounts for the period. This is actually a city and temple tour - not that good. You can take the aircon public bus from the bus station infront of 7 Eleven and it only cost you less than 10 baht. The lady also advised me to drop off the Transit train at Rajprapop Station. This is inaccurate. You must drop at Phya Thai as recommended by other travellers in Tripadvisor. This is very near to the hotel.
2) Beward of the Tuk Tuk. One driver took us from Rajprapop BTS but after going some distance, told us that he was not going that way. We came down with our luggage and had to hail several taxis before we get one nice guy to take us. Every Tuk Tuk or taxi driver will use his fingers to denote 1 for 100 bht or 2 to denote 200 baht. You must always respond with 30 baht and bargain.
SUGGESTION : Maybe the hotel management can turn this into a Halal hotel to attract more muslims to stay here.
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