That's how the conversation normally starts. Well if that's your vision, good for you. But its a long way from the truth. It's like saying London is cheap.
Having worked in the Far East, I had the idea to take my wife & 9 year old to Bangkok. "Bangkok???", people would say. "That's a bit extreme for a 9 year old."
That's because you have never been"
We flew Qatar Airways from Birmingham on the new Dreamliner, Economy of course. Business class would be wasted on a 9 year old. Even though she did ask why we were not in the big seats. "Thats for Business people".
Landing at 7am on a Saturday morning is not a bad time. We were picked up by a work colleague & whisked off to the Anantara Riverside resort. This place sits the other side of the river from downtown Bangkok, but is serviced by a free shuttle boat. Just look at the website. It's as beautiful as it looks. We had breakfast by the river, a doze on a sunbed and a lunchtime check in. Stunning room overlooking the Swimming Pool & River.
Here's a tip to help with Jet Lag. Have a couple of hours sleep in the afternoon and you should then be right for the evening.
The key to this beautiful hotel was the swimming pool. After a hot day in Bangkok, what other way to cool off than a dip in the pool. Kids love a splash and a swim.
So how did we spend 8 days in the Big Mango with a 9 year old?
Day 1 - Pool. (Because we were knackered, so we didn't mind). Then popped over to Avani Hotel in the evening to the Sky Bar & Pool. P.S - A very cool spot for a drink. It has an infinity pool up on the 26th floor.
Day 2 - We went into Bangkok to Siam Paragon in the morning to let the girls have their retail therapy and had lunch with work colleagues at Amici Italian Restaurant. (Got to acclimatize slowly). We went back to the hotel, a snooze round the pool, evening meal then to Asiatique for more retail therapy. This is one cool place. Eat, drink, shop, listen to music etc.
Day 3 - We planned a Bike ride through Bangkok & Riverside. Yes it sounds crazy, but very safe with Bangkok Bike Adventures. We did 19km, crossing the river by ferry twice, taking in the Portuguese Quarter, Turtle temple, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Wholesale Market, Chinese Temple, Flower Market to name a few stops. You do go on big roads, through traffic but a great experience. My daughter had her own bike too, no piggy backs here. After that, it was a relaxing evening.
Day 4 - Well I had to take them to see one of the factories I have been working with for 15 years. A lot of the workers had never seen a 9 year old blonde kid in person, needless to say, that it made their day, If not their year. These people don't live the transient lives we lead. At the end of the day we relaxed Poolside. The kid is still happy. A shot into town on the Skytrain for dinner and a blast round in a Tuk Tuk. Has to be done.
Day 5 - The girls went for a morning of spa treatments at the hotel. Perfect, as I wanted to go to the Lambretta Shop & Cafe. After 12 km in a taxi and 1 1/2 hours later, I arrived and it was shut. Still, the taxi driver proceeded to tell me that he had been in prison for 3 years for gun possession, then gave me a tour through the gun quarter of Bangkok. Interesting seeing AK47's hanging in shop windows like legs of lamb. In the evening we took a trip down to Emquartier for an evening meal. It's a Shopping Mall, which rings of bling. Plus a cool sky garden and a plethora of restaurants. These Malls are not like we have in the UK. They have parking levels only for supercar parking...... Seriously. And they are always full.
Day 6 - We took a trip out of the city to the ancient capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya. Imagine a small scale Angkor Wat and you have hit the nail on the head. A stunning break from the hustle & bustle of Bangkok. Temples, Elephants & lunch by the river at Sala. Posh as. Back to the hotel for the obligatory late afternoon swim for the little one.
Just as a side note - We have seen no sign of any Snowflakes at all. Not one.
Day 7 - The last couple of days we opted for a change of scenery The Banyan Tree In the city. Sathorn area, 46th Floor. This place oozes style and sophistication. Fitted in like a rubber duck. I dropped the bags off in the room and just stared out the window for what seemed like hours, then had a walk, yes, a walk into town. One here for my daughter, stopping by the Unicorn Cafe. Not for me but the young one loved it. Its covered in Unicorns. Back at the hotel for a swim in the pool on the 21st floor, & watch the sun go down. City life. Evening meal on the 59th floor in the Vertigo Bar & Restaurant. It seriously is like being on a cruise ship skimming over the city. Best place ever for a meal.
Day 8 - Last day of shopping in the Big Mango. Cheap souvenir shopping at MBK, photos, Jamies Italian for lunch. (Yes, there is one here). Hotel, pack & home.
A 24-hour city that never sleeps and we did not see any sleaze.
So if you are disappointed, then just go on google & type in Nana, Soi Cowboy or Patpong. Or maybe I will write another blog on those places one day.