After all the years of visiting Bangkok we did two things this time we have never done before.
First, we stayed in a high rise hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. We chose the Shangri-La Hotel because each room in the original Krungthep building has its own outdoor balcony. The Shangri-La’s newer highrise as well as the Peninsula Hotel across the river and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel next door are all in enclosed high rises. We love sitting outside till midnight in the 80 degree heat as we always have in serviced apartments during past visits.
The river boat and barge traffic is greatest during the day. However, at night the Chao Phraya River is full of restaurant-party boats. Each is brightly lit and thumping out dance techno.
Secondly, we have never been to Bangkok’s Chinatown. Where we usually stay, near Sukhumvit Rd., is to far away to walk to Chinatown. Now we are a half hour walk away.
Since we have been coming to Bangkok the skyline has changed dramatically. The development here (and all Asian cities) puts the USA to shame as far as numbers of buildings and unique architectural styles. Ours are basically all boxes because unique architecture costs more $$$ and reduces stock holders dividends. Asians are always trying to outdo each other.
Bangkok now has over 25,000 unsold condominiums. Most are over $750,000 USD. Shopping centers (mega malls) are numerous all with the same stores (Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, etc.). The most recent opened November, 2018 across the river from our hotel. Icon Siam. Whole complex is in excess of 1.5 Billion USD. Nearly 6 million square feet of retail on 11 floors, 5,000 car parking garage, two residential towers. Mandarin Oriental Residences at 52 stories and Magnolia Residences at 70 stories. The key buyers are Chinese citizens getting their money out of China.
Thailand is smart, only Thai citizens can own land. Foreigners can freely buy and sell structures/condos but never the land the structure sits on.
This phase of the party ends tomorrow. Love the return flights, leave Bangkok at 1730 on Tuesday, arrive SFO at 1930 on Tuesday. Wish it really were that quick.
The remainder of the party is 6 days in Oregon visiting our kids and grand kids.