Bangkok: U Sukhumvit Hotel, Bangkok Review

Three or four-star accommodation in Bangkok is pretty affordable. I stayed previously in Sukhumvit in 2013 and the neighborhood is easily accessible via the BTS Skytrain.

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Nice and cozy accommodation in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit district.

For Songkran 2019, we wanted to stay somewhere that’s a comfortable distance from the madness of the water fights on the streets. We booked ourselves a room at U Sukhumvit Hotel on a friend’s recommendation.

Location. U Sukhumvit Hotel is in Soi Sukhumvit 15. It’s about a 10-minute brisk walk from Terminal 21 and BTS Asok Station. On the map, it looks like it’s a nice stroll down a street. However, on experience, it really is deep into the Soi as you pass by other large hotels. There seems to be only one 7-11 store and an Italian restaurant. Otherwise, it’s a very long stretch of boring road. Good thing the hotel provides complimentary tuk-tuk transfers to/from Terminal 21 and Sukhumvit MRT on a first-come-first-served basis.

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The exterior of U Sukhumvit Hotel in Soi Sukhumvit 15.
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Black and gold is always a good combination.
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It’s a quiet part of the Sukhumvit area. There are barely stores in this part.
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Complimentary tuk-tuk rides are available for hotel guests. First come, first serve.
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The lobby area of U Sukhumvit Hotel in Bangkok.

Amenities. The hotel has a boutique feel to it. It doesn’t feel bland at all. The lobby area is tucked beside the ground floor parking area. The lobby is a loft type where the mezzanine is the hotel restaurant. Behind the hotel’s reception desk is a large map of Thailand. There’s a gym on the third floor and a swimming pool with a bar and library on the top level. This is probably my favorite amenity at U Sukhumvit.

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The dining hall is a cozy size that’s perfect for this type of hotel.
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My favorite part of the hotel is the rooftop swimming pool. It has a relaxing view of Sukhumvit.

Room. We got the deluxe room which is just the right size. It has a mini-bar, security safe, and a comfortable bathroom in dark hues. There aren’t too many good options on the TV (the cable channel offerings were news channels and basic stuff). I packed my own Bluetooth speakers which were entertainment.

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The rooms at U Sukhumvit Hotel have unique motifs.
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I love the dark colors. It always looks more elegant.
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There’s a rain shower.

Food. Over the course of our 3-night stay at U Sukhumvit Hotel, the breakfast offering was more or less the same. They have tasty bacon with juicy fats. You can ask for eggs served your way (omelette, poached, sunny side up, scrambled). They had ‘farmers’ sausages in chicken and pork. They also have some noodles. A selection of ‘western’ cereal offerings and bread. A juice bar with an assortment of concoctions is available. Knowing that breakfast would probably be the same each day, I deliberately planned which day I’ll try what. 😉

Price. It’s in the three-star price range (honestly the hotel is very comfortable and is marketed as four-star). I’d put it at SGD 100.00 or less on off-peak. It’s one of the cheaper ones given the proximity to the city area. Value for money. I booked via Agoda.

Would I recommend this hotel? Yes. It’s in an affordable price range which also provides a nice rooftop swimming pool and a generous happy hour serving (1 for 1 on beers and cocktails from 5 to 8pm). We had a great time lounging on the roof deck during the 2nd day of this year’s Songkran festival. It was relaxing.

Special mention. All the staff we encountered at U Sukhumvit Hotel during the busy Songkran 2019 period were wonderful. If Thailand is the land of smiles, this hotel definitely had those. It’s that extra hospitality which always makes a hotel worth returning to.

Day 2 CNY at Normanton Park

Suzie invited us over to her condo at Normanton Park. Isa ‘to sa mga hangouts namin sa Singapore. In fact she’s been living there for almost three years. This is where we usually have our barbecues, our parties, our inumans (house drinking sessions) in Singapore.

By the time we got to Normanton Park it was almost 6:00 PM. And medyo gutom na kami so nagpadeliver kami agad ng Canadian 2-for-1 Pizza. It’s one of those cheaper pizza delivery options. Honestly wala talaga tatalo sa Yellow Cab pizza delivery with Charlie Chan Pasta.

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We ordered the Standard Bacon Chesseburger Pizza (with free: Cheesy Olio Chicken Pizza) and the Gourmet Quattro Stagioni 4 Seasons Pizza (with free: Pesto Cheese Pizza). Parang pare-pareho lang ang lasa… but the standard bacon cheeseburger was good. It even had bits of lettuce na parang McDonald’s Cheeseburger talaga.

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For the past few gatherings the star of the show is baby Clarebear! She was born 13 months ago and she is growing up so fast! She’s the cute daughter of our friends Bajo and Carlo.

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I wasn’t really in the mood to go swimming… but I did enjoy being near the water again. This Lunar New Year I didn’t plan any trips anywhere (kasi usually it is crowded or much more expensive, think Holy Week but this being Singapore’s version). These simple hangouts at Normanton are more than enough.

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Masarap pala ang Mountain Dew Pitch Black! I’m such a purist with Mountain Dew, which is like my official soda. But Pitch Black variant is pretty good. It’s the Dew + grapes.

Oh and I brought along Ashlee, one of my favourite stuffed toys na shark.

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After the pool sequence we went upstairs to watch Frozen for the 3rd or 4th time. Haha! Bentang benta pa rin ang Bekinese version of “Let It Go” (I actually loathe it haha, maging Devil’s Advocate lang).

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Neil is so good with children! Wala lang. I’m not so good with children. I guess we are a match!

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I like how Clare looks at the camera after seeing the focus lamp. She’s adorable!

My December holidays in the Philippines Pt. 1: Homecoming

Ah… the crowded shopping malls and apocalyptic traffic could not stop me from flying home to the Philippines for Christmas. It’s the season to spend time with family, friends and shady male massage therapists lol.

And no, this time I didn’t book the usual PAL or Cebu Pacific (both were charging higher than most other carriers, even SQ). I booked a return flight on Malaysia Airlines because journeys are made by the people you travel with and I happened to be travelling on my own so I guess I didn’t get a journey, but rather an experience…

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Note: The iconic sarong kebaya uniforms. Don’t note: The older MH 737 I got (SIN-KUL).

Look at this pretty MH bird parked at KLIA. It’s a Boeing 737-800, brand new seats with individual IFES (inflight entertainment system for non-AV geeks). Syempre may special mention ang IFES ‘cuz I usually fly PAL or 5J to Manila… which don’t sport IFES but instead chatty FAs on PR and perky pen-or-pouch wielding FAs on Cebpac.

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Malaysia Airlines is part of one world alliance. (Cathay, Qatar Airways, American Airlines)

You may have noticed that I skipped blogging about departing from Singapore’s Changi, a place I worship… see photos on my IG feed instead. This #MHjourney brought me to KLIA for the first time. I frequent the budget terminal LCCT (I miss that signature tropical scent near OldTown)… so imagine how wide-open my eyes were at KLIA. Oh wow… airplane models, another OldTown coffee shop, and speed aerotrains… omg Burger King!!

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The stars. KLIA keeping it modern.
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I spotted the PR and 5J models inside a glass case towards the back.

Failed side trip: My objective was to have lunch at KFC because the KFCs in Malaysia are truly finger lickin’ good, not like the bland bland bland KFCs in Singapore. So happens that accessing the KFC means going past immigration. Haggard. Ayoko kasi ma-Tom Hanks dito.

I took the aerotrain to the satellite structure (okay so at the time, I had no idea which was which, basta lang may aerotrain connecting two parts of the airport). At the other side there’s this giant atrium much like the one sa Gateway in Cubao. Lakas ng loob ko to go inside by myself (tourista lang)… only to feel a few spider webs clinging to my skin. French exit!

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All airports in Southeast Asia should have this.

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This satellite structure houses all the airline lounges for business and first class passengers. Some lounges have windows you could peek through (voyeur lang). Others like Emirates had one exclusive doorway (nightclub?) and your imagination could only hope that tarpauline outside depicting ano meron sa loob was true. Bilang isang economy passenger lang ako, bumagsak ako sa Burger King. It was the only fast-food option there. I ordered a Whopper Jr. but after struggling with my bags to get to my table and realising mali ang laman ng wrap, I just ate whatever it was lol.

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At MYR 14.00, still cheaper than any BK back in Singapore.

KLIA has massage chairs (Rest & Go, priced at MYR 3.00, 5.00 and 10.00), movie/news/sports viewing areas, lots and lots of chairs, free wi-fi across the terminals… wide spaces, airy feeling… definitely at par with the airport in Bangkok, Singapore, and even Jakarta (I give CGY plus points for design).

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Sit back and put your feet up.

I took the aerotrain back to the main structure so I could board my flight to Manila. Lots and lots of Pinoys were gathered… oh the spirit of Christmas bringing home so many OFWs.

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Onboard an MH flight to Manila. It’s a 737-800 with two-class seating.

I booked a seat at the first row of Economy since this was a 3.5 hour flight. Yay for IFES so I could catch “One More Try”, the sole Filipino film offering. Crazy film btw… watching Angelika and Angel bickering. Jusko, sex lang with Dingdong para magka-baby that will save the first kid. Daming isyu.

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Inflight meal options were chicken (Satay, with rice) or beef (noodles). I went for the chicken satay. Airplane food, Georgy and not Jalan Alor levels. It was OK.

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I’m saving the Mars for my boyfriend since it’s his favourite.

Nothing much else happened but I did enjoy the flight. Beautiful skies. Seeing the little islands and atolls of the Philippines thousands of feet below. It was gorgeous. I finished the flight off with an episode of Fashion Police.

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What island is that?

Our plane landed on schedule and unlike the 6:30pm sunsets I’ve gotten used to in Singapore, it was already dark in Manila.

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Passengers from jumbo jets origination from Sydney and Hong Kong sharing the same belt. Haggard!
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Christmas decorations at NAIA Terminal 1.

I met my parents at the arrivals area. As I stepped outside just past the guard, I saw a woman and her child try to pickpocket the luggage of the man in front of me.