Sagar in Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

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This was my 4th trip to Thailand. 21st to 27th August, 2018. This was a Baiyoke Sky Hotel-special and Shopping-special Trip. I wanted to shop for clothes, and just chill out.

I consider this trip a successful luxury tour.

P.S. I did NOT go there for hook-ups and I did not hookup with anybody. My idea of "fun" is very different. This ain't a justification, but writing it only, because people blatantly conjecture (and spread) things without knowing the person.

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Table of Index
Airports, Layovers, and Travel [...]
Baiyoke Sky Hotel [...]
Places I visited during this trip [...]
Helpful Links [...]


Airports, Layovers, and Travel 

Pune Airport
Heavily crowded and very slow. It took me around 30-40 minutes to go through the Security Check. Long queues and very impatient, ill-mannered people in the queue.

However, I must mention that despite the crowds and queue, the staff was quite patient with everyone, except for people who arrived late, and wanted to by-pass the queue.

One more observation. I bought a Water Bottle at INR 40/- at the Ground Floor after my Security Check. Went to the First Floor towards my Gate, where there was a stall selling Water Bottles at INR 10/- each!

Kolkata Airport
The Layover during my Onward Journey was 7 hours long (from 3 am to 10 am), but it didn't seem that long, because I took a couple of naps and the procedures begin 3 hours before departure, anyway. The Security Check was very quick, as there was no crowd at all. Hardly 5-10 passengers at the time I entered. However, they asked me open my hand baggage and show them my DJI Osmo+ to understand what it was. That guy was a bit slow!

I'd carried my DJI Osmo+ along with its loaded battery, and a separate battery in my hand baggage itself. Along with that, my hand baggage had my Laptop, Mobile Phone's Charger, and Laptop's Adaptor. A few dry fruits, biscuits, and snacks for eating during the flight. All of this was allowed through the Security Check.

On the way back, though, the Kolkata Airport's Domestic Departure Terminals' Gates looked like Railway Stations to me. Overcrowded and very noisy. Also, the staff at the baggage scanning X-ray machines were not even willing to help keep the bags on the belt.

Also, after clearing Customs, I went downstairs to walk towards Domestic Departures, where I spotted a Currency Exchange Counter. They bought 1 THB for almost INR 2.1. I exchanged my remaining Thai Currency there itself.

Indigo Airlines
Economical airlines. The overall experience was good in-flight and at all other places. The staff at Kolkata Airport (onward and return) needs to be upgraded a bit, though, in terms of their courteousness and care for customers.

Due to its low fares, the crowd that has started traveling is very noisy, chaotic, and ill-mannered. People were running around the plane, changing seats, talking loud (before / during / after take-off like they do in trains). Besides, I'm sure you know how impatient people get after landing. Due to this, the in-flight crew were annoyed and it was visible on their faces.

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
On Arrival VISA area was chaotic! No staff member to guide. The first staff member was met after reaching close to the FastTrack Window, who reminded me / us that the VISA Fees is THB 2,200. If you didn't agree, you could go through the Regular Queue. This really needs to be better disciplined.

Since I'd been there before, I took the correct (FastTrack) queue and proceeded.

On the way back, I asked at 3-4 Currency Exchange counters, but they didn't have Indian Currency. What a shame! At one counter, they did have Indian Currency, but 1 THB could be purchased for INR 1.6 or so only. I took the right decision of waiting until I reached India, and as you may have read above, I exchanged my remaining Thai Currency at the Kolkata Airport.

From Bangkok Airport to City
The City-Airport Line is my favorite, besides, my hotel was at the Ratchaprarop Station (one stop before the last stop of this Airport Rail Link). The hotel was hardly at 120 meters.

The cost of the journey one-way was THB 40. Very affordable, and super-fast.

Customs on the way back
Unlike my onward journey, I was asked (at the BKK Airport) to collect my checked-in baggage at Kolkata, clear the Customs, and drop it again at the Kolkata Indigo Counters. The boarding pass, however, was provided to me for both my flights.

I had two of my bags wrapped, and probably because of the "different" dress I'd worn (a deep V-neck sexy t-shirt, shorts, and a Cardigan), only I was stopped and a few questions asked by a lady. Her male coworker, sitting at a distance, said, "Sir ka dress jhakaas hai..." in Bengali, which I didn't understand, and the lady translated it for me. She asked me for my Passport, and iterated that I went from the 21st (to the returning day). She asked me if I went alone ("ise kehte hain jale par namak chhidakna"), to which I funnily frowned and said, "Yes", and asked the Purpose of Visit (I replied, "Tourism"). She, then, asked me what I did. Her last question was, if I had any items to declare. I didn't have anything to declare, and I told her that I've just shopped for clothes for myself. She thanked me, I thanked her, and I proceeded towards Domestic Departures.

The only time before this we were stopped by Customs Officers on returning were at PNQ Airport, when we returned from Dubai. Exactly similar questions were asked!




Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok 

1 Baht was approximately 2.155 Indian rupees during this trip.

A luxurious place to stay. I stayed here for 6 Nights. Room # 6609 - East-facing window room that faced the Airport Rail Link. Space Zone.

I booked it through www.booking.com, however, the issue was that their Premium Suites (higher floors with complete glass walls) weren't mentioned on the site at all. I booked a Deluxe Room, and was disappointed to see online that such rooms had only short windows. There was no way to change / cancel the booking. Therefore, I decided to upgrade during Check-In.

CHECK-IN:
♦ I was Checked-In by a very pleasant and cheerful guy named Jeriko. I asked for the upgrade, and he was willing to help. He showed me the room first, and then upgraded my Deluxe Room to the Superior Suite at additional charges. He is a very nice guy. Unfortunately, didn't get a chance to interact with him again.
♦ A Security Deposit of THB 3,000/- was taken during check-in, and returned during check-out. Surprisingly, their system did not have the mention of this, due to which the Thai Lady who checked me out asked me to produce the receipt that was given to me during check-in. That had the deposit mentioned, but I had to take it out from my luggage :/

ROOMS: (5 / 5)
♦ Spacious, clean, huge! Mine was Room # 6609 (66th floor). Space Zone. It was a smoking room (and I sensed that on entering), however, by the end of the trip, the mild smoking scent had also totally disappeared, me being a non-smoker.

ROOM SERVICE: (5 / 5)
♦ Excellent!!! All Towels, Bed Sheets, Pillow Covers were changed daily around 9 - 10 am. Tea / Coffee sachets were replenished daily as well. Soaps were replaced as well.
♦ Two Complimentary Water Bottles were provided daily. On my last night I asked for two more, and they served them as well.
♦ I have to mention that I did NOT buy a single water bottle in Thailand during this trip. Those provided in the room were enough.

STAFF: (3.5 / 5)
♦ Overall good. There are staff members (girls in pink and guys in blue) at every elevator to guide you. They do their jobs well.
♦ There was just one instance when a staff member at the Lobby (near the common elevators) who slightly pushed me as he wanted to enter the elevator to take out someone's luggage. I ignored. Whether India or Thailand or the USA, people are people, and we, humans, must learn to ignore trivial things, and avoid getting into fights / arguments / trying to change others! However, mentioning it here, so that they read this and train their employees. The staff at the common elevators (on the 18th floor lobby) generally looked a bit annoyed all the time.
♦ The staff at the 18th floor elevators that go to the rooms looked less irritated though.

One Tip: Whenever you are in the premises, move around with the Room Key Card in your hands, visible to the staff, so that they know that you're their guest. They not only guide you better, but also don't need to ask you for the Room's Key Card near the Elevator (which may offend some people).

ELEVATORS:
♦ Plenty of them all over. The first 17 floors of this building make up the Parking. 18th floor is the Lobby, where you check-in, hangout, and take the Elevators to your room's floor.
♦ The elevators are fast, however, they may, sometimes, take up to 5 minutes to become available for you. They're almost always crowded, but quite well-managed, I'd say.

OBSERVATION DECK, COMPLIMENTARY DRINK, AND REVOLVING DECK:
♦ Their Observation Deck at the 77th floor is a must-visit. It is FREE of cost for Guests (although I wasn't asked for my Room Number or Card). My suggestion is that they should have those Telescopes FREE for their guests. I had to insert a THB 10 Coin to see through it for a minute or two.
♦ I was offered a Complimentary Fruit Punch (welcome drink - to be utilized on any day) on the 83rd floor. That drink literally gave me a punch on my throat, and I had a bad throat and that turned into mild cough on returning back to India. The Drink was good, my Throat is not!
♦ The Revolving Deck on the 84th floor was fun to visit, and is a must-visit as well.

Wi-Fi:
♦ It was good. Downloads were pretty good. The upload speed was terrible!
♦ Also, it was a shame at the Wi-Fi was unavailable due to maintenance on the full day of Sunday, the 26th of August, 2018. I missed out on many things.

COST:
♦ Worth it!

IN-ROOM DINING:
♦ I ordered a Vegetarian Fried Rice in my room on the night of Sunday, the 26th of August, 2018, and it was good.

LOCATION:
♦ Excellent location! Many restaurants, many 7/11s, Indira Market, Platinum Fashion Mall, Central World, Metro Station at walkable distance.
♦ I had planned to shop (a lot) at Platinum Fashion Mall during this trip, and it was a blessing to have it at a walkable distance. There is a Burger King as well next to the Mall (where I had Veggie Burger twice).
♦ The Ratchaprarop Station was visible from my room, and so was the Makkasan Station. I could also see the BTS Skytrain on the other far end - the one in between Siam and Chit Lom.

FOOD:
♦ There are many Indian / Vegetarian restaurants below the hotel, however, I did not visit any of them.

OVERALL:
♦ Excellent, "once-in-a-lifetime" kinda experience, although this will happen again!
♦ I consider this trip a success.










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Places I visited during this trip 

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1. Chatuchak Weekend Market / J.J. Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market. I went there on Saturday, the 25th of August, 2018, and shopped a little only. I had been to the Platinum Fashion Mall already, and had found much cheaper stuff of the same / better quality. I bought two shorts and a few souvenirs here. Had fun though.

The best purchase was a Bag Tag and a Passport Holder with one's name ingrained. Got that for THB 60 at Soi 17/3, whereas some other shops were selling it for THB 80.

One Tip is to go deep inside the lanes. The chances of you finding better deals increase.

GETTING THERE:
Take the Sukhumvit Line BTS Skytrain going to Mo Chit. There are three entrances to the Chatuchak Market. You can take the BTS Exit towards Chatuchak Park, and there you will find an entrance to the market. Very easy to find, and on the way you can start buying stuff too.

2. Platinum Fashion Mall (Phase I & II)
Another shoppers' paradise. I shopped A LOT for myself here, and I've not seen such good quality clothes anywhere else as yet.

GETTING THERE:
Walkable distance from Baiyoke Sky Hotel / Ratchaprarop Station. There are walkable Market Alleys that directly end you up in front of the magnificent mall.

3. Pantip Plaza
Right next to the Platinum Fashion Mall, Pantip Plaza looked very dull to me during my 4th trip.

GETTING THERE:
It's next to Platinum Fashion Mall.

4. Pratunam Market
Another huge market (group of stalls) to buy lots of stuff. It's a mini version of Chatuchak Weekend Market.

GETTING THERE:
It was just 50-100 meters from Baiyoke Sky Hotel / Ratchaprarop Station.

5. MBK Center / Tokyu
Besides Chatuchak and Platinum Fashion Mall, MBK is yet another shopper's paradise. Magnificent, and lots of clothes, souvenirs, and good items on sale. High discounts. Tokyu (the more expensive one) is on one side of the building and there are really good clothes and other items there, whereas MBK is also a collection of branded, non-branded, expensive as well as inexpensive clothes. A must visit for shopping-lovers.

GETTING THERE:
Right next to the National Stadium BTS Skytrain station.

6. Indira Market
Next to the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, I just passed through it. Didn't buy anything from there. I, personally, don't prefer buying certain electronic items from other countries, besides, there wasn't much to buy from here, looking at all that I could buy from the Platinum Fashion Mall.





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Commuting in Bangkok 

I travelled extensively in the BTS Skytrain in Bangkok. It is not only fast, but also clean, less crowded during non-peak office hours, air-conditioned, convenient, and connects you to other major parts of the city.
The Airport Rail Link was like a mandatory part of my commuting, because it was required for me to go to Phaya Thai to take the BTS Skytrain.



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Helpful Links
The 8 Best Shopping Spots in Chinatown, Bangkok
10 Best Bangkok Shopping Malls - Most Popular Shopping Malls in Bangkok
Bangkok Night Markets - Where to Shop at Night in Bangkok
The Best Night Markets in Bangkok




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