I love my little condo in Bangkok. I am lucky for 16,000 baht a month I live in a modern fully furnished place complete with swimming pool, gym and 24 hour security.
However, I am extremely envious of my friend who lives in a 5 star hotel and always wonder what it must be like. Meet Nikki:
“People always say that the two most stressful things in life are funerals and moving house but of all my moves (I have lived in over 15 houses across 7 countries) Bangkok was definitely the least stressful.
You see my living arrangements are probably a little different to yours in that I live in a 5 star hotel.
That’s not to say I am some eccentric dowager millionairess (although there’s still time..) no, you see I came to Bangkok as part of my job with an international hotel chain and part of my salary package involves “living in” as we call it.
Of course there are definitely positives to my living arrangements– my commute involves walking down a flight of stairs and takes me less than a minute so I arrive in my office without any of the stresses that your usual morning commute may entail. I can leave my laundry outside my room at 10am and by 6pm its back, washed and pressed and hanging in my cupboard again. Housekeeping clean my room 3 times a week (although I often leave my do not disturb sign on the door if I can’t be bothered to tidy up before they come.) I can eat all my meals onsite and make full use of room service which avoids all of those empty fridge issues and of course I don’t need to do the washing up which is always a bonus!
It does however mean I am always on call. 6 am phone calls because a VIP amenity hasn’t been set up or a team member hasn’t shown up to work and I need to help them get breakfast ready. Trying to relax by the pool on your day off with the whole hotel staff seeing you in your bikini is never easy – especially if the fussy guest who complained they got bitten by a mosquito the night before is sunbathing next to you! Room service can also get a bit repetitive, it took me 3 months to ask for them to add avocado to my salad or to get rebellious and order something from the breakfast menu for my dinner – I’m a team member not a guest after all and I am always very conscious I should behave this way.
Imagine coming home after one too many drinks and trying to sneak in past the night team who love to gossip and not get caught on the lobby camera, trust me when I say it’s pretty hard! Or the time they swapped the day they cleaned the rooms and didn’t tell me. My room looked like a bomb had hit it but when I came back from work it had been spotlessly cleaned – I could have died from shame and had to chase the attendant down the hall to give her some money as a tip!
I do try to make sure that I don’t get too caught up in the bubble and still have a normal Bangkok experience by leaving the hotel as much as possible. Here are a few of my favourite places to go and eat when I can’t face the room service menu anymore:
Ok so this won’t be a new one to many of you but this no frills, no fuss Issan restaurant just off Wireless road serves one of the best fried chickens you can eat. It might not be home cooking but it’s the next best thing.
Opposite Mess Hall
I know Anna has blogged about opposite before but I’m still going to add it in here. I love the fact that I can order a couple of small dishes as opposed to just having a main course and the daily changing specials means there is always something new to look forward to.
Another Thonglor favourite, the crab curry was a complete flavour revelation and the chiang mai sausage plate is porky heaven!
One of the major advantages of living in is that I can save the bulk of my salary if I set my mind to it which makes splashing out on extravagances like Bo.lan so much easier! The mini balance menu at 1680 THB was worth every sotong and some! (what do you mean that doesn’t count as saving?)
You can find more on my blog http://beirutibrit.wordpress.
Thank you Nikki – there are definitely pros and cons of living in a hotel, but the idea of someone doing my laundry and cleaning my room sounds like heaven!
I definitely recommend that you check out Nikki’s blog – she has an amazing knowledge about places to eat in Bangkok: http://beirutibrit.wordpress.
If you are interested in guest blogging for me, and sharing your experience of being an expat, a memorable moment or experience you have had in Thailand, or one of your favourite places, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org