Spirit City: Arrival and accomodations

The airport’s exteriors, taken from here

We arrived in Bangkok on May 2, a few minutes shy of midnight at the Suvarnabhumi Airport. Like most airports, it was grey and large but what differed the airport from the ones I’ve been to is the industrial interiors. Unpainted cement was liberally mixed with steel, giving it an unfinished sheen that I particularly liked. Plants and purple lounge seats were scattered around the airport, the pop of colors giving it a refreshing twist. The airport also featured local decorations, personalizing it and giving it a distinct flavor. It’s perhaps the most beautiful airport I’ve been to.

Some trivia about Suvarnabhumi Airport: it has the world’s tallest free-standing control tower, has the 4th world’s largest terminal, is the 6th busiest airport in Asia, and is the second most popular place where Instagram photos were taken in 2011.

We checked in at the Indra Regent Hotel, some 30 minutes away from the airport. It’s in an area called Pratu Nam, which I believe is their version of Little India, considering the restaurants and money changers. The hotel is surrounded by various markets selling all sorts of things (it looked like the Baclaran market), usually the same stuff you’d see in established markets at a cheaper price.

Our not-so-stellar view from the window, but I like it because it has character

Despite the market feel of the hotel’s surroundings, Indra Regent was surprisingly luxurious. It markets itself as a budget hotel but the rooms are clean and spacious, and though my brother found a baby cockroach and killed it, I did not find anything to complain about.

The breakfast area

The view from the breakfast area 

The spa 

The inviting pool, I had to dive in on our third day

The amenities were okay. The pool was beautiful and the food at the hotel restaurant was standard, but my favorite feature was the breakfast buffet they offered in the morning. The food didn’t change much but there was variety: from fried rice, noodles, pastries, fruits, and an omelette station where you’d dictate the ingredients included. My favorite was this soft roll where I’d slather on pineapple jam, and bael herb juice. My mother found bael tea in Chatuchak and bought me a pack. I love that woman.

I would highly recommend Indra Regent. It’s a lot cheaper than five-star hotels, which I’m not a big fan of unless someone else is paying. It’s comfortable and the accessibility to markets (right outside) is ideal, especially if you get the sudden urge to splurge. It’s a bit out of the way for the de rigeur tourist spots but tuktuks, cabs (which cost roughly the same as tuktuks), and the train are good ways to get around the city.

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