Monday, July 5, 2010

Bangkok - Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel

Inside Phranakorn Nornlen hotel - an oasis in the heart of Old Bangkok

Unfortunately we didn't have much time in Bangkok; we flew out of Krabi and arrived in Bangkok around 1.30pm. The baggage service was a bit smoother this time around and the taxi service is a lesson in efficiency at Bangkok airport. There is a service counter where you line up alongside all prospective taxi drivers who must use a special ticket which features all their details, name, company details, taxi number, etc. That way if you have a complaint or forget belongings in the taxi they are easy to track down. It was a 30-minute taxi ride to our hotel which was located in the Thewet district which is considered a part of 'Old Bangkok'. We stayed just one night at the Phranakorn Nornlen hotel but it made a big impression on all of us. From the relaxed vibe to the welcome herbal teas we really felt at home at Phranakorn - we were already looking forward to staying there from what we had read online and from their website.

The Thai's make you feel very welcome

Inside the girls' room

Phranakorn is situated in a small soi (sideroad or alleyway) in an older part of town, very close to the river and a short stroll to many local vendors and shops. We arrived to a lovely welcome at the hotel and were all a bit peckish so decided to visit the noodle vendor down the street we spied while we were in the taxi.

Slurping some yummy rice noodles!

The old lady behind the noodle cart looked like she had been there for aeons; it was one of those small cart vendors that serve only one dish and many locals were sitting and slurping so we knew it was going to be good. A bowl of rice noodles and soup was only $25baht ($0.80AUD!!!). While we were there a fruit vendor wheeled his cart by and we got a fresh coconut for $30baht ($1AUD) and 1kg of lychees for the same! Nat saw that just next to the vendor was a hairdresser and she wanted her fringe cut so she popped in for a quickie.

Nat getting her fringe cut

From there with full bellies we went back to our hotel which was a 1-minute walk away. The day was especially special as it was 29 June and was Talia's first birthday. Phranakorn organised a birthday cake for us in advance so we had a small birthday celebration in the play area.

Chocolate ice cream-custard cake!

Phranakorn is really an oasis in Bangkok - the decor and ambience are unlike any other hotel we have stayed at. There are many trompe-l'oeil featured on the walls...

And their play area for the kids is second to none...

They even grow their own vegetables on their rooftop garden...

After a short rest we decided we should head out and caught a tuk tuk to the area around Khao San road which is a famous tourist street in Bangkok. We wanted to head to Paragon or a similar air-conditioned shopping mall but considering the time was around 6pm the traffic would have been chaotic so we decided to go somewhere close.

Bangkok tuk tuk

Khao San road - spot the local....

Khao San road is pretty crazy; cheap clothing, trinkets and almost everything else can be found here and bargaining is essential. There are a heap of tourists but it is one of the most popular shopping streets in Bangkok. You can also sample items a little off the norm...

In the top picture from the back you can see scorpions, cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers - basically anything you would normally squash with your flip-flop was fair game and for sale as a snack in-between a little shopping. How unfortunate it was that I was still full from the noodles we had eaten earlier... We did a bit of shopping and had a meal before retiring back to the hotel.

The next morning we had a great breakfast at the hotel - an organic vegetarian meal which consisted of minestrone, mushroom and avocado bruschetta and wild mushroom fried rice which was fantastic. I'm a bit of a carnivore but was thoroughly satisfied. They also had a full service expresso bar so after a couple of espresso's I was set.

Organic breakfast

Angie finished the last of the chocolate cake from the night before as well as a serve of hotcakes before a final play in the playroom. Our taxi to the airport was arriving so we said our goodbyes. Phranakorn-Nornlen is not your typical hotel (they don't even have TV's in their rooms) but if you're looking for something different and special we wholeheartedly recommend it.

There's even a monkey on the keychain!


  1. Dear Trevor Aung Than' Family

    Thank you very much for your post in your blog. Everyone in Phranakorn-nornlen saw it with smile. We hope can see you and your family again next time.

    Miss everyone in your family
    PN (everybody) ^________^ with big hug

  2. It was our pleasure! We will be back to visit you all again I am sure....

  3. Simple and sweet localized hotel.People looking happy.So this is the best point of it.
    -Hotel in Banglore

  4. Great stuff - looks like a real adventure!

    Those grasshoppers look tasty - not!

    Missing you guys heaps (Lara and Maya ask all the time when you're coming home).

  5. Another great blog Trev. Its so fantastic that you and the girls are doing so much travel. Their passports must be full of stamps by now! Angie and Talia always look happy and relaxed. I don't think Nat is going to be able to keep carrying Talia for much longer though - she is really growing fast!

    Can't wait to see you guys. Hurry home soon and in the meantime skype me!

  6. Thanks guys. I should have tried the grasshoppers but oh well - next time!
    We look forward to seeing you all next month in Australia.

  7. C'mon, you should have tried the grasshoppers! Great photos and post.