Exploring Bangkok by boat is a fantastic way to get a glimpse into the timeless charm of the city. You can experience the role of Bangkok’s many waterways, which dates back to ancient times.
Off the beaten track. Klong Saen Saep – a well kept secret? Well sort of… actually, in normal times, something between 60,000 – 80,000 people a day use the boat service along this Klong (canal). Once Bangkok was criss crossed with Klongs but sadly no more – but happily for us one of the last remaining Klong boat services plys it’s trade just outside the Hotel walls. Bi-secting the city from East to West it offers an option to road or rail. Completed in 1937 it connected the Capital to Chachongsao some 70+ kms to the east.
Despite the Klong being polluted it offers a fascinating perspective on city travel -we encourage our guests to try the Klong as it easily beats sitting in Bangkok’s heavy traffic. Our nearest pier is Nana Nua – some 350 metres along the canal. Most journeys head west towards the old part of the city – an historic area filled with Thai culture and some wonderful places to eat and drink. A few stops along the Klong you’ll find the Jim Thompson House – erected in 1947 by the American silk entrepreneur/ secret agent! Well worth the stop to visit his house and take in the post war history and Thai culture.
Back in 1941/2 when my wife’s family purchased the land the klong was pristine – in fact, my father-in-law used to swim in the klong! Back in 1942 when the family moved into the original house (still the centre piece of the hotel) they used the Klong to transport all their furniture and possessions.
The last pier, Pan Fah , is right on the edge of the old city – adjacent to the Golden Mountain ( Wat Saket) and Democracy Monument – a short tuk tuk ride will take you to the Grand Palace ( Wat Pra Keaw) and Wat Po. From there you can find your way down to the Chao Phraya River . The river of Kings – teaming with life and activity and there are piers all the way along – avoid the tourist boats and use the express service as the locals do and you will have a fascinating and charming experience . When you’re ready to come back to AriyasomVilla you can do the journey in reverse – it’s cheap and fast – Pan Fah to Nana Nua about Bt11/13 and takes 18/20 minutes.
Ariyasom is a luxury boutique hotel and spa in Bangkok built around charming authentic 1940´s Thai heritage house. Our small boutique hotel is superbly located just off Sukhumvit Road and near to Bumrungrad Hospital. When first built in 1941, the villa was considered to be in the outskirts of the City but over the last 70+ years the City has pushed out to the east and we are now in the very centre of town. When we built the hotel our intentions were to build something with an authentic “Thai” feeling – I hope we’ve succeeded. Ariyasom Villa is a small luxury hotel with just 24 guestrooms, restaurant (Na Aroon), Thai Spa (Som Sen), small function room and meditation hall.
65 Sukhumvit Soi 1
Klongtoey Nua, Wattana