We had, what I would classify, as our strangest night’s stay when we arrived back in Bangkok from Siem Reap.
It had been a late, albeit short flight from Cambodia and, its highlight had been Tiah discovering a new-found independence. Tony and I were enjoying a glass of wine when we heard the announcement that the flight was boarding – Tony and I were content to finish our wine but Tiah was getting anxious and said she was going on ahead. Our seats on the plane weren’t together so Tiah took her passport and we didn’t speak to her again until we’d all gone through immigration in Bangkok!
It was plain sailing until we were lining up to get a taxi to take us to our hotel for the night, and no one seemed to have heard of either the place or the street we were looking for. Thankfully a taxi driver standing close by overheard and said he knew – at least that was the impression I got – he was speaking Thai and could have said just about anything but it was late and we were tired and wanted to get to where we were going, so when he motioned to his taxi we followed along and climbed in.
As we drove away from the airport we had a slight panic that we were in for the same fate as our first night in Ho Chi Minh City. Not only did the drive seem much further from the airport than we had anticipated but we were heading into a really sketchy-looking part of town.
Despite the taxi driver appearing to know where he was going and finding the street we were looking for without any problem, we did have another minor panic attack when the street he drove down (which was the address we had) was a dead-end and sitting there at the side of the road was a group of men playing cards – we definitely weren’t in the best of neighbourhoods.
Of course hitting a dead-end meant we needed to turn around and drive back the way we came – I guess that’s one good thing as it did mean we weren’t going to get lost and thankfully as we made it back to the intersection, we noticed, sandwiched neatly away on the corner, BnR Resorts, the place we were looking for.
It was not the most welcoming looking place with its sliding gate and dark pathway, but it was well past midnight and we needed to be up and out by 7 the next morning. We could either stay or drive back to Don Mueang Airport and stay there. We were so grateful and thoroughly surprised when the owner (our landlady for the night) padded out to meet us, clad in pyjamas and slippers. That was that – we were staying! Our landlady had been waiting up for us and was an absolute sweetheart from start to finish.
It was hard to see anything in the dark but we could make out that there were 5 or 6 little bungalows tucked behind the main office. The next morning I was amused at how the cute little huts, fashioned after the ones on the islands, looked like they’d been plunked in someone’s backyard – so unexpected and incongruent with the rest of urban Bangkok!
Our lovely landlady had been under the impression that we would need two bungalows, I’m guessing it’s because our booking had said there were three of us, but she was most gracious and accommodating when we assured her we’d all stay together. It was easy to see why you’d need two bungalows for three people, there was barely room for the double bed and leg room to get in to it – certainly the smallest place we’d stayed in.
No matter we were given an extra pillow and a thin matteresy-duvet-thingy, which was more duvet than mattress – this was Tiah’s bed but as it turned out I think she got the comfiest end of the deal. Our bed, although it looked inviting, was nothing more than a sheet and thin cover over a piece of plywood. We were sleeping on a box, literally as hard as a board! Seriously, there was no mattress! But how could we complain? It was almost 1 am, our landlady had been so nice and really what were we going to say – “where’s the mattress?”
I don’t know how we got any sleep, but we must have had some because I was woken up at 6:30 by our lovely landlady tapping on the window, telling us it was time to get up – yup – that was our wake up call!
We hadn’t unpacked a thing and had pretty much slept in our clothes so being ready to leave for the airport was quick and easy. We even had enough time to enjoy our complimentary coffee (instant and coffee mate) sitting at a small concrete table surrounded by plastic plants and garden ornaments, lovingly placed around the indoor/outdoor carpet. Really, it was all very charming in that trailer-park-kind-of-way. Actually, thinking about it now, that’s exactly what BnR Resorts reminded me of – a super, well-cared for, trailer park, in Bangkok!
While we were having our coffee, our landlady asked if she could take a photograph of us. I suppose she wanted a picture of a family enjoying themselves – not sure but anyway it was hilarious when she went to take the shot and looked over at Tony. She said it looked like he wasn’t ready. I told her not to worry, click away, that’s just his morning face. She protested a bit more but did end up taking the picture but I swear she cut Tony out!
As a parting gift our landlady told Tiah and I to choose a postcard from her collection. The cards were from everywhere in Thailand, not just Bangkok (no they were not written on!!) It was another lovely gesture from this incredibly generous hostess.
When it was time to leave our landlady escorted us out onto the road and helped flag down a taxi. She was wonderful because she spoke to the drivers before she even called us over. We were a little nervous about time as she let 2 drivers go, but she explained that they refused to use their meters so if we went with them we’d be charged more.
Naturally we did get a taxi with plenty of time to spare but not only that, the cost was way cheaper than the night before and the distance was way shorter.
It occurs to me, looking back, that we had rather a rich stay at BnR Resorts – we packed a lot into our short time! I realize that my recommendation may not hold a lot of weight seeing as a. we were only there for about 7 hours b. we didn’t unpack and c. the bed was extra hard, but honestly the owner was lovely, helpful, kind and friendly, the bungalow was very clean and there were garden ornaments. If you need a place to stay close to Don Mueang, BnR Resorts is worth the stay.
P.s. Just for fun I thought I’d google BnR Resorts and see if indeed our landlady did post our photograph (I had a suspicion she would as I think she was intrigued that we were a family) Anyway the picture is there and you know Tony is in it and doesn’t look half bad considering it was 7 am and he’d slept on a board!
in a strange city