Stay in Altitude….Beauty of Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok

If I am asked, how many times have you traveled to King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s country?… Ummh 3 times, guys.…Easy first level question.

Then if I am asked, what is the most memorable thing when visiting that “White Elephant Country“?….Tom Yam or its ladyboy (hahaha….kidding), guys….easy answer for second level question.

OKAY.…before entering next question

All of You have knew, how feel when do “crazy traveling” abroad in version of….maybe, normal people will give answer “nothing nice”.

But, this time I was a little showing off….hahaha. Because I save one story of my bourgeois trip to Thailand.

This is the story….What will you do if you are given USD 740 by your boss and you were asked to spend it all for 3 days 2 nights in Baifern Pimchanok’s country?….This is a third level question.

That’s a lot of money. But, many people bring much money for traveling to Bangkok. Waaw.…I’m really tacky. But swear….USD 740 are very much for me.

It will be memorable thing if it can be spent to stay at expensive hotel in Bangkok.

Yes, I finally stayed at Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel is 309 meters in height and it be 7th highest hotel in the world. So it doesn’t matter if you must to spend USD 110 per night for staying here.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel located in Khet Ratchathewi (Khet means a district), Bangkok Province. Ratchathewi itself comes from name of an empress, namely Phra Nangchao Sukumalmarsri Phra Ratchathewi.

Besides having a Victory Monument as a landmark, Ratchathewi also has famous landmarks namely Baiyoke Sky Hotel which I am writing now.

This hotel is located in a famous area….Its name, Pratu Nam. It also has other well-known destination, namely Pratu Nam Market. You must visit it if you go to Bangkok.

The hotel itself has 2 main towers. Tower I is 151 meters high and is used for Baiyoke Suite Hotels. While Tower II is 309 meters high, it’s used for Baiyoke Sky Hotel

I paid USD 9 to airport taxi driver after he transferred me from Don Mueang International Airport to Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Before entering hotel’s door, I observed busy trading activities in commercial shops which located on ground floor of Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Entering ground floor lift, a queue is so long in front of it. I stood in a tail of queue.

Oh Donny….a bumpkin man. A doorman was approaching me, apparently He knew I had just taken queue behind.

He: “Excuse me, Sir….Do you want to stay in or just go to observation deck?”

Me: ” I want to stay sir ”

He: ” Oh Okay, sir … This queue is for observation deck only. You can use that to go to lobby

Me: ” Oh thank you sir “. Hi Donny, please read the instructions (my heart murmured). Then I began to move to other lift with few queue.

The lift finally drove me to lobby.

Classic reception hall.

Finishing check-in process and get a access card. I immediately went to my room in upstair for a short break. There are three lift corridors on the floor where receptionist is located. The first corridor is used to go to exit door on ground floor. The second and third corridors are used specifically for guests towards their rooms and several interesting places in hotel, such as Baiyoke Floating Market, Bangkok Sky, Observation Deck, Stella Palace, Bangkok Balcony, Crystal Grill and Roof Top Bar.

Walked through a corridor to search my room.

I finally entered my room.

For meals, I didn’t need to eat a toast as usual. Because it’snt dormitory.…keep calm, Donny.

Ate as much as you want….

Besides that, you can also eat in a floating market concept. In this case, It’s no water in 75th floor where floating market is located. All buffets are in a boat style and there are traders at each boat.

Because of second tallest building in Bangkok, it will be very disadvantage if you don’t enjoy Bangkok from 360-degree revolving viewpoint in top floor of Tower II.

Scenery fare is about USD 14,8 for public. This time, I can enjoy it for free as a guest guest.

On first night, I went late and 360-degree revolving viewpoint on 84th floor of Baiyoke Sky Tower had stopped spinning. I wasn’t long at revolving roof deck and I decided to get off. I only get this:

Surprised, Peter Parker is very strong. It was 3 days, he hanged at 83rd floor….hahaha.

There were also champion photos of Baiyoke Run Up International (running race up stairs to top of Baiyoke Sky Tower).

I was able to get view of 360 degree-Bangkok view on second night. The 360-degree revolving point made me stunned when saw beauty of Bangkok at night.

Hunting photos in a 360-degree revolving viewpoint.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel also provides a mini museum to display several Buddha statues and artifacts.

Nearby Culinary

Precisely across hotel, you will find Indra Square Shopping Mall. Open from 10am to 9pm, like most shopping malls in general, you will easily find lots of clothes, accessories, souvenirs, shoes and bags which sold through a bargaining process. Many Indian descents become traders here.

Back to culinary, you can find Indra Food Square on top floor.

Want to Shop on the Street?

Along street in front of Baiyoke Sky Hotel presents a night market which attracts hotel guests to visit it. Try to eat Bangkok durian on left front side of hotel !….really nice.

Actually, luxury staying is very nice….hahaha.

Three Viewpoints in Phuket

My first post about Thailand isn’t about Bangkok as a capital city. But I will make you curious by presenting Phuket.

Imagining beauty of Phuket since 2013, I could really see it by naked eyes in 2019. For six years I could only see Phuket from a photo which was posted on my desk. Many reasons of course, why I must wait very long. Because of time, bustle and of course about budget….hihihi, I think the last one is my problem.

OK, by the way….

PHUKET….is an island-area province in south of Bangkok. If it is measured, its length is along Jakarta-Cikampek (about 70 km) and its width is only along East Jakarta to West Jakarta (about 36 km).

Phuket is indeed famous with its beach tourism. But for your information, 70% of its area are hills. That’s way, you can see the beauty of downtown and its beaches from above.

Based on this, before enjoying all beaches in Phuket, I did one thing that other tourists rarely do.…Yeah, I started to climb its hills to do ” Phuket helicopter view “.

That afternoon, Nok Air airline landed me at Phuket International Airport. Connected by airport bus, I was really dropped off in center of downtown. After checking in at Fulfill Phuket Hostel and lunch around it, I immediately rushed to rent a motorbike and went to a hill in northwest of hotel.

1.Khao Rang Viewpoint.

Khao Rang or Rang Hill is a viewpoint which located in north of Phuket. According to Khao Rang officer who I asked, Khao Rang usually visited by Phuket residents at night after work or on weekend to celebrate their holiday after 5 busy days at work.

Very lucky that I was there on Sunday afternoon, so it was very easy to find Phuket residents who were going back and forth

Needed about 10 minutes from Fulfill Phuket Hostel to actually get into Khao Rang through its south gate (there are two gates to go to Khao Rang, one in south and other one in north).

Parking my motorbike in a hurry because of my impatience to saw how Phuket face, I don’t care about many young couples who are seen sitting in every corner of Khao Rang.

I immediately looked around to determine from which point I will see Phuket. Yes.…that was the viewpoint that I was looking for:

A European style building is displayed at end of Khao Rang.

Oh God….Phuket which is bordered by coastline and insulated by small hills on each view sides makes me stunned for a long time and beat the sun heat.

Nice?….Why are you stunned?….hahaha
How nice is it?
Me and the view.

If you want to stay longer in Khao Rang, You can enjoy Phuket view while eating Thailand foods in Tunk Ka Cafe. If you don’t want to enter cafe because of expensive price, You can enjoy some snacks or coconut water in some food stalls outside restaurant.

Then what did I?….I didn’t buy anything….I prefered to go to next viewpoint.

2. Phuket’s Big Buddha

Out of Khao Rang parking area, I directed my motorbike to southwest. I would explore as far as 20 km towards Big Buddha statue by motorbike.

Through heat of Phuket’s streets, I stopped by in a traditional market in middle of trip. Sightseeing market to see local people trade, slowly I heard faint sound of Sundanese language (Sunda is other name of West Java, Indonesia) among boisterous tone of market.

“I have to find this person”, I thought. Approaching sound until I found two teenagers from Sukabumi (a district in West Java province) who are undergoing students exchange which become their Tourism Vocational School program. They were assigned in a resort at Phuket and were shopping at behest of resort’s head chef.

Leaving the market, I resumed my journey up winding hill to its summit.

I saw Chinese tourists rejoice on ATV to same place, even some European tourists could be seen heading to top of hill by jogging and walking.…It was crazy, that’s really far away.

I can say that it’is “combo venue”. Because besides getting a higher viewpoint, you will also enjoy beauty and sacredness of this statue.

Finally I arrived in Big Buddha.

Located on top of Nakkerd hill, this 45 meters in high statue was built in 2004.

Walk to end of giant statue plaza !, this is what you will get:

Guys.…that’s exotic appearance of Ao Chalong Bay….exotic like Jennifer Garner (upsss….You know my idol….hahaha)

Big Buddha became a closing trip of all my climbing on that Sunday.

I had to be patient to climb again next day.

3. Kao Khad View Point

Next day….

I would longer sit in Kao Khad, so I decided to enter Family Mart across my hotel to prepare some packed beans and soft drinks to enjoy beauty of Phuket.

Heading to south, I went through Phuket’s streets. I would cover a distance about 8 km now. Passing through traffic jams at several points of road which were being renovated and also through underpass project, I enjoyed local faces who were moving towards their respective livelihoods.

Viewpoint which isn’t so high made my motorbike easy to run faster and reached my destination in just 12 minutes.

Here is it, Kao Khad viewpoint :

Seeing from everyhere, the whole island really spoiled my eyes
Kao Khad beach….beautiful

So….after seeing some little scenery that I gave….Will you go to Phuket?

Menginapi Ketinggian….Pesona Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok

Kalau ditanya, berapa kali pernah ngelayap ke Negerinya Bhumibol Adulyadej?….udeh 3x, bang…..Pertanyaan mudah level pertama.

Lalu kalau ditanya, Apa yang paling berkesan ketika mengunjungi Negeri Gajah itu?…...tom yam atau ladyboynya, bang….jawaban mudah pertanyaan level kedua.

OKAY….sebelum masuk question berikutnya

Kamu semua tahu lah, apa enaknya “ngelayap edan” ke negeri orang versi….kacamata biasa aja menjawabnya ”nothing fine“.

Tapi, kali ini Aku sedikit sombong. Karena Aku ternyata menyimpan satu kisah perjalanan borju ke Negeri yang ladyboy nya sangat aduhai itu.

Begini….Apa yang akan Kamu lakukan jika dikasih uang 10 juta dan Kamu diminta menghabiskan uang sejumlah itu selama 3 hari 2 malam di negerinya si super cantik Baifern Pimchanok?…Nah ini nih pertanyaan level ketiga.

Gile lu Don….Uang segitu aja banyak. Pan banyak orang bawa uang segitu buat jalan-jalan disono. Wadaw….Aku norak banget sih. Tapi swearrrrr….segitu buat Aku sangatlah buanyakkkkk.

Uang segitu akan menjadi berkesan tentunya, jika bisa digunakan untuk menginap di hotel mahal di Bangkok.

Yes, Aku nginep di Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel memiliki tingggi 309 meter dan menjadi hotel tertinggi ke-7 di dunia. Tak hayal jika Kamu perlu mengeluarkan kocek sebesar 1,5 juta per malam apabila mau bermalam dimari.

Hotel yang terletak di Khet Ratchathewi (Khet artinya distrik), Propinsi Bangkok. Ratchathewi sendiri berasal dari nama seorang permaisuri yaitu Phra Nangchao Sukumalmarsri Phra Ratchathewi.

Nah Selain memiliki Victory Monument sebagai landmark, Ratchathewi juga memiliki landmark terkenal yaitu Baiyoke Sky Hotel yang kali ini sedang Kubahas.

Hotel ini terletak di area terkenal….namanya, Pratu Nam. Di sana juga ada destinasi terkenal lainnya yaitu Pratu Nam Market. Kamu harus mengunjungi pasar tersebut jika ke Bangkok.

Hotel ini sendiri memiliki 2 tower utama. Tower I memiliki tinggi 151 meter dan digunakan untuk Baiyoke Suite Hotel. Sedangkan Tower II bertinggi 309 meter, digunakan untuk Baiyoke Sky Hotel

Aku membayar Rp 125.000 (THB 250) ke pengemudi airport taxi setelah Dia mentransferku dari Don Mueang International Airport ke Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Sebelum memasuki pintu hotel, Kuperhatikan kesibukan aktivitas perdagangan di commercial shops yang terletak di lantai terbawah Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Mulai memasuki pintu bawah hotel, antrian begitu panjang di depan lift. Aku pun berdiri di ekor antrian.

Oh Donny……Dasar ndeso. Doorman itu menghampiriku, rupanya Dia tahu aku baru saja mengambil  antrian di belakang.

Dia: “Excuse me, Sir….Do you want to stay in or just go to observation deck?”

Aku: “I want to stay sir

Dia:”Oh Okay, Sir….This queue is for observation deck only. You can use that lift to go to lobby”

Aku: “Oh thank you sir”. Baca petunjuk dong Don….Ndeso (Hatiku bergumam). Aku pun mulai berpindah ke lift sebelah yang sepi antrian.

Lift itu pun mengantarkanku ke Lobby.

Reception hall yang bernuansa klasik

Selesai proses check-in dan mendapatkan access card. Aku segera menuju keatas untuk rehat sejenak. Ada tiga koridor lift di lantai tempat resepsionis berada. Koridor pertama digunakan untuk menuju pintu keluar hotel di lantai terbawah. Koridor kedua dan ketiga digunakan khusus untuk tamu menuju kamarnya dan menuju  beberapa tempat menarik di hotel, seperti  Baiyoke Floating Market, Bangkok Sky, Observation Deck, Stella Palace, Bangkok Balcony, Crystal Grill dan Roof Top Bar.

Menelusuri koridor mencari keberadaan kamar.

Aku mulai memasuki kamarku……

Untuk urusan makan, Aku tak perlu mengunyah sepasang toast seperti biasanya. Karena ini bukan dormitory bung….Ayeee

Makan sepuasnya lah biar buncit dah….

Selain itu, Kamu juga bisa merasakan makan dalam balutan konsep floating market. Maksudnya, tidak ada air ya gaes di lantai ke-75 dimana floating market berada. Hanya saja buffetnya berwujud perahu dan ada pedagang di setiap perahunya

Namanya juga Second-Tallest Hotel di Bangkok, akan sangat rugi jika Kamu tak menikmati pemandangan Bangkok dari 360-degree revolving viewpoint di ujung Tower II.

Pemandangan seharga Rp. 200.000 untuk umum, Kali ini Aku bisa menikmatinya secara gratis sebagai tamu penginap.

Malam pertama, Aku kemalaman dan 360-degree revolving viewpoint di lantai ke-84 Baiyoke Sky Tower sudah berhenti berputar. Aku tak bertahan lama di revolving roof deck dan kuputuskan untuk turun. Aku hanya mendapatkan ini:

heran, si Peter Parker kuat banget. Dah 3 hari kek gitu di lantai 83

Terpampang juga foto para juara tiap tahun dari Baiyoke Run Up International (lomba lari menaiki tangga menuju puncak Baiyoke Sky Tower).

Aku baru bisa mendapatkan view kota Bangkok 360o di malam kedua. Putaran 360-degree revolving viewpoint membuatku terpana melihat keindahan Bangkok di malam hari.

Berburu foto di 360-degree revolving viewpoint

Baiyoke Sky Hotel juga menyediakan museum mini untuk mendisplay beberapa arca dan artefak Buddha.

Kuliner Terdekat

Tepat diseberang hotel, Kamu akan menjumpai Indra Square Shopping Mall. Buka dari jam 10 pagi hingga jam 9 malam, seperti kebanyakan shopping mall pada umumnya, Kamu dengan mudah akan menemukan banyak pakaian, aksesoris, souvenir, sepatu dan tas yang dijual melalui proses tawar- menawar. Banyak trader keturunan India mengadu nasib disini.

Kembali ke kuliner, Kamu bisa menemukan Indra Food Square di lantai paling atas.

Mau Belanja di Jalanan?

Sepanjang jalan didepan Baiyoke Sky Hotel menghadirkan night market yang menarik para tamu hotel untuk mengunjunginya. Cobain duren Bangkok tepat disebelah kiri depan hotel deh….maknyussss.

Ternyata nginep mewah itu enak ya bro…..Ahirrr

Tiga Viewpoint di Phuket

Tulisan pertamaku tentang Thailand tak akan kuambil dari Bangkok yang menjadi Ibukotanya. Tapi Aku akan membuatmu penasaran dengan menghadirkan Phuket.

Membayangkan keindahan Phuket sejak 2013, Aku baru benar-benar bisa melihat keindahan itu dengan mata telanjang pada 2019. Enam tahun lamanya Aku hanya bisa melihat Phuket dari sebuah foto yang kutempel di meja kerjaku. Banyak alasan tentunya kenapa harus selama itu. Mulai dari waktu, kesibukan dan tentunya dompet….hihihi, kayaknya masalahku yang terakhir itu deh.

OK, by the way….

PHUKET….merupakan sebuah propinsi ber-area pulau di sebelah selatan Bangkok. Jika diukur, panjangnya sepanjang Jakarta-Cikampek dan lebarnya hanya sepanjang Jakarta Timur ke Jakarta Barat.

Phuket memang terkenal dengan wisata pantainya. Tapi jangan salah, 70% wilayahnya adalah perbukitan. Artinya, Kamu bisa melihat keindahan kota dan pantainya dari atas.

Atas dasar itulah, sebelum menikmati segenap pantai di Phuket, Aku melakukan satu hal yang jarang dilakukan turis lainnya….Yes, Aku mulai menanjaki perbukitan itu untuk melakukan “Phuket helicopter view”.

Siang itu, maskapai Nok Air mendaratkanku di Phuket Internatonal Airport. Disambungkan dengan airport bus, Aku benar-benar diturunkan tepat di pusat kota. Selepas check-in di Fulfill Phuket Hostel dan lunch di sekitarnya, Aku segera bergegas menggeber sepeda motor sewaan ke sebuah bukit di barat laut hotel.

1.Khao Rang Viewpoint.

Khao Rang atau Rang Hill adalah sebuah viewpoint yang terletak di utara Phuket. Menurut petugas yang kutanyai, Khao Rang biasa dikunjungi penduduk Phuket di malam hari selepas penat bekerja atau di weekend untuk merayakan libur setelah 5 hari sibuk bekerja.

Kebetulan sekali Aku hadir disini pada Minggu siang, jadi sangat mudah menemukan warga Phuket yang hilir mudik.

Hanya perlu waktu sekitar 10 menit dari Fulfill Phuket Hostel untuk benar-benar masuk ke Khao Rang melalui gerbang selatan (ada dua gerbang untuk menuju Khao Rang, satu di selatan dan satu lagi di utara).

Memarkirkan motor dengan terburu-buru karena ketidaksabaranku melihat bagaimana wajah Phuket, Aku tak memperdulikan banyak pasangan muda-mudi yang terlihat duduk bermesraan di setiap sudut Khao Rang.

Aku segera melihat sekitar untuk menentukan dari titik mana akan melihat Phuket. Yes…..itu viewpoint yang kucari:

Sebuah bangunan gaya eropa terpampang di ujung Khao Rang.

Wadaaawww…..tata kota Phuket yang dibatasi dengan garis pantai dan tersekat-sekat dengan perbukitan kecil disetiap sisi pandang membuatku tertegun lama dan mengalahkan panasnya sengatan matahari siang itu.

Ciamik ga?….Kok diem
Ciaaaaa mikkkkk gaaaaa?……Kok cuma diliat bentar doing sih…..
Ciaaaamiiikkkkkkk kaaaannnnnnnn????????……………….komen donk

Jika mau lebih lama di Khao Rang, Kamu bisa menikmati Phuket sambil menyantap kuliner khas Negara Gajah Putih di Tunk Ka Cafe. Kalau ga mau masuk cafe karena mahal, Kamu cukup menikmati jajanan ringan atau air kelapa di beberapa stand makanan diluar restoran itu.

Lalu Aku?…..Kagak beli apa-apa…..Aku lebih memilih kabur ke viewpoint berikutnya.

2. Phuket’s Big Buddha

Keluar dari area parker Khao Rang, Aku mengarahkan sepeda motorku ke arah barat daya. Aku bersama motorku akan menjelajah sejauh 20 km untuk menuju patung Big Buddha.

Melewati panasnya jalanan Phuket, Aku menyempatkan mampir di sebuah pasar tradisional di tengah perjalanan. Menyibak seisi pasar untuk melihat orang-orang lokal berniaga, perlahan Aku mendengar sayup-sayup bahasa Sunda diantara riuh rendahnya nada pasar.

“Aku harus menemukan orang ini”, batinku. Kudekati suara itu hingga menemukan dua anak muda asal Sukabumi yang sedang menjalani pertukaran pelajar yang menjadi program sebuah SMK Pariwisata di daerahnya. Dia ditugaskan di sebuah resort di Phuket dan saat itu sedang berbelanja atas perintah sang kepala koki.

Meninggalkan pasar, Aku kembali meneruskan perjalanan mendaki bukit yang meliuk-liuk menuju puncak.

Kuperhatikan para turis asal China bersukaria menaiki ATV menuju ke tempat yang sama, bahkan beberapa bule terlihat menuju puncak bukit dengan ber-jogging dan beberapa berjalan kaki….gile, itu kan jauh banget.

Boleh dikatakan ini “combo venue”. Karena selain mendapatkan viewpoint yang lebih tinggi, Kamu juga akan sekaligus menikmati keindahan dan kesakralan patung ini.

Tibalah Aku di Big Buddha

Terletak di puncak Bukit Nakkerd, patung setinggi 45 meter ini dibangun pada 2004.

Berjalanlah ke ujung plaza patung raksasa itu, inilah yang akan Kamu dapatkan:

guys…itu penampakan Ao Chalong Bay yang eksotik….seeksotik Jennifer Garner (upsss….ketauan deh idola guwe).

Big Buddha menjadi trip penutup dari segenap pendakianku pada Minggu itu.

Aku harus bersabar untuk mendaki lagi dikeesokan hari.

3. Kao Khad View Point

Hari berikutnya….

Aku akan lebih lama duduk di Kao Khad, jadi kuputuskan memasuki Family Mart di seberang hotel untuk menyiapkan beberapa kacang kemasan dan soft drink untuk menikmati keindahan Phuket.

Menuju selatan, Aku kembali turun ke jalanan Phuket. Kali ini Aku akan menempuh jarak 8 km.  Melewati kemacetan di beberapa titik jalan yang sedang direnovasi hingga proyek pembuatan underpass, Aku menikmati wajah-wajah lokal yang sedang bergerak menuju ke tempat mencari nafkahnya masing-masing.

Viewpoint yang tak begitu tinggi memudahkan motorku untuk berjalan lebih kencang dan mencapai tujuan hanya dalam 12 menit.

Ini dia, Kao Khad viewpoint:

Dilihat darimanapun, seisi pulau itu sungguh memanjakan mata
Kao Khad beach….yuhuiiii

So…..setelah melihat sedikit pemandangan yang kuberikan….Maukah Kamu ke Phuket?