It has been a fast moving last six weeks, now that we are back it seems only a blink of an eye. After a night in New York with dear friends we were en route to Bangkok, a bustling city of 8 million, famous for palaces and temples but well reputated for being sinful and seedy. As large cities are usually an avoidance for us, I was careful to book a hotel in Old Bangkok I hoped would be an oasis from the noise and crowds. Chakrabongse Villas exceeded my every expectation. From the lush gardens surrounding ponds and water features, to the riverside dining pavilion with traditional furnishings, every inch was beautifully presented and maintained. Built in 1908 by Prince Chakrabongse, the house was originally used as his leisure residence, a perfect spot for picnics and river rides after attending royal ceremonies in the Grand Palace. After the 1932 revolution the house became home for Prince Chula Chakrabongse, a writer and historian whose daughter Narisa would later open the property as a boutique hotel to lucky visitors such as ourselves. The dining pavilion sits on the Chao Phraya River (River of Kings), which cuts through the heart of the city. The upper deck was our favorite frequent; a great spot for morning yoga while watching the city come alive as well as sunset cocktails followed by city lights.
After wandering through the fragrant flower market and a chaotic visit to the Grand Palace (where we ducked into the above bonsai garden to escape the masses of people), we spent a romantic end to our one year wedding anniversary aboard an old wooden monohull ship, sampling traditional thai food and being entertained with live music and dance.