My guide helps you to discover the hidden treasures of Bangkok. I collect tipps by insiders and offer you links to Google Maps as well as reviews of hotels, guesthouses and restaurants by other guests.
It went around the world in the last days: "Would you pay US$50 for a cup of elephant dung coffee?", cnngo.com asked and continued: "The big story these days is coffee made with beans that have been pooped out by elephants". Thai elephants produce the most expensive coffee worldwide. Hotels of the Anantara Group serve this coffee. And newspapers around the world have published this message eagerly.
Is this a story that can be trusted? Is it good for elephants, when you drink elephant dung coffee? Do elephants normally eat coffee beans and poop them out afterwards? Of course there is a homepage, that tries to tell you this: blackivorycoffee.com. You learn: "Coffee beans are naturally refined by Thai elephants at the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation in Chiang Saen, northern Thailand." Naturally? Do elephants normally eat coffee beans? Try a Google Archive Search about elephants and coffee beans for example for the year 2010 - and you will find nothing. Therefore also blackivorycoffee.com tells you, that "in times of drought", Asian elephants are attracted to coffee plantations "as many of them are irrigated". Then they eat, what they find here - but not normally, when there are not times of drought.
So how do the elephants at the Golden Elehant Triangle Foundation get their beans? You guess it: They are fed with beans. Before the best Thai Arabica beans have been picked from an altitude as high as 1500 meters. So: What is promoted as a natural process really is a man made process.
Does this harm the Elephants? The Black Ivory Coffee Company assures: "Blood work has been completed by independent veterinarians to confirm that there has been no harm to the elephants. An elephant veterinarian is also on-site at the production site full-time." So you learn: The Elephant camp is a "production site".
And who earns the money from this production? "8% of our sales will help fund a specialist elephant veterinarian to provide free care to all the elephants of Thailand through the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. Additional funds will also be used to purchase medicine as well as to build a new laboratory", says the homepage of blackivorycoffee.com.
And who founded this business with elephants? It is Blake Dinkin. Before he was active in northern Thailand, he was active in Rwanda in Africa, as you can learn on The business of doing good. Dinkin, a Torontonian, has completed his MBA at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). He then went to Africa through a Canadian non-profit group called MBAs Without Borders (MWB).
And Blake Dinkin is also on Facebook. He writes there about the article Elephant Dung Coffee: World's Most Expensive Brew Is Made With Pooped-Out Beans on huffingtonpost.com. He says: "It's amazing how one article can lead to coverage in so many other sites. I have just received an invite to a fantastic PR opportunity." Well, this is it: A big PR show.
Just small rooms for small prices? Bangkoks guesthouses often offer more. Here you find reviews of guesthouses, organized by the districts of Bangkok, so you can choose your bed near the places you want to visit. The indicated prices are for double rooms. All the following prices are for a double room.
Bangkok Noi บางกอกน้อย Subdistricts: Siri Rat ศิริราช, Ban Chang Lo บ้านช่างหล่อ, Bang Khun Non บางขุนนนท์, Bang Khun Si บางขุนศรี, Arun Ammarin อรุณอมรินทร์
Ibrik Resort - Hidden Gem: From 3500 to 4000 Baht. 256 Soi Wat Rakang. Just three rooms with balcony, close to Wat Rakang Pier. The river room looks to Chao Phraya River and The Grand Palace (you know: picturesque, but the noise of the boats you have to bear...). Great restaurant - Supatra on the river - next door. Next door ist also the Patravadi Theatre. Read the reviews of i-escape.com , tripadvisor.com and see picturs on flickr.com.
Bangrak House 32: 32 Sathorn Soi 16.
In a 100 years old restored 3-storey house Mac and Noi are running a guesthouse with Enjoy Bistro nearby and they have got a lot of very good reviews on airbnb.com.
Ryn's Café&Bed: From 550 to 1000 Baht. 44/16 Soi Convent. Some rooms with private bath, others with shared bath. Good review by cuneozinner.org
Phra Nakhon พระนคร Subdistricts and historic places: Banglamphu บางลำพ, Khao San ถนนข้าวสาร, Rattanakosin รัตนโกสินทร์, Phra Borom Maharatcha Wang พระบรมมหาราชวัง, Wang Burapha Phirom วังบูรพาภิรมย์, Wat Ratchabophit วัดราชบพิธ, Samran Rat สำราญราษฎร์, San Chaopho Suea ศาลเจ้าพ่อเสือ, Sao Chingcha เสาชิงช้า, Bowonniwet บวรนิเวศ, Talat Yot ตลาดยอด, Chana Songkhram ชนะสงคราม, Ban Phan Thom บ้านพานถม, Bang Khun Phrom บางขุนพรหม, Wat Sam Phraya วัดสามพระยา
Baan Chantra - Hidden Gem: From 2200 to 3500 Baht. 120/1 Samsen Road. Traditional Thai home from 1936, a five minutes walk away from Khao San Road. Furnished in antique woodden style and wireless internet in the rooms. It's location is Samsen Road, quite busy road in Old Bangkok (Banglampoo), so there is some noise, if you have a room to the street side, but there are also rooms to the courtyard. It's not far from Pra Athit Road with many good restaurants and from attractions like Wat Pho and The Grand Palace. Baan Chantra has good reviews on Tripadvisor.com And here you see their Map and a picture by annespells. Read more and see nice pictures on thaiasiatoday.com.
Baan Dinso บ้านดินสอ: From 1400 Baht. 113 Soi Silp, Trok Sin, Dinso Road. Baan Dinso is a boutique hostel with nine rooms, decorated with 1950’s Thai house style. “Like an oasis in this busy city”, writes mumunoi, who shows a serie of pictures. Or see the slideshow by Thammagasorn. Good reviews on tripadvisor.com.
Old Bangkok Inn - Hidden Gem: From 4000 to 9000 Baht. A charming nod to the past. The 10 rooms, including lofts and suites, are furnished wqith Thai golden teak and individually decorated in Thai floral themes: Lemongrass comes with an tropical garden, Jasmine has painted murals, and Orchid a four-poster bed, hanging oil lamps and rose-colored walls. Many rooms are even decorated with hand-painted porcelain. Old Bangkok Inn wants to be a green hotel: Alle the hot water comes from a solar water heater system. More on their green philosophy. The historic building is located in Bangkok's Rattanakosin Island, on Phra Sumen Road, near Democracy Monument and some steps away from Phan Fah Boat Stop, where you can get the Water Taxi on Klong Saen Saep, a short ride to may Bangkok attractions. See theirMap. And read the review of The Independent.
Sam Sen Sam Place: 48 Soi Samsen 3, Samsen Road. Tucked away on the quiet soi, but within easy walking distance of restaurants or Khao San Road. In a traditional teak house. Simple small rooms, very clean, airt condition, some rooms with bath, others witz bath to share. Very good reviews on tripadvisor.com. See pictures by Kittnrob, Magnoliafields, tflatval
Shanti Lodge: From 400 to 1950 Baht. 37 Sri Ayuthya Road Soi 16. Surrounded by plants and trees. Restaurant with vegetarian menue. Penthouse with a tropical roof top garden for 1950 Baht. Some rooms have bamboo walls, so you are not too much separeted from your neighbours. Some critics about staff in reviews on tripadvisor.com, but not by all guests. Background about Shanti Lodge you find here
Villa Guesthouse: 230 Soi Samsen 1, Th Samsen. An old Thai house run by an old lady and her brother. A dark wooden interior and a tropical garden. Ten fan rooms with shared bath rooms. "Ask for the double room upstairs", say Rena and Tom, who show pictures. See also the gallery of Rene S, margauxrainbaux and taylorandayumi.
Sathorn สาทร Subdistricts: Thung Wat Don ทุ่งวัดดอน, Yan Nawa ยานนาวา, Thung Maha Mek ทุ่งมหาเมฆ
Baan Pra Nond Bed & Breakfast: From 3100 Bath. 18/1 Charoen Rat Road. Nine rooms, with a pool. Baan Pra Nond was the former home of a Supreme Court justice of Thailand. The 70-year-old home was built in Thai Colonial style. Tasma Cotsmire, a former advertising creative, turned the old residence of her family into a Bed & Breakfast. Due to the location (between two large roads) it can be a bit noisy, guests note on tripadvisor.com.
Taling Chan ตลิ่งชัน Subdistricts: Khlong Chak Phra คลองชักพระ, Chim Phli ฉิมพลี, Bang Phrom บางพรม, Bang Ramat บางระมาด, Bang Chueak Nang บางเชือกหนัง
In2siam Bed and Breakfast: From 45 to 55 USD. 4/15 Moo 2, Soi Chimpee II. Two suites, quiet garden. Busstop just a few meters away, 20 minutes to the main tourist areas. Guests like the good service by the owners, according to reviews on tripadvisor.com
Chic 39: 10 Sukhumvit Soi 39. Phone 08-1701-7607. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. “We want you to feel like you’re staying in a jungle” says Khun Jak acoording to bangkok101.com. He and his wife were running this guesthouse with five rooms in shabby chic in a 70 years old house with tropical garden around. The rooms are decorated with a lot of fantasy. Two good reviews on tripadvisor.com point out, that it was not far from the Phrom Phong Skytrain Station (two minutes to walk) and from the Amazing Bangkok Cyling Tour office. Soiblossom.blogspot.com shows nice pictures, but says also, that the guesthouse is closed now. Does any one know, if its going to open again?
Sam's Lodge: From 1400 to 1600 Baht. 28-28/1 Sukhumvit Soi 19. It can be noisy there according to reviews on tripadvisor.com Some rooms have windows, others not. Rooftop terrace on 6th floor. Rooms are small, but prices are small too, says review on travelfish.org
Thailands Islands and Beaches: East Coast Koh Chang and Koh Kood Beaches, resorts, bungalows, more islands and Google Map Koh Samed Beaches and resorts, with Google Map Koh Samui Beaches and resorts, with Google Map Koh Phangan Beaches and resorts, with Google Map
Thailands Islands and Beaches: Andaman Sea Koh Lanta Beaches and resorts, the old town, the sea gypsies and the National Park. With Google Map Railay Beach Beaches and resorts, with Google Map Koh Rok Beaches and resorts, with Google Map Koh Ngai Beaches and resorts, with Google Map Koh Kradan Beaches and resorts, with Google Map Koh Phayam Beaches and resorts, with Google Map Phuket Discover the old town, with Google Map Ko Phi Phi: Beaches, resorts and reviews Ko Tarutao The unspoilt island,
where just the nature entertains you, prisoners were kept and pirates emerged from Koh Lipe: From a secluded island to a tourist hotspot