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Guest Blogger Matt Preston recounts his experiences of Songkran at Amari Boulevard Bangkok.Songkran is a festival quite unlike any other. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Bangkok during Songkran and was very keen to find out exactly what happens during this weekend long water festival.
I've been to Bangkok about 6 times and had heard great things about the Sukhumvit district, easily accessible and filled with restaurants, bars and nightlife. Thankfully the Amari Boulevard Bangkok is perfectly situated right in the heart of this districtI arrived on the first day of Songkran and saw people armed with super-soakers, water pistols and even small buckets. Thankfully they were all quite respectful and I remained dry as I entered the Amari Boulevard to check in. The quality of the Amari rooms is very universal, I knew what to expect before entering and wasn't disappointed. The room was well designed in a classic hotel styling and had all the modern amenities I needed. After a good night's sleep and a good morning's breakfast, I was keen to venture out on to the streets and get involved in the Songkran festivities. Firstly I'd need to arm myself. I spared no expense and went for the large blue super soaker. No sooner had I filled my water gun from a nearby bucket, people were firing at me from all sides. The water fight had begun!
Families with children, teenagers and old people alike were all out to play. Within 10 minutes I was pretty much soaked from head to toe. You can't help but laugh all day, make new friends with strangers and feel like a child again. I can honestly say it was one of the best days in all of my travels.
After a long day of water madness in Bangkok it was back to the hotel to dry off and get some food. The "Season Thai" restaurant was an easy and inviting proposition. Spending a day at the longest water fight in history can make a man hungry and with a selection of delicious Thai dishes I soon regained my energy, ready for another day of Songkran craziness.
I had a great time exploring Sukhumvit and really enjoyed the vibe in this part of town. The BTS Skytrain station is right near the hotel and makes it very easy to get to a whole host of tourist highlights. I'll be back to Sukhumvit in the future as I'll no doubt be in Bangkok again soon. My thanks to Amari for their hospitality and making Songkran a very memorable experience. Highly recommended if you're in Bangkok.
Situated near the sea in Thailand’s royal beach town, Amari Hua Hin is scheduled to open on 15 August 2012.
Amari Hua Hin is close to both Khao Takiab and the town centre of Hua Hin – making it an ideal choice for families, friends and couples.
This property will feature all of the comforts expected from an Amari resort in addition to exciting new concepts designed to make guests’ experiences truly unforgettable.
Take a look at the latest photos and tell us what you think!
We asked the Executive Chef of Joe’s Restaurant in London to write about her recent experience at Amari Orchid Pattaya’s 2nd annual Gourmet Festival at Mantra Restaurant and Bar.
My name’s Maria Elia and I am a chef from the UK. Here’s a little bit about me…
I’m totally in love with cooking and have been since I was four years old (quite a few years ago!!). I used to finish nursery school and visit my parent’s restaurant where I’d sit and watch my dad cook. My love affair with cooking has blossomed ever since.
Last March, I travelled to Thailand to take part in the second Pattaya Gourmet Festival. I’d first been there fifteen years ago where I spent eight weeks travelling around the country. It was my first introduction to Asian food and I have been fascinated by their culinary offerings ever since.
This year’s event was a fantastic week-long celebration of great food and wines. It was such a great experience to meet the other chefs: Steven Snow from Australia, Chan Kam Yuen from Hong Kong and the very handsome Yannick Ollivier Cayrol from France! We shared a prep kitchen and got along famously.
Throughout the week, we each created dishes and canapes for various wine tasting dinners. I served seared scallops with soutzouki (a spiced Greek sausage) and watermelon with an oregano raisin dressing as a third course. It matched the Sauvignon Blanc beautifully.
The Grand Finale dinner was a great success. All four guest chefs along with Kai the Amari Orchid Pattaya’s Executive Chef cooking a course. I prepared the sixth course: Rabbit three ways with a Greek twist!
It was a perfect way to end a spectacular week and all of us were sad to say goodbye to our wonderful Thai chef assistants- who couldn’t have helped us more.
The service at the Amari Orchid Pattaya is second to none, we were so well looked after. My room was luxurious, modern and spacious- overlooking the beautiful garden and pools. One of most favourite thing about the hotel- the scent of fresh Jasmine flowers everywhere!
I had the most amazing adventure and was thrilled to be part of the festival. I learnt a lot and my taste buds were totally inspired!
Thank you Amari for being the most perfect hosts
Find out more about Mari Elia at www.thisismariaelia.com or follower her on Twitter at @thisismariaelia.com
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