This is one of the few times that I've awakened in a hotel on my first morning in Bangkok and this may be one of my best first mornings in this city. The Ibis Riverside really is right on the river--it's like being in an immobile commuter boat. I could easily spend the entire day sitting here and watching water traffic float past my window--my favorite sight so far is a tugboat painted in a variety of carnivalesque colors, pulling three big barges down the Chao Phraya.
And the Ibis, apart from its riverside location, is one of my favorite hotels ever. It is unassuming, comfortable, clean, and friendly--what more could I want? The electric sockets in my room need no adaptor, the buffet breakfast has the papaya and rambutan I've been craving (plus BIG coffee cups), and you can get food when you check in past midnight. Nice, very nice indeed.
I'm 90 minutes away from my check-out time and at least three hours away from the time when I can take possession of the apartment that will be my home for the next thirty days. I'll watch the river from this window until just before noon and then do the same thing over a glass of fruit juice on the hotel terrace. It's almost as though this is a whole new city instead of one that I've lived in and visited for twenty years--funny what a change of perspective and neighborhood can do.
This morning's piercing sunlight that woke me early has faded behind gathering clouds, big puffy ones that may hold thunder as well as rain. But the river still sparkles and I am very happy.