When on holiday a good nights sleep and a decent breakfast is essential to giving yourself a decent start to the day. A top class hotel should provide you with both but that all depends on your breakfast needs. An expensive mattress and silk sheets may help to wake you feeling refreshed but will breakfast be to your liking.
All too often in Thailand I find myself sitting down to breakfast in a hotel and scratching around for something I fancy to eat. An overnight stay usually presents no problem but on a longer break I find myself eating the same thing day after day, and that gets boring. Cornflakes, omelette and toast. To me hot dog sausages, ham, spicy minced pork, cakes, fruit and rice are hardly the perfect food to start the day and that is what is so often on offer in many of Thailand’s hotel breakfast buffet restaurants. They call it continental breakfast but what continent it’s from I haven’t discovered. Perhaps when it comes to food I’m a little too fickle.
On my last trip to Thailand I missed my flight home to the UK due to heavy traffic congestion when travelling from Udon Thani down to Suvarnabhumi Airport. Wonderful Wi and I travelled back up to Udon and with an unexpected five extra days of vacation ahead of us we decided to save money by booking into cheaper accommodation.
My normal budget for a hotel stay in Thailand is 1,000 baht (£20) a day and hoping to halve that figure we tried the Heritage Apartments on Srisuk Road. The apartment block was tidy, the staff friendly and as expected the rooms were basic with a small bathroom, refrigerator and satellite TV. And the cost per night was just 400 baht. Amazing value and Wilai insists we stay there next time.
I have stayed in a few apartments before in Thailand and the Heritage was as good as any I had stopped at in the past. Apartments give you the freedom to make your own arrangements when it comes to eating out whereas booking into hotels literally force feeds you into taking the breakfast your room rate generally includes. From now on when possible it’s going to be apartments for me.
With a huge saving pocketed on my accommodation budget, breakfast was easy to fill with 600 baht a day leftover. When in Udon Thani I do occasionally eat breakfast at the Irish Clock in Soi Sampantamit Road, a great English fried breakfast is served there but as a rule I like to start the day sharing breakfast with Wilai. That counts out the Irish Clock.
Nong Prajak Park (photo above) is a brisk ten minute walk from the Heritage Apartments and opposite one side of the Nong Prajak is a row of early morning outdoor breakfast stalls with ample seating spaces. The food there is very popular to both Thai and falang alike and with the beautiful backdrop of the Nong Prajak Park to savour, the whole experience is a most enjoyable one.
Nong Prajak Park has a large lake and plenty of greenery and flowers. The park is used by joggers for early morning and evening time exercise and in past years I have taken a gentle run around the outside track myself, the distance is about 2 -3 kilometres. Nowadays I prefer to sit at a breakfast table and watch other people run away their previous day’s built-up stock of body toxins.
Breakfast opposite the park in Thesa Road serves food early morning to around 9-30 am, and there’s plenty of variety available. Fried eggs, noodles, sweet Thai doughnuts and my favourite fried pork in lightly toasted bread rolls are just a few of the things which fill the morning air with their appetizing aroma.
The toasted rolls are filled with fried mince pork mixed with chopped onion and carrot, and two of them leave me feeling quite full. They are absolutely delicious and with a bowl of Thai noodles for Wilai and a cup of coffee each, the breakfast warrants me leaving a 100 baht note which includes a tip of just over 20 baht. Great food at ridiculously low prices.
On my forthcoming trip to Udon Thani I’ll be booking into the Heritage Apartments for a couple of nights and with breakfast opposite the Nong Prajak Park the combined cost to me will be just 500 baht a day. That’s excellent value even at today’s low sterling and dollar exchange rates, and if you take time to research and ask around Thailand still has plenty of quality and value on offer in all its major resorts and cities. I think this post proves exactly that.
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