Ibrik by the River: Calm & Charm in Bangkok

Ibrik by the River is a simple but stylish guest house in a peaceful, convenient spot of the city right on the Chao Phraya River, as the name suggests. Only three guest rooms means privacy and quiet, and the staff is incredibly polite and helpful. This little spot is like a home away from home in sprawling, bustling Bangkok, and a welcome respite at the end of a long day of sightseeing.

Guest Rooms
The nice, spotless rooms have comfortable beds and linens, large wardrobes, air conditioning, televisions, mini-fridge, hot water maker with tea, good bathrooms and an in-room safe. The teakwood floors throughout lend a traditional touch, and two of the rooms face out to the river – the downstairs River Room and the Sunshine Room upstairs, with its own private entrance onto the deck overlooking the water. The terrace is accessible to all guests, however, via a house entrance at the top of the stairs, and makes for a great place to enjoy breakfast or an evening glass of wine or beer while watching the boats go by. The other upstairs room, Moonlight, is the only one not facing the water.

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Onsite Facilities
This is a small guest house, so facilities outside the rooms are minimal. There is a nice sitting area downstairs with a fully stocked bookcase, and complimentary wi-fi is available throughout the building. Breakfast is good and hearty, with your choice of eggs, bacon or ham or sausage, toast, a fresh fruit platter, juice and excellent Italian coffee from a serious espresso machine.

Neighborhood/Nearby Attractions
Ibrik’s location is excellent – you are just across the river from both Wat Pho and What Phra Kaew/Grand Palace, easily accessible with a 4 baht ferry crossing. Wat Pho is a bargain at 50 baht, where you can see the awe-inspiring, enormous gold leaf Reclining Buddha. If you fancy a massage, this is the place, as Thailand’s premier massage school and clinic is located here. The ferry landing itself is a great scene for delicious, cheap eating at one of the many food stands or sidewalk restaurants; we had a meal of chicken with saffron rice, sautéed eggplant and two Thai iced teas for 100 baht (about $3).

On the same side of the river, one water taxi stop down, is Wat Arun; but just outside Ibrik’s doors you will find worthwhile spots such as the Patravadi Theatre, Wat Rakang and the highly acclaimed Supatra River House restaurant. Just around the corner, try the Rum Ruay Café for a coffeehouse with a good atmosphere and free wi-fi. The river location is also extremely convenient for catching the water taxi – a big plus in this city that is known for gridlock traffic. It’s only a few stops to the area of Khao San Road and other top Bangkok attractions.

Ibrik by the River is about a 40-minute taxi ride from the airport, which will run you about 500 baht plus the 50 baht airport fee (a little over $15).

• Great river location with ease of water transport
• Quiet, peaceful, small place with attentive yet non-intrusive service
• Comfortable, homey rooms at an affordable price
• Good breakfast that can keep you going well into the day

Good to Know
• It’s pretty quiet at night, so if you’re a nightlife person you’ll need to take a car taxi home if it’s late enough for the water taxis to stop running. There are several restaurants and the theatre along Ibrik’s street, but it’s an early night around here.
• Taxis may have trouble finding its exact location in the small soi; be sure to have printed directions in Thai and the phone number handy.

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