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What Makes Bangkok Magical to You?

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My husband and I (in our mid-50s) are returning to Bangkok in July. We were in Thailand in 2010 and loved it, but we somehow felt we didn’t do Bangkok right. We are city people (we live in NYC), and think the only way to get to know a city is to truly experience it: the way the locals live, eat, the quirky neighborhoods and hidden gems. We know many of you on this board consider Bangkok to be one of the great cities of the world. So, my question is, what is it that you find magical about Bangkok, and what should we do, over the course of four full days, to discover that magic? To clarify, I pretty much exclude typical tourist destinations (we’ve been to the Grand Palace, Jim Thompson House, Saturday market, fishing village, floating market). These are fine, but not what I am looking for, just as Times Square and the Empire State Building are not, to me, what make New York magical.. What are the neighborhoods, the boat rides, restaurants and walks we cannot miss? Where is the street life that we can’t get anywhere else? What is it that you miss most when you leave?
Really looking forward to hearing what you suggest!
Sue and Bob

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