3 days in Bangkok, help!

Jul 7th, 2000, 11:13 PM
  #1  
Mary
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3 days in Bangkok, help!

We are staying in Bangkok for 3 full days before we go to Bali. I have been to Singapore & Bintan before but never to Bangkok. The very limited things I hear about Bangkok is that it is congested, dirty, high sex trade industry. Now I am a little scared about my choice. So two questions:
1. Can you relieve my fears about Bangkok?
2. What would you recommend doing in those three days?
 
Jul 8th, 2000, 01:43 AM
  #2  
pm
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- see the palace
- see Wat Po
- Take a day trip to Ayuttayah (bus one way/boat the other)
- eat at "cabbages and condoms" (yes..i'ts really a restaurant)
- shop at the night market at patpong
- get a massage
 
Jul 8th, 2000, 01:45 AM
  #3  
pm
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oh--the first question:

- yes, Bangkok is a big, crowded, polluted city. So what! The people are wonderful, the food outstanding, and the history amazing! ENJOY! My only caution is to not go out ALONE at night (pairs ok), and have an idea where you're headed so tuk-tuk drivers don't steer you at the con artist places.
For gems: Go to VENUS JEWELRY near the US Embassy!
 
Jul 8th, 2000, 04:13 AM
  #4  
Michael
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Yes it is a big city - but it is spread out. There is traffic, but this is true in any large city.

Here is how I handled the problems. Wake up early and be finished with your breakfast by 700 am. Take a taxi to the Chao Phraya River. You can get to most of the sites via river travel. You avoid the automobile traffic on the river, the air is cleaner, and the river express boats are incredibly inexpensive. You can easily visit Wat Po, Wat Arun, The National Museum, the National Gallery, The Grand Palace, and the Royal Barges - all of these in your three mornings [if you start early]. By mid-day you take a taxi back to your hotel and spend the day by the pool. Do not take tuk-tuks. Though they maybe inexpensive, they are open and you will be breathing automobile exhausts. Be sure to bring a card with the name of your hotel written in Thai script, because many taximen do not speak english. As for the sex-trade, this is mostly confined to Patpong district which is just three separate blocks off Silom. You will find plenty to do by visiting the Temples, Palaces, and Museums by the river (Get off the River Express Boat at Tha Tien). You can visit Chinatown (get off the River Express boat at Tha Ratchawong). You can visit the Flower Market (get off the Rover Express Boat at Tha Tewes). You can hire a long-tail boat and take a water tour. You can also spend time in the Siam Center or the World Trade Center which are two huge airconditioned shopping Malls. There is plenty of fine dining as well.

Yes you do have to be wary. Don't accept an invitiation to play cards. Don't be taken to a gem store for incredible bargains. But Bangkok is no different than other big cities in that being alert, not flashing money, and acting in a sensible, and non-confrontational manner is always good. I can also add that I was approached many times, by nice people, who just wanted to practice speaking English. I loved the place. And since I was there in November of 98 - they have finished an overhead rail system...which is fast economical, airconditioned, and keeps you out of the bad air. You will love the place. But keep this in mind - It is vastly different than Singapore or Hong Kong. One more thing, take the Red Carpet Limo service in to town from the airport. I paid 500 Baht for the trip which is only about 12 dollars and change. But it was safe. I paid the driver with a voucher which I got at the counter in the Arrivals Hall in the airport. There was no question of taking me to another destination, or ransoming my luggage, or overcharging. And there was no problem of language difficulties. The people at the counter do speak english, they radio for the car, and they take you out to meet the car.

What hotel will you be going to?

Michael
 
Jul 9th, 2000, 04:09 AM
  #5  
JS
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Mary,
You haven't mentioned when you will arrive here in this city of angels. It is now in the middle of rainy season, and you wouldn't be able to do so much during this weather. Indeed, you can explore the city by boat, but it is not quite safe while it is raining. If you 'd like to avoid the red light business area, don't be in Sukhumvit area. There are plenty of temples for you to visit, and appreciate the architecture. Shopping is also great here. Don't worry you will be fine in this city.
 
Jul 9th, 2000, 10:34 PM
  #6  
marg
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We're a middle-aged couple and have been to Bangkok four or five times, and enjoyed each visit. Certainly it is a big and polluted city but the culture is fascinating and the people so nice. Our personal favourites are the Grand Palace, the trip to Ayuttayah and the day trip to the Rose Gardens and the floating market. We also enjoyed visiting the Jim Thompson house. Hope you have a great time.
 
Jul 10th, 2000, 06:38 AM
  #7  
Derek
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One of the most pleasant things to do while in Bangkok is to take an evening dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River. In addition to seeing most of the historic sites of Bangkok, which are illuminated, it is a refreshing break from the heat and traffic of the city.

The nicest boats are the traditional Thai rice barges, which despite their name are fully protected from inclement weather.

There are three such boats operating.

1) Loy Nava Dinner Cruises
2) The Marriott Hotel's Manohra
3) Wen Fah

The first two in particular are very high quality operations. Prices are very reasonable around $20-$25 for a cruise lasting a couple of hours and a multi-course traditional Thai dinner.

Loy Nava operates freepick-up service from most of the major central hotels, while the Marriott's Manohra can be reached about two kilometers downriver from the city center at the Marriott Royal Garden Hotel.

Both of them have web sites. If I recall correctly they are:
www.loynava.com
www.marriott.com

They can also be booked, albeit at a higher price, through the tour desks of some hotels = though be careful, as some of the tour desk personnel try to steer you to other things if they can get a higher commission.

Have a nice trip!
 
Jul 10th, 2000, 10:57 AM
  #8  
Nancy
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We were only there for a full day - but it certainly wasn't scary. We hired a personal tour guide from our hotel and checked out the temples with the various bhuddas (golden and reclining) and went to the Grand Palace. It's well worth the price. You can also do this for the Floating Market another day.

No one hassled us at all in Bangkok - just stay away from Patpong if you want to avoid the seedy area.

Most of all - have fun!!!
 
Jul 10th, 2000, 01:08 PM
  #9  
Diane
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Mary -- if they're still available (I was in Bangkok in mid-'95), do get a traditional Thai massage at Wat Po temple. You get this fully clothed, lying in an open hut on the temple grounds. Heavenly.

For another nice break from the fascinating but traffic-clogged city, you might see whether the Oriental hotel still offers its banquet and Thai music/dancing evening. Touristy, but classy touristy. Besides, just wandering the Oriental is fun -- a trip into Victorian colonial grandeur plopped in Asia.

I can second the recommendation for "Cabbages and Condoms" restaurant. It also has attached to it a small shop that sells the highest-quality local handicrafts that I saw in Bangkok. If you do go to C&C, and are in the market for lovely and well-priced jewelry, try Uthai's Gems nearby. (The location is listed in Lonely Planet, I believe.)

Even if you're going now, in rainy and hot season (as I did), Bangkok is fun. Just work on the assumption that traffic moves s-l-o-w-l-y, and use standard big-city smarts, and you should be just fine.
 
Jul 10th, 2000, 05:22 PM
  #10  
Mary
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Thank you to you all for the great advice! To answer a few of your questions, we are staying at the Peninsula and we will be there around the end October. I don't think this is rainy season (?). I appreciate all of the advice. Any one else that would like to reply or make any other recommendations I would love it!
Mary
 
Jul 12th, 2000, 06:00 AM
  #11  
JS
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Mary, sawasdee again,
Penisula hotel is in the heart of shopping area within walking distance. It is not so far from BTS (elevated train system) Ratchadamri station, you can avoid much of the fumes, and quick to commute. Lumpini park is a big one near your hotel, there should be many groups of local people doing their exercise, jogging or aerobic dance both in the morning and evening, and it should kill your free time for a while.

If your stay cover the weekend, don't miss out Chatujak weekend market, using BTS to MoChit station, you can nearly get everything you want.

I 'd advice you to get store-valued ticket of BTS, because it will be cheaper than single journey one.

October, the rain should have ended, but it may be cloudy, cool evening. Enjoy!
 
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