6 days in Bangkok - help w/ itinerary

Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 12:27 PM
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6 days in Bangkok - help w/ itinerary

I'd like some help with reviewing our itinerary for 6 days in BKK. I'd prefer to focus on the city of BKK itself for these 6 days, or possibly places nearby, since we have plenty of time for other areas of Thailand once we leave the city.

About us - this is our first time in Thailand. We generally like to plan a few things each day, but also give ourselves room to wing it a little bit. (At day's end, we always realize we've done a million things, but we did them because it worked out that way and we were having fun, not because we set out with an itinerary of 20 places to see in a day). I want to have time to just explore, and not feel too rushed, but don't want to feel I've missed any "must-see's." (My husband also has a knee problem, so we may need to have a full morning, rest a bit in the afternoon and then head back out in the evening). Also, we really enjoy just wandering little back streets and neighborhoods, so I want to make time for that too, in addition to temples and museums. We love markets of all types, and enjoy crafts and antiques, as well as just the hustle-bustle and people-watching of the market atmosphere, but we probably won't do any serious shopping for jewelry or anything fancy.

Please take a look and tell me what you think. The hardest part for me was figuring out which sights were close together and made sense to do in the same day. I obviously want to minimize time spent traveling between sights. Let me know if this makes sense, and if I'm missing anything wonderful, or if there's something I could easily tack on to one of these days:

∑ Arrive BKK at 0630, take taxi to friendís house, settle in.
∑ National Museum (open 9:30-4)
∑ Browse the Amulet Market outside Wat Mahathat
∑ Take ferry across river to Royal Barge Museum (open 9-5)
∑ Suan Lum Night Market

∑ Grand Palace (opens 0830, 2-3 hrs)
∑ Wat Phra Keo (Emerald Buddha)
∑ Wat Po (1-2 hrs)
∑ Patpong Night Market

∑ Chatuchak Market
∑ Klong Tour to Wat Arun and Flower Market (What time is best? Iíve read dusk for Wat Arun is best, but later is better for flower market; what do you think?)

∑ Wat Benjamabophit (Marble Temple, open 8-5:30)
∑ Vimanmek Mansion (open 9:30-4, dancing at 10:30)
∑ Wat Traimit (open 9-5)
∑ Chinatown

∑ Jim Thompson House, + lunch
Suan Pakkard Palace
∑ Shopping or a massage

∑ Floating Market (leave early, be back by afternoon)
∑ Night market

Also, I keep reading about the Jim Thompson Outlet and about shopping at MBK. What sorts of things would we find at each? Sounds like MBK is more like a regular mall maybe? Not sure about the JT Outlet.

Also, we've read wonderful things about Ratt, and have already booked Poon for Chiang Mai, but looking at our BKK itinerary, it doesn't really seem that Ratt's services would be that helpful here. Seems like we can just use taxis, and other public transportation. Would you agree?

Thanks for your help!
copilot is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 01:14 PM
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To me that schedule sounds rigid and exhausting. I have a very high energy level, but I would not do all of those things on arrival day. This type of scheduling is a very European type of scheduling to me. When I'm in Europe I can do tons of things on arrival day and never blink an eye. But,it's BANGKOK and things don't move that quickly. Plus, I don't know where you're coming from, but many people have problems with the heat and jetlag. I'm from a hot place, Los Angeles area, but it takes me about a day to get used to the humidity. What month are you traveling in? If it's hell-hot March/April/May, then you'll be lucky to walk six blocks without having to take a short break. Smiles. Plus, where does this friend live and will you be with the friend the whole time...showing you around...or on your own trying to figure out where everything is? And how fast can your husband move with a knee problem? When I make a list, I just make a list... and don't plug it into days...since nothing is predictable in Bangkok. Sometimes I'll have two things to do on my Bangkok list and not get those two things done in the course of the day because I'll either get side-tracked or it starts raining and traffic is at a standstill...etc... So, I suggest to make a list of the things you want to do with the highest priority things at the top and then go with the flow and see how many you get done.Plus, Bangkok is a place to just explore in and not just run around from tourist sight to tourist sight...like in some other countries/cities. I've been to Bangkok many times and still haven't gotten lots of things done and I'll be there next month for three weeks...just in Bangkok... so hopefully then I can pick up...on my list...where I left off in August and the years before. Also many of the best sights in Bangkok are on the streets...just checking out the people and absorbing the lifestyle. Happy Travels!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Yowser! That's a very very ambituous agenda. Lots of walking. You're going to be exhausted.

Here's a couple of random thoughts.

-Chatachuk market is extremely hot and could drain you for the entire day.
-I went to the flower market around midnight and there was barely anyone there and a fair amount of activity.
-Take some time to sit and eat by the river - Can I suggest Ton Pho (I have suggested this a lot but it's worth mentioning again)
-Don't pay attention to anyone who tells you a temple 'is closed'. It's rubbish and they are trying to get you to come off with them and buy 'gems'
-You probably only need to visit one night market. Unless you have aburning desire to see Patpang, I would definitely advise Suan Luam Night Bazaar

You're going to need that massage!

You can find some restaurants and reviews at my site.

luckykat is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 04:45 PM
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I just returned from my first trip to Bangkok. I was there attending a meeting that lasted for 6 days and stayed for 3 extra days for more sightseeing (I did some during the meetings). Of course, it was not enough!

There is lots to see in Bangkok, but don't think you will be able to see everything in just 6 days. Remember that you will need at least one day to recover from jet lag.

So, take Guenmai's sound advice: make a list of the sights you want to visit, in order of priority.

Here are some of the places I visited and which I would suggest for your list:

1. Grand Palace
2. Temple of the Emerald Buddah
3. Wat Arun
4. Wat Pho
5. Suam Lum Night Bazaar
6. MBK
7. Siam Square
8. Khlong Tour

All of these places you can visit through public transportation. You do not need to pay for a private guide.

Have fun!
Brazilnut is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 05:19 PM
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Day 1 - if you are jet lagged don't worry if you end up missing the national museum and put the royal barges as part of your klong tour, Move night market to another night

Day 2 -- fine. You'll see the two wats in about 4- 5 hours so you can relax and hang out the rest of the day.

Day 3-- I'd skip the weekend market. The klong tour is a high point. It should include wat arun and the royal barges. Flower market is 1000% better at night (10PM-midnight)

Monday -- perfect

Tuesday - perfect

Wed. - perfect
glorialf is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 05:35 PM
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As my son loves to say, Bangkok is a place where you can have just ONE thing to do in a day's time, and NOT get it done.

Do be prepared to become tired in the heat and humidity!!

Other than that, enjoy Bangkok.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 07:40 PM
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one thing that i read into your questions is that you are used to travelling in europe...doing lots of things in one day....in SEA and especially i think you will find that you cannot do that very easily....too hard to get around and the heat and humidity knock you for a loop...

you have some good ideas and what gloria has said makes much more sense...

as to ratt....why not use her for the floating market...she is best at this type of trip i think...

barges should be combined with klong tour and wat arun...

getting taxis in tourist areas is some times a pain...they want a flat fee...walk over a couple of streets and you will have better luck...

go to grand palace first thing in morning to avoid heat....emerald budd. is inside....takes about 2 hours....

on your day one don't plan to do much...

taking taxis as often as possible will refresh you...don't under estimate it....

the less you walk the more you will accomplish....you do miss things but bkk is huge and hard to cover on foot---again heat and humidity will wipe you out quickly...

imo, skip the weekend market and spend your time in night market at suan lum (wireless and rama IV rds)....

MBK is a 7 story shopping mall...tons of individually owned shops...start at the top and work your way down...one floor is just cell phones if you can believe it....you can buy almost anything there....it is very close to the jim thompson house, so easy to combine....near national stadium stop on skytrain..

JT outlet....on its first two floors there is just fabric...on floor 3 there is a sampling of his products: place mats, confortures, rugs, shirts, ties, t-shirts, hand bags, childrens stuff, toys for kids, and other odd things...expect to save 50-90% off shop prices....don't go expecting to find a specific thing however...
soi 93, sukhumvit rd....way out on sukhumvit...about 4 blocks after skytrain ends...
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Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 07:54 PM
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Bob..I mentioned doing a lot of things in Europe...not the original poster. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2005, 07:56 PM
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guen---i noticed that but i thought the way she was talking that they might be used to the europe type of travel where you can cram tons into a day...
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Old Dec 24th, 2005, 04:05 AM
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Ack, I had actually thought I wasn't planning much each day. I kept reading itineraries where people tried to cram it all into 3 or 4 days, so I thought I was doing ok with 6 days. Well, glad I asked - appreciate everyone's comments. Just FYI, we usually don't stick to a firm schedule, but do things like Guenmai suggested - I have a tentative list so that I can recall where I want to go, what days/times things are open, but then we sort of wing it, based on how the day is going, what we feel like doing, and what cool little shop or alley we happen upon. But I find that if I don't have some sort of schedule for how it MIGHT all fit, I wind up forgetting something. So this will be just our starting point. Re: heat; we are coming from a year in Baghdad, and we spent 3 weeks in Malaysia during the summer, so we have an idea of what the heat/humidity will be like. And it will be mid-Feb., so maybe not quite as bad. But I think the time spent getting to different places with the traffic will be a challenge. Well, this gives me lots to think about; I will probably post another attempt in a few weeks. Thanks for your help!
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Old Dec 24th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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You've gotten some good feedback. Just a couple more thoughts. Are you going to Bangkok with a long shopping list? If not, skip the weekend market and Patpong. At most go to one night market. You've find plenty of souviner-type stuff at one night market. I never go to any of the shopping centers, as I'm not interested in western-type goods or knock-offs. If you are interested in those kinds of buys, then go, otherwise skip it.

I do always go to the JT outlet. Their fabrics are gorgeous and I always buy gifts there. This trip I picked up several exquisite evening-type purses for my sister, silk picture frames, small silk jewelry boxes, and found a great purse for myself. I usually go to the main store as well as their selection is the widest of any of the stores.

I'd suggest going to see Wat Ben first thing in the morning so you can see people "making mertit" (bringing food to the monks). Vary when you are seeing wats and combine them with different activities so you don't get "watted out."

Make time every day to relax and enjoy. Take a long lunch, a massage, or a swim so you can relax at mid-day when it is hottest.

Enjoy Bangkok - it's a fabulous city!
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Old Dec 24th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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I am also attempting a trip to thailand. I`m confuesed about the klong tour. Is that a specific tour or just riding around the klongs?
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Old Dec 24th, 2005, 06:41 PM
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I am one of those on the forum who likes the weekend market - plus feel Asia's largest flea market is worth a browse. I'd say tho that you should go there either late on Fridat i.e. around 11 AM when you will find 60% of shops open or early on Sat i.e. 9 AM when u will find 80% of shops open. It is avoidable like the plague on Sunday. I've been to the NAtional Musuem and ;like it but u need to budget max 2 hours for it. Go to their website and figure out which day the free guided tour in Eng is and do it that day - they are rather good. I hate Patpong. I don;t think your days are too packed but would rearrange them a bit. I'm with Kathie re Jim Thompson - take a look at their website, if you think you will really splurge then go to the outlet as it is a good 30-45 min trek. Fastest way to reach is a train to ON Nut followed by a atazi. Alternative - which I did with guests when we lived in Bkk - is go to the main store at 1 , Suriwong Road first. If you love the stuff and would buy more if it was cheaper go to the Oulet. Else pick up a few knick knacks at the main store and ditch the outlet. I think you will enjoy wandering the lanes near the Oriental Hotel from your description of your shopping type - great crafts, local stuff, some bargains too.
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