8 days in bangkok - help??

Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 01:25 AM
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Unfortunately in HCMC, it's not safe to live someplace among the locals. The rate of theft is very high (even for Expats that live in supposed "safe" areas. The area I live in is mostly filled with Japanese and Koreans, along with a few Singaporeans and Americans. It's definitely not like living in District 5, but I wouldn't want to think everyday that when I came home, my TV and laptop would be gone. Unfortunately, theft is very common in HCMC, even more so among the locals. My company doesn't want me to stay foreign. They want me to stay here as long as I want to. I wasn't sent here, I volunteered. I don't have a car/driver or a maid, but big deal. I'm single and I don't need those things. I'm headed to the USA tomorrow and I know I'll have many frustrations there (the longer I'm away, the less I want to return), but there will also be some good things like seeing my family and drinking some good microbrewed beer!

Anyway, you're right, this is far from the original topic, but very interesting to be sure. Sorry to hijack your thread, vacation03.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 05:06 AM
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I find about 4 days in Bangkok is sufficient and then I take off to the country to meet the real thai people. Its like any country, the city people are different from the country folks. The golden Triangle is a nice peaceful relaxing place.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 06:28 AM
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Interesting thread...

kingbonza - How about the Thai people that move to Bangkok from rural areas of the country to find work? Do they suddenly become less "real"? Actually, I think I know what you mean - those that live outside the cities are perhaps more accessible - yes?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:29 AM
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Once again Fodors Asia Forum has spawned an interesting line of thought. My wife and I love being tourists in BKK. We've discussed spending 3-4 months in T-land when our "careers" wind down. Bob is actually going for 3 months as our guinea pig. If he likes it, we're more inclined to give it a try.

I suspect that noone is suggesting that BKK residents have a lesser degree of reality than Thais living elsewhere. My sense is that the critical factor is the degree to which Thais have been exposed to Western culture/people. Little surprise that BKK residents have more exposure.

Having said that, I do note that as a US citizen, I do not believe that the residents of Wyoming are more real or more American than we city dwellers. In fact, the diversity of cultures to which we are exposed broadens our experiences and certainly makes for much better food (Bob?). I suspect the process in Thailand and virtually everywhere is quite similar.

I read with great interest the posts of Bisbee, Kim Japan and other ex-pats on this thread. There is no way that I can gain insight to Asian residence without their input.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 09:02 AM
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A most interesting thread to be sure. Sorry vacation03. Bob, was very interested to hear your consideration of a 3 month stay in 08 as when dh & I go to Thailand this Jan (for just over a month), we might also be looking more into a 3-4 month stay in 08. Have any other Fodorites done this? I would think some of the serviced apartments give special rates for longer term rentals? I think there are big expat areas within BKK but wonder if we'd like it better renting a house on the outskirts of town. I should do a search to see if there are any threads regarding long term (months) stays in Thailand.
Sue
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 09:14 AM
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Sue, Guenmai has done several one-month stays in Bangkok.

I'm another person who plans to spend months each year in SE Asia, probably Bangkok, once I'm ready to retire. I'm still a few years away from my "trial stay" in Bangkok.

Guenmai often recommends www.moveandstay.com as a resource to see what is available. She has been able to negotiate much lower rates than move and stay. The Emporium Suites is the serviced apartment Guenmai really likes.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 09:57 AM
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I stay in Bangkok from two to five months a year (this year will be three and a half.) My next move is to buy a condo there. Americans can own condos in Thailand (but not land.)

There are many management agencies in town that will maintain & rent your condo while you are away. A few of my friends are doing this already. If you are going to spend months there, it makes sense to invest instead of rent. The return rent makes it very inexpensive. And I think prices could double or triple in the next decade.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 11:39 AM
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;-) oh well. im pleased to oblige. carry on carry on.

however i spoke to my uncle last night whose been to Bkk, phuket, chang mai and Chang rai. He says get out of Bkk asap since it's crowded, polluted and not much to see. But since we're going to maldives, skip Phuket and maybe head to Cosiou or that other island that sounds like that.

It looks like what we will do now that we have 8 full days (yes i know not much) is Bkk for 4 days, Chang Mai for 2 and Chang Rai for 2. Or just
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 11:42 AM
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sorry got cut off. Or just either Mai or Rai for the remaining 4 days. It just seems like Phuket is so renowned that you must visit it but...we also don't want to travel from north to south for 1.5 days in Phuket and would rather get a real feel for the hills and the northern part as well.

I still dont' understand Chang Rai - I know the Mekong River but need to get a handle on this Golden Triangle. My uncle was suggesting Ayuthya? as a day trip fromn Bkk or on the way to Chang Mai. I've ordered a Thailand book for more reading. let's see. But happy to say our flights are booked!!!

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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 12:08 PM
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weel, lots of us on this board would obviously disagree with your uncle. There is much to see and do in Bangkok. At a minimum, you'll want to visit the Grand Palace/Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Po. You can take a day trip to Ayutthya. With your limited time, you'll want to fly between Bangkok and CM/CR.

It sounds like he was suggesting another beach area, Koh Samui, which will not have good weather at that time of the year. After the Maldives, skip any beach in Thailand.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Interesting discussion. a few random thoughts...There are many different ways, styles and experiences for expats..u can go as deep into the local culture as u want/can/desire, or u may choose by temperment or situation to stay more in a comfort zone on the outside, or maybe u like to mix it up and create a fine balance of what is familiar and what is local and works for U, as i often do when i Bangkok, although i go much deeper and localize while in India, as that has become my home. I do not think there is a right or wrong really, everyones reality is a bit differnt anyways.It is all very subjective. I wld say, the important thing is to travel with a open mind and heart! In terms of my situation,I am a on again/off again expat in India, meaning i live about 7/8 months a year in the region for over a decade. And i wld certainly say i am pretty local at this point, even look Indian by now and am conversant in a few of the languages.. I am not on any package/expense account, live in a local areas, go to local markets, work with local companies, eat at the local resturants, etc, and have mostly Indian friends, and have carved out a niche for myself. Other expats in India may/do live very differntly, and that is there reality... *but back to Bkk, although i actually live in Delhi, i too love love Bkk and go often maybe 4/5/6 times a year for breaks between some of my India tours and projects. When i go to bkk, I ususally stay in a serviced apartment, i just love these places. I love going to the local market and buying fresh ingredients, and cooking and semi~decorating my place with nick nacks and feeling like temporary home. I can always find plenty to do in bkk, love the energy of the city, endless things to see and explore, and beyond that, i am happy just being there too, wandering, spa~ing and unwinding too, as it is actually quite relaxing for me after living in Delhi, to each his own!. My experinces while in Bkk are far different than how i live in Delhi, as i do not spk the language or get in as much as a local, but i do try to learn as much as i can, and new words here or there too, and i make my own mix and match of what works for me. So, back to long stay topic now......This april/may i spent a month in Bkk at Somerset Suan View serviced apartment. Great central location near Central Chitlom/Plonchit, good comfortable property, oh, and when i was leaving, they were just opening up a swanking new on~site Spa~. And by the way, I have stayed at many of the Ascott properties over the years for one/two/week stay, including their flagship and most expensive, the Ascott Sathorn(gorgeous and best health club probably in bkk!) as well as The Somerset Suanplu which is recently redone and has very nice aparmtents too. I have also stayed numerous times at Centre Point Silom, which apparently is no under a much needed renovation, though i love love that property/location too. Anyways, if u are staying a month or more at a serviced apartment, almost all of the apartments give a very good monthly rate about %25 less than the daily over the month time.and yes, u can check moveandstay.com or u can contact the sales office of the properties directly. oh, and some more info bits, I have checked out many many of the serviced apartments in bkk while i was wandering, as i love staying in such places, and on my recent trip i also looked at The FRaser and Naturalville serviced apartments on Soi Laungsun and CEntre Point Wirelss too. All are very good and very central options for longstay and i wld consider all of them, depending on budget and what u are looking for, etc. Oh, and in the nATURALVILLE apartments, there is also a wonderful new Spa!!!!superb~! like heaven..alrighty, any questions, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Yes, Sue...go on moveandstay.com and just look over the long list of serviced apartments and then get a feel of what you might want and what area you might want to live in. The types of apartments from building to building are quite different. I personally prefer large studio apartments. I need wide open space and lots of sunlight and a kitchen as a separate room...probably a Southern California thing. Smiles. So, for me that narrows my choices. Emporium Suites offers three sizes of studios...65 sq.meters/80 sq.meters/ and 90 sq.meters...which is great since MANY serviced buildings in BK offer studios of about 30 sq.meters to 65 sq.meters and then they have one-bedroom apartments at 65 sq. meters which to me is clostophobic. And many buildings don't even have studios...but on moveandstay.com, they list the types of apartments. I have been to MANY serviced apartments in BK and also condos...since I might take very early, partial retirement in about 9 years and move there to live for half the year. I've been going there since the 90s, so why not give it a try? I lived in Denmark for 20-plus years of full summers and learned the language, so living abroad for an extended amount of time will probably be easy for me. If you rent a serviced apartment in BK, then you usually can get a discount if it's for a month, but you will probably have to pay one month deposit plus one month rent, so it's better to look at a lot of places before you decide on where you want to live...before you put down the money. I'm constantly looking at different buildings on each vacation trip there. Happy Travels!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 01:52 PM
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Bonita and Guen win the awards for most difficult to read posts - I know you are in a hurry but would it hurt to use paragraphs? My attention span is just not that long and I need a break when reading these things.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 02:12 PM
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Sawadeeka. Craig, that is very funny, and i thought it was such a good and juicy post! Sorry, it boggled u! I guess I am am more of a journaling/go with the flow writer and i do get carried away at times. It is not that i am in a hurry, it is just my style!

That said, thanx for the suggestion, and I will try to make a conscious effort to use paragraphs or even spaces for occasional clarity, *considering those with shorter attention spans and for those who need breathing, blinking and drinking breaks!
Sawadeeka.

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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:55 PM
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Love it, Bonita! Yes, it's also my style. But, I'll try the paragraphing and hopefully won't hit a wrong key and delete everything.I absolutely detest typing and am very bad at it which is why I usually hire folks to type things for me. This is basically the only kind of typing I do. Happy Travels!

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Old Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:03 PM
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Bonita...I just speed-read through your post...at Evelyn Woods speed...no problems. I liked Somerset Suwan Park View building and location,too except for the furniture... a little old... and the fact that they didn't have any studio apartments. I saw a 65 sq.meter one-bedroom, but found that clostophobic. The view, however, was absolutely wonderful from the apartments I was shown....oops, I'd better end before I need to do a paragraph. Smiles. Take care. Happy travels!
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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Sawadeeka/Namaste.
***That is very funny Guen! So good to know some folks still speed~READ! I hear it is good excercise for the eyes...Anyways, it is true, the furniture is not the best at Somerset suan view, but the location, amenities and vies are superb! I just love the quiet and serene location, and my gorgeous green plus city views! Plus, the rooms have lovely wood floors, balconies,although the ceilings are far oo Low! U can not have perfection!
***And knowing that u like studios, have u checked out the studios at Centre Point Wireless, or at the AScott Sathorn. The ones at the Ascott Sathorn can be very loft~like actually if u get the right one. I had stayed there this year for a few weeks and Loved it, and i was in a lofty studio, wood floors and balcony! Plus great spa and health club too..I am big on balconies, although it is too hot to use them I like having them there and the feeling of outdoor space.it's my thing..Does Emporium have balconies?.How is there health club Spa, i hear good things?
***And speaking of studios at the serviced apartments, u might also check out Siri Sathorn. Now that is one gorgeous place, very boutique, great spa and health club too. They do not advertise studios but they secretly have about five in the building, just in case. No balconies though, unless u book their special so called terrace suites which come with balconies..very nice but was a bit over my budget.
***Sawadeeka..p.s Guen, if u are reading this, check this out...i tried a big deluxe paragraph and space filled post on the India thread today, and it actually looked and read pretty good, *but in the end i had to cut/copy the thread as my computer was shutting down on me and when i pasted it on again, all the spaces and paragraphs had magically dissapeared..just goes to show u, stay true to yourself.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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I have been to Bangkok 19 times and love it. I always thought it's where I would want to spend several months when I retire. But lately I have changed my mind. I love being a tourist there for a week or two but am not sure that it;s where I want to spend more time as I get older. I've come to realise that the place where I DO think I could spend several months is Chiang Mai -- better climate, slower pace, friendlier people etc. I no longer care about shopping and basically at this point probably return to Bangkok largely to stay at the Oriental. If that hotel disappears or goes downhill I could easily spend 3 to 4 days and leave. Can't believe I'm saying it but it's true. HOWEVER, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I DON'T LOVE BANGKOK AND DON'T THINK IT IS A FABULOUS DESTINATION. Just means I don't want to live there.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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I've now spent several hours looking at long term BKK rentals etc.. Thanks for the starting sites. We could try out perhaps one near the end of our next trip in Jan- however, the ones that appeal the most are 1 year rentals. Oh well, we'll see what develops.

I think this whole discussion needs to go under some other heading - is that possible? There are some wonderful bits of info in the thread.

I'm so looking forward to meeting Gloria in Chicago in Sept at our GTG. Gloria is no longer interested in shopping!!!! - looking for the quiet life? - We are in Chicago too- the thought of living in Chicago vs. BKK or CM? Again, to each his own, and I'm sure Gloria has had some great experiences in CM. We made our first trip there in Jan and found it rather blah. However, I have so enjoyed things that others have not. It truly is a matter of what each individual is looking for. Perhaps we need to find out about what we missed in CM - to us it was quite ordinary, however in our 4 day stay, we didn't go out of the town area at all. Did lots of walking and viewing temples - stayed at YCV (We do not care to see "primitive tribes" on view for tourists)
So appreciating the regular Fodorite personnel who add so much to this site.
Sue
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Old Aug 7th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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I'll reply later....Happy Travels!
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