Bang Kok - Hong Kong -lst time visitor

Jun 7th, 1999, 07:57 PM
  #1  
Brad
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Bang Kok - Hong Kong -lst time visitor

Spending 4 days in Hong Kong then 6 days in BankKok and 6 days in Chiang Mai. Any advise would be most helpful. We are very active seniors who love to walk and observe historial structures. We travel alot and love it. Trip begins on 5 March 2000 out of San Francisco. Please email any recommendations or comments. Traveling with Grand Circle Travel Agency. Brad
 
Jun 8th, 1999, 01:33 PM
  #2  
Pete
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Please let me know more about excursions that you have from your travel agency, because I don't think you have nowhere to go during your 6 days in Bangkok. I will get to you later.
 
Jun 9th, 1999, 07:24 PM
  #3  
Brad
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Thanks for your response. Just booked the Tour with GCT and do not have too many particulars as yet, but, one given is a tour of the City (Bangkok)including the Grand Palace. Otherwise, we apparently have 5 days of free time. We normally use public transportation so any recommendations using this mode of transport would be most helpful. Thanks again.
 
Jun 10th, 1999, 01:27 AM
  #4  
Pete
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You will have to spend one whole day in ther grand palace, temple of the emarald buddha,and i think it will include free excursion to Wimanmek Palace. On the other side of the river when you are at the grand palace, there is the temple of Dawn (Wat Aroon). Walking along Rajadamneon Road, you can find Democracy Monument, Monument of King Rama V, and the architecture of the building. For your free days, you can spend one day in Kanchanaburi, for the death railway, and bridge of the river Kwai. One or two days in Ayuthaya, the previous capital, many historical structures and temples are there, Palace in Bang pa-in district, cultural centre in Bang Sai. Both Kanchanaburi and Ayuthaya are accessible by bus and train within 1-2 hr from Bangkok.
 
Jun 10th, 1999, 05:35 AM
  #5  
lynn
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Pete -

We are planning a trip this fall to Bangkok. We have been to Hong Kong and may go there again too but we are mostly interested in the various market places in Bangkok.

Can you tell me which ones are best or what type of merchandise each one has? Also, do you know the best way to shop for gemstones? I have a friend who can set them so I'm mostly interested in loose stones, not finished jewelry.

Thanks for any help.
 
Jun 10th, 1999, 10:00 AM
  #6  
les
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I have been frequenting this forum for quite some time, and I've been to Hong Kong, China, Thailand, etc, but I still don't understand some of the postings (such as Lynn's) that I read here.
What on earth could justify the expense of a shopping trip to Hong Kong, Bangkok, or anywhere in the orient (from the U.S.)? What (and how much) could the average person possibly buy that would offset the cost of such a trip, regardless of the price differential?
When I see a posting that says "we are primarily interested in the markets" or "we're going to Hong Kong to shop" (the quotes are paraphrased, but you've all seen similar postings), I have to think that, with all the wonders to see in the orient, are you people nuts? I've seen the prices of "government sanctioned" gems in Bangkok - no great bargain. If all you want is merchandise, spend a little extra in the States, and pocket thousands of dollars that you would have otherwise wasted on a "shopping trip".
 
Jun 11th, 1999, 05:41 AM
  #7  
pete
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Lynn; I think so about Les's idea that there would not be any bargains for gems. If you are really interested in unfinished stones, you may have to go to Chantaburi, 200Km east of BKK or up north to Chiang Mai/Chiang Rei where there are many stones there. Other market places in BKK depends on what kind of goods you would like to purchase.
1.Silk :go for Jim Thomson's
2.Gold shops: Chinatown (Yaowaraj)
3.Antiques: Narai Bahn
4.Cheap clothes: Pratu nam(watergate), Baiyok building (same area)
5.Computer: Puntip Plaza
6.Big Grocery like Wallmart in usa is Macro, Big C
7.Handicrafts: Chitlada Shop, the project of Her Majesty the Queen's.

Brad: In Chiang Mai; At least one day in Doi Suthep, the highest peak of thailand is Doi Innthanon National Park, and umbrella handcraft in Bor Sang.
 
Jun 12th, 1999, 10:56 AM
  #8  
Brad
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I THANK ALL OF YOU for your excellent recommendations and comments in response to my posting for a pending trip to Hong Kong and Bangkok. I will certainly consider them all. Happy Traveling.
 
Jun 13th, 1999, 06:16 AM
  #9  
Lincoln
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Hong Kong might not be a good place for you to observe historical structures. The city is approximately 150 years old and it is hard to find anything that is more than 50 years old. If you want to see a bit of old Hong Kong, you have to go to either the New Territories and the outlying islands. I recommend Tai O in the Lantau Island. It is a fishing village relatively unexposed by tourists. While you're in HK, you should also make a day-trip to Macau which is only an hour away. Unliked HK, Macau still maintains a lot of its colonial and Chinese "turn-of-the-century" structures. The center of the city would be what HK would look liked a hundred years ago.
 
Jun 15th, 1999, 10:25 PM
  #10  
lynn
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Thanks for the input.

I have connections in L.A. for all types of jewelry but was curious if I could get better deals there. When I was in Hong Kong I noticed that the deals were mostly in gold, not gems.

Les - Traveling is an adventure. No matter what reason you do it for. And when you can go to Hong Kong for $425-$500 R/T why not?? I can't get to Jackson, WY for less than $400 to visit family. Going to Asia for under $500 seems like a good deal to me. Nowhere near the thousands you were talking about. In fact, if I hadn't just spent my vacation money going to Europe, I'd be on a plane this week taking advantage of a last minute special on the net. Alas, I'll have to wait a while until I can save up some more "dough."

Pete - Thank you for your list. We are interested in more than just gems. In general, we just like the marketplace atmosphere. My husband and I have been doing this type of thing as a hobby for a long time. Him 30 years and me 20 years. We go to marketplaces in whatever country we travel in.

Brad - Definately go to Macau. We really liked Macau. As Lincoln said, it has more charm of the old world. Hong Kong is not the type of place you go to apprectiate the architectural history. Unlike places like Paris, Hong Kong tears down all of its old buildings and makes room for the new. Hong Kong is great for walking around in Central (the business district) and feeling like you are in the middle of a video game...
 
Jun 16th, 1999, 12:09 AM
  #11  
pete
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Lynn; I can recall one place "Jatuchak", it is the free weekend market. You can get almost everything there: clothes, foods, plants, books, etc. It is on the way out of bangkok to the airport, not far from city centre, and opposite the main intercity bus terminal (Northern/ NE route= MorChit). Don't forget to ask for the bargains (to reduce the price), sometimes you can get up to half price. Many buses in bkk pass this big market, it is very crowded, so be careful of your belongings. I am not sure whether or not it starts to open in the night time, you have to check for this.

Next to this market, there is a big park, again pretty much crowded on the weekends.
 
Jun 16th, 1999, 06:45 AM
  #12  
Les
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Lynn,
I agree with you that travelling is an adventure. The point I was trying to make (apparently not very well) is that the savings from SHOPPING in the orient NEVER justifies the cost of a trip from the US (and yes, there are people who post to this site that really do plan a trip just for shopping - that's how I interpreted your original post, and I apologize if I was wrong).
On the other hand, a trip to the orient (or anywhere new) is always justified (in my opinion), just for the adventure and cultural experience it provides. I, too, would hop on a plane at the drop of a hat (finances permitting) just to see new and exciting places. And there's nothing wrong in looking for bargains during one of these trips, as a side benefit. But I still maintain that bargain hunting NEVER justifies the cost of the trip (unless it's for a business, and you're buying large quantities).
 
Jun 16th, 1999, 06:39 PM
  #13  
Bob
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Hong Kong has several "night" markets that are very fascinating. Try the Temple Street Night Market or the Women's Market. Both are in Kwoloon along with the Jade Market and the Bird Market. A day trip to the Big Budda on Lantua Island can be fun via ferry.
 
Jun 21st, 1999, 05:30 PM
  #14  
lynn
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Les -

I thank you for your response back. No, we did not plan a trip to HK just to shop. My husband had been wanting to go there for 20 years (before I even knew him!) When the deal came up, we went. We like to bargain hunt and are avid swapmeet/flea market goers.

Even when we were in Paris in April we went to the weekend flea market. It's just in our blood.

We mostly go for the adventure. It just so happens that Asia is good for deals so we shop for whatever item(s) are good values over there.

As I write this, a deal came up for HK leaving next week and we're thinking of going. We are self-employed and the 4th of July holiday is a slow time for us. So we're thinking, why not? We don't have much extra money to spend while there right now but that's not the entire point. As you said, the point is, the adventure and culture you experience while in a place so different from your own.
 
Jul 13th, 1999, 04:57 AM
  #15  
John
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I am one of the adventure travellers you all are talking about. I am going to be in Bangkok from December 6 (leaving) through the 12 (back to states). My problem is time. I belong to a travel club that offers quick trips to "the world" for low prices. I was in China a few weeks back for the same lenght of time.

My questions: Has anyone been to or know about the Amari Watergate Hotel and is it worth spending much time at the floating markets. My wife is going to shop (all part of the adventure-"Been there/done that"-you all know how it is) and I am going to hang out. Are prices for jewerly reasonable or the same as in the states?

Looking forward to your response.

John
 
Jul 20th, 1999, 12:09 PM
  #16  
Jennifer
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My husband and I just returned (on 03 July 1999) from spending seven nights in Bangkok and it was one of our best trips ever! We also travel a lot and thrive on the exotic and unusual! In Bangkok we stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel on the Chao Phraya and it was absolutely world class for accommodations, food and service. Our trip was a perfect blend of cultural experience and kick-back relaxation. We did all of the temples (Wat Arun, Wat Po, the Marble Temple, etc.), the Grand Palace, the Royal Barges, and rented a long tail boat and cruised all over the river and the canals. We also spent quality R&R time enjoying the pool and hot tub, and indulging in aromatherapy massages (which can be had at either the health club or poolside) for just a little over $20. Fantastic. We also took a day trip by boat (including lunch onboard) to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital, which is not to be missed. It is fascinating and haunting. And of course, we SHOPPED! There are so many places (be sure and check out River City and Jim Thompson's, as well as the weekend market if you are there over a weekend). Bargaining is expected, except in department stores. Part of the fun of travel is to pick out those few special things to bring home which will evoke the trip for a long time to come. And did you know - Thai handicrafts are exempt from the $400 per person duty free allowance for goods brought back into the country? Among other things, we brought home some lovely handcarved teakwood pieces which will adorn our house. The Thai people are for the most part lovely, courteous and wonderful, but as in all big cities or unfamiliar situations, be careful of strangers. We have previously been to Hong Kong and really liked it - but Bangkok is really special! We did not get to Chiang Mai or Phuket this trip - but it gives us a perfect excuse to go back! If you're travelng with a group, try to get away from the herd, which is generally a pain. We did this trip (and our others) on our own with no problem, just taking advantage of package deals on air and hotel. United Airlines has some great packages to Asia right now. Enjoy!
 

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