Bangkok and Phuket - Thailand

Old Jun 1st, 2013, 05:27 PM
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Bangkok and Phuket - Thailand

Hi everyone,
we leave for Thailand in 3 weeks and will be staying in Bangkok for 5 nights and Phuket for 8 nights.
What are your must sees and dos for each place?
Any helpful tips or suggestions?
We do want to see the River Kwai and Australian War Memorial
and enjoy seeing the sights, shoppng, relaxing etc.
We like having a drink or two with a nice view and good atmosphere.
Thanks in advance
Donna
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Hi. I did Bangkok and Phuket 6 months ago.

We did all the major temples including The Grand Palace, Wat Po, Wat Arun and Wat Saket. We did the floating markets which were fun and interesting. We went to see the River Kwai, the Burma Railway museum and the war memorial cemetery. I wish we had taken the train but we didn't have time as we did a side trip to see some elephants. Sorry I can't remember where. Hubby rode an elephant and I kept buying bunches of bananas to feed them whilst I waited.

The Burma Railway museum was very interesting and moving as too was the cemetery. I purchased some flowers cheaply at the museum and placed them on a soldier's grave.

We went with Destination Asia on a private tour. We just booked when we got there after talking with their rep. I am sure there are cheaper options that we took as people said we paid too much. I didn't care as we so got our monies worth with our guide "Nana".

We stayed at the Pathumwan Princess Hotel in Bankok is a fabulous suite (exec plus I think) that was huge for $188 per night. Hubby loved this as it was connected to a shopping centre (MBK) so I would go and rest in the arvo or have a foot massage and he would wander around for hours. MBK had a lot of knock off things but just 5-10 minute walk down the road was another shopping centre with regular brand name stores and the one next to it held the designer brands. One always wants to be able to buy a Louis Vuitton bag AND a BMW in one trip!

Oh, the hotel was near Jim Thompson's House which was popular. You could see what Thai houses are like.

In Phuket we just hung around the beach in Karon and relaxed for 6 nights. We'd catch a hotel car in to Patong to go to a bar to drink and shop. We didn't really see many of the sights. Oh, yes we did. We went on a tour to Phi Phi Island that hubby and I were disappointed with. It was a big rush to go from one site to the other that we couldn't enjoy it. Everything was crowded with boats everywhere. Sorry I can't be much help with the sites in Phuket.

Hubby was asked if he wanted a 'happy ending' at one massage place in Phuket.. despite me being only a few chairs away!

It was a fabulous trip. I'd go back there again!
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:22 PM
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many of the major bkk sites are covered above...

I like to stay on the river... what is your hotel budget?

Phuket is largely a beach and water sport area..
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 12:09 AM
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Thanks Miss Green.
You have given us a lot of great ideas for Bangkok.
What a coincidence! We are staying at Pathumwan Princess too.
I will have a look at some tour companies for day trips.
Perhaps it may be better to hire a private driver?
Do you remember any good restaurants, bars etc in either of the places.
rhkkmk, I have been to Phuket a long time ago and was wondering if there are any new attractions / things to do.
We have already booked our accommodation.
Thanks again
Donna
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 02:44 AM
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We hired a driver and tour guide through Destination Asia. They had a suggested itinerary we might like but it was up to us on how long we wished to stay somewhere and it is great not having to wait for a bus load of people to return to the bus so we can move on.

I am not an adventurous eater and I also easily have stomach issues so I didn't venture out where the locals ate. We ate at a couple of casual restaurants in MBK which were very popular with the locals. Sorry I cannot remember which. We usually ate at our hotel. The Pathumwan Princess Hotel had a Korean BBQ restaurant which I absolutely LOVED. My first taste of this kind of food and loved it.

Our travel agent organised a pick up at the airport for us for $50. Best money I spent. The driver was waiting for us with a sign and took us straight to the car for the trip to the hotel. A guide/rep was waiting to met us and checked us in to the hotel, as well promising to get back to us before we left to check that our departure flight was still on schedule. The guide/rep spent an hour with us talking about what they had on offer. Yes a sales pitch but I just front up to a place and decide what I will do when I get there so it was exactly what we needed. We booked about 3 or 4 private tours with her and each night we received a message from the concierge reminding us of the time to be ready the following day. I thought they were very professional.

Destination Asia is the only company I have experience with in regards to prices but I was happy to pay what I did which was about approx. $100 to $200 a day for a driver and guide, entrance fees and meals. Some of the tours were 10 hours long (e.g. River Kwai).
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 02:44 AM
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Are you an Aussie Magpies?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 03:13 AM
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Hi MissGreen,
yes we are Australian.
I just checked my tickets, transfers etc and see that Destination Asia is also looking after us so I will see what they have to offer to. My husband is not very adventurous in relation to food and also has stomach issues so we will be sticking to hotel and western type places.
Thanks again for your helpful information.
Where are you from?
Any other suggestions for tours, bars, shopping, tips etc will be appreciated.
Thanks again
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 12:09 AM
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Any other ideas.
Please let me know
Donna
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 04:00 AM
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In Phuket regarding drinks and nightlife. You definitely have to see Bangla Road in Patong, it's insane. For a more quieter drink with a good view then you could head over to Catch Beach Club on Surin Beach, great venue and busy most nights with a good atmosphere. There's also Xana with Attica Beach Club. The best Beach Club in Phuket in my opinion. It's located on the Laguna end of Bang Tao Beach. Offers great views of the beach and attracts a nice crowd of people most weekends.
Both are pretty expensive compared to other bars, you're looking at 150 THB for a beer, but either one is definitely worth a visit.
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 12:47 PM
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Thanks Simond01,
will definitely check the beach clubs you mentioned out.

The views are often what makes a place.
Thanks again
Donna
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