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lery Aug 12th, 2007 12:33 PM

Bangkok help: air condidioned car with guide?
My husband, 2 teenager children and I are spending 10 days in Bangkok next December/January.
We would like to have a car with a guide to go to Ayuttaya on one day, and on the other day, to the Tiger Temple and the floating market. Does anyone know a good guide that could take just the four of us? How can I contact him?
We are spending Christmas there (Marriott). Any suggestions about a good Christmas brunch? If possible a more internatinal food as my children do not like much Thai food.
Any other tip will be very wellcome!!!
THANKS everybody who already helped me with this trip!!!!

Kathie Aug 12th, 2007 01:23 PM

There are quite a number of drivers and/or guides that are regularly recommended here: Tong (who is likely booked by now), Ratt (who is a driver but not a licensed guide) and Cherry. If you do a seach for any of these names, or for Bangkok guides, you'll find reviews and contact info.

Cicerone Aug 12th, 2007 06:45 PM

You would need to check on what is happening as far as brunch on Chrismas Day, as that is not a public holiday in Thailand, so I don’t know that hotels will be serving a full brunch menu, they may just be serving a regular breakfast menu; however at many of the larger hotels these are very extensive every day of the week. Any breakfast menu at a hotel will include many (if not mostly) Western dishes. I esp like the outdoor restaurants along the river at either the Penn or the Oriental for brunch and even their regular breakfasts are quite elaborate too. I also think that the Hilton along the river has a very nice outdoor setting and a good buffet. It is more casual than the Penn or Oreintal and maybe more trendy, your kids may find it more relaxed, there are sofas, etc….if they serve brunch upstairs they have a sort of artifical beach at their pool that might be interesting. The Bayan Tree or Four Seasons would also be nice for brunch or just a regular breakfast if no official Christmas brunch is on offer. Not sure which Marriott you are staying at, but the Riverside Marriot has a very nice Market restaurant for breakfast on a daily basis, if you are not staying there, you might enjoy that for Christmas brunch (or even if you are staying there).

For Ayyuthia, rather than going by car, I would really recommend that you take one of the boat trip tours, espically the one offered by the Shangri-La hotel. I think the boat trip back is really wonderful and a great way to see the lovely countryside, much better IMO than by car. To be honest, there is not a lot to see at Ayyuthia and unless you have an really well-versed tour guide, you will not understand a lot of what you are looking at, although you can appreciate the beauty of the dozens of buddhas around the main temple. The ruins are not extensive and are not especially well-preserved or curated. To me, the highlight of the trip is the boat ride back, where you can sit outside in front and watch the life of Thailand flow by for several hours, and understand why this country is called the Land of a 1,000 Temples. It really is the most pleasant way to spend an afternoon, IMO. The trip up by road is not especially scenic and to do it both ways would be quite boring, IMO.

I have done the tour by bus/boat four times and always enjoy it. This trip goes up to by bus first to Ayyuthia, and then to the summer palace of the King, most of this is outside walking looking at the various building and grounds, which are very nice and there are lakes and garden walks to enjoy. You get to look at the inside of a few buildings. A very nice trip is run by the Shangri-La hotel, take a look at, or call, fax or e-mail the hotel at Tel: 66-2- 236 7777, Fax: 66-2- 236 8579 , Email: [email protected]. The ship is called the Horizon Cruise II, look under “Dining” on the website.)

rhkkmk Aug 12th, 2007 06:59 PM

i have a rest. list which you may have if you contact me at: [email protected]

it has many non-thai will not have any problem at marriott there is a japanese steak house--always a fav with kids....out front there is mcdonalds, burger king, pizza hut, an american steak place, a swenson's ice cream and other places the kids will like....inside on the ground level there is a bakkery which also serves pizza, salads, hambys, etc...and the pool bar has bbq things as will not have a problem at all.....the breakfast rest. serves nightly meals as well which the kids might like...

there is nothing in the hotel neighborhood otherwise...

the marriott has a fabulous sunday brunch, btw...

lord jim, at the oriental has an excellent luncheon buffet as do many of the major hotels..

even though xmas is not a public holiday, i would make an advance reservation for where-ever i choose to go that day...

rhkkmk Aug 12th, 2007 07:02 PM

cherry might work well for you as she always uses a van and driver....she is away for two weeks just not, but you can contact her after that...

[email protected]

tong also would be fantastic....the kids would love the "secret place"---wild monkeys...

lery Aug 13th, 2007 02:35 PM

Thanks everyone!!!
We'll stay at The Marriott River side.
I think it's a good idea to go to Ayuttaya by bus and go gack to Bkk by boat. But how long the whole trip takes?

koreaprincess Aug 13th, 2007 04:57 PM

We used Ratt's nephew and we were very pleased. The best thing we did was a trip to Kanchanaburi to the tiger sanctuary, where monks actually raised tiger cubs in a natural habitat. We got to pose with them and pet them!

rhkkmk Aug 13th, 2007 05:29 PM

trip to ay---all day....imo, not worth the effort...

lcuy Aug 13th, 2007 05:46 PM

Christmas brunch= Lord Jim at the Oriental hotel.

Every type of food you can imagine, pluss awesome deserts, and Santa Claus and his elf in red velvet hot pants with gogo boots will deliver candy.

We've done it twice now, and the family agrees it is THE best Christmas buffet!

Cicerone Aug 13th, 2007 06:56 PM

The Ayutthaya trip does take most of the day, I think you are picked up at like between 8-9 am at your hotel and by the time the boat docks at the Shangri-La it will be the late afternoon. I find that the day goes very quickly and have done this tour a number of times, I never get tired of it actually. But I am a boat/water person and I also find the Summer Palace interesting. Ayutthaya, as I mentioned before, it not actually all that interesting, IMO, but worth a look as part of the overall trip. The main temple is interesting, but lots of the rest is just jumbled ruins with no signage, and even the tour guides don’t know much about it. It is nothing like Ankor Wat or Borbadour or any of those well-preserved sites. I would not drive all the way up and back just for Ayutthaya, that’s why I like the boat trip portion and the visit to the Summer Palace (which you could of course do on your own). The Manhora Song, the rice barge boat operated out of the Marriott, also does a cruise up the river overnight or longer which includes Ayutthaya. You might want to look into that. (The barge is very nice for their dinner cruise as well, small and intimate as opposed to the big cruisers that go out at night).

You have 10 days, so you can see and do a lot.

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